There are all kinds of Christmas movies to lose yourself in this festive season, from Christmas horror to classic Christmas comedies all the way through Christmas kids classics. But there is another snow-dusted subgenre that many viewers are finding joy in this year: the made-for-tv Christmas movie that was originated by Hallmark. We’ve curated a list of the best that the network has to offer, picking 10 of the most enjoyable, sweet and utterly charming Christmas movies to ever grace the small screen stage of the Hallmark Channel.
Time will tell if any of 2021’s Hallmark Christmas movies will make the list.
Deliver by Christmas (2020)
If you like the classic rom-com setup of films like You’ve Got Mail and The Shop Around the Corner but would like the protagonists to be a little nicer, then you’re in luck. Deliver By Christmas is a truly lovely Christmas movie that could have been on any major streamer and would have likely picked up a little festive following. Molly (Alvina August) is a baker who can’t seem to find luck in love but is very talented at making delicious baked goods. Josh (Eion Bailey) is a single father who’s struggling to find the magic of Christmas after losing his wife. When he moves back to his small town and begins to bump into Molly, things start to look up. But he also begins to fall for a mysterious baker he’s been chatting to over the phone.
The Christmas House (2020)
Breaking new ground as Hallmark’s first Christmas movie with a gay lead couple, The Christmas House is a super cute flick that centers on a festive family reunion along with all the happiness and drama that accompany it. Brothers Mike Mitchell (Robert Buckley) and Brandon Mitchell (Jonathon Bennett) head home for Christmas after being hailed by their parents who seem to have something important to tell them. While Mike reconnects with an old flame, Brandon and his husband Jake wait to discover whether or not they’ll be able to adopt a child. This is a little more deep and dramatic than your average Hallmark fare but that works to its advantage, and you’ll still get those Christmas feels.
Good Morning Christmas! (2020)
Some of the most fun we’ve ever had watching a Hallmark movie, Good Morning Christmas! is a romantic riot. Brian Bright (Marc Blucas) and Melissa Merry (Alison Sweeney) are the hosts of the nation’s number one morning TV show, but they hate each other. Just as Brian decides that he’s going to resign, the pair are sent to a Christmas-loving town to film their final week of episodes, including a Christmas Eve finale where they’ll announce that Bright will be leaving. Of course, things don’t go the way that either of them are expecting and they’re soon falling for each other under the snowy star filled skies. Blucas and Sweeney have a lot of fun with the enemies to lovers setup and the script is snappy and sweet! An all around good time!
Christmas at the Plaza (2019)
If you’re looking for something legitimately charming and romantic you won’t go wrong with Christmas at the Plaza, a lovely little movie about an archival historian researching a holiday exhibit for a New York hotel. Jessica (Elizabeth Henstridge) isn’t sure if she’ll be able to find anything in the archives of the famous Plaza Hotel. But when she’s teamed up with the hotel’s Christmas decorator (Ryan Paevey), she discovers a vast history of Christmas ornaments, leading her to a decades-old romantic mystery and a potential connection with the hunky decorator. But will they be able to overcome their differences and find love at the Plaza? You’ll have to watch to find out.
Christmas at Pemberley Manor (2018)
Another one of the truly schmaltzy offerings on this list is Christmas at Pemberley Manor. As the title hints, this is an incredibly loose reimagining of Pride and Prejudice that centers around Elizabeth Bennett (Jessica Lowndes), who has to go to a small town to plan their Christmas fair as a favor to a friend who happens to be the mayor. But once she arrives she gets entangled with the sexy and secretive millionaire, William Darcy (Michael Rady), who owns a large stately home which would be perfect to hold the fair. But when Elizabeth’s ambitious boss finds out that Darcy is involved, she heads into town putting Elizabeth and William’s future in question.
A Gingerbread Romance (2018)
Tia Mowry stars as an architect, Taylor Scott, who has to build life size gingerbread houses alongside a romantic pastry chef, Adam (Duane Henry), as she tries to find herself over the festive season. The most impressive thing in A Gingerbread Romance are the wild gingerbread creations, but there are plenty of other more classic Christmas movie tropes. From romantic ice skating dates to decorating the tree together, you can get all your Christmas feels with this romantic flick that takes an overdone narrative device — baking contests — and turns the volume up to 11.
Switched for Christmas (2017)
Candace Cameron Bure has been in a lot of Hallmark movies, but Switched for Christmas is extra silly. Two twin sisters (both played by Bure) decide to switch places during the festive season. One is a high-powered business woman and the other is a single mother. Of course, they both find love while pretending to be the other, so the big question is can those relationships survive this exceedingly strange deceit? If you’ve ever watched one of these films you’ll likely know the answer. But even if it is predictable, this take on the Prince and the Pauper is a fun festive watch.
A Christmas Melody (2015)
Mariah Carey and Lacey Chabert in a Christmas movie? With a modern original Christmas song that has since become classic? And Carey directs? As well as playing a villainous stage mom? Is this a fever dream? Or the best Christmas made-for-TV movie ever made? A Christmas Melody is a little bit of both, as well as being an absolute joy to watch.
Chabert plays a widowed single mother headed back home with her young daughter who aspires to be a musician. She’s less than happy to come up against Carey’s popular mean girl turned power-hungry PTA leader. And when their kids compete in the Christmas talent contest, the claws come out.
A Royal Christmas (2014)
One of the most iconic of Hallmark’s Kate Middleton-inspired royal Christmas movies, A Royal Christmas stars Lacey Chabert as a sassy Philly seamstress who falls in love with the Crown Prince of Cordinia. He wants nothing more than to make her his royal bride but his mother has other plans. Plenty of hilarious, festive class war hijinks ensue. Chabert is a Hallmark staple and this is a great example of how her unassuming sweetness and talent for physical comedy translate so well to the saccharine yet enjoyable world of made-for-TV movies.
Christmas at Cartwright’s (2014)
Christmas at Cartwright’s is mostly on here for just how silly it is, but Alicia Witt gives it her all as a woman forced to pretend to be a mall Santa in order to survive Christmas, and it is a lot of fun to watch. Nicky Talbot (Witt) is a single mother who can’t make ends meet. But after she’s helped by an Angel (Wallace Shawn), she’s convinced to take on the role of Cartwright’s mall Santa. But in a twist of fate she has to keep it a secret that she’s not a man, leading to a comedy of errors and an unexpected romance with a hunky store owner, Bill (Gabriel Hogan).