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~ James 1:17

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

πŸŽ„ HALLMARK CHANNEL'S 2023 *Countdown to Christmas* Movies with Lacey Chabert, Wes Brown, Kristoffer Polaha, Bethany Joy Lenz, Andrew Walker, and Many More! πŸŽ„ SEE HERE:

The Hallmark Channel has released their full slate of Christmas movies for 2023! Check the list once or twice - and be sure to share your top Christmas movie picks in the comments below!

Hallmark Channel's
Countdown to Christmas 2023


Checkin' it Twice

Premieres: Oct. 20, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Kim Matula, Kevin McGarry

Official description: "A journeyman hockey player (McGarry) falls for a real estate agent (Matula) in a career crisis when he's traded to her hometown and moves into the cottage in her hockey loving family's backyard."


Where Are You, Christmas?

Premieres: Oct. 21, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Lyndsy Fonseca, Michael Rady, Jim O'Heir, Julie Warner

Addy (Fonseca) wishes for a year without Christmas and she wakes up in a world of black and white. She must work together with the town mechanic (Rady) to restore Christmas.


Under the Christmas Sky

Premieres: Oct. 22, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Jessica Parker Kennedy, Ryan Paevey

Kat (Kennedy) is an esteemed astrophysicist, who is scheduled for her first trip into space next year until an accident grounds her. While on leave, coming to terms with the reality that her dream of being an astronaut is over, she volunteers at the local planetarium. There, she is paired up with by-the-book David (Paevey) to work on an exhibit opening right before Christmas. Will the stars align to bring these two together at the holidays?


Christmas By Design

Premieres: Oct. 27, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Rebecca Dalton, Jonathan Keltz

A fashion designer (Dalton) gets accepted into a Christmas challenge to create a new holiday-themed collection and not only finds the inspiration for her next line but decides to redesign her approach to what's most important in life.


Mystic Christmas

Premieres: Oct. 28, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Jessy Schram, Chandler Massey, Patti Murin, William R. Moses

Juniper (Schram) travels to Mystic, Connecticut during the holidays to work at the rehabilitation center and aquarium. She reconnects with Sawyer (Massey), the owner of the pizza shop.


Joyeux Noel

Premieres: Oct. 29, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Jaicy Elliot, Brant Daugherty

When a romantic painting of a Christmas market captures the imagination of copy editor Lea (Elliot), she is sent to France with pragmatic reporter Mark (Daugherty) to uncover the mystery behind the artist.


Flipping for Christmas

Premieres: Nov. 3, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Ashley Newbrough, Marcus Rosner

It's almost Christmas when busy realtor Abigail (Newbrough) agrees to help her sister with the 'simple flip' of a recently inherited home. Unfortunately, co-beneficiary Bo (Rosner) has other plans in mind.


Never Been Chris'd

Premieres: Nov. 4, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Janel Parrish, Pascal Lamothe-Kipnes, Tyler Hynes

Home for the holidays, BFFs Naomi (Parrish) and Liz (Lamothe-Kipnes) reconnect with high school crush Chris Silver (Hynes). A complex love triangle forms, forcing them to take stock of their lives and find the value of friendship.


The Santa Summit

Premieres: Nov. 5, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Hunter King, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Amy Groening, Stephanie Sy

Jordin (King), Ava (Groening) and Stella (Sy) are three best friends who head out for a night on the town to take part in the annual Santa Summit, an event where revelers don Santa suits and visit local spots on the circuit to eat, drink and be merry in true holiday fashion… and set out to find a secret Santa (Hollingsworth) Jordin connected with at the start of the night's festivities.


Everything Christmas

Premieres: Nov. 10, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Katherine Barrell, Cindy Busby, Corey Sevier, Matt Wells

Lori Jo's (Busby) love for Christmas takes her on a road trip to Yuletide Springs with her roommate Tori (Barrell), where Christmas is celebrated year-round, to participate in a longstanding town tradition to honor her late grandmother. Along the way, the friends meet Carl (Sevier) and Jason (Wells), and the foursome make stops during their journey to enjoy more small-town Christmas attractions. But when a series of events puts a damper on their plans, a little Christmas magic may put this trip back on the right path.


Christmas Island

Premieres: Nov. 11, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Rachel Skarsten, Andrew Walker

When a snowstorm diverts Kate's (Skarsten) first private flight en route to Switzerland to Christmas Island, she must team up with an air traffic controller (Walker) to secure her dream job as the family's pilot.


A Heidelberg Holiday

Premieres: Nov. 12, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Ginna Claire Mason, FrΓ©dΓ©ric Brossier

Heidi Heidelberg (Mason) receives the dream opportunity to sell her beautiful, handmade glass ornaments at the prestigious Heidelberg Christmas Market in Germany. While there, she meets Lukas (Brossier), a local artisan who helps her reconnect with her lost heritage.


Navigating Christmas

Premieres: Nov. 17, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Chelsea Hobbs, Stephen Huszar

Recently divorced Melanie (Hobbs) and her son Jason visit a remote island for Christmas, only to find themselves running a real working lighthouse where she connects with the curt but cute owner (Huszar).


A Merry Scottish Christmas

Premieres: Nov. 18, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Lacey Chabert, Scott Wolf

When estranged siblings, Lindsay (Chabert) and Brad (Wolf) Morgan travel to Scotland at Christmas to reunite with their mother Jo, a big family secret is revealed.


Holiday Hotline

Premieres: Nov. 19, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Emily Tennant, Niall Matter

After leaving London, Abby (Tennant) connects with an anonymous caller while working at a cooking hotline. The caller is single dad 'John' (Matter) who Abby unknowingly has become smitten with in real life.


Catch Me If You Claus

Premieres: Nov. 23, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Italia Ricci, Luke Macfarlane

Avery Quinn (Ricci) is an aspiring news anchor who's finally getting her big break on her station's Christmas morning newscast. But that's put in jeopardy when she captures an intruder in her home wearing a red suit claiming to be Chris (Macfarlane), Santa's son, who is on his first mission. A night of adventure ensues as they find themselves being pursued by the police as well as some shady characters. Along the way, they connect over living in the shadow of their parents and inspire each other to go after their dreams.


Letters to Santa

Premieres: Nov. 24, 6 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Katie Leclerc, Rafael de la Fuente

When young siblings receive a magic pen from Santa that appears to be granting wishes, they request a Christmas gift they want more than anything – for their separated parents (Leclerc, de la Fuente) to reunite.


Holiday Road

Premieres: Nov. 24, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Warren Christie, Sara Canning

When bad weather leaves each of them stranded at the airport for the holidays, a tech entrepreneur (Christie), a travel writer (Canning), a devoted mother (Enid-Raye Adams) and her son (Kiefer O'Reilly), a stubborn senior (Trevor Lerner), an enigmatic woman with a hint of mystery (Brittany Willacy), a couple traveling from Beijing (Sharon Crandall, Ryan Mah) and a social media influencer (Princess Davis) all agree to rent a shared van to embark on a road trip to Denver. When their unexpected journey brings them into uncharted territory, they navigate a series of misadventures together and form a deeper bond that just might change the trajectories of each of their lives. Inspired by true events.


Christmas in Notting Hill

Premieres: Nov. 25, 6 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Sarah Ramos, William Moseley

Famous soccer star, Graham Savoy (Moseley), has always been too busy for love, but when he comes home to Notting Hill for Christmas, he changes his mind after meeting Georgia (Ramos) – a visiting American and the one person who has no idea who he is.


Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up

Premieres: Nov. 25, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Lacey Chabert, Wes Brown, Stephen Tobolowsky, Melissa Peterman, Ellen Travolta, Seth Morris, Jennifer Aspen

As the holidays approach, Emily (Chabert) and Jared (Brown) are looking forward to celebrating the holidays together again, this time as a couple. Emily, now embracing Evergreen Lane's uniquely festive spirit, is ready to work with Jared, Ned (Tobolowsky), Mary Louise (Travolta) and Pamela (Peterman) to make this year's Christmas celebrations the best yet – even if being the HOA president's girlfriend doesn't stop those dreaded decorating citations. When a house on the block goes up for sale, it causes quite a stir with residents. When the soon-to-be neighbors turn out to be holiday royalty (Morris, Aspen), it looks like this year's competition is about to heat up. As the welcoming committee prepares for the new arrivals, only one thing is certain – this Christmas, Evergreen Lane is going to sleigh!


Our Christmas Mural

Premieres: Nov. 26, 6 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Alex Paxton-Beesley, Dan Jeannotte

Olivia (Paxton-Beesley) is a single mom who returns home for Christmas. Her mom secretly enters her into a mural contest; she wins but partners with teacher Will (Jeannotte) to create a Christmas masterpiece.


A Biltmore Christmas

Premieres: Nov. 26, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Bethany Joy Lenz, Kristoffer Polaha, Jonathan Frakes, Robert Picardo

Lucy Hardgrove (Lenz) is a screenwriter who lands the job of a lifetime when she's hired to pen the script for a remake of the beloved, holiday movie classic, His Merry Wife!, which was filmed in 1947 at the beautiful, historic Biltmore House. When the head of the studio isn't satisfied with the ending Lucy wrote because it deviates from the original's feel-good conclusion, he sends Lucy to Biltmore Estate for research and inspiration. While there, she unwittingly discovers the ability to travel to the 1947 set of His Merry Wife! through the help of an hourglass. While on set, she and Jack Huston (Polaha), one of the film's stars, spend time together and become close. But her sudden appearance has set off a chain of events that put the production in jeopardy. Before she can return to the present, Lucy must make things right or threaten to alter the future forever.


My Norwegian Holiday

Premieres: Dec. 1, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Rhiannon Fish, David Elsendoorn

JJ (Fish), grieving the loss of her grandmother and seeking dissertation inspiration, stumbles upon an unexpected holiday destiny. Meeting Henrik (Elsendoorn), a Norwegian from Bergen, their connection deepens when he discovers she has a troll figurine from his hometown. To explore the troll's history and her grandmother's ties, JJ agrees to join Henrik on a journey to Norway. In Bergen, they're drawn into Henrik's family Christmas and wedding traditions, with his sister's wedding the day before Christmas Eve. JJ embarks on a holiday adventure, uncovering the troll's origins and finding her own path to healing, love and family.


A Not So Royal Christmas

Premieres: Dec. 2, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Brooke D'Orsay, Will Kemp

Tabloid journalist Charlotte (D'Orsay) attempts to land an interview with a reclusive Count. In response, the royal family has a groundskeeper (Kemp) pose as the Count since the real one fled years ago.


Christmas With a Kiss (working title)

Premieres: Dec. 3, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Mishael Morgan, Ronnie Rowe Jr., and Jaime M. Callica

A Mahogany presentation. A woman (Morgan) returns home to help with her family's Christmas Carnival and romance ignites. A photojournalist (Rowe) curates a surprise reunion.


Magic in Mistletoe

Premieres: Dec. 8, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Lyndie Greenwood, Paul Campbell

Official description: "Harrington (Campbell) is the author of a popular book series but commercial success has left him a bitter recluse. As he returns to his hometown for an annual Christmas festival celebrating his books, he's joined by April (Greenwood), a publicist for the major publishing house he works with. April is there for damage control after Harrington's recent comments on social media have ruffled some feathers. But as she gets to know him better, hope springs that April can unlock Harrington's guarded heart and help him rediscover the spirit of the holiday.


Christmas on Cherry Lane

Premieres: December 9, 2023

Cast: Catherine Bell, Jonathan Bennett, John Brotherton, Erin Cahill, James Denton, Vincent Rodriguez III

A young couple preparing to welcome their first child (Brotherton, Cahill); an empty-nester (Bell) and her fiancΓ© (Denton) ready to start a new chapter; and a couple (Bennett, Rodgriquez III) who unexpectedly have the chance to expand their family on Christmas Eve celebrate the holiday as they navigate these turning points in their lives.

(Please note: This movie will feature a same sex couple.)


Round and Round

Premieres: Dec. 10, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel
Cast: Bryan Greenberg, Vic Michaelis, Rick Hoffman

Rachel's (Michaelis) stuck in a time loop, reliving the night of her parents' Hanukkah party. Can Zach (Greenberg), the 'nice boy' Grandma's trying to set her up with, help her make it to tomorrow?


The Secret Gift of Christmas

Premieres: Dec. 15, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Meghan Ory, Christopher Russell

Bonnie (Ory) is a personal shopper who helps her new, widowed client Patrick (Russell) reconnect with his young daughter. Though Bonnie and Patrick's ideas of shopping couldn't be more different, she is determined to get Patrick and his daughter everything on their wish list.


Sealed With a List

Premieres: Dec. 16, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Katie Findlay, Evan Roderick

This holiday season, festive Carley (Findlay) sets out to conquer her list of abandoned resolutions from last year. Aided by coworker Wyatt (Roderick), she finds love and the confidence to chase her dreams.


Friends & Family Christmas

Premieres: Dec. 17, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel

Cast: Humberly Gonzalez, Ali Liebert

Daniella (Gonzalez) has recently moved to New York to pursue an art career and decides to stay in town to share the holidays with her circle of artist friends, instead of going home to see her sweet, if overbearing parents. Amelia (Liebert) is a talented entertainment lawyer trying to stay focused on her work after a broken engagement. When Bridget and Amelia are set up by their parents, they agree to pretend that they are dating, to appease them for the holidays. However, as they spend time in each other's worlds, they soon build a connection that is deeper than either of them could have hoped for.

(Please note: This movie will feature a same sex couple.)



Rescuing Christmas (working title)

Premieres: Dec. 7, Hallmark Movies Now

Cast: Rachael Leigh Cook, Sam Page, Patrick Thomas O'Brien, Bailey Stender, T. Mychael Rambo Contains: Three magic wishes, a woman who isn't feeling festive, saving the holidays before it's too late Official description: "In a world where Santa (Rambo) is real and wants to drum up some holiday spirit, two of Santa's elves, Chuck (O'Brien) and Debbie (Stender), devise a plan to grant one human on Earth three wishes to kickstart the holidays. Unfortunately, that human is Erin (Cook), who has lost all affection for the season. Even a blind date set up by her sister, with the affable and charming Sam (Page), won't change her mind about Christmas. But when she makes the mistake of wishing Christmas would 'just disappear,' Erin wakes up to a world where the holiday never existed! Horrified, she realizes that she's taken away everyone's joy, so she enlists Sam to help her reinvent the festivities from scratch. In the process, Erin learns just how much this holiday and its traditions have meant to everyone around her — and how much Sam has come to mean to her.


An Ice Palace Romance

Premieres: Dec. 14, Hallmark Movies Now

Cast: Celeste Desjardins, Marcus Rosner

Official description: "A journalist (Desjardins) faces old fears when she returns to her hometown ice rink to cover a story. With the help of the owner (Rosner) and his young daughter, she begins to reevaluate her life's purpose.


