Christmastime is almost here, and for so many of us, that means gathering around to watch our favorite Hallmark Christmas films! With all our Yuletide tropes, from long moonlit walks, to playful snowball fights leading to unexpected romance, it’s fair to say that the holiday season just wouldn’t be the same without them. What a bright time, it’s the right time to count down the top 25 Hallmark Christmas movies!
25. Christmas Connection
And you thought your own holiday air travel was complicated! Christmas Connection follows the story of air hostess Sydney, played by Brooke Burns from Most Wonderful Time of the Year and Fixing Pete. Sydney meets a little girl flying by herself to Chicago after visiting family. When Sydney finds the girl left a package behind, she takes it upon herself to find her and return it.
Sydney’s adventure leads her to the little girl’s house, where she comes face to face with her (very) single father, played by Tom Everett Scott. After getting conveniently stormed in, Sydney spends the holiday season with them, and learns to appreciate just staying in one place. But the most surprising part: this is a Hallmark Christmas movie that takes place in a city, a rarity!
24. Switched For Christmas
Originally called Christmas Sister Swap, this film often gets compared to a grown-up Christmas version of The Parent Trap. Like the classic Lindsay Lohan remake, Switched For Christmas follows a set of identical twins who, first meeting after years apart, realize they envy each other’s lives and decide to switch places.
But the switch isn’t quite the Christmas present either one of them had hoped for (who would’ve thought?) and the swap helps the two sisters appreciate their current lives. On the plus side, neither one are married or with boyfriends, so there are no awkward, hands covering the eyes, bedroom moments.
23. A Dream of Christmas
Marriage can be a bit frustrating — well, at least it was for Nikki DeLoach’s character Penny. After finding it’s just too overwhelming trying to keep up with her job while having her husband and sister-in-law’s family living with them, Penny is met by a Christmas angel who offers her one wish. That wish? To be a single woman again.
Unfortunately, single life isn’t everything Penny imagined it would be. While initially enjoyable, this newly freed woman finds herself missing her old life and family. She then must figure out a way to woo her old husband back and reclaim the life she had before. Get ready for a healthy dose of hilarious gags and Christmas cheer!
22. Christmas List
Based on the novel The Christmas Bucket List by Ella Fairlie, Christmas List follows the story of Isobel Gray. She’s in the midst of planning her perfect fairy tale Christmas, when everything gets turned on its head with an unpleasant surprise when her boyfriend suddenly goes AWOL.
It seems that with no man around, Isobel (played by Alicia Witt from Orange is the New Black) finds it difficult to check off the various items on her Christmas list. But fate, combined with the magical romantic powers of Christmas, chooses to intervene. A new love interest proves to be both tempting and forbidden, and Isobel must decide whether to give up on her boyfriend or pursue this potential romance.
21. A Christmas Melody
Mariah Carey directs this heartwarming Christmas musical, starring beside Christmas movie veteran Lacey Chabert. The film opens with Lacey as Kristin, living in Manhattan, so you might assume that she leaves the big city for a small town, in which case…you’re not wrong! Kristin skips town after her shop closes down and moves back to small-town Ohio with her daughter.
In Ohio, Kristin meets her match, local PTA head Melissa, played by Mariah Carey. Melissa feels threatened by this new arrival, and she wants to make Ohio as uncomfortable as possible. Thankfully, the power of Christmas music comes to the rescue, and the duo realize that home is where the heart is.
20. Christmas Land
With a handsome boyfriend and a seemingly unstoppable business career trajectory in New York City, Jules Cooper is living the dream life. An abrupt twist close to Christmastime brings Jules to Christmas Land, a Christmas tree farm once owned by her late grandmother. It’s now fallen into decay, and Jules intends to sell it.
Cue classic Christmas movie script. Turns out the townspeople are super charming, and Jules can’t resist engaging in their free-spirited fun, complete with adorable activities like sleighing and snowball fights. But no proper Hallmark Christmas film would be complete without a love interest, and Jules may have finally met her match with Tucker, the lawyer hired to help her with the sale of Christmas Land.
