Nov 25, 2019

11 Best Hallmark Christmas Movies You Can Watch Right Now

To those who love them, there’s no need to explain the appeal of Hallmark Christmas movies. These light, festive movies started to gain popularity around 2009. This is when Hallmark introduced the Countdown to Christmas branding and increased its focus on seasonal programming. Since the inception of this holiday programming, Hallmark has released more than 135 movies with a Christmas theme.

The best of these movies takes all the tropes of a Hallmark movie — cheesy dialogue, quaint small towns, hidden love, royalty in hiding — and turn them into something engaging and meaningful. Here are some of the best Hallmark Christmas movies to help get you in the holiday spirit.

  • Although it was described by critics as “schmaltzy” and “sweet and inoffensive”, Northpole can bring a smile to even the most cynical face.

    It follows a young elf who is sent from the North Pole to a small town in hopes of convincing them to re-establish their annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. It turns out that adorable ceremonies like these are key to maintaining the North Pole’s “magic energy”. Clementine the elf (Bailee Madison) is on the frontlines of the elf squad that’s trying to bring the magic back.

  • Snow Bride is one of the most popular Hallmark movies. Likely due to the chemistry of the two leads Ben and Greta (played by Jordan Belfi and Katrina Law, respectively).

    It follows gossip rag columnist Greta as she races up to a mountain resort to try and get a juicy story about the rich Tannenhill family. Little does she know, she’ll be drawn in by this family, who are way more down-to-earth than she gave them credit for.

    Will Greta be rewarded for holding back the family’s secrets from publication?

  • One Hallmark Christmas movie that packs a surprisingly star-filled punch is The Christmas Train. It stars Dermot Mulroney as a hardened reporter who decides to take a cross-country train journey at Christmas in honor of his late father. Along the way, he gets to know his fellow passengers, including bona fide Hollywood actors like Danny Glover and Joan Cusack.

    Of course, an ex-girlfriend he never forgot about is also on the train. Will they rekindle their love in time for Christmas?

  • One of the best Hallmark Christmas movies that rely on the royalty-meets-commoner trope is A Princess for Christmas.

    This movie follows a young American who is busy raising her orphaned niece and nephew when she gets an out-of-the-blue invitation for the family to spend Christmas with their grandfather. It turns out the niece and nephew’s grandfather is a duke. The initially awkward family visit gets turned on its head with the arrival of the duke’s other grandchild — a hot, young prince.

    Many people love this movie for the chemistry between lead Jules (Katie McGrath) and Prince Ashton (a pre-Outlander Sam Heughan). Don’t worry. They’re only related by marriage.

  • Another fantastic royalty-meets-commoner movie is A Royal Christmas. It stars Lacey Chabert, one of Hallmark’s Queens of Christmas. Chabert has appeared in more than 15 Hallmark movies, but this is one of her most popular.

    Unlike other movies in this genre, the prince and commoner know each other at the beginning of the movie. Instead of focusing on their courtship, the drama is all about Chabert’s Emily winning over the prince’s mother, the stuck-up Queen Isadora of Cordinia.

  • Meet the Santas is a sequel to Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus.

    Meet the Santas picks up after the end of the first movie, with Beth (Crystal Bernard) struggling to pull off her December 26th wedding to Nick (Steve Guttenberg), a young and handsome man who inherited the position of Santa Claus the year before. To ensure both the wedding and Christmas go off without a hitch, Beth must bring in her mother to help. One problem: her mother is a total Scrooge who doesn’t believe in Christmas and doesn’t know her new son-in-law is actually Santa Claus.

  • One of the jewels in the crown of Danica McKellar, another one of Hallmark’s Queens of Christmas, is Crown for Christmas.

    In this 2015 movie, McKellar plays Allie Evans, who goes to work as a governess for the royal family of Winshire. Allie wins over the young king’s daughter Theodora (Ellie Botterill) — much to the chagrin of Countess Celia (Alexandra Evans), the king’s prissy fiancée.

    Will Allie be the one to get a crown for Christmas? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

  • Another early Hallmark Christmas movie that remains popular today is The Christmas Card. This movie follows Sgt. Cody Cullen (John Newton) who is sent home on leave from Afghanistan after his best friend is killed in action.

    As soon as Cullen is back in the United States, he seeks out a small town whose church sent him a Christmas card that lifted his spirits. He finds out that the cards are written by a young woman named Faith Spellman (Alice Evans). After Cullen saves her father from a near-fatal car accident, he’s invited to spend Christmas with their family.

  • Christmas at the Cartwrights follows a single mom who decides that the best way for her to earn enough money to support her family is to get a job as a department store Santa Claus. It’s a pretty strange premise.

    The movie earns itself a place on this list since it’s definitely one of the more nuanced and interesting movie scripts Hallmark has produced.

  • Another movie starring one of Hallmark’s Queens of Christmas is A Christmas Detour. This time it’s Candace Cameron Bure.

    Bure plays Paige Summerlind, a woman desperately trying to make it to New York City so she can meet her fiancé’s snooty parents for the first time. Bad weather reroutes her plane to Buffalo, forcing her to try and make the drive to New York along with a young, handsome, broken-hearted man and an older married couple who provide a disturbing glimpse at her potential future.

    This movie is the Hallmark Channel’s way of injecting romance into the premise for Planes, Train, and Automobiles. Swapping in two young, hot actors for Steve Martin and John Candy.

  • Rounding out this list is Christmas Connection. It follows a young stewardess with a busy, rewarding job who is forced to slow down when she’s stuck with an unaccompanied minor traveler and her good-looking father for Christmas.

    It’s not the most creative plotline out there. But, the sincerity of the acting and chemistry between the two love interests is what keeps the movie-going.

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