My Take:

I hope you find some Christmas movies you look forward to seeing on the Hallmark Channel during this Christmas Season. I'll be adding more images above as they are released. So... stay tuned!

The Christmas movies that have piqued my interest, thus far, are Where Are You, Christmas?, Mystic Christmas, Everything Christmas, Christmas Island, A Merry Scottish Christmas, A Not So Royal Christmas, and A Biltmore Christmas. Even though these films interest me, overall, I feel less connected to the Christmas movies Hallmark is offering this year. What are your thoughts on this year's line-up?

Note: I haven't pre-screened these Christmas movies; therefore, I don't know, yet, which movies will be family-friendly. Thank You to ALL of the awesome reviewers who visit here and contribute movie reviews at Christmastime and all throughout the year. Please feel free to share your own review at any time in the comments below

Joyous Christmas Blessings to You All!
God bless us, everyone!


  1. 2 perfect words to describe this: Insanity glut. (3 new movies each week is way too much!).

    The pluses I noticed:

    No Kwanza or Chinese New Year pandering
    No Alison Sweeney or Ashely Williams (sorry to those who like them, but their shameful support of Hallmark making gay movies makes any of their new movies suspect)
    Some of these descriptions actually sound sane like

    The obvious negatives:

    2 openly perverted movies instead of just 1 (which is still too many)
    Hallmark still hasn't learned their lesson with extremely low rated Mahogny
    The yearly Hanukka movie once again looks like a big mess (no surprise there).

    I have no idea how many of these I'll watch (I know there are aquired movies here, if any are from Nicely or Reel One, that's be nice to know), some look fairly interesting, but after last year's really awful lineup, I'm a bit omn edge, and rightfully so.

    My friendly advice to everyone is this:

    Be vigilant! Any innocent looking movie can sneak something bad in, and in the past couple of years, it's mostly happened in this yearly lineup! And it would also be wise to be suspicious of movies with stars that very openly support Hallmark making bad movies. Along with not letting your guard down just because there was a few clean movies in a row.

    That dreadful CEO doesn't leave until this year ends, which means she approved this whole lineup and whatever is in it.

    That being said, I hope there are some clean gems here for everyone. I'll try to help out in any way I can with (hopefully) getting info on these movies before they premiere.

    Merry early Christmas! -Maria

  2. All I can say is OVERWHELMING!!!! I mean really, this is too many movies.

    Themes this year:

    Santa--which i do love

    Hit you over the head theme: Single parents

    I feel some movies seem suspect, like the never been chris'd. a love triangle? I dont trust this channel anymore that the love triangle wont be the 2 women and leave the man out. Also, Time for Her to come home, cause of the director, I wonder if it is going to end in the woman realizing she wants another woman. I dont know, just think some movies seem suspect.

    Movies I might watch:

    Mystic Christmas--I LOVE Jessy Shram and Chandler Massey, wish it wasn't an aquarium movie though.

    Flipping for Christmas
    Santa Summit
    Everything Christmas
    Letters to santa--I love Katie Lecleric movies and santa theme
    Biltmore Christmas

    I find it crazy when i know longer look forward to an Andrew Walker movie.

    Would have been happy to see James denton and Catherine Bell together again, but no.

    Thanksgiving week movies just aren't what they used to be either.

    Be ready to be beat in the head with single parents, other countries like france, germany, norway, switzerland, Scotland, and groups of people going on a trip together.

    This is really too many movies. I doubt I will even watch the movies i mentioned up above, i barely watched any Hallmark movies last year. I would rather watch Home Alone 100 times than support this channel. I guess only 1 Mahogany movie this year. Maybe they finally got the memo that nobody watches those.

    Wonder when Lifetime will announce?


    1. I feel ya, Sabrina. The only new movie from this network I watched last year that I can remember was The Royal Nanny. I was just way too annoyed with this network last year to watch much new stuff with what I was reading elsewhere about what was in them.

      Lifetime should be announcing soon, but I'm also hearing talk that they were heavily impacted by the strikes with filming new movies. So who knows how many they will ultimately have.


    2. I was looking forward to seeing Catherine Bell and James Denton together again as well. So sad about that one. But at least we know ahead of time so we don’t get into it and then get disappointed. I’d rather know ahead of time instead of after getting into the movie.

    3. Unless there are other reasons why Lifetime is unable to procure Christmas movies it shouldn't be a problem.

      The market is awash with Christmas movies this year which haven't been taken up by anyone especially from Nicely and Reel One and could end up on Streaming.

      It certainly will be interesting to see just how many Lifetime do decide to air

      I do know 3 Reel One movies they are showing all of which look great.

      There are also 3 suoer looking movies on Fox Nation - Florence

    4. Sabrina, Loved your comment! You are always spot on, girl!

      You are so right about the foreign country movies. What's up with the Christmas movies all over the world? I don't mind one or two, but it does seem to be a lot more this year. Whatever happened to spending Christmas at home?

      Besides the obvious, I agree, there are many films that seem suspect. I used to want to see every single Christmas movie on Hallmark, but that hasn't been the case since things changed.

      40, I agree, is WAY too overwhelming. I'm glad GAF went with half the amount. That is much more doable, and even if one of them isn't exactly my pick on GAF, I plan to watch them all.

      Blessings, Net

    5. Florence, Those 3 NEW Christmas movies for Fox Nation from Imagicomm Entertainment/INSP Films do look awesome!!!

      I used to have a Fox Nation subscription, but I ended that this spring. Thankfully, all 3 movies are available in a DVD collection...

      Holiday 3-Film Collection:
      Christmas in Maple Hills
      Christmas in Big Sky Country
      Christmas with the Knightlys

      They all look great, but I especially want to see Christmas in Maple Hills, starring Emily Alatalo and Marcus Rosner!

      Blessings, Net

    6. Net, Sabrina & Florence,
      I tried to make a statement (🀣🀣) and end my foxnation subscription this past spring when they parted ways with Tucker Carlson, but, unfortunately, they had already billed my credit card for another full year and I couldn't reverse it. So, I now see there's a positive spin to all of that since I guess I'll get to watch those new Christmas movies! Yay! πŸ˜‰πŸŽ„

      I love movies set in different countries but does it kinda feel like - along with all their other agendas - they're trying to push us toward being comfortable with the one world "Globalization" thing??

      Net, if I go through your site and put Amazon pre-order movies in my cart and check out, will you get credit or not? I was just wondering, since they won't bill my credit card until they ship the movies to me, does that make any difference on your end?

    7. Jane, Thank you for asking about the pre-order movies from Amazon.

      I looked it up just to be sure and discovered this information for Amazon affiliates:


      What happens when I generate qualifying purchases on products or games in "Pre-Order" status?


      Associates earn commission income when visitors follow tagged links from their sites to Amazon, make a qualifying purchase, and the item is shipped. Usually, the items are eligible for shipping within few days from the order date. Since pre-order items are not eligible for shipping until their launch date, the commission income will remain pending until that date, for example in the case of Amazon Games, the game’s launch date.

      So, even if your pre-order item ships months later, I will still earn a commission once you receive it. I really appreciate you checking on that.

