We all deserve an extra-large dose of holiday cheer this year, so we encourage you to go all in (and no, we’re not just talking about Christmas gifts, although that is a *very* important part too). Get the big Christmas tree, even if it doesn’t quite fit in your apartment. Buy the extra strand of lights. Bake those festive and adorable sugar cookies, then bake some more. And, of course, watch all the Hallmark Christmas movies you can get your hands on before, during, and after the big day. (Yes, I watch Christmas movies until mid-January. No, I will not apologize. My Christmas playlist is pretty amazing too, in case you need some inspo.)
Anyways! Hallmark’s Christmas options are a blend of cheesiness and feel-good romance—as are Hallmark’s Hanukkah movies. There’s a formula: They all have over-the-top premises, predictable storylines, and happy endings. They’re overly sweet, cheesy, and corny. And we can’t think of a better way to usher in tinsel time.
Not sure where to start? Not to worry; we picked the best of the best Hallmark Christmas movies for your viewing pleasure (with a guide to help you watch them at home, because we love you). Give yourself permission to watch them all because they’ll make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, and help ease any and all holiday stresses—whether you’re celebrating from home or with a huge party. Psst: If you want the official Hallmark Countdown to Christmas movie guide, there’s even more holiday goodness for ya.
WATCH HALLMARK CHRISTMAS MOVIES ON PEACOCK HERE
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The Christmas House (2020)
Not to be dramatic, but this is one of the best Hallmark Christmas movies ever made, period. It weaves together three stories: a famous TV star reconnecting with his high school sweetheart, a gay couple waiting to hear if the adoption for their first child goes through, and a group trying to keep cherished Christmas memories alive. It’s sweet, sentimental, and laugh-out-loud funny—especially if you like magic tricks and dad jokes.
The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls (2021)
Of course there’s going to be a sequel for a slam-dunk Christmas movie! It just makes sense! In the follow-up to The Christmas House, the Mitchell brothers return and immediately get involved in a reality TV show all about Christmas house decorating.
A Dog Named Christmas (2009)
If you, too, plan to spend the entirety of the Christmas holiday cuddling by the fireside with your pup, then do I have the movie for you. Based on the novel by Greg Kincaid, this Hallmark movie follows a young man who meets a dog named Christmas, and together they try to convince their rural town to adopt shelter dogs in time for New Year’s.
Jolly Good Christmas (2022)
A guy gets his new GF a gift card for Christmas (again, lol, I love these premises so much) and attracts the attention of a personal shopper. She, correctly, calls him out on his less-than-ideal gift, and he decides to hire her. See where this is headed?
The Sweetest Christmas (2017)
Kylie breaks up with her boss/boyfriend in order to go after her dream of being a baker. She enters a baking contest, but her oven breaks (!), so the only other option is apparently to bake in her high school sweetheart Nick’s kitchen (movies, amirite?). The oven won’t be the only thing heating up in that kitchen this Christmas. 😉
Janel Parrish stars in this movie from Hallmark’s Movies & Mysteries series, in which she plays a woman named Melody who learns her neighbor’s cancer has returned. She promises that neighbor she’ll keep her daughters together if she passes away. It’s a touching movie that does have a romantic subplot (this is Hallmark, after all), fair warning.
A Magical Christmas Village (2022)
If you liked Luke Macfarlane in the (very good) 2022 movie Bros, you will soon learn he is amazing in basically every rom-com he touches. If you love Hallmark movies, you already know who Luke Macfarlane is and you already love him (and he’s on this list a bunch). Here he is in the latest cheesy-adorable holiday flick—something about a mini-Christmas village that grants wishes!
A Gingerbread Romance (2018)
Tia Mowry-Hardrict plays architect Taylor Scott, who enters a life-size gingerbread-house-building contest only to discover her teammate is the ~worst~. So she enlists the help of local baker (and conveniently single dad) Adam and—shocker—falls in lurve.
Is the “irritable Grinch” next door (lol) really just a misunderstood sweetie? You already know the answer here, but the single mom (Natalie Hall) who fights and then gets to know him probably didn’t realize she was in a Hallmark movie. Will the crotchety neighbor steal her heart??
