From small-town traditions to near-miss kisses under the mistletoe, we can’t wait for all the Hallmark Christmas movie tropes! The Hallmark Channel just released a preview of 15 of its 31 new films that are set to premiere during its fan-favorite Countdown to Christmas.
With a total of 122 Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, it is sure to be a Merry Christmas indeed. The Countdown to Christmas starts October 22, with new releases airing on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays at 8 p.m. EST/7c. Watch on the Hallmark Channel or stream online on Hallmark Movies Now.
Crack open a bottle of Hallmark Channel wine, or sip on some hot cocoa or cider and get ready for some Hallmark holiday happy endings! We’re previewing the plotlines and cast of some of Hallmark’s newest Christmas movies.
1. You, Me & The Christmas Trees
Friday October 22
Kicking off Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas with a heavy dose of nostalgia, we have Winnie Cooper (aka Danica McKellar) from The Wonder Years in You, Me & The Christmas Trees. McKellar has starred in Hallmark movies since 2016. Last year, we saw her in Christmas at Dollywood and Christmas She Wrote.
This holiday season, McKeller is playing an evergreen expert named Olivia. She helps fourth-generation Christmas tree farmer Jack (played by Canadian actor Benjamin Ayres) get to the root of why his fir trees are infirm as the two grow close.
The movie also stars another cast member from The Wonder Years, Jason Hervey, who played Kevin Arnold’s brother Wayne. Fans of the classic coming-of-age series should check out the new version on ABC.
2. Boyfriends of Christmas Past
Saturday October 23
Boyfriends of Christmas Past sounds reminiscent of Matthew McConaughey’s Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Both movies are based on the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, but the 2009 film co-starring Jennifer Garner took place on the eve of a wedding, not Christmas Eve as the tale usually goes.
Hallmark’s version does take place in the days leading up to Christmas, as the ghosts of four exes visit Lauren, played by Catherine Haena Kim. The spirits come to teach the marketing executive to open her heart, lest she lose her best friend, Nate (played by Canadian actor and comedian Raymond Ablack).
Who wants to bet she ends up with the best friend? This ghostly Hallmark Christmas movie will get you in the holiday spirit while still being an appropriate watch for spooky season.
3. The Santa Stakeout
Sunday October 24
Starring Sister Sister’s Tamera Mowry-Housley as a police detective named Tanya, The Santa Stakeout is Hallmark’s gift to fans of crime fiction. Tanya reluctantly pairs up with fellow detective Ryan (played by Canadian-born actor Paul Campbell) to go undercover as newlyweds in an attempt to solve a string of holiday party heists.
Hijinks ensue as the two fully commit to their cover story, moving in next door to the prime suspect, Mr. Miller. Their neighbor, played by Joe Pantoliano, is not just a person of interest, but he also happens to be the community Christmas committee chairman. Sleuthing requires the pseudo-couple to attend holiday happenings together. During the mistletoe mayhem, the detective duo inevitably become partners in love.
4. Christmas In Harmony
Friday October 29
Ashleigh Murray stars as Harmony, who gets tricked into auditioning for the holiday chorus. Guess who the choir director is? Her ex! Will they be singing in the key of love by Christmas Eve? Stay tuned. With Michelle Williams in its cast, Christmas in Harmony is destined to be a holiday hit.
5. Coyote Creek Christmas
Saturday October 30
A “Christmas Around the World” party helps Janel Parrish and Ryan Paevey’s characters Paige and Dylan, find love at home. We love this festive party idea! Use these Christmas Traditions From Around the World to throw your own international-themed holiday gathering à la Coyote Creek Christmas.
6. Christmas Sail
Sunday October 31
You may recognize this Hallmark holiday movie’s lead, Katee Sackhoff, from her roles on the crime thriller Longmire or The Mandalorian on Disney+. Sackhoff’s fiancé Robin Gadsby wrote Christmas Sail, and the couple created and executive produced together, according to UPI. Sackhoff stars as Liz, who comes home to take care of her estranged father, played by Terry O’Quinn, who Lost fans will be familiar with as John Locke. Determined to give her daughter a perfect Christmas, Liz ends up reconnecting with her handsome bestie, played by Patrick Sabongui.
7. Open By Christmas
Friday November 5
Former Days of Our Lives diva and NBC reality weight-loss competition host Alison Sweeney is part of the Hallmark Channel’s hall of fame. In Open by Christmas, she costars alongside Erica Durance and Brennan Elliott. When Nicky (Sweeney) discovers an “unopened Christmas card from a high school secret admirer, she and her best friend Simone search to find and thank the anonymous author.” Who wants to bet he’s conveniently single and ready to jingle?
8. Next Stop, Christmas
Saturday November 6
We love a good “what could’ve been” scenario. How cool would it be if life were a “choose your own adventure” book and you got to make different decisions to see how they would play out? Well, that’s just the opportunity that Angie gets in Next Stop, Christmas. On the train home, somehow she ends up a decade in the past — just in time to see what life would be like if she had ended up with her former beau who became a famous sportscaster. Hallmark gets meta with this time-traveling tale, reuniting Back To The Future costars Lea Thompson and Christopher Lloyd.
