Is it possible for a company to be your spirit animal? If so, Hallmark is definitely a contender for mine. Hallmark movies are always some of my favorites, regardless of the time of year they’re set in, but the Christmas movies are definitely the best. Hallmark Channel’s Fall Harvest is coming to an end, which means Countdown to Christmas 2017 is nearly here! In its honor, I wanted to share a few (okay, a bunch!) of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies, plus some ideas for DIYs, activities, and snacks to go along with them. Read on, fellow Christmas-holics!
Hallmark has been a part of Christmastime for me since I was a kid. Stocking up on their ornaments and hanging them on the tree year after year is the absolute best feeling. Add 24/7 Hallmark Christmas movies for nearly two months and I’m basically in heaven. Here are 10 of my faves and some ideas to make them even more fun to watch.
Naughty or Nice (2012)
My favorite TV show of all time is One Tree Hill, so if a Hallmark movie has Hilarie Burton in it, I’m already sold. This is an adorable movie about a woman named Krissy Kringle. When she receives Santa’s naughty or nice book in the mail, she discovers that she can witness the naughty things people have done in the past, which leads to more trouble for Krissy than she bargained for.
I think it would be so fun to have a party with the “naughty or nice” theme. A game of Truth or Dare could turn into a game of Naughty or Nice, for instance. You could also put out some food and drinks separated into “nice” options and “naughty” ones. Healthy and non-alcoholic could go on the “nice” side, and “naughty” could include sweet treats and holiday cocktails or wine.
Matchmaker Santa (2012)
I absolutely adore any Hallmark movie that stars Lacey Chabert, and this one is no exception. Chabert plays Melanie Hogan, a woman who once made a wish that she would someday find true love the way her parents did. Things get complicated when she starts spending time with her boyfriend’s best friend, who just might be the person she’s truly meant to be with.
In this movie, Melanie is a baker. Get your friends and/or family together (or go solo!) and have a Christmas baking party! I love getting recipes from Pinterest, blogs, or good old fashioned recipe books, websites, and magazines, and trying to make a bunch of them. Some end up great while others are total fails, but no matter what, baking Christmas treats always puts me in the holiday spirit!
A Very Merry Mix-Up (2013)
This is another cute movie about a woman named Alice (played by Alicia Witt) who flies to her fiancé’s hometown to meet her future in-laws. When the airplane loses her luggage and her cell phone is broken, she happens to meet her future brother-in-law, who takes her to his family’s home to wait for her fiancé to arrive. She absolutely adores the warm, caring family, and starts to connect with her fiancé’s brother. To make things more complicated…well, let’s just say there really was quite a big mix-up.
In this movie, there’s a sweet game the family plays that I think would be perfect to play with your loved ones. All you need are some strips of paper and one container for each person. Each person should have one strip of paper for each person playing, not including themselves. For instance, if a group of five people were playing, each person would need four strips of paper.
Each person writes down one thing they love about every other person, then puts each strip of paper in each person’s respective container. Everyone then takes turns reading what the others wrote about them and tries to guess who wrote each one. I think it’s a great way to tell people you care about them, and to see how well you know one another. It’s a good opportunity for laughs, too!
Magic Stocking (2015)
If you watch Jane the Virgin, you’ll recognize actress Bridget Regan as Sin Rostro. In this movie, her character, Lindsey, is not at all villainous. In this Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film, Lindsey is a single mom who lost her husband a few years earlier. After buying a stocking at her town’s Christmas craft fair, she and her family begin finding “magical” items in the stocking that have significance in their lives.
I think it would be so fun to make some cute homemade stockings, hang them up, and sneak meaningful little treats into each person’s stocking. It could almost be like an advent calendar of sorts, but at unexpected times of the day and with a variety of treats or small gifts.
Debbie Macomber’s Dashing Through the Snow (2015)
This is another Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film. It stars two of my favorite actors, Andrew Walker (from lots of Hallmark movies!) and Meghan Ory (from Once Upon a Time and Chesapeake Shores). It’s based on Debbie Macomber’s novel and tells the story of a woman named Ashley who is trying to get to Seattle to spend the holidays with her family. After there’s a problem with her plane ticket, she tries to rent a car, but there’s only one left. A man named Dash beats her to it, but invites her to come along with him, which she reluctantly agrees to do. The road trip has its share of problems, adventures, and federal agents who think Ashley is up to no good, which of course leads to some trouble.
I think the most fun option to go along with this movie would be a road trip of your very own! Whether it’s a five minute drive or across the country, try to make it as fun and adventurous as possible. Just try to avoid getting tailed by federal agents, yeah?