Christmas in Evergreen (2017)
This classic movie has a similarly classic Hallmark premise: A woman wishes on a snowglobe, and (per ushe) it kinda backfires on her. But it turns out being snowed in with your boyfriend and a bunch of strangers at an airport worked out!
The Christmas Waltz (2020)
Lacey Chabert stans will love this one. She plays a woman who gets dumped a month before her wedding, but she decides to take the dance lessons for her wedding anyway. Her dance instructor is, obviously, very hunky. I bet you can guess where this is going.
Christmas in Vienna (2020)
Grey’s Anatomy fans, listen up. This movie stars Sarah Drew, who you might know as April Kepner. She plays a violinist who goes to Vienna and ends up rediscovering her passion for music (with the help of a new flame, of course).
Good Morning Christmas! (2020)
Melissa Merry and Brian Bright, the cohosts of Today With Bright & Merry, are America’s favorite anchors. (Think Savannah and Hoda-levels of fame.) They have great chemistry onscreen, but when the cameras stop rolling, they can’t stand each other. Everything changes when they really get to know each other while filming on location for a week in the town of Mistletoe. It’s a classic “falling for the person who was right in front of you all along” story, and you’ll love it.
Five Star Christmas (2020)
In Five Star Christmas, Bethany Joy Lenz plays Lisa, a woman who recently moved back home to discover that her father turned her childhood home into a bed-and-breakfast. The B&B is struggling to get off the ground, and when they hear a famous travel critic is in town—and when a woman shows up at their door a few minutes later—the family pretends to be guests to give the illusion that business is booming. Not everything is as it seems, hilarity ensues, love blossoms, and, in the end, everything is merry and bright.
Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas (2020)
The queen of Hallmark movies, Lacey Chabert, is on this list again! In Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas, she plays Sarah, a woman experiencing her first Christmas since her mother passed away. She’s one of five guests mysteriously invited to spend Christmas at an inn, and while she tries to figure out who invited her, she falls for the owner.
Debbie Macomber’s Mrs. Miracle (2009)
Everyone needs a matchmaker during cuffing season, right? But perhaps no one needs one more than widower Seth Webster, who enlists the mysterious Mrs. Miracle to care for his wild twin boys. But Mrs. Miracle has other plans for Seth, including—you guessed it—a brand-new romance.
Christmas Cookies (2016)
In a You’ve Got Mail–esque spin on a Christmas love story, a corporate agent with plans to shut down a cookie factory falls in love with the factory’s owner.
The Christmas Cottage (2017)
It wouldn’t be Hallmark without a magical cottage, right? This particular cottage can make its guests fall in love if they stay overnight. Which, of course, Lacey Quinn and Ean Callahan do when they’re entrusted to decorate the cottage for their newlywed friends.
Another tale of business decisions waylaid by Christmas spirit, Christmas Land follows a young woman with plans to sell her Christmas tree farm…until she falls in love with the town that convinces her otherwise.
Moonlight & Mistletoe (2008)
A young woman named—if you can believe it—Holly grew up working at her father’s year-round Christmas wonderland, Santaville, in this cheerfully on-the-nose classic. Sick of Santas, she moves away to work in the corporate world, only to be pulled back after her dad suffers an injury. Back home, she finds Santaville near bankruptcy and vows to bring the enterprise back to life.
Meet the Santas (2005)
In this film, Nick Clause is ready to marry his love, Beth, but first he has to meet his in-laws, impress them, and try to hide what he really does for a living. *hint hint, look at his last name, hint hint* It’s like Meet the Fockers collided with Christmas, y’all.
Christmas Connection (2017)
Sydney is a flight attendant in charge of bringing a little girl, Leah, home. This one is full of warm feelings, as expected in a Hallmark flick.
Switched for Christmas (2017)
If you like your Christmas cheer served with a side of The Parent Trap or Switched at Birth, then Switched for Christmas might be your pick. Identical twins Kate and Chris are estranged from each other, each unhappy with their lives. When they begrudgingly meet for lunch, they decide to switch lives until Christmas and in the process find purpose.
This one is much heavier than the rest, but it’s a good one. A columnist finds a note washed up on a beach that she thinks might be from a victim of a recent plane cash, and she works to find the intended recipient while figuring out if she’s right.
Finding Christmas (2013)
Two guys trade apartments for Christmas and love starts blooming for ev-er-y-body. It stars Tricia Helfer, J. T. Hodges, Mark Lutz, and Cristina Rosato as we get the city-meets-country romances Hallmark is known for.