      Also, that is a plus that you'll still be able to see those Christmas movies through your Fox Nation subscription. I was doing my subscription monthly at that time, so of course it was easier to cancel. You'll have to tell us what you think of the Christmas movies - whenever you get the chance to view them! πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

      Always so nice to hear from you! :)
      Blessings, Net

  3. After the depressing news from HMM this has cheered me up somewhat.

    Not too many previously married leads unless Hallmark is keeping them under cover although unfortunately the movies with Niall Matter and my beloved Dan Jeannotte are in two of them.

    But overall this looks like a cracking list.

    Marcus Rosner doesn't often get an outing on Hallmark but he stars in 2 here.

    Wasn't a fan of Haul Out The Holly so am not looking forward to the sequel.

    There's not enough info on A Merry Scottish Christmas to know what to expect so we'll see.

    But what are Hallmark trying to do with their leading lady - Lacey Chabert?

    As Net has pointed out Christmas on Cherry Lane has a same sex male lead couple and Friends and Family a female one and although I do allow for a certain amount of leeway I will not be watching either of these.

    I usually like the now obligatory Jewish themed movie but despite being generally well received last year I personally found Hannukah on Rye pretty dull, however Round and Round sounds as if it might be good.

    Holiday Road with its ensemble cast might just be the surprise hit of the year and has possibilities and I'm super excited about the pairing if Rachel Skarsten (a major hit last year in The Royal Nanny) and Andrew Walker - I pray there are no surprises in store in this one.

    Nice to see Rebecca Dalton get a major role on Hallmark (with Jonathan Keltz) it sounds good so let's hope she can redeem herself after the awful Dream Wedding.

    I'm super excited about Jessy Schram and Chandler Massey in Mystic Christmas (surely, surely, surely Chandler will have gotten a decent script this year).

    One of the most spectacular pairings is Jaicy Elliot and Brant Daugherty - can't wait to see what this turns out like.

    I'm also liking the look of The Santa Summit with Hunter King and Bemjamin Hollingsworth.

    And on paper at least the best of all looks to be Never Been Chris'd with Janel Parrish and Tyler Hynes - a love triangle.

    All in all this is mostly a fantastic list - usually I find HMM is much better than the main channel - not this year it ain't!!!

    But then of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating - let's just hope they're mostly family-friendly.


    1. Regarding "Never Been Chris'd," I always like Tyler Hynes, but the two guys' body language in the photo is a bit odd and making me wonder. What do you think? Hope my niggling suspicion is wrong....


    2. Alicia I wouldn't worry about the Tyler Hynes movie.

      I'd bet my bottom dollar there'll be no shenigans in it.

      That's the rock Hallmark would perish on - Florence

  4. Megan Ory is back for Christmas movie since she worked with Andrew Walker was based on the book; “Dashin’’ Through the Snow”

  5. Some look interesting --others not so much.
    As mentioned by others I will not be watching the one scheduled to be shown on December 17. Have no interest.

  6. Katie Leclerc Is back since she worked with Michael Rady; “Cloudy with A Chance of Love”

  7. Wow this list was so long, I’ll have to re-read again tonight when my 2 year old isn’t climbing all over me. Honestly the majority of these movies look great, and there are some unique/not so overdone storylines which is exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I love the overdone storylines just as much 😊 The only 2 I won’t be supporting and watching will be the ones with same sex couples. I am bummed about the one with Jonathan Bennett because when he does regular roles like “Wedding of a Lifetime” with Brooke D’Orsay he was so naturally funny….oh well there are plenty of others to watch. Thank you for this great list Net, excited to see the matching photos!

  8. No Holly Robinson Peete this Christmas movie

  9. We don't watch too many Hallmark movies anymore. Before we watch I always check the reviews. That way if it isn't any good we won't waste our valuable time watching. Thanks to all who post reviews and to Net for taking the time to let us know about all the movies coming up.

    1. Karen, I appreciate your comment and kind words. There is a lot of behind the scenes happening here - so I appreciate you letting me how much you appreciate It's a Wonderful Movie and all of the reviews.

      So wonderful to hear from you! :)

      Blessings, Net

  10. Hello All. Thanks you for the update, Net. And the comments are interesting and spot on. I am very apprehensive about any of the Hallmark movies. I tend to rewatch the “old” ones on Hallmark. I will probably save a few Hallmark movies for a later date after reading reviews. Yes, the number are very overwhelming and I can’t get very excited about most of the storylines.

    After Net sent out the 2023 GAF Christmas movies I would say my family will turn them on and not have to deal with Hallmark’s theme.
    Take care,
    Gabe’s Mom

    1. Gabe's Mom, I know just what you mean about not getting excited over most of the new storylines. I'll be watching a few here and there, but our TV will be on Great American Family for the majority of the Christmas season.

      Blessings, Net

  11. I just hope and pray they don't ruin the Time to Come Home series with a same sex couple. Those have been some of my favorite Hallmark movies. Also, agree with above post, that I am a little worried about Never Been Chris'd love triangle. It is so sad that now I have to be wary about Christmas movies instead of just being able to relax and enjoy them! Sure do miss the classic Hallmark Hall of Fame era!

  12. Replies
    1. I agree with you -- LOTS of wonderful movies. I love curling up at night and watching a movie.

  13. Not too many movies on either channel look good to me. I will watch some but Great American Family’s lineup looked much better.

  14. I'm looking forward to watch My Norwegian Holiday since I'm from Bergen in Norway, that can be fun :)

    Thank you as always Net for this blog! Hope you are doing well and have a good day or night!

  15. Wow! Over whelming is the word that comes to mind! Just too many movies to keep up with! Some look good, others not so much! Just have to wait and see!

  16. I'm sure I'll watch several of these, mostly the ones with actors I enjoy. But like some of the other comments have said, there's just "too many." The Christmas movie isn't unique or "special" anymore when the line up (no matter the network) puts out THIS many movies. Hopefully they'll be some fun ones! :)

    1. Rissi, I so agree!!!

      I've been giving this a great deal of thought lately and I feel this is a lot like the child who receives 3 gifts on Christmas morning versus the child who receives an outlandish number, like 50.

      By the time the child opens gift #45, he is bored and the excitement is gone, while the child who received 3 gifts is content with his gifts and is grateful for what he received. That child carefully takes care of all three gifts because that's all he has.

      I feel like this same comparison can be made to these movies. By the time we watch movie #30 something or so... the stories can start to feel monotonous.

      I have a feeling more and more people are going to tune out of the premiere night showings, unless the film has a top name to pull them in. With repeat showings and multiple networks and streaming services vying for viewers, it's going to be an even greater struggle to pull in ratings this year.

      Like you, I, too, am still hopeful there will be some good ones to keep on the DVR - at the season's end. :)

      Blessings, Net

    2. Net, I love your analogy to the kid who gets so many presents! So, so true! It's the case of diminishing returns...with each additional thing (movie, present), the less excitement and appreciation there is. We've said this before, but you would think with the low overall ratings Hallmark experienced these last Christmas seasons, they would get the message.

  17. I'm going to be honest; I've only watched a handful of Hallmark movies since this time last year. Hallmark is again going for quantity and not quality anymore. It's just too much for me! There are a few I'll watch after the reviews come in, but mainly I'm sticking to other channels again this year. I've felt recently that Hallmark is just throwing actors together that have zero chemistry with each other and are just making bad movies altogether. ~ Debbie

    1. Debbie, I agree with your statement, "I've felt recently that Hallmark is just throwing actors together that have zero chemistry with each other..."

      That is so true! Sometimes, you just see two people standing next to one another and you know, their body language says it all - zero chemistry. Do they not do auditioning tests any more?

