Predicting the Best Hallmark Christmas Movies for 2016


Hallmark has 25 or so new Christmas movies premiering this year. They actually start playing reruns tonight at 10:00 PM on both of their channels. I have no idea why certain movies debut on the original channel and a handful show-up on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries but rest assured if you want to watch something with sleigh bells and candy canes before December you won’t have any issues.

Let’s be honest for a second, a lot of these films are not going to appeal to everyone. By no means do I like all of Hallmark’s movies. I also get a little annoyed that so many of them have really uninventive titles. It’s like they’re going for SEO instead of what the story is actually about, but every year they produce a few solid story lines with strong casting and particularly well done holiday decorations. I really only have the synopsis to go on for most of the new 2016 movies (I think a lot of them are actually still in post production) but below I’ll try to predict which ones I think are going to be your best bet for a feel good Christmas TV experience.

I think you may want to DVR:

The Mistletoe Promise
Premieres: Saturday, November 5th at 8/7c
Channel: Hallmark
I hesitate on this one a bit because I’m not a Richard Paul Evans kind of girl and this is based on one of his books. However, the set pics look like they have pretty sparkly decorations and Jamie King was adorable in Hart of Dixie so let’s give it a whirl.

Every Christmas Has a Story
Premiere: Saturday, November 12th at 8/7c
Channel: Hallmark
The plot doesn’t really excite me very much but I love Aunt Becky (Lori Loughlin) and it also stars Colin Ferguson, from Eureka, who apparently is dressed like an elf at some point. Seems like a good enough reason to me.

My Christmas Dream
Premiere: Saturday, November 19th at 8/7c
Channel: Hallmark
Here’s a great example of one of those uninspired titles…My Christmas Dream...that’s all they’ve got? Anyway, Danica McKeller (The Wonder Years) stars and Danica also happens to be in one of my favorite made-for-tv movies, Love at the Christmas Table. I really admire the work she does outside of acting helping to educate and encourage little girls to love math so I’m watching this. Bonus: soap opera queen Deirdre Hall apparently plays her boss. Hopefully, a very glamorous, exacting, and slightly mean one.

A Nutcracker Christmas
Premiere: Saturday December 10th 8/7c
Channel: Hallmark
This is the movie I’m the most excited for. Amy Acker is so good in everything she does, plus she’s part of the Whedonverse. We also have real ballet dancers, death, betrayal, and romance to look forward to. I kind of wish it was on Lifetime though so something really scandalous would happen, but I’m sure Hallmark will whip up a suitable happy ending instead. Many ballet dancers also sort of dislike dancing in The Nutcracker so let’s see if any of them betray their misery on screen.

A Heavenly Christmas 
Premiere: Saturday, November 26 at 8/7c
Channel: Hallmark
This is the Hallmark Hall of Fame film this year so it will undoubtedly have been graced with a larger budget and higher production values. It also stars Charlotte from Sex in the City, Eric McCormick (Will & Grace) and Shirley MacLaine. As those folks are all very well known and accomplished actors I think the whole Christmas-angel-helps-struggling-musician thing will work. We’ll see.

Journey Back to Christmas
Premiere: Sunday, November 27th at 8/7c
Channel: Hallmark
Here we have DJ Tanner in period costumes, everyones’ favorite dad, flight instructor, and/or sheriff, Tom Skerritt, Kate Hudson’s super hot brother (Oliver Hudson) and time travel. If you added in a Tardis this could totally be on the BBC. Candace Cameron is always a strong contender when picking Christmas movies so you have to watch this one whether you want to or not.

Broadcasting Christmas
Premiere: Wednesday November 23rd at 8/7c
Channel: Hallmark
You’ve probably realized at this point that my benchmark for deciding what to watch is based on total nonsense. Therefore, I have absolutely no problem telling you that I don’t have any other reason for you to check out this movie other than the fact that it stars Melissa Joan-Hart and I’ve watched Holiday in Handcuffs approximately 1000 times in my life. That should really be enough. Don’t you think?

The Sound of Christmas
Premiere:Sunday, December 11th
Channel: Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
Do you watch The Librarians? If so, then you definitely know who Lindy Booth is and you’ll absolutely want to watch her play a piano teacher. Lindy is essentially what would happen if champagne bubbles came to life.

Just in Time for Christmas Earns a Spot in my Annual Rotation

Last night I Finally watched a Hallmark movie that didn’t make me cringe or roll my eyes. So much of the made for TV slate this season has been almost unwatchable. The sets look shabby, the decorations cheap or sparse, scenes that are supposed to be parties with just a handful of extras milling about. Not to mention the plots being a great big yawn. I watch these types of movies because I’m looking for that magical, escapist, Christmas wonderland look and feel and Just in Time for Christmas (ignore the really lame title) gave me that happy, bubbly, razzle dazzle I’ve been waiting for.

Of course it helped immensely that there was such a strong and quirky cast including Christopher Lloyd as the main character’s grandfather and William Shatner as a coachman meets fairy godmother hybrid. Eloise Mumford (you might recognize her as Kate from Fifty Shades of Grey) is absolutely adorable as the kind, super smart, and stylish psychology adjunct trying to decide between her fabulous hipster coffee shop owning boyfriend and a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a tenure track position at Yale. I’m now seriously obsessed with her hair. This is extremely superficial of me but true.