9. A Christmas Treasure
Sunday November 7
Jordin Sparks stars as Lou in A Christmas Treasure. Interestingly enough, the American Idol darling plays a writer, not a singer. Lou opens a century-old time capsule and finds her grandfather’s old journal. She also meets Kyle, a charming chef played by Michael Xavier who is visiting Pine Grove for the holidays. Will Lou move to the Big Apple after Christmas and further her writing career, or will she stay in Pine Grove to carry on her family’s local newspaper?
Don’t worry, we’ll still get to hear Sparks sing! According to Deadline, “Sparks sings two classic Christmas songs in the movie, covering “This Christmas” and on the piano, “Oh Holy Night.” Her original song from her 2020 Christmas album Cider & Hennessy “Oh, It’s Christmas” will also be part of the movie.”
10. Christmas At Castle Hart
Hallmark darling and former Party of Five actress Lacey Chabert plays Brooke Bennett in Christmas at Castle Hart. Bennett heads to The Emerald Isle for the holidays in search of her Irish roots. In a classic mixup, she gets mistaken for an event planner and has to throw a Christmas party hosted by the ever so handsome Earl of Glaslough (played by Stuart Townsend).
11. The Christmas Contest
The Christmas Contest stars another Hallmark movie queen, Candace Cameron Bure of Full House and Fuller House fame. Bure plays opposite fellow Fuller House costar John Brotherton in this marquee Hallmark movie that is set to air the Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 28, 2021) according to IMDb.
With a plot based on a book of the same name, The Christmas Contest film features Lara and Ben, who play exes going after the same $10 grand in a radio station contest for the charity of their choice. In an Instagram post, Bure mentions that this is her 20th movie to produce with the “incomparable” Jim Head.
12. The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls
Last year, we watched The Mitchell brothers, Mike and Brandon, return home to create The Christmas House. Brandon (Jonathan Bennett) and his husband Jake (Brad Harder) adopted a child while Mike (Robert Buckley) reconnected with his high school sweetheart Andi (Ana Ayora). This year, the brothers go head-to-head in a competition to see who can create the best Christmas House.
In The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls, fans will recognize Bennett (Brandon Mitchell) as Aaron Samuels from Mean Girls, Saron Lawrence (Mrs. Mitchell) from NYPD Blue, and Treat Williams (Mr. Mitchell) from several shows, including Hallmark’s Chesapeake Shores.
13. The Nine Kittens Of Christmas
Hallmark presents this festive feline film as a special holiday treat for all of us cat ladies. The Nine Kittens Of Christmas stars Kimberley Sustad, Gregory Harrison, and Brandon Routh, who played Superman in the sixth and final installment in the original Superman film series, Superman Returns. Nine adorable kittens are left on the doorstep of a firehouse, so exes Zachary (Routh), a firefighter, and Marilee (Sustad), a veterinarian, must come together to find the litter a home for the holidays.
14. & 15. Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday & Sister Swap: Christmas In The City
We first met Kimberly Williams-Paisley in 1991’s Father of the Bride. Since then, she has starred in such shows as According to Jim and Nashville, and married country music star Brad Paisley. Now, she’s teaming up with her real-life sister for a pair of Sister Swap movies, Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday and Sister Swap: Christmas In The City. How I Met Your Mother fans will recognize Ashley Williams as Ted Mosby’s baker ex-girlfriend Victoria from the CBS series.
The lesser-known Williams sisters are not only starring as Jennifer and Meg Swift, respectively, in the two all-new original interconnected movies, but they’re also executive producers. SNL alum Kevin Nealon appears alongside Mark Deklin, Keith Robinson, and Susan Yeagley.
Hasn’t Hallmark already done the whole Freaky Friday thing with Candace Cameron Bure playing twins who swap lives in 2017’s Switched for Christmas? Yes, but in the Sister Swap films, the siblings simply trade responsibilities, not identities. Here’s the Hallmark synopsis: “Jennifer and Meg Swift are sisters who couldn’t be closer despite living hours apart. Jennifer is in Salt Lake City, running a successful restaurant she started with her late husband and raising her teenaged son Simon. Meg stayed in their hometown of Hazelwood, helping their parents run the local bakery. This Christmas is the family’s first since the passing of Uncle Dave who owned the town’s beloved theater, The Madison, where many memories were made over the years. When Jennifer and Simon return home for the holiday, they become wistful for one more Christmas at The Madison, despite that it’s for sale and in need of repairs. Meanwhile, Meg is helping Jennifer’s restaurant staff in Salt Lake prepare for a Christmas competition among local restaurants with the winner earning money for the charity of its choice. With the sisters switching cities leading up to the holiday, they find a new sense of purpose and discover what they both truly need in life and in love.”
Watch trailers and keep track of your viewing with the new Hallmark Movie Checklist app.