Every year, The Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries both air Christmas movies practically non-stop. This year is no exception, and the movies are amazing! But as Christmas is nearing fast and your chance to watch these delightful movies is coming to a close, you’ll want to make sure you watch the absolute best movies right around the holidays. Here are the top 12 movies that you don’t want to miss as we’re quickly approaching Christmas. To find out what channel Hallmark (or Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) is on for you, click here to go to TV Guide’s listings. Then change the “Provider” (right under TV Listings) to your local provider. You’ll be able to scroll down to see what channel Hallmark (or Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) is on for you. (To find out how to stream Hallmark’s Christmas movies live, see our story here. Many of these movies can also be watched on Amazon streaming.)
1. The Nine Lives of Christmas
Every year, first place is rewarded to The Nine Lives of Christmas, because there truly isn’t a Hallmark movie better than this one. The movie pairs a handsome fireman (Brandon Routh from Superman) with Kimberley Sustad and their two cats. The cats, of course, fall in love first! In this absolutely adorable movie from 2014, the fireman — a confirmed bachelor who’s afraid of commitment — must let a stray cat and then a beautiful veterinary student into his heart for the holidays. This movie has so many adorable moments, you’ll probably want to watch it more than once. That’s why it’s the first one listed! Because it’s a 2014 movie, it doesn’t have as many showtimes as other movies. This one will be showing on The Hallmark Channel on Saturday, December 29 at 4 a.m. Eastern and Friday, January 4 at 10 p.m. Eastern. Want more of the movie? It’s based on the book, The Nine Lives of Christmas.
2. Northern Lights of Christmas
This top Hallmark list might be slightly biased because I love animals. Number 2 goes to a new movie for 2018: Northern Lights of Christmas. This airs on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. It’s about a woman who returns to her hometown after her uncle dies and she inherits the ranch. She has to decide if she’s going to sell the ranch, and she enlists the help of a loner who was her uncle’s trusted friend. He may finally have a reason to put down some roots for the first time, but only if she’s ready to make some big changes in her life. The movie features a cute side story involving reindeer, which is part of the reason I love it so much. But the acting is also phenomenal, and the characters really sell their roles. It airs again on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on Dec. 21 at 11 p.m., Dec. 23 at 5 p.m., Dec. 25 at 11 p.m., Dec. 27 at 3 p.m., Dec. 29 at 9 p.m., Jan. 2 at 1 a.m., Jan. 4 at 9 p.m., and Jan. 6 at 5 a.m. Eastern. (All times are Eastern.) Read more about the movie in Heavy’s story here.
3. Once Upon a Christmas Miracle
Once Upon a Christmas Miracle gets number three because not only is it a great, heartwarming movie, but it’s also closely based on a pretty unbelievable but amazing true story. Christopher Dempsey, who had served as a Marine, decided to donate part of his liver to Heather Krueger. They were strangers, but Dempsey felt led to make such a big sacrifice for someone he didn’t know. Krueger was diagnosed with stage 4 liver disease in 2014. After Dempsey’s selfless act, they fell in love and were married in 2016. Their love story went viral, as thousands around the world were inspired by the couple. And now Hallmark has made their story into a movie. (Read their true story in Heavy’s article here.)
You can catch the movie on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on Sunday, December 23 at 9 p.m. Eastern, December 27 at 1 a.m., December 29 at 5 p.m., January 1 at 5 p.m., January 4 at 7 p.m., and January 6 at 5 p.m. (All times are Eastern.)
4. Christmas Everlasting
This was the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie this year, and it deserved to be. The movie stars Tatyana Ali, Dondre T. Whitfield, Patti LaBelle, and Dennis Haysbert. It’s about a corporate lawyer, Lucy Toomey, who is about to be made partner when she inherits her sister Alice’s estate after she unexpectedly passes away. Lucy returns to Nilson’s Bay, dealing with grief and the return of old memories. She meets an old high school sweetheart, Peter, along the way, and must live in her sister’s house for 30 days before she can inherit it.
