I love a good Hallmark movie.
And let me clarify to say I am aware that the statement is an oxymoron. They all have the same plot, they all use the same sets, they even all have the same actors! And filming a Christmas movie in the summer when the leaves outside the window are still green?? Come on.
But I still love Hallmark Christmas movies and have cleared my calendar (and DVR) to watch all 40 premieres.
Maybe you like Hallmark movies, maybe you don’t. But it’s 2020. We don’t need any more drama or unexpected surprises. I want to know my movie will have a happy ending and give me all the warm fuzzies along the way.
If you’re a Hallmark aficionado you probably have your own ranking system, and I would love to know which movies you are most excited for! If you are new to the Hallmark obsession, here are the top 10 Hallmark Christmas movies you should not miss in 2020.
#10 – Jingle Bell Bride
“Wedding planner Jessica Perez travels to a remote town in Alaska to find a rare flower for a celebrity client and is charmed by the small town during Christmas, as well as the handsome local helping her.”
Starring: Julie Gonzalo and Ronnie Rowe Jr.
Premieres Saturday, Oct 24th at 8pm/7c
The preview shows a romantic moment in the back of a pickup truck watching the Northern Lights – where do I sign up? But on a serious note, this movie stars a bi-racial couple. I applaud Hallmark for making steps (albeit little steps) towards diversity, inclusion, and representation in their movies.
#9 – The Christmas Ring
“A reporter searches for the love story behind an antique engagement ring. With the help of the ring’s owner’s grandson, they learn the legacy his grandparents left behind.”
Starring: Nazneen Contractor and David Alpay
Premieres Sunday, November 8th at 8pm/7c
I love stories about uncovering the legacy and mysteries of our family. I often wonder about some similar mysteries about my own grandmother. Throw in a holiday romance starring a female immigrant and this became a holiday must-watch.
#8 – A Timeless Christmas
“Charles Whitley travels from 1903 to 2020 where he meets Megan Turner, a tour guide at his historic mansion, and experiences a 21st Century Christmas.”
Starring: Erin Cahill and Ryan Paevey
Premieres Sunday, November 15th at 8pm/7c
I’m a sucker for the whimsical time-travel romances (like Journey Back to Christmas), and this looks just as cute. Plus, Ryan Paevey more often than not gets cast as a pretentious scrooge, and it warms my heart to see his characters soften to the magic of the holidays.
#7 – Cranberry Christmas
“A separated couple feign marital bliss on national television to help their town’s Christmas festival – and their business. But what will the future hold for them when rekindled love is complicated with new opportunities?”
Starring: Nikki DeLoach and Ben Ayres
Premieres Saturday, October 31st at 8pm/7c
Yes, it’s heart-warming to see love blossom for the first time, but marriage is hard and always has obstacles. So movies that portray a married couple overcome those obstacles warms my heart even more (you’ll also like A Dream of Christmas also starring Nikki DeLoach).
#6 – A Godwink Christmas: Second Chance, First Love
“After 15 years, Pat moves home from Hawaii with his two sons and through a series of coincidences, or Godwinks ends up stuck in traffic next to his high school sweetheart, Margie, at Christmas.”
Starring: Brooke D’Orsay and Sam Page
Premieres Sunday, November 22nd at 10pm/9c
It’s a known fact that we love Hallmark because it’s an escape from reality, but the Godwink Christmas series are all true stories of coincidences that will restore your faith in humanity and the magic of the holidays. I don’t care what the plot is: always watch a movie with “A Godwink Christmas” in the title, and probably with a box of kleenex too.
#5 – A Nashville Christmas Carol
“Vivienne Wake is a workaholic television producer in charge of a country music Christmas special. On the verge of accepting a job in L.A., she receives a visit from the ghost of her recently deceased mentor, Marilyn. Her mentor warns her current path leads to a dark future and has recruited the Spirit of Christmas Past and the Spirit of Christmas Present to help get her back on track.”