19. The Christmas Shepherd
This sentimental story follows the tale of Sally Brown who, devastated after the death of her husband, falls into further despair after her only companion, a German Shepherd named Buddy, runs away. Why did Buddy leave her? It may have been the noise from a Christmas storm that scared him — but it also could’ve been the call of Christmas magic.
Buddy ends up in the home of single father Mark Green and his young daughter Emma. Sally eventually catches up to her pooch and his new family. She must now face a difficult choice: take the dog back and leave poor Emma sad and lonely on Christmas, or give him up? Of course, with a little push from that Christmas romance, she starts to see there might just be a third option.
18. Love You Like Christmas
Planes, trains, or automobiles? Apparently, all are susceptible to a powerful Christmas storm when someone is resistant to finding love. Sure enough, Maddie, a high-powered marketing executive, is on her way to see a client when she experiences some unfortunate and “completely unexpected” car trouble.
That car trouble leads Maddie to the aptly-named small town Christmas Valley, whose entire population are, unsurprisingly, big fans of Christmas. The locals come together to help include this no-nonsense marketing executive whose style is so different from their own, treating Maddie like family and causing her to realize what she may have been missing in her life after all.
17. Miss Christmas
Two and a Half Men and Royal Pains star Brooke D’Orsay is Miss Christmas in this aptly-named Hallmark holiday film, and she takes her job very seriously. Miss Christmas, aka Holly Khun, is the official tree finder for Chicago’s esteemed Radcliff tree lighting, and she will stop at nothing to get that perfect Christmas pine.
After Holly gets a letter from a little boy claiming to have that perfect specimen, Holly packs her bags and heads to a small town to see it for herself. Unfortunately for Miss Christmas, the young boy’s dad isn’t quite ready to part with the tree. But Holly’s time spent trying to convince them ends up showing her the true spirit of Christmas.
16. The Christmas Train
The Christmas Train is chock-full of Hollywood celebrities, all taking a ride to the same place. Dermot Mulroney, from Angels in the Outfield and Shameless, stars as cynical writer Tom Langdon. Suffering from writer’s block, he gets on a four-day train ride to help him think. On board, he meets screenplay writer Eleanor Carter, setting off a surprising chain of events.
A romantic train ride during the holiday season sure sounds like a recipe for romance. While getting to know each other, the two meet a collection of characters, some funny and some wise, who help this story unfold. This film treats viewers to such familiar faces as Danny Glover and Joan Cusack.
15. Christmas At Holly Lodge
Former soap opera star, Emmy nominee, and current host of The Biggest Loser, Alison Sweeney stars in this heartwarming holiday film. Sweeney plays Sophie Bennett, owner of the Holly Lodge, who generously rents out to a regular stream of patrons. But can Christmas magic save her business after she finds out she’s behind on her mortgage payments?
The clock is ticking for Sophie after a development company shows some interest in her idealistic property. The company doubles down by sending a covert appraiser, Evan Hunter, to inspect the area and report back to them. Evan might be ambitious, but it seems like even he can’t resist the allure of the lodge — and the call of Christmas love.
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14. With Love, Christmas
Love gets replaced by petty inter-office politics when two ad executives, Melanie Welsh and Donovan Goodwin, are too busy arguing over a cell phone Christmas commercial to appreciate the holiday spirit. But all that changes after the pair unknowingly pick each other as Secret Santas for the company party.
Melanie sends some emails to Donovan under a fake account to try and figure out what he likes for Christmas. But soon that undercover mission turns into something much more flirtatious. Donovan even admits to this fake account the incredibly personal reason why he’s not so into Christmas. Suddenly, Secret Santa becomes a lot more juicy.
13. The Christmas Ornament
A truly soul-stirring Christmas story, The Christmas Ornament stars Hailey Dean Mystery star Kellie Martin as Kathy, a widow who is in despair during the holidays. Unfortunately, the season reminds her of the ornament exchange with her late husband, a former tradition of theirs which symbolized their love for each other.