Christmas Cookies (2016)
Last year was a great year for Hallmark Christmas movies, and this was definitely one of my favorites. It stars Jill Wagner, an actress you might recognize from Teen Wolf or other Hallmark movies. Wagner plays Hannah, a woman working at a large conglomerate that’s trying to buy a small-town cookie company and shut down its factory. When she arrives to close the deal, she’s swept up by the town’s infectious Christmas spirit, and starts falling in love with the factory’s owner, making her once simple assignment a whole lot more complicated.
One obvious thing goes perfectly with this movie: baking and decorating cookies! My personal favorite sugar cookie recipe is from Tessa at Sweet Bake Shop. The cookies are so delicious and easy to make. And they’re perfect for any occasion, Christmas or otherwise!
A December Bride (2016)
If you watch Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart, you already know and – I assume – love Daniel Lissing. He stars in this movie alongside Jessica Lowndes, and, fair warning, you’ll probably love him even more after watching A December Bride. Lowndes plays an aspiring interior designer named Layla, who wants no part of her cousin’s upcoming wedding to her ex-fiancé. Layla isn’t the biggest fan of Lissing’s character, Seth, as he is the one who introduced Layla’s ex-fiancé to her cousin, but she reluctantly accepts his offer to be her date to the wedding. At the reception, Seth gets carried away and says he and Layla are engaged, forcing the two of them to keep up the act.
Because this movie involves interior design and decorating for Christmas, I think it’s the perfect movie to have on while you get your home looking Christmasy! When looking for Christmas decor inspiration, Pinterest is obviously a great place to start. I also love looking at websites that sell decor, such as Target (which finally has their Christmas collection available!) Pier 1 Imports, and World Market. I’d also recommend stringing popcorn or baking gingerbread cookies like Layla and Seth do in the film!
Christmas in Homestead (2016)
This super cute movie stars Taylor Cole (you’ll probably recognize her from other Hallmark movies as well) and Michael Rady (from UnReal, Jane the Virgin, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and more). Cole plays a famous actress who travels to a Christmas-obsessed town to shoot a holiday film. What she wasn’t expecting was to start falling for the local inn keeper and single dad played by Rady.
Travel to the nearest Christmas-obssessed town and get yourself in the Christmas spirit! Can’t afford to travel that far, or do you live in a place with more Grinches than Christmas-lovers? Get your own home looking and feeling as Christmasy as possible! Sit by a fire, make hot chocolate, put up some lights, wreaths, garlands, and other decor. Whatever the place, try to get obsessed with Christmas…within reason, of course!
Journey Back to Christmas (2016)
I absolutely love this movie. It stars Candace Cameron Bure (if you grew up watching Full House and don’t love watching her in Hallmark movies, there’s a good chance you’re not human), and Oliver Hudson, and is about a WWII era nurse who gets transported to 2016 and meets a man who helps her discover the true, timeless meaning of Christmas, while also helping her to get back home. It’s charming, funny, sweet, and definitely a must-watch movie!
One of my favorite decorations at Christmastime are Christmasy scenes in a cloche, such as this one from Pier 1 Imports. In the movie, Candace Cameron Bure’s character drives a vintage car. I think it would be so cute and fun to make your own Christmas cloche with a mini vintage car, fake snow and trees, and other items of your choice. You can find empty cloches at many stores, but my personal favorite places to get them are craft supply stores like JoAnn or Michael’s. If you keep an eye out for sales, you can get them at a great price, along with lots of small items to put inside the cloche!
My Christmas Love (2016)
Last but by no means least is this movie starring Meredith Hagner (from Younger and Search Party). Hagner plays a hopeless romantic who starts receiving each of the “12 Days of Christmas” as gifts at her door from a secret admirer. She tries to figure out who is sending the gifts, and goes from hardly giving a guy a real chance to feeling like the mysterious gift-giver might be able to live up to her expectations.
With this movie, I think the best option for crafts or activities would be anything inspired by the 12 Days of Christmas. Whether it’s in your decorations, gift-giving (realistic gift-giving, of course, unless you can manage the real thing like in the movie), or even just singing along to the song with your loved ones, it’s always a nice tradition to involve the 12 Days in some way. I would love to decorate sugar cookies to go along with each of the 12 gifts and make them in the respective quantities, such as five golden ring cookies or two turtle dove cookies, and give them as gifts.
Between Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, we’re going to get more than 30 (!!!) new Christmas movies this year, and I couldn’t be more excited! Countdown to Christmas on Hallmark Channel starts on October 27th. For the uninitiated, that means Hallmark Christmas movies all day and all night through December! Trust me, if you’re a Christmas-holic or just like cute movies, you’ll be in absolute heaven. Check out each channel’s schedule of new movie premieres below, and be sure to tune in!
Do you love Hallmark Christmas movies? What are some of your faves? I’d love to hear in the comments!