It’s the time of year where Hallmark convinces me that I need to move to a small town in Nowhereville, USA to meet a baker, snow sculpture fanatic or Christmas tree farmer and fall in love and leave the big city behind because I am overworked and don’t know what the meaning of Christmas is anymore. This is my confession that I am a Hallmark Christmas movie freak. I’ve watched them allllllll.
So you might see why personally I think all Hallmark holiday movies are worth your time even if they are incredibly cringe-worthy and predictable, but if you’re someone who is new to this genre of movie and really like a storyline that makes sense and characters that have depth then not all the Hallmark holiday movies are for you! If you’re someone who needs a plausible storyline, then I have put together a list of movies I think you’ll particularly like and should go out of your way to record.
My all-time favorite Hallmark movie and arguably the most obscure because GASP no one who was a child star is in it. The plot is actually somewhat unique: a tabloid report is competing with her coworker to get the inside scoop on the son of a famous political family since there is a rumor going around that he is going to get engaged on Christmas and she wants to be the first one to report it. The reporter ends up going out to their winter home to find him and somehow gets invited to the family’s holiday celebrations (the somehow is so wacky that it’s laughable but whatever!). What I like most about this movie is the chemistry (this is RARE actually!) between the two main characters and they actually learn something about one another during the hijinks which makes the story of them falling in love actually believable. They also have flaws, unlike most Hallmark movies.
Love at the Christmas Table
It’s possible that this movie was actually first shown on Lifetime, but let’s pretend it was Hallmark. And if you want to watch it ASAP, it’s actually streaming on Amazon Prime! This is where my love for Danica McKellar Christmas movies began. I love this one because the premise just makes sense. It follows two families who spend Christmas together every year, which means the two main characters Sam and Kat have been friends for three decades when they realize this could be something more. You literally follow them from age 5 to age 30 and every year in between so each scene is a different Christmas they spent together so you see their friendship develop as well as their love, making it one of the more believable Christmas movies out there.
Christmas at Pemberley Manor
This movie started the Hallmark Christmas movie season this year so it just premiered last week. I personally am a huge Jane Austen fan so anything that is based off her books is always a treat for me, but really the only thing remotely like Pride and Prejudice is that Darcy is a tiny bit ornery and Liz has to bring him out of his non-loving Christmas shell. Ignore the fact that some of the characters are named after characters in the book. For example, there is a Jane, but Jane isn’t Liz’s sister but instead the assistant to Wickham who isn’t evil. So yea, ignore that. Focus on the chemistry that the main characters have because they are good at making a very PG movie seem a tiny bit sultry with some bedroom eyes. Also, it’s safe to say now that I like Jessica Lowndes who plays Liz in this movie. Normally I find it hard to like her since I’ve seen her in too many Lifetime movies playing villains to see her as a “good girl” type but it works in this movie so I think I’m a believer.
Coming Home for Christmas
Another Danica! If you can’t tell already, she’s my favorite. I think she’s really good at convincing you she loves her costar…aka she’s good at acting. Anyway, the plot of this one is that Lizzie needs a job and lands one as a house manager for a large estate in Virginia while they prepare it to sell. Since it’s the holidays, the matriarch’s grandchildren are all home for the holidays including Robert who is intent to sell the house before Christmas and Lizzie feels drawn to him while also being pursued by her other grandchild Kip. Again, this feels convincing since she and Robert have to live together for a somewhat long period of time and get to know each other pretty well. Plus I find the main guy in this really handsome. Trust me, he looks better on the screen than in this thumbnail.
A Bride for Christmas
This movie is basically How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days but with a Christmas twist so obviously I’m into it. Aiden bets his friends that he can convince a woman to marry him by Christmas, and he sets his sights on Jessie, a young woman who has sworn off serious relationships.
The main characters are quirky and cute and I love characters that don’t seem to quite fit the normal Hallmark mold of perfect guy and girl next door who have zero flaws but somehow can’t find love.
A December Bride
This includes one of all my favorite rom-com movie hijinks: fake fiancees! Layla gets broken up with right before her cousin’s wedding so she enlists an old friend Seth to go to the wedding with her and they start a lie saying they are dating so she’s not embarrassed to be the old maid at the wedding (I kid you not), and dating turns into fake fiancees because he needs help impressing his boss which a fake fiancee obviously does. The story is ludicrous but I love it anyway mainly because I love Daniel Lissing.