Even though Kathy isn’t interested in putting up a tree this year, hunky tree shop owner Tim delivers her one anyway, complete with an ornament. With snow-speckled trees and glittering ornaments providing the backdrop to this Hallmark Christmas film, Kathy begins to open up about her tragedy, and finds a new reason to fall back in love with the holiday.
12. The Christmas Cottage
As if Christmas couldn’t get any more romantic, this Hallmark film packs a double punch, which includes a Christmas wedding. This isn’t just any Christmas wedding, though. It takes place in a cottage which, according to The Christmas Cottage, means that anyone who spends the night in it “shall have love everlasting.”
Not everyone is aware of this adage, not even Lacey Quinn, maid-of-honor for her best friend Ava. Lacey has been tasked with setting up the cottage for the wedding. Her partner? The soon-to-be bride’s dashing brother, Evan Callahan! Naturally, Lacey gets hopelessly stuck in the cottage with him during a snowstorm. Wonder what transpires?
11. The Mistletoe Promise
Former Vogue model Jamie King stars in this Hallmark Christmas film, where two strangers who don’t like Christmas decide to spend the holidays together in order to avoid loneliness. But as these two Grinches get to know each other, they’re given a heavy dose of holiday spirit. At last, they can experience firsthand a taste of that Christmas magic.
The Mistletoe Promise is filled with all those classic Hallmark Christmas tropes we’ve grown to love. Featuring everything from walks in the moonlight, to “unexpected” romance, and even a sled scene where hilarity ensues, it’s no surprise it continues to rank high on lists of best Hallmark Christmas movies.
10. Christmas Cookies
Looking for a Hallmark Christmas classic? Dive right into the Cookie Jar! Don’t mistake this movie with the Matt Damon film, Downsizing, though: this one doesn’t feature tiny people living in an actual cookie jar, it’s instead the name of the town.
The film stars Jill Wagner as Hannah Harper, a corporate executive who is sent to Cookie Jar to buy a cookie company and shut down its factory. But while on her errand there, Hannah meets the factory’s owner, Jake Carter. Suddenly, all thanks to the power of Christmas (and maybe a few delicious holiday cookies), Hannah has a change of heart.
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9. Coming Home For Christmas
Based on the Jenny Hale novel, Coming Home for Christmas is directed by Emmy nominee Mel Damski and stars popular Hallmark face, Danika McKellar, also known as Winnie from The Wonder Years. McKellar plays the role of Lizzie, the house manager for the exclusive Ashford Estate, which is being sold. In the spirit of holiday and family, she decides to throw one last party.
The Ashfords could be described as less of a family, and more of a clan. It would appear as though they could use a heavy dosage of Christmas spirit, and Lizzie is the perfect proverbial doctor to administer. However, side effects may include romantic feelings for unexpected persons, and this party proves to not be an exception.
8. Christmas Next Door
You might remember Jesse Metcalfe as Desperate Housewives’ frequently-shirtless gardener. Here, he stars in this holiday film as bachelor writer, Eric Randall. Eric, a notorious Grinch who is famous for writing books about how to stay single, is stuck with his niece and nephew for the holidays, and is forced to turn to help from his neighbor, April Stewart.
April, played by Fiona Gubelmann from The Good Doctor, is a cheerful and kind woman. Unlike Eric, she absolutely loves Christmas. What begins as an awkward arrangement (and hilariously annoying for Eric) soon begins to blossom into something much more, as April teaches Eric the power of Christmas love.
7. A Christmas Detour
Famous Hallmark actress Candace Cameron Bure is back again for this Christmas classic about a woman named Paige, whose airplane is hit by a ferocious snowstorm. It may be that anyone who booked a ticket to New York for the holidays may want to reconsider, because our favorite Hallmark Christmas films have proven that December snowstorms do not like people heading to the Big Apple.
Sure enough, Paige and fellow passenger Dylan are rerouted to Buffalo, where they must make do for the holiday. Dylan, initially guarded after just having ended a serious relationship, is nevertheless the gentleman to Paige. He offers her a ride to New York City, but the storm forces them to stop at a nearby inn. Soon, the two develop a case of Christmas romance so strong that it still makes fans weak at the knees.