      Two actors immediately come to mind... Andrew Walker and Brittany Bristow. Sure both are great, but they were not great romantically speaking together.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
      Blessings, Net

    2. Net,

      I’m glad you mentioned that some actors/actresses are just not compatible together in certain movies this season. I even felt a certain disconnection in GAF’s Journey to Christmas.

      The lead’s family appeared empty. I wanted to connect with the mother and father but just couldn’t. I kept hoping for more substance in the characters but they seemed flat and forced. At times the altruistic theme had sparks of sweetness but it just seemed off. And I really wanted it to work. Yet, I did see promise in the lead characters.

  18. A Mahogany presentation has 8 anthologies

    1. Christmas With a Kiss
    2. A Nashville Legacy
    3. Napa Ever After
    4. Spring Breakthrough
    5. To Her, With Love
    6. Unthinkable Good Things

    2 more left to go

  19. Looking forward to the Biltmore movie, I love delving into those past eras, plus the cast has potential.

    I’ll also give the Scottish Lacey movie a try. I’ve noticed she likes to be in the movies that give her a paycheck PLUS a free international vacay! Ha! You go girl!

  20. So many movies! Some sound like Lifetime movies. I am in no rush to watch right away. Some sound interesting.

  21. I am looking forward to A Merry Scottish Christmas. The picture reminds me of going to the Scottish Games with my family when I lived in CA. We always We always wore our kilts. I wish I could show you a picture of my brother as a baby in his McClane tartan kilt. So cute. I might eat some Scottish shortbread with it! ;)

    A Biltmore Christmas looks great too! I've been looking forward to it.

    But not the second Haul Out the Jolly....that picture looks so cheesy, I just can't! Lol ;)

    1. Abigail, That sounds like the Scottish Games was great fun for your family! My extended family in Michigan participates in a similar Game/Festival every year, and they all wear kilts, etc... I've never been there at that time to attend, but the pictures all look sooo fun!

      I hope this movie will be extra special for you as it brings to mind precious memories!

      Blessings, Net

  22. I was sad to see Erin Cahill be involved with a same sex....I feel discouraged, seems like every year someone we used to love and enjoy is either LGBT or supporting it. So many of them, but am proud of the actors who stepped away, to GAF. Even if it means a lower pay.

    1. I agree, Abigail. Surprised me too. Anonymous1

  23. My first reaction, after being overwhelmed by the sheer number of them, was how many of my favorite actors and actresses are in movies with so-so plots. That said, there are definitely three that have interesting (read, unique) storylines with a good cast that I am looking forward to: Where Are You, Christmas?, Mystic Christmas, and a Biltmore Christmas.

    1. Mark 25, I agree, the number of films is overwhelming. 40! Yikes! I'm almost grateful that not all 40 look good to me. Remember when we only had 12 or so, and we thought that was a lot? I kinda wish we could just go back to that.

      Anyway, I like your movie picks. Santa couldn't get you to pick 5 on this list, huh?? ~Net :)

    2. Well, because he let me pick 7 GAF movies, he said I was limited to only 3 here! Bummer! ;)

  24. Net summed up my feelings perfectly…. “overall, I feel less connected and interested in all of the Christmas movies Hallmark is offering this year.” I am a former self-proclaimed “Hallmark Super Fan”. Friends and family would tease me about my love for the Hallmark Channel and my obsession with their Christmas movies. Hallmark just isn’t the same for me anymore. I love the old movies and have a huge DVD collection of Hallmark Christmas movies so I really do not have a need or desire to even watch the channel. In fact, I rarely watch Hallmark at all now other than WCTH. The only two movies that interest me at this point are A Biltmore Christmas and Miracle in Bethlehem, PA. I am so thankful that I have GAF to tune into for family-friendly movies. I am more than willing to stick with GAF and support them while they grow. I don’t mean to sound so negative …..just no longer interested in much of what Hallmark has to offer.

    1. blessedgigi23 - Well said! I echo your comment here. Hallmark used to be the place where I felt comfortably at home, and now if I turn there, I often feel like a stranger. Unless there's a movie from the past that I know and love or like you said, When Calls the Heart, Hallmark just doesn't pull me in like it used to.

      Thank you for your comment! :)
      Blessings, Net

  25. Katie Leclerc’s movies

    The Confession
    The Reckoning

    The Reckoning was her last movie for Hallmark

  26. With An Ice Palace Romance Marcus Rosner has THREE Christmas movies on Hallmark!

    What has happened to Holidaze the mini series Hallmark previously advised us about? - Florence

    1. Florence, That is a popular question. I've seen some others mention this on social media, but I haven't seen an answer.

      I was also surprised Andrew, Paul, and Tyler weren't teaming up for another movie together this year. I was under the impression they were thinking of doing something else together.

      Lots of questions regarding this line-up. I'm also surprised, unless more news comes later, or there's a surprise cameo, that a Major Star from film, music, or retro TV - isn't in this line-up. In the past, it seems there is typically someone like that, such as Christopher Lloyd, Dolly Parton, Patti LaBelle, Ann Margaret, etc...

      Perhaps, they are counting Jonathan Frakes and Robert Picardo from Star Trek fame or Phylicia Rashad, from The Cosby Show???

      And of course, the Scott Wolf and Lacey Chabert Party of Five reunion is something special, but Scott has been in a Hallmark movie before.

      Anyway, there are lots of things to ponder and make one wonder here. ~Net

  27. As always Thank you NetπŸ™❤️

    HMM is usually the best for me, but some sound good on Hallmark.

    I've loved Lacey since she was a child, so I'll watch hers till I disagree with subject matterπŸ™„
    I was struck how many are missing:
    Taylor Cole, Allison, Autumn, Amanda Schull, Steve Lund, David Alpay, Alexa & Carlos, Fiona- just to name a few....
    Cindy Busby is back, last 2 yrs on GAF.

    I'm over the moon about Lacey & Scott back together❤️❤️
    I miss Alicia Witt, now 3 yrs without a Christmas movie.
    Some I will skip.

    Last year was a disappointment for Hallmark and GAF for me.
    Lifetime doesn't get watched through the year, I don't trust them trying to Clean up for Christmas!! 2015 was the last movie I recall @ Christmas on Lifetime, One Movie, it had Jen Lilley that's why I gave it a chance.
    God Bless EveryoneπŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

  28. Thank you Net for taking the time to respond to so many of our comments. I always enjoy reading your honest thoughts on the various movies and headlines.

  29. 2 things: 1) too many movies 2) some odd pairings (at least for me). In most the movies on the list i like only one of the leads, for example,, i like Rosner but don't like Newbrough and Desjardins. I am actually grateful that i do not want to watch all of them, i would probably end up hating Christmas.

  30. The only one I really care about is the Baltimore. I really hope it’s clean!

  31. I’m pretty much done with Hallmark. I just can’t stand the sinful content it’s always airing and promoting. Even if they do have a good movie they’ll air bad commercials or movie promos during it. It’s so disappointing to see some of these actors still filming for them. -Anonymous1

  32. Lacey Chabert has 2 Christmas movies this year 2023

    Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up
    A Merry Scottish Christmas

  33. Net - I just found out that along with the 2 movies that are premiering on Hallmark Now, 2 of the new HM&M movies are premiering earlier on Hallmark Now: World Record Christmas is premiering on 11/9 (versus 11/16), and Time For Her to Come Home for Christmas is premiering on 11/16 (versus 11/30). And...much more exciting for me...extended cuts of 2 of last year's favorites of mine are going to be shown on Hallmark Now: 3 Wise Men and a Baby (premiering on 11/27), and A Holiday Spectacular (premiering on 12/21). I think it's been years since there has been an extended cut of a Hallmark movie!! I guess I am going to be signing up for their steaming service!