I loved this movie. Tatyana Ali portrayed all the conflicting emotions of grief so well. I loved how this movie showed that her special needs sister had an amazing life and touched so many people, and how she achieved amazing meaning in her life just by helping others. The romance between her and Peter, played by Dondre T. Whitfield, was also authentic, with great chemistry. You definitely need to see this movie. The next airings are on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on Friday, December 21 at 3 p.m. Eastern, Dec. 31 at 5 a.m. Eastern, and January 4 at 5 p.m. Eastern.
5. A Boyfriend for Christmas
This is one of those Hallmark movie classics that you just want to watch every year. Even hard-working fathers love this movie and get so involved in the storyline that they ask their families to quiet down so they can hear every word! A Boyfriend for Christmas first aired back in 2004, but it still holds a lot of charm today. When Holly Grant made a wish 20 years ago for a boyfriend, Santa didn’t grant it right away. But now it looks like he may finally be ready! Holly is a child advocate and Ryan is an attorney. But because of a previous run-in, Ryan hides his identity as he gets to know Holly. Meanwhile, an old flame of Holly’s is trying to win her back. Who will win in the end? The movie airs Thursday, December 27 at 2 p.m. Eastern on The Hallmark Channel.
6. Switched for Christmas
Hallmark’s Switched for Christmas from 2017 had to make the list because in this movie, Candace Cameron Bure plays twins! The synopsis reads: “Identical twins Kate and Chris Lockhart plot to be the other sister — at Kate’s office and Chris’ school – and take on planning their sister’s Christmas events. One rule, though: no romance. Chris as Kate is making her mark in the office, but co-worker Greg Turner grows curious about her sudden style. Kate as Chris, warming to her sudden family life, is introduced to a wealthy donor to help out the festival. Her jaw drops when she realizes that Tom Kinder is a teenage crush she met at that very festival 20 years ago. Can the sisters pull off their big events? And what about no romance? Will their little game of deceit take two hearts with it – Greg’s and Tom’s?”
Of course, this movie is absolutely adorable, and I loved how Bure portrayed two twins with very different personalities and very different love stories. This movie next airs on The Hallmark Channel on Monday, December 24 at 12 a.m. Eastern, December 27 at 6 a.m., and December 28 at 4 p.m. (This year Bure starred in A Shoe Addict’s Christmas. And although I loved that movie too, I really liked Switched for Christmas even better.)
7. My Christmas Love
My Christmas Love is one of the best of the Hallmark Christmas movies because of a surprising twist you might not see coming, but will definitely bring tears to your eyes. (I know I cried when I watched it.) The synopsis of the movie reads: “A hopeless romantic who can’t ever seem to give a guy a real chance begins receiving each of the 12 Days of Christmas as gifts anonymously at her door. As she tries to figure out who is sending the gifts, she begins to believe that the mystery suitor could finally live up to her expectations.” The movie stars Meredith Hagner, Bobby Campo, Megan Park, Aaron O’Connell and Gregory Harrison. It airs December 24 at 6 a.m. Eastern and January 5 at 2 a.m. Eastern.
If you love movies about the 12 Days of Christmas, you should also give On the Twelfth Day of Christmas a try and make it a marathon night. “Maggie Dunlop is thrilled when her long time crush, Mitch, moves to her little town of Harrison. Once Maggie discovers Mitch and his love for Christmas has drastically changed, she vows to bring the holiday spirit back in his life.” This movie aired December 20 at 8 a.m., but you can catch it on Amazon too.
8. The Mistletoe Inn
The Mistletoe Inn is a 2017 movie that promises to be a classic. “When aspiring romance novelist Kim Rossi is unceremoniously dumped by her soon-to-be-published romance novelist boyfriend, Kim … signs up for a romance writing retreat at a quaint Vermont Inn, where a top romance novelist is scheduled to attend. Shortly after arriving, she crosses paths with Zeke, whom she initially finds to be intrusive and, naturally, ends up being her assignment partner.” This movie was absolutely delightful. Maybe because I’m a writer, I really appreciated the scenes at the conference and enjoyed the lessons they were learning. From the beginning, the main characters had a natural ease with each other and great chemistry that you don’t see in every Hallmark movie. The movie next airs Dec. 27 at 2 a.m. Eastern and January 1 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on the Hallmark Channel.