6. A Very Merry Mix Up
Meeting the future in-laws during the holidays can be stressful to say the least, and it certainly was for A Very Merry Mix Up’s Alice Chapman. Played by Alicia Witt from the David Lynch cult series Twin Peaks, Alice is heading out to her fiancé Will’s hometown to meet her future family. On the way there, Alice meets Will’s brother-in law Matt at baggage claim, and suddenly holiday plans are put in for a spin!
The family dotes over Alice and she soon finds herself falling in love with their festive Christmas traditions. But she may soon find the weight of Christmas love falling down too heavily on her. Alice discovers herself having to choose between Will and Matt in this Christmas mix-up.
5. A Royal Christmas
Seemingly taken right out of a fairy tale, A Royal Christmas stars Lacey Chabert as a Philadelphia seamstress working in her family’s business before she’s whisked off to the fictional European country, Cordinia. Bearing a striking similarity to Morocco, Cordinia’s heir to the throne, Prince Leopold, has decided to marry Emily (Lacey Chabert). Unfortunately his mother, Queen Isadora, is determined to stop this marriage by any means necessary.
Filmed in Romania’s regal Peleș Castle, the film is reminiscent of a Disney Christmas classic. It’s that authentic feel and classic storybook plot that make this film irresistible to viewers, who constantly rank it as one of the top Hallmark Christmas movies out there.
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4. Christmas in Evergreen
Christmas magic comes flying in like a Category Five hurricane in this Hallmark Christmas classic. After veterinarian Allie Shaw wishes upon a snow globe for a romantic Christmas, she heads for the airport thinking she might find romance in the big city. In a twist, the airport is closed due to a very unexpected snowstorm. Allie suddenly finds herself stuck, seemingly as loveless as ever.
Just when it seems like Allie got put on Santa’s naughty list, she bumps in to single hunk, Dr. Ryan Bellamy, who was also planning on traveling with his young daughter. Suddenly, it seems as though Allie might just be getting the romantic Christmas she wanted after all. Thank you, weather!
3. Christmas Under Wraps
Full House fans will likely remember Candace Cameron Bure who, starting at age 11, played the role of Danny and Pam’s oldest child, D.J. Tanner. 21 years after Full House ended, Bure is now starring as surgery resident Dr. Lauren Brunell. In spite of all her hard work, Dr. Brunell finds herself forced to take a job as head doctor in the small town of Garland, Alaska.
While at her new position, Dr. Brunell finds herself falling for a charming local, Andy Holliday (David O’Donnell). December in Alaska may be cold, but Holliday helps Dr. Brunell warm up to the town, in spite of the weather and her own trepidation. In doing so, Dr. Brunell finds herself falling for more than just one holiday.
2. Christmas Getaway
What was supposed to be a quiet getaway for lonely writer Emory turns in to Christmas romance. A reservation mix-up puts her in a room with an attractive widower and his adorable daughter. There, Emory and single father Scott find themselves unable to resist the power of “love and Christmas magic.”
Christmastime viewers watching Christmas Getaway may recognize the actress who plays Emory, Bridget Regan, from her role as Rose Solano in the romantic drama-comedy, Jane the Virgin, or as Kahlan Amnell in the Disney-ABC series, Legend of the Seeker. Rest assured, she’s here to deliver a performance that makes this a Hallmark Christmas fan favorite.
1. Crown for Christmas
Set against a beautiful December backdrop comes the top-voted Hallmark Christmas story, Crown for Christmas. Allie, a maid as American as apple pie, is fired from her work at a luxury hotel. But as fate would have it, she gets hired by a royal family in the fictional country of Winshire, to help prepare for the King’s arranged marriage to Countess Celia.
Allie is set to work for Princess Theodora, a free spirit who defies the other authority figures at the castle. The princess comes to believe that Allie, not the countess, would be a better match for the King. This Cinderella-esque love story was filmed throughout the Romanian countryside, whose snow-coated forests and expansive castles add to the warm Christmas feeling the movie offers.
This article was originally published on DirectExpose: These Hallmark Christmas Movies Are Bound To Warm Your Holiday Season
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