  34. Christmas by Design is based on the book Jingle Jammies by Robin Neeley from Tule Publishing.

  35. Apparently Kevin McGarry once modeled for Harlequin Romance novels! - Florence

  36. Checkin’ It Twice. Cute movie but, for me, it was kind of lackluster or missing something, and I’m not quite sure what that something was. It had all the many required parts for a typical Hallmark Christmas movie, and all the parts were, individually, great, but for some reason it didn’t feel like all those parts were put together all that smoothly (or something like that??). The cast was good although I got tired of Kim Matula’s long, lingering, awkward looks toward Kevin McGarry. I’d watch this movie again next year simply because Kevin’s such a cutie pie 😊, plus I liked the warm family atmosphere; but this one’s not a keeper for me. Family friendly. ~~Jane

    1. Checkin' It Twice. I liked this one better on the Christmas in July re-watch. Although, I was multitasking and not totally focused this time, so who knows if it was truly better?? ~~Jane

  37. Where Are You, Christmas? is family friendly! Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but there were definitely pluses and minuses for me. The pluses:
    * Unique spin on the over-used trope of the big city girl who works too hard and has disconnected with her family.
    * The relationship with Addy and her father being mended.
    * The humor! I laughed a lot. It was especially funny to hear Hallmark poke fun at themselves with jokes about Christmas movies.
    The minuses:
    * The special effects! Ugh - they were so obviously on a green screen so much of the time. If they were tackling such a visual premise with the black and white vs. color, they should have upped the budget.
    * The romance was a little flat. I didn't really feel any chemistry between the two leads. I was far more invested in Addy's relationship with her family.
    So, a mixed bag, but my daughter and I enjoyed it. I was also relieved that it was family friendly. I wasn't going to have my daughter watch with me, but after the first ten minutes with no male fiance for the brother or "husband" for the mayor (who was a little flamboyant), I let her join me. Though you know how they sometimes sneak it in at the end! Here, it was family friendly throughout - thank goodness!

  38. Where Are You Christmas. Meh. I almost deleted after 15 minutes (the opening scene alone is too weird for words) but I kept going just to find out if Michael Rady could redeem this movie. He couldn’t. The movie did improve (somewhat?) as it went on but, to me, it was still a waste of 90 minutes. I think the writers/director/producer were going for cute, quirky and creative, but they fell short, in my opinion, and ended up with more of a bizarre mish mash. Lines that were supposed to be funny or clever… usually weren’t. The acting by all the secondary characters (and occasionally the lead actress) was just way too over-the-top. (I really liked the lead actress in Next Stop, Christmas and North to Home, but in this one something felt forced and unnatural.) This movie had a few redeeming qualities and warm fuzzies but just not enough for me to ever want to watch again. (And zero romantic chemistry.) Nice to delete and make some room on the dvr. Family friendly. ~~Jane

  39. Under the Christmas Sky. Nope. Made it halfway and deleted. Not my cup of tea. What I saw was family friendly but, overall, I’m just not buying what Hallmark is selling this year (including all their little thinly-veiled agendas). I’m not usually a huge Ryan Paevey fan but I thought he was okay in this one, but the rest of the actors felt “off”. There was a scene where they went curling (yes, like the Olympic winter sport) and I appreciated the uniqueness and fun of that. What I did not appreciate was their explanation that Christmas is to celebrate the birth of the sun. Of course I understand that the story revolved around them setting up an exhibit at the planetarium, but I was not thrilled with lines like: “A lot of Christmas traditions, like having dinner with our families and exchanging presents, started in ancient Roman culture by celebrating the birth of the sun.” Ad nauseam, we are told that the birth of the sun and Santa’s relationship to the sun are the reason and the spirit of Christmas (and other such blather!!). Delete! ~~Jane

    1. Under the Christmas Sky

      Dwarf Star Exhibit

      “December 25 was the date of the Roman pagan festival inaugurated in 274 as the birthday of the unconquered sun which at the winter solstice begins again to show an increase in light.

      The celebration of the birthday of Mithras, the sun god of the Persians whose mystery religion was popular among soldiers in the Roman army, was also celebrated on 25 December

      Which sun god was born at Christmas Day?
      It appears that the annual celebration held on December 25, the winter solstice, was the most important celebration of the cult; it was believed that Mithra was born on this day, hence “the birthday of the unconquered sun”

    2. Jane, I've been meaning to say... thank you so much for your review of Under the Christmas Sky! That sounds absolutely awful!

      To be honest, I thought it looked boring, but I never expected this.

      The first weekend of new Christmas movies Hallmark tries to tell viewers the real meaning of Christmas in not Christ. Wow! That is truly horrible.

      I'm so glad you informed us all of this. I usually don't fuss with deleting movies off my Frndly recordings since it will eventually expire, but in this case, it's going to be deleted. Quickly!

      Hope your next Christmas movie watch is much better! :)
      Blessings, Net

    3. Net, I think this one probably was worth deleting (for multiple reasons). But I would add the caveat that movies are just not thrilling me as much as they used to, so you may want to take my grumpy, sarcastic reviews with a grain of salt (or add a grain of sugar! πŸ˜„). ~~Jane

  40. Joyeux Noel. I really liked this sweet movie and the actors. Bit of mystery. Bit of warm, French, Christmas atmosphere. Bit of romance. Keeper for now. Family friendly. ~~Jane

  41. Hi Net, I thought I posted this review but the little message didn't pop up. So, I'm posting again along with an added "p.s." on this version. Please just delete the first one, if it comes through. Thanks, Jane

    Mystic Christmas. Not family friendly. At about the halfway point we find out one of the male characters (he's a secondary character but fairly important to the story) has a crush on another male character and a romantic relationship is talked about and encouraged by others and for the rest of the movie we see them holding hands or showing affection in their new romance (no kissing, unless I missed something). Also, the movie was very pro divorce. Other than that, … I liked all of the actors, especially Jessy Schram, who is adorable and so expressive. There was good, quick, witty dialogue and some humor (which I like). It was a somewhat unique storyline, which was a positive (and maybe sometimes a negative??). Unlike traditional Hallmark Christmas movies, this one didn’t really feel all that Christmas-y. I usually like movies, such as this one, which are set in locations with history and with more restrained decorations, and I appreciate uniqueness and a divergence from the standard Hallmark fare of tree lightings, gingerbread houses and snowball fights, but this one just felt like it could have been set at any time of year other than Christmas. I think Jessy and Chandler Massey could make a cute couple but, for some reason, I just wasn’t buying it in this movie (and I’m not sure why because they were fun to watch together). Overall, the story felt kind of blah, to me. It might be because I fast-forwarded through the second half of the movie, so, not sure if that second half would have “wow’d” me? Either way, it’s not a keeper because of the same-sex couple. Seriously Hallmark, you just can’t help yourself, can you?!? Delete. (p.s. - Caught the very last words of this movie at the beginning of the dvr’d Joyeux Noel and they were saying something about Nick and Eric’s engagement party. So, yup, they carried the homosexual thread all the way through from the halfway point to the end.) ~~Jane