Haylie Duff plays a Colorado DJ who is unexpectedly paired up with a bitter, fedora-wearing Los Angeles DJ named PEPPER STERLING. After a prank gone wrong, Pepper is sent to Colorado to work for the holiday season. When the two are cohosting a love-advice show, sparks fly until Pepper’s old life comes calling.
A Royal Christmas (2014)
Emily is a Philly girl who’s super proud of her working-class background. She’s in love with her hunky European boyfriend, who reveals he’s actually a prince. When Emily is swept up into the royal life, the queen isn’t too excited about her son dating a commoner, which makes her wonder if her royal romance is really worth it.
Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays (2019)
Although in a similar location to Christmas at Graceland and with the same director, Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays is not a sequel, somehow! Harper becomes a nanny to wealthy widower Owen for his three children, and they all have to prepare an Elvis at Christmas exhibit at Graceland. Maybe they fall in love? Oooooh, who knows. (We all know.)
The Christmas Card (2006)
While serving in Afghanistan, Cody Cullen receives a holiday card and is deeply touched by it. When he returns to the U.S., he goes to where the card came from and falls in love with its sender, Faith. But there’s one major hitch—she has a boyfriend, who is ready to propose once Cody shows up.
Journey Back to Christmas (2016)
In a contender for weirdest concept on this list, Journey Back to Christmas is all about time travel! A World War II nurse travels to 2016. Unfortunately, there is no DeLorean involved.
A Crown for Christmas (2015)
Allie gets fired from her job at a NYC hotel and takes a temp job as a governess for a young girl. After she takes the job, she quickly realizes she’s working for full-on royalty, and in very typical Hallmark fashion, Allie begins to fall for the king, her employer, who is set to wed a countess.
Window Wonderland (2013)
Chyler Leigh, of Grey’s Anatomy fame, plays Sloan, who is determined to become a window dresser at McGuire’s Department Store. She’s driven and ready for the challenge, and she’s supposed to compete against Jake for the job. Whoever gets the most attention for their windows gets the gig. You can see where this is going.
Northpole: Open for Christmas (2015)
Mackenzie is a savvy businesswoman who inherits a lavish hotel that she wants to restore to its original glamour. Since this is a Christmas movie, a team of elves intervenes to help Mackenzie make the right choice when it comes to the hotel and teach her all about the holiday. Another helper? Dermot Mulroney, a full babe.
Catch a Christmas Star (2013)
American Pie’s Shannon Elizabeth plays Nikki Crandon, one of the world’s biggest pop stars. Her high school love, now a single father, still has major feelings for Nikki, and when his two young children find out, they set out to play Cupid.
Stephanie hates Christmas, has never seen snow in person before, and is a total scrooge for the holidays until her father, a big-time hotel-conglomerate CEO type, buys a family ski lodge. Stephanie is sent there on business, but the holiday spirit starts to grow on her and she’s left with some big decisions.
The Mistletoe Promise (2016)
Based on the bestselling book by Richard Paul Evans, this Hallmark movie features two lonely strangers who hate Christmas making a pact to attend their holiday events together. While enjoying each other’s company, the two begin to let the ~Christmas magic~ wash over them.
Christmas at Cartwright’s (2014)
The most important thing to know about Christmas at Cartwright’s is that Wallace Shawn, aka Mr. Hall from Clueless and Cyrus Rose from Gossip Girl, is in this movie playing an ANGEL. Alicia Witt plays a single mom who gets a job playing Santa in a department store, which no one can know about. Angel Wallace Shawn then sparks some positivity in her life.
The Christmas Train (2017)
An angsty journalist takes a train from D.C. to Los Angeles to get inspiration for a story about his late father. The train is full of interesting characters, including an ex-flame. Hi again, Dermot!
Christmas Under Wraps (2014)
Dr. Lauren Brunell has her life mapped out down to the minute. When her plans are derailed, she takes a job as a head doctor at a hospital in Alaska, which she thinks will only be temporary. She ends up falling for a handsome guy who teaches her to live in the moment, but his father is hiding a big secret that will change all of their lives.
Lauren Puckett-Pope is an associate editor at ELLE, where she covers film, TV, books and fashion.
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