Starring: Jessy Schram and Wes Brown
Premieres Saturday, November 21st at 8pm/7c
In addition to being a cute spin-off from the Charles Dickens classic, this movie boasts a star-studded cast of country music A-listers. If for nothing else, watch this movie for the great music!
#4 – The Christmas Doctor
“A week before Christmas, Dr. Alicia Wright is offered an assignment away from her home. A mysterious man from her past journeys to find her before Christmas and brings with him a revelation that could change Alicia’s life forever.”
Starring: Holly Robinson Peete and Adrian Holmes
Premieres Sunday, November 15th at 10pm/9c
Not only does this cast have racial diversity, but the lead also portrays a female veteran. Plus Holly Robinson Peete is one of the best actresses on Hallmark, so you know this movie will be held to a higher standard of acting and production value.
#3 – Love, Lights, Hanukkah!
“As Christina prepares her restaurant for its busiest time of year, she gets back a DNA test revealing that she’s Jewish. The discovery leads to a new family and an unlikely romance over eight nights.”
Starring: Mia Krishner and Ben Savage
Premieres Sunday, December 20th at 8pm/7c
As Hallmark’s first solely Hanukkah-dedicated movie, this is a must-see. All previous “Hanukkah movies” have really been some sort of date swap between Christmas parties and Hanukkah parties. Plus I’m a sucker for movies starring my favorite childhood-actors-now-adult-actors. The list of Hallmark actors in this category are endless, but this is Ben Savage’s debut in a Hallmark movie (yay!).
#2 – The Christmas House
“Working through some difficult decisions, Mitchell family matriarch Phylis and patriarch Bill have summoned their two grown sons home for the holidays. It is their hope that bringing the family together to recreate the Christmas house will help them find resolution and make a memorable holiday for the entire family and community.”
Starring: Robert Buckley, Ana Ayora, Treat Williams, Sharon Lawrence, Jonathan Bennett, Brad Harder, and Mattia Castrillo
Premieres Sunday, November 22nd at 8pm/7c
Yes, the plot sounds different, but this is a must-see because this is the first Hallmark movie to have a gay couple within the leading characters. Like I said earlier, I applaud Hallmark for making steps towards diversity, inclusion, and representation.
#1 – USS Christmas
“Maddie, a reporter for a Norfolk newspaper, embarks on a Tiger Cruise during Christmastime where she meets a handsome Naval officer and stumbles upon a mystery in the ship’s archive room.”
Starring: Jen Lilley and Trevor Donovan
Premieres Saturday, November 28th at 10pm/9c
Full disclosure: I am MOST excited for this movie because my husband is a Naval pilot currently deployed on an aircraft carrier. When I saw the call for military extras for this movie, I was probably more heartbroken than I should have been that I couldn’t fly cross-country to be on set. But personal biases aside, this looks like a cute, feel-good movie to tug on military heart-strings. Also, since being filmed on-board the decommissioned USS Yorktown in South Carolina, I hope this film will be rich with military history and more accurate than the military uniforms worn in the movie.
If you’re looking at playing a drinking game during this movie (or any featuring military characters), every time you see a military uniform not portrayed correctly take a drink. Just kidding. Please don’t do that. You would die. Just looking at the cover image to the left, I already see the flight suit is missing three patches. So I can imagine the gross misrepresentation of uniforms throughout the entire film.
But I will still watch it. And I will still love it. And I know it will make me miss my husband, even more, this holiday season, so I’ll just buy more kleenex.
After looking at the lineup, I have to say I was disappointed not to find “A Very COVID Christmas” where a big city lawyer and a country candle maker happen to meet when they both go to the wrong Zoom meeting. But that’s not why we watch cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. We don’t watch them wanting to see a mirror of reality. Instead we hope, if only for a moment, to be swept away from our own troubles and pause to enjoy the spirit of the holiday season.
Still need more holiday cheer?
Below are some of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies from previous years.