  42. Christmas by Design. It had its sweet moments and was somewhat cute but, overall, it was pretty much the standard fare. The set was good and I appreciated that the decorations were not too overblown; I think I loved the beautiful old house in the movie better than the rest of the movie. The dialogue and development of romance between the leads was good. I liked Jonathan’s character much better than Rebecca’s. Her character is so self-centered and snobbish and bratty and hurtful throughout the majority of the movie that by the time she makes a turnaround I really didn’t care and kind of wished she’d just leave town and let her family members finally breathe a sigh of relief and let the nice guy find a sweet girl who truly appreciated him (but, please!, NOT one of those giggling and fawning girls that were totally over-the-top and ridiculous!). And the whole way the fashion show at the ending and department store contract was handled was absolutely unbelievable (that’s just not how the real world works). I understand the writers were going for warm fuzzies and redemption and tying everything up in a nice happily-ever-after Christmas bow, but it was totally unrealistic (and actually flowed right along with today’s “me” culture where, evidently, it’s okay to shirk your commitments and leave your boss hanging, so long as you feel it’s for a good reason – and you get hugely rewarded for doing so!!! Say what??? -- I guess nowadays in the work world, businesses reward those who are all about “self” instead of rewarding those who are dedicated to following through on their obligations -- argh!! -- Hallmark glossed it all over and made it seem like she was doing it for her family, but it just didn't sit right with me. Obviously. 🀣). And this was, yet again, another one of those movies where the female makes the first move. Ugh, I want the good old days to come back. Not a keeper for me, but okay for a one-time watch and I think this is one that others will enjoy much more than I did. Family friendly. ~~Jane

  43. Never Been Chris’d. That. Was. Horrible. Total train wreck. Waste of 90 minutes of my life. I’m sure someone thought it was funny and quirky but no, just NO!!! I love Tyler Hynes but even he was horrible in this one. This was not a Christmas movie. And the romance? Tyler had better chemistry with the friend the writers did not pair him with. And, honestly, there was more chemistry between the two girl friends (platonic chemistry). Technically it was “family friendly” (other than alcohol), but why would anyone want to watch this with their family??!? ~~Jane

    1. Jane and Allie - I couldn't agree with you more on this movie! I almost turned it off after about 20 minutes, but kept watching, hoping it would improve. Nope. These two leading women totally turned me off. Like you said Allie, these supposedly professional women act like high-school teenagers. And like you said Jane, Tyler was not good - it's like he didn't know how to react to these immature women! And one more thing - I didn't like the attitude these women had with their mothers - very disrespectful! No need to give this even a one-time watch!

    2. Disappointing start with a semi-fulfilling conclusion. I had hoped that the leads roles were less silly in the opening scenes.

    3. Never been Chris'd was AWFUL. Not a Janel Parrish fan by any stretch--she cannot act her way out of anything, and this movie proves it. Usually like Tyler Hynes but he would have been better just sitting and having a cup of coffee and it would have been more interesting.

  44. Flipping for Christmas. Nope. And, nope. This movie was all over the place and none of it really made sense. Ashley and Marcus were pretty to look at, but I didn’t really like either character (and they were not given much of a script to work with); and the production was pretty to look at but, otherwise, not worth my time. It was as if a newbie writer/director team decided to cut and paste ideas from every other standard Christmas movie and patched them all together with no real cohesiveness. We have a deceased loved one -- well, of course!, you have to have one of those in your Christmas movie to create a touching situation. Then we have the leads who just met 24 hours ago and absolutely do not like each other… but all of a sudden, they’re having a playful, flirty paint fight where they chase each other with paint brushes, laughing and giggling around the house. (Eye roll!!) And then very shortly thereafter we have a silly snowball fight and a chase through the Christmas tree farm and then he has to put his arms around her and help her cut down the tree. (Oh, good grief! I’m waiting for the flour fight to start while they’re baking cookies!) And then, naturally, we have an evil big developer who is going to demolish the town so the movie also morphs into a “save the town” movie. Next comes the ridiculous, manufactured, HUGELY overblown conflict. (My eyeballs are in danger of getting stuck up in my head!) And then Marcus tells her some nonsense mumbo jumbo about the best part of cutting a Christmas tree down is that you get to take away the part above ground that you’ve been looking at for years, but the roots still remain with all the memories and DNA of the tree becoming a part of the earth and never really going away (very close paraphrase) – ick!! – what was that?!?! I’m sure others will think this movie was cute (and it had its sweet moments – such as the memory tree), but I’ve become such a Grumpy Gus that movies like this one just annoy me. Family friendly. ~~Jane

    1. I can usually stomach both these actors but Marcus Rosner is a flat actor. He is so the same in most movies he is in. I had to turn this one off--too boring.

  45. The Santa Summit. I almost deleted this in the first 10 minutes, but I’m glad I didn’t. The whole idea of a Santa Summit (to this magnitude) was bizarre and ridiculous but I found I just couldn’t turn away from the strange happenings on the screen. As a whole, I actually really enjoyed this movie – this was one where they went for quirky and they hit it spot on. The whole thing was very secular and there were parts that were shallow and frustrating. But, on the other hand, it was quite fun and funny and unique, and I loved the friendship between the three women schoolteachers (and each of their romances were sweet, too). I’ve never heard of such a thing as a Santa Summit but it was actually fun to watch a bunch of crazy people dressed as Santa go on a sort of pub crawl version of a scavenger hunt. I never would’ve thought I would/could enjoy that!?! But it was just so much fun to watch! And well-acted all around. Words I scribbled down as I watched this movie: wacky, bizarre, cute, annoying, zany, odd, geeky, fun, unique, madcap, secular, quirky, weird, unbelievable, shallow, sweet, uncomfortable, different, nerdly, frustrating, funny. This movie is a keeper for now, and I’m actually still surprised to be saying that!! Family friendly other than the negatives I list below, plus there is alcohol consumption at bars but it’s not excessive and it’s not about getting inebriated. {Negatives, for me: The whole movie was very secular. I expected that a Santa movie would miss the True Reason for Christmas, but I still didn’t appreciate the mumbo jumbo about “the universe” making Christmas magic or some such nonsense, but that’s fairly standard in most Hallmark movies nowadays. And along with hearing secular Christmas songs (which is fine because that’s what I expected – and one of the girls singing Jingle Bells was a quite lovely addition to the movie) once or twice they would interject a snippet of a religious Christmas song (at a karaoke contest or something) and that song would be screeched or butchered and sound ugly as they were singing “Joy to the world the Lord has come” or some other song of faith – it almost seemed to be done on purpose by the writers/directors, but who knows???} ~~Jane

  46. Everything Christmas. Not my cup of tea. I imagine I’ll be the unpopular one here, but I really did not like this movie. I probably shouldn’t have watched it since I know I’m not a fan of Cindy Busby’s acting abilities but I keep hoping one day she’ll have a good performance again like she did in the 2019 Godwink movie. Unfortunately, this movie was not it. This one was an immature, silly, mess and I’m thinking whoever wrote this sappy pablum had to still be in junior high school. Cindy’s character was juvenile, irresponsible and artificially enthusiastic. The whole storyline was just whackadoodle. Santa is all about doing magic tricks for the kids (yay, isn’t that special). You would think Corey Sevier would help to elevate this movie since he occasionally turns in a really good performance, but in this one he didn’t/couldn’t. The most realistic actor was the guy who played Jason, the love interest for Cindy’s bff. There was so much about this movie that felt awkward but it did have a few warm moments and the ending was sweet, so I think others will like this far more than I did. It's another one of this season’s movies that I think will appeal to a younger audience more than to me. Family friendly. ~~Jane