The premise may sound a bit done to death but I really like movies and tv shows where people get to explore their regrets or the path not taken (like Being Erica or The Family Man) so I loved the story and was actually really sad when it ended. Plus the set decorations were excellent. They’re really elaborate and gorgeous, and most definitely professionally styled. It was just what I was hoping for! So far this is the best one of the year.

Christmas Movies Begin on October 31st – Works for Me!

oct31This is going to really wind up people who don’t like holidays to be released into the wild early, but did you know that Hallmark begins airing their Christmas lineup on October 31st? Yes! Personally, I’m loving it. I actually started “sneaking” Christmas music on Spotify last week. A little Kelly Clarkson…a dash of James Taylor…some Mariah…I couldn’t help myself. I’m also trying to figure out how I’m even going to fit a Christmas Tree in my new living room. That will probably have to be a post all on its own. It’s a mystery, Charlie Brown.

In the meantime, we’ll very shortly have the opportunity to re-watch some of our favorite, often completely implausible, and very glitter filled made-for-tv movies. Let’s be honest, some of them are really, really horrible. Then, there are a handful that you can rewatch over and over again. Everyone has their favorites. Here are my can’t miss hits:

A Very Merry Mix-Up

Alice, played by Alicia Witt, has a narcissistic, metrosexual boyfriend who is a total waste of time. He’s so busy (doing his hair) that Alice has to fly all alone to meet his parents for the first time. At the airport shenanigans ensue (because otherwise there wouldn’t be a plot) and she ends up meeting a super sweet guy (Will) whom she incorrectly assumes is her future brother-in-law. Huh? You see, cute guy has the same last name as her boyfriend. He also happens to have a brother with the jerk boyfriend’s name. That would be enough proof for me. Alice goes home with Will, and his family is awesome, and they make cookies, and it’s all very picture perfect until you-know-who turns up. Just wait until you meet the actual in-laws…love it.

Christmas Under Wraps

This one is essentially DJ Tanner meets Northern Exposure. Dr. DJ can’t get skim milk for her latte, her clothes aren’t appropriately warm (because you know…she’s in Garland, Alaska with a pashmina) and her stilettos are no match for the icy sidewalks. When she gets frustrated with these facts all of the townspeople say, “that’s Garland for you.” Now Chris and I say this to one another all the time.

Mr. Miracle

So, Mr. Miracle, the book and the film, were both really good. I feel like it played on Hallmark once last year and then it was forgotten. Why? Rob Morrow was hysterical. He played Harry the bumbling angel who happens to be posing as an equally nutty English professor at a local community college. Was there something objectionable in the movie that I missed? Who knows, but if it’s allowed out of the vault this year make sure to tune in.

The Nine Live of Christmas

I didn’t want to like this movie because it sounded absolutely ridiculous, but then I watched it anyway and loved it. I mean, there were two ginger cats in it. I can’t resist that. I also became totally obsessed with the cat paw Christmas stockings that appear in the film, tracked them down, and bought them. Superman aka Brandon Routh is one of the leads which made me wonder just how much they get paid to work on these things. I’m also kind of shocked that they mention he was in Zack and Miri Make a Porno in his bio for Hallmark. That’s amazing. Someone better call the inten who updated the website. The family indecency people are going to be so mad at you…hahahaha.

Trading Christmas

This is another Debbie Macomber based film (I’m pretty sure she’ll have her own channel pretty soon just like Oprah) and the plot is pretty much The Holiday but with Faith Ford and Billy from Ally McBeal instead of Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. I don’t care though. This one is my absolute favorite and I watch it multiple times each year. Bonus: Tom Cavanagh! Who doesn’t love Tom Cavanagh?

Did I miss your Hallmark favorite? As for all of the new movies coming out this year…I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Festive Flicks for the Week of February 2, 2015

christmas_tivoEven when it isn’t Christmas time I still religiously check my “Christmas” wishlist on the TiVo. Not sure how to make a wishlist for you favorite holiday key words? Let me just direct you this way.

In the meantime, here are 5 festive flicks to look out for this week:

Veronica Mars: An Echolls Family Christmas
Season 1, Episode 10
Monday, February 2, 2015 at 6:00 PM [PIVOT]
Synopsis: Veronica searches for a thief when Weevil’s poker winnings disappear after a game at Logan’s place. Guest stars Harry Hamlin, Lisa Rinna.

House Hunters: Christmas-Obsessed Woman Wants Yule Palace in Chicago
Season 96, Episode 11
Monday, February 2, 2015 at 6:00 PM [HGTV]
Synopsis: A woman who is obsessed with Christmas has the holiday on her mind when searching for a home, while her husband focuses on finding a budget-friendly, contemporary place to live in Chicago.

How to Get Away with Murder: Best Christmas Ever
Season 1, Episode 11
Thursday, February 5, 2016 at 10:00 PM [ABC]
Synopsis: After holiday break, the students are questioned by police about Sam’s death; Annalise tries to behave normally and takes on a new client who is in the mob.

The Big Bang Theory: The Cooper Extraction
Season 7, Episode 11
Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 10:30 PM [TBS]
Synopsis: While Sheldon is in Texas, the rest of the gang realize how much he has changed their lives as they decorate the apartment Christmas tree.

Gilmore Girls: Forgiveness and Stuff
Season 1, Episode 10
Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 1:00 AM [ABCFamily]
Synopsis: Lorelai is hurt when she is excluded from her parents’ Christmas bash, but she rushes to the hospital after her father collapses at the party.

Note: All times are EST.