Christmas Con, the fan convention devoted to celebrating new and classic holiday movies, will be the place to be for Hallmark fans in early December, given than over 24 current stars plan to attend. And even if the SAG-AFTRA strike hasn’t ended by then, the convention will go on because it’s run independently, just like its recent 90s Con.
On September 26, 2023, multiple celebrity guests expressed their excitement after event organizers announced the full talent foster for the upcoming convention, to be held in New Jersey from December 8 – 10. Many stars and fans are particularly pumped for the event because the lineup includes the cast of 1989’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” considered by many to be the penultimate holiday comedy, with reviewers at Esquire, Good Housekeeping and USA Today all naming it one of the top five Christmas movies of all time.
But Thats4Entertainment, the independent company that runs the convention, also announced a major change to its schedule, revealing that it will no longer hold a summer Christmas Cons in other U.S. cities, prompting many past attendees to share how disappointed they are about that decision.
Here’s what you need to know:
Majority of Christmas Con’s December Lineup are Current Hallmark Stars
In addition to “Christmas Vacation” star Chevy Chase, multiple current Hallmark stars were named to the 2023 Christmas Con lineup earlier in the summer, including Tyler Hynes, Andrew Walker, Paul Campbell, Brennan Elliott, Cindy Busby, Taylor Cole, Benjamin Ayres, and Autumn Reeser.
Organizers have since announced that Chase will be joined by “Christmas Vacation” castmates Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis and Randy Quaid. On September 26, Thats4Entertainment confirmed that additional stars who’ve committed to appearing for panel discussions, fan photos and special events now include longtime Hallmark regulars Cameron Mathison, Erin Cahill, Kristoffer Polaha, Catherine Bell, Will Kemp, Nikki DeLoach, Brooke D’Orsay, Steve Lund, and Wes Brown.
There will also be stars in attendance who haven’t been on Hallmark in several years. They include Alicia Witt, who stepped back due to personal losses but hopes to return to Hallmark soon; Melissa Joan Hart, whose Christmas movies have primarily run on Lifetime; Katrina Law, who last appeared in 2020’s “Christmas With the Darlings;” soap star Melissa Claire Egan, who starred in the 2019 movie “Holiday for Heroes;” and former Hallmark regulars Danica McKellar, Jen Lilley, and Jesse Metcalfe.
In response to the robust lineup announcement, many stars expressed in the comments how excited they are attend.
Witt commented, “this is the perfect way to finish 2023. cannot wait to celebrate with all of you!!!! ❤️”
Cahill chimed in, “I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this!! It’s SUCH a special weekend. So thrilled to come back and see everyone! ♥️🙌🎉”
DeLoach wrote, “One of the best weekends of the year! I am so so excited for this! Cannot wait to see everyone! ❤️❤️❤️”
Polaha added, “I cannot wait to see you all in New Jersey for what will prove to be the best CHRISTMAS CON yet! ❤️🙌❤️”
Fans React to Elimination of Summer Christmas Con
Christmas Con began in 2019 in New Jersey, attracting 10,000 diehard holiday movie fans, according to New Jersey Community Magazine. Christmas Con co-founders Christina Fligliola and Liliana Kligman live in New Jersey, which has made it the easiest location to be home base for the convention, with an event held there each December.
But they’ve also held a summer Christmas Con elsewhere, including Pasadena, California and, most recently, over a three-day weekend in Kansas City.
But as part of its lineup announcement for this December, Thats4Entertainment also announced it will no longer produce a second Christmas Con each summer, focusing solely on its annual December event.
“While we have loved traveling the country with Christmas Con and meeting fans from all over, it has become too difficult logistically to continue doing so,” the organization wrote in its Instagram post. “We have come to realize that we can put on a better show by keeping our focus and attention on our largest and most established con, in Edison, NJ. For the foreseeable future, there will be only ONE Christmas Con per year!!! And will stay in NEW JERSEY!!!! So if you wanna experience this amazing convention , come visit us in Edison, NJ!!!”
Many fans were understanding of the change, while others shared how disappointed they are by the decision, with most citing travel costs and the difficulty of planning a trip during the holiday season.
One fan wrote, “Very disappointed that you won’t do one in the middle of the country in the summer!!!!! Many of us cannot get to the East Coast as well as it’s sold out so you can’t handle the volume in one conference. Many people are disappointed. I sure hope you’ll reconsider.”
Another complained, “Very disappointed to read this. There was already a bunch of us planning for next summer. Many of us in attendance in KC were there because it was central for so many of us to attend.”
But others understood the dilemma and wished the organization well, including one who wrote, “If that’s what is takes to put on a better show then hey, sounds like you guys have made the right call.”