Hallmark Cards Inc. has always been active in the Christmas business, with its keepsake ornament collections, not to mention its involvement in greeting cards and wrapping paper. So while Hallmark Channel was a strange decision, we got to see Hallmark Original Christmas Movies future.
Over the past few years, Hallmark Original Christmas movies have become a crucial part of the season, even if it’s just to play drinking games every time someone has a holiday-themed name. Hallmark has produced so many Christmas movies that they now extend into the summer months to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year long. Now, with a staggering 42(!) new films planned for this holiday season, it’s hard to choose which ones to prioritize.
To make your life easier, here are the 5 Hallmark Original Christmas Movies you definitely want to make sure you set up your DVR for. Of course, if you’re one of the cord cutters, Hallmark do have its own streaming service where new releases will also be available, Hallmark Movies Now.
Round and round
Yes, this list technically focuses on Christmas movies, since that’s what Hallmark has focused on in the past. However, as of 2019, the December lineup includes at least one Hanukkah movie. Their early attempts to tackle the Jewish holiday were criticized for making Christmas-themed films, with the main conflict being the fact that the main character is actually Jewish and doesn’t care about Christmas. But last year’s Hanukkah is rye has been decently received by the Jewish community, and it seems like Hallmark has finally found its stride in expanding its holiday celebrations.
Round and round focuses on Rachel (Vic Michaelis) who is stuck in a time loop that causes her to relive her parents’ Hanukkah party. Unfortunately for Rachel, the key to breaking free lies with Zach (Bryan Greenberg), the party guest that Rachel’s grandmother is desperate to hook her up with.
Round and round premieres December 10 at 8 p.m. EST on Hallmark Channel.
Christmas with friends and family
We had Hallmark’s first gay couple, but it’s the ladies’ turn on December 17! With Humberly Gonzalez and Ali Liebert, Christmas with friends and family focuses on Daniella (Gonzalez) and Amelia (Liebert) pretending to date for the sake of their overbearing parents. Of course, like every version we’ve seen before, as the two see the real version of their fake partner, the lines between real and fake blur.
Just as important as having the first lead lesbian couple in a Hallmark Original Christmas movie is the fact that both actresses identify as queer! Gonzales and Liebert discussed at length what it means to be able to mark such an important milestone for LGBTQ+ representation within the Hallmark catalog.
Christmas with friends and family premieres December 17 at 8 p.m. EST on Hallmark Channel.
My vacation in Norway
It’s always fun to explore different cultures in Hallmark Christmas movies because it gives people a new perspective on what Christmas means around the world. My Norwegian vacation focuses on Christmas traditions and activities in Norway, but don’t worry, romance is still there.
With Rhiannon Fish and David Elsendoorn, My vacation in Norway focuses on JJ (Fish) and his unexpected trip to Norway with the mysterious stranger Henrik (Elsendoorn). As JJ tries to spend the first Christmas without her grandmother, Henrik comes into her life and JJ discovers that she has a troll figurine from Henrik’s hometown in Norway. Traveling with him for the holidays, just in time for his sister’s wedding the day before Christmas Eve, JJ not only solves the troll mystery, but also discovers how to love the holidays again.
My Norwegian Holiday premieres December 1 at 8 p.m. EST on Hallmark Channel.
Christmas on Cherry Lane
It’s always fun when a Hallmark movie decides to focus on more than one couple throughout the movie’s running time. To create a Love actually-A stylish story where everyone’s lives intertwine in surprising ways is a lot of fun. More, Christmas on Cherry Lane features some of Hallmark’s top talent, including Jonathan Bennett, Catherine Bell, Erin Cahill and James Denton.
Christmas on Cherry Lane focuses on three couples: one preparing to welcome their first child (Cahill and John Brotherton), a couple whose nests are empty and looking to move on to the next phase of their lives (Bell and Denton), and two who could expand their family in unexpected ways. family on Christmas Eve (Bennett and Vincent Rodriguez III), as they navigate the holidays.
Christmas on Cherry Lane premieres December 9 at 8 p.m. EST on Hallmark Channel.
Miracle in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Hallmark Original Christmas movies are relatively non-denominational, although, of course, Christmas itself is considered a distinctly Christian holiday. But in 2022, their Christian greeting card brand DaySpring decided to create a more religious Christmas movie called The gift of hope, hoping to appeal to a more traditional audience. DaySpring returns with a new religious Christmas film, this time giving a unique take on the story of the birth of the baby Jesus.
Miracle in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania tells the story of new mother Mary Ann (Laura Vandervoort), who finds herself stranded in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with her new adopted daughter due to the weather. When the local inn is full for the night, the only place Mary Ann can stay is with the innkeeper’s brother, Joe (Benjamin Ayres). As the two try to make the best of the circumstances, they discover that the other is not who they initially thought they were.
Miracle in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania premieres December 21 at 8 p.m. EST on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.