9. Northpole: Open for Christmas
Northpole: Open for Christmas ranks among the best Hallmark movies because it’s so unique and so very filled with the Christmas spirit. It aired in 2015 and has one scene that takes place in the Northpole that is breathtaking. The movie is worth watching just for that scene! But the entire film is delightful and really shows you the “magic” of Christmas. Mackenzie Reed inherits her aunt’s hotel, and she’s being pushed to shut it down and sell it. She hires people from the local town to help her fix it up, including a local handyman and his daughter. An elf straight from the Northpole arrives because the hotel is actually the key to keeping Santa’s magic alive. Can she convince Mackenzie to keep the hotel running? It next airs December 27 at 5 a.m. Eastern on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
10. Karen Kingsbury’s Maggie’s Christmas Miracle
This delightful movie, Maggie’s Christmas Miracle, stars Jill Wagner and Luke Macfarlane. Here’s the synopsis for the movie from Hallmark: “Megan spent one unforgettable summer with a boy when they were teens and she’s never forgotten his magical definition of love. Now a high-powered attorney in New York and a single mother, her young son unexpectedly connects them again.” (Don’t want to wait? Read the book it’s based on.) If you’re looking for a sweet Christmas movie that will really pull on your heartstrings, this one is it. The characters have genuine chemistry, but the heartache they’ve been dealt with in their past is keeping them from finding love with each other. Wagner and Macfarlane do a great job of portraying authentic emotions that truly capture what their characters are struggling with, and you’re really rooting for the two of them to end up together. The movie next airs on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on Sunday, December 23 at 2 a.m. Eastern and Saturday, January 5 at 3 a.m. Eastern.
11. A Bramble House Christmas
A Bramble House Christmas stars David Haydn-Jones and Teryl Rothery. According to the synopsis: “Shortly before Christmas, single mother and healthcare worker Willa Fairchild learns that she is a beneficiary in a recent patient’s will. Moved by the sacrifices Willa made to give her son Scout a second chance at life, Greg Conrad wanted his nurse to have her own opportunity for a fresh start. In addition to a cash bequest equal to the family’s medical bills, Greg arranged for Willa and Scout to experience the magic of Christmas at the Victorian-era Bramble House in Bramble, Oregon…” I chose this as a top movie because it features a delightful small town that truly captures the spirit of Christmas, a lot of fun Christmas activities, and an engaging plot that leaves you rooting for the characters. (Well, everyone except one character — you’ll know who we’re talking about when you see the movie.) The movie next airs on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on December 22 at 8 p.m. Eastern, December 30 at 1 p.m. Eastern, January 1 at 11 a.m. Eastern, and January 3 at 1 a.m. Eastern.
12. Memories of Christmas
Memories of Christmas, starring Christina Milian and Mark Taylor, makes our Top 12 list because of the wonderful message it brings (along with the magic of Christmas, of course.) The synopsis reads: “Noelle (Milian) was raised by the queen of Christmas. When she inherits her late mother’s house, she finds out that her mother had been hiring someone to decorate it — Dave (Taylor). The deal is off, but Dave convinces Noelle to let him carry on the tradition. As the display goes up, Noelle’s defenses start to come down. She embraces the town’s Christmas gala that was her mother’s legacy, finds unexpected love, and develops a joy for the holidays that she never thought possible.”
A commenter on Heavy’s story about the movie, Brenda C. Jennings-Burrell, expressed why she loved the movie. She wrote, “Memories of Christmas was wonderful, it was heartfelt, romantic and magical… It makes you realize even tho the ones we love may not be still here in the flesh, the memories of them and what they meant to us can live through and beyond us.” The movie next airs on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Dec. 27 at 7 p.m., Dec. 29 at 1 p.m., and Jan. 1 at 7 a.m. Eastern.
Do you have any other movies to suggest? Let us know in the comments below.