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12 Must-See Hallmark Christmas Movies

November 30, 2023

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I’m a Hallmark Christmas junkie. Like, print-off-the-movie-schedules-and-put-them-on-the-refrigerator type junkie. What can I say? They’re good to watch on family movie night or while I work or just to have on in the background. If you’re also a #Hallmarkie, then you’re in the right place. I’m here to share 12 of the best Hallmark Christmas movies.

Three Wise Men and a Baby

three wise men and a baby on Hallmark channel

Three Wise Men and a Baby is one of my family’s favorite Hallmark Christmas movies! Not only are Andrew Walker and Paul Campbell in it, but it’s a parody of the old movie, Three Men and a Baby—a movie I love. The banter between the characters made us laugh, and there’s a dance number in it that words can’t describe.

Plot: Three brothers get the surprise of their lives when they are forced to work together and care for a baby over the holidays. During the journey, they begin to rebuild their relationships as brothers while rediscovering their love for Christmas.

The Christmas Train

the christmas train hallmark movie

Love a good Christmas mystery? My whole family enjoyed this one and the twist at the end. The soundtrack was a favorite of ours, too.  

(This movie premiered on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.)

Plot: A cynical journalist decides to take a train from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles for Christmas to get inspiration for a story in honor of his late father. He gets to know the other passengers and runs into an old flame while aboard

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Christmas Island

christmas island hallmark movie

Talk about a Hallmark movie set in an exotic location. This one is set on Christmas Island (which is an actual place—who knew?). There’s a bit of a thrill in the beginning when the pilot has to land the plane in a storm. There’s also an unlikely pairing, the quintessential fun Christmas activities, and even a surprise appearance from Belsnickel.

Plot: When a snowstorm diverts Kate’s first private flight en route to Switzerland, she must land on Christmas Island and team up with an air traffic controller to secure her dream job as the family’s pilot.

Picture Perfect Christmas

Picture perfect Christmas hallmark Movie

Merritt Patterson and Jon Cor have great chemistry together. In one of the first scenes, Jon Cor’s character mistakes Merritt for his nephew’s new nanny, and the mix-up is really cute.

Plot: A photographer returns home to take care of her grandmother, and gets involved with a neighbor who needs help in looking after his young nephew.

Be sure to read my post: Marketing Ideas Every Small Business Should Put into Action This Christmas!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

it's the most wonderful time of the year Hallmark movie

Henry Winkler is one of the main characters in this one, and he brings the fun and the snark. Need I say more?

My family has seen The Most Wonderful Time of the Year a handful of times, and we all agree it’s a Hallmark classic.

Plot: Disenchanted single mom Jennifer is a Scrooge when it comes to anything Christmas. In fact, even her six-year-old son is having trouble believing in Santa Claus. But when her Uncle Ralph (Henry Winkler) visits and brings a fellow passenger from his flight, Jennifer’s dubious heart awakens to the possibility that perhaps Christmas really does hold miracles.

Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade

love at the thanksgiving day parade hallmark movie

Even though it has “Thanksgiving” in the title, it’s still definitely a Christmas movie.

One of my favorite things about it is the quirky character Autumn Reeser plays. There were so many good scenes, and her character makes the movie unique.

Plot: An eager Thanksgiving parade coordinator is shocked when a wealthy consultant is hired to analyze its finances. Faced with teaching him that the parade means so much more to her than money, she finds herself reluctantly falling for him.

Christmas Getaway

Christmas Getaway Hallmark movie

I’m a sucker for the only-one-bed (or in this case, the only-one-cabin) trope. Travis Van Winkle from The Last Ship and Bridget Regan from Jane the Virgin co-star. Bridget’s character is a travel writer (my dream job), and I enjoyed watching the Christmas activities and traditions throughout the movie.

Plot: Hoping to spend the holiday relaxing, a travel writer takes a traditional Christmas vacation for the first time. Through a mix up on the rental site, she finds herself double-booked for the holidays with a widower, his young daughter and mom. 

The Christmas Cottage

the christmas cottage hallmark movie

Steve Lund and Merritt Patterson co-star in The Christmas Cottage. Here are just a few reasons to watch: Old flames reuniting, the best man and maid of honor thrown together, and the pair trapped in a cabin by a snowstorm… Sounds good, right?

Plot: As maid of honor for her best friend, cynical interior designer Lacey is tasked with decorating a honeymoon cottage for the newlyweds. Although it’s a simple enough task, she didn’t plan on being snowed in with the bride-to-be’s brother.

‘Twas the Text Before Christmas

'twas the text before christmas great american channel movie

This isn’t technically a Hallmark movie, but it’s one of my favorites. Merritt Patterson is also in this movie (see a theme here? She’s in all my favorites!). I thought the premise was cute, and the actual movie (ahem: and Trevor Donovan) are, too. You can watch it on the Great American Channel.

Plot: A New York City chiropractor mistakenly receives a text which turns into a loving friendship between “Nana” and Addie. Nana invites Addie to spend the holiday in Vermont, and it is exactly as Nana described, except for one surprise. Nana’s single son, James, a traveling doctor, is also home for the holidays. Over three consecutive years, James and Addie are together during the holidays, though it isn’t until they are both single that they begin to see each other in a different light.

Do you own a small business? Download my FREE 12 Days of Christmas Social Media Cheat Sheet! It’s filled with specific ideas of what you can share on social media this holiday season.

A Bride for Christmas

A bride for Christmas hallmark movie

I remember when this Hallmark holiday movie came out in 2012, and it’s where my obsession for Andrew Walker first started. It makes me nostalgic, for sure.

Plot: After Jessie calls off her third engagement – at the altar! – she swears off serious relationships until she finds “the one.” That is, until charming but chronically single Aiden comes along. Unbeknownst to Jessie, Aiden has bet his friends that he can convince a woman to marry him by Christmas – which is only four weeks away – and Jessie is the target of his bet. When Aiden finds himself falling for Jessie, will he call off the bet and truly pursue her?

Matchmaker Santa

matchmaker santa hallmark movie

Speaking of nostalgia, Matchmaker Santa is another older Hallmark Christmas movie that’s I enjoy. Lacey Chabert has been in a lot of Hallmark holiday movies, but I think this one is her best. There’s even a hint of Christmas magic and an appearance from Santa Claus himself…

Plot: As a little girl, Melanie wished to find her own prince charming just like her parents found true love. Now an adult, Melanie is running her own bakery and dating CEO, Justin. Although things seem perfect when Justin asks Melanie to spend the holidays together at his beautiful lake house upstate—and meet his mother—Melanie finds herself spending more time with Justin’s best friend and loyal assistant, Dean, who just might be harboring a secret crush on her. When complications arise that throw Melanie and Dean together over the holiday, will the two realize they’re meant to be?

Honorable Mentions:

Snow Bride

Naughty or Nice

Father Christmas

Nine Lives of Christmas

Christmas at Biltmore

A World Record Christmas

What’s the appeal to Hallmark Christmas movies?

We all know those people who turn their nose up at Hallmark Christmas movies and fail to see any appeal. They’d rather watch Diehard or Elf or some other blockbuster. I get it.

But what many people overlook is that the best Hallmark Christmas movies provide an escape. Life is heavy and hard and can be a lot. Sometimes, we just need light and happy stories where the stakes aren’t high, and they don’t put us on edge. As one of my favorite authors, Courtney Walsh, put it: “Sometimes we need to know there’s a happy ending.”

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