    1. Jane agree re: Cindy Busby and her acting--AWFUL. I had to turn after fifteen minutes.

  47. Christmas Island. Meh. Mixed opinion. Sweet, but something just felt “off” (especially for the romance part of the movie). Were they going for quirky and got cheesy and ridiculous instead?? Ultimately, this was a cute story but it also was frustrating to me. The attention to detail was nonexistent and so many things were silly and sloppy and just made no sense. For instance, this is a very luxurious private flight flying a wealthy, high-powered, family to Switzerland and yet, there is no staff and the captain (Rachel) has to load everyone’s luggage on the plane by herself and then she has to get up out of the cockpit and go serve drinks to the passengers while the co-pilot handles the flying?!?! And then there’s supposedly a HUGE blizzard that grounds them mid-flight on Christmas Island… but it’s always sunny and clear for the four days they’re grounded in the town (except for every once in a while, the director must remember there’s supposed to be bad weather and a bit of snow is thrown in a shot) – don’t get me started on all the many aspects of this weather storyline that were just so messed up! The whole thing felt like a B-rated movie that had been written and directed by a middle-schooler, and I’m kind of wondering if that’s what they were going for on purpose because, otherwise, it doesn’t make sense, especially for these top-rated actors and crew. The actors and the writer and the director have all turned in excellent work in the past and yet this all just felt so mixed up, messed up and juvenile. And yet, somewhere in the mess there was still a sweet story -- it was just executed rather sloppily. Most of the actors were good (although I liked Rachel much better in last year’s Royal Nanny). And I’ve never been a huge Andrew W. fan but he’s been growing on me lately but, unfortunately, this time, he was not appealing; I don’t know if it was his acting or the directing, but his character seemed way too odd and silly. Even so, this movie had its sweet moments and I appreciated that there were nice family-oriented, warm aspects that would be fun to watch with one’s family, including a unique community tree lighting, and the depiction of a family that is forced to slow down and ends up rediscovering the simple things and their love for one another. Actually, the family story was much stronger and more believable than the romance. For the most part, this movie annoyed me and is not a keeper, but the cute parts were cute and it was okay for a one-time watch and I feel others will enjoy it much more than I did. Family friendly. ~~Jane

  48. A Heidelberg Holiday. Very enjoyable! Sweet, cozy, warm, welcoming, family-oriented. Loved the beautiful German setting and warm family traditions, including lighting of advent wreath. I liked the craftsmanship and artistry angle of the movie, including woodworking and handblown glass ornaments (now I want to go take a glass blowing class!). Tasteful set and decorations. Good acting all around. Nice, seamless, intermixing of German and English language. The movie wasn’t perfect but it was, as a whole, quite well done and a keeper for now. Family friendly. ~~Jane

  49. The Santa Summit- Charming moments, Bit of Fun, But not good enough to want to warrant more then a 1 time watch from me due to various reasons. -Maria

  50. Navigating Christmas. That was thoroughly enjoyable! I was expecting it to be totally shallow and cheesy, but instead, that was a really sweet movie. Well written, well directed (Peter Benson) and well-acted all around (I especially liked the teenage boy). Chelsea Hobbs was better than I've seen her before; Stephen Huszar is gorgeous but he can sometimes come off a bit too plastic-Ken-doll stiff but I thought this movie was one of his better performances. The sets were sparkly, cozy and festive but not too over-the-top (although, the mayor was rather over-enthusiastic!!). The town festival had “reindeer games” that were fun and unique. Stephen’s dance moves were hilarious and made me spit out my tea! I didn't like the "big conflict", nor the one-week time frame to fall happily ever after in love, but those are both typical for Christmas movies. I’m guessing this movie won’t make my top ten list but it’s a keeper for now and definitely worth watching again next year. Family friendly (except for divorce and talk of the teen’s father leaving them a year ago to marry another woman who is now pregnant). Also, there was some mumbo jumbo about how if, on Christmas Eve, anyone kisses the same spot at the lighthouse that St. Nicholas did, then they are endowed with divine direction and the ability to see where they’re supposed to go (they used this mini-storyline in one part of the movie and it wasn’t as objectionable as it could’ve been. – I’m trying to explain without spoilers – In a better movie they would’ve just prayed for guidance from God, but this is Hallmark, so they kissed the anchor at the lighthouse….??). ~~Jane

    1. I usually avoid most that Chelsea Hobbs is in. Ever since the line in Nine Lives of Christmas --I am a professional model. She needed more acting lessons from that movie. She might have gotten a few so this was better.

    2. Navigating Christmas. July re-watch and I agree with my first review, I still liked this movie. Especially enjoyed the relationship between mother and teenage son. ~~Jane

  51. The antics on the sequel of Haul out the Holly was over the top. I know that is the reason for the movie--BUT I can only take so much before I turn the channel or turn the TV off --which is what I did tonight. I hate saying this as I usually enjoy most of Lacey Chabert's and Wes Brown's work. This was not to my liking. I am sure that it was others cup of tea. Just one I did not care for.

  52. I just watched A Biltmore Christmas, and I can honestly say it was my favorite so far this season! Absolutely family friendly, and it had me invested from the very beginning. There wasn't a moment where I was bored or distracted. Kristoffer Polana was made to play a classic Hollywood leading man; he was absolutely perfect in the role of 40s actor John Huston. He also had great chemistry with Bethany Joy Lenz. I wasn't sure how they were going to resolve it, either, which is rare in a Hallmark movie. There were moments that were so hilarious while others brought tears to my eyes. I would 100% watch this again. My entire family loved it!

  53. A Merry Scottish Christmas. I’ll pretty much watch anything about Scotland! 😊 And the setting was so beautiful! Warning: possible spoilers ahead (but probably not anything that others haven’t already shared). Overall, the movie was cute and I enjoyed it, but the actual storyline was kinda “meh” and had a lot of holes (especially all the fabricated nonsense relating to succession for Dukes and who gets the estates and titles). And let’s assume that all that succession nonsense was accurate (which it is not) … why doesn’t the mother just make everything easy and become the Duchess (what else has she got to do?) and let Mac continue to run the estates and then she and her children can come and go as needed? I thought Lacey and Scott were good together as siblings but the storyline with Scott and his wife was a bit awkward. Not sure if that was due to the actress/singer who played his wife and seemed to be trying too hard to focus on acting and having an American accent instead of her native Irish (it’s a shame they couldn’t find a way to let her sing Christmas carols or something since that’s where she could’ve shined). Also, the infertility storyline was really too deep a subject to be a part of this lightweight movie, not to mention Scott is probably old enough to be a grandfather instead of a first-time father. And the actress who played their mother looked about the same age as Scott, so that was weird. On a bright note, I thought the Scottish actor that played Lacey’s romantic interest, Mac, was perfection for the role (we need to see more of him in future films!). And speaking of bright notes… I never watched Party of Five so I missed any hidden references. But I absolutely loved the hilarious Will Kemp cameo and the cute references to his movies with Lacey when she says “I only know how to waltz and tango” (The Christmas Waltz and The Dancing Detective).
    This movie wasn’t really all that much about Christmas. It was more so about Scottish traditions, including winter solstice celebrations which are traditionally pagan affairs. The whiskey judging was weird. The character of Hamish was an over-the-top, hot mess. The ending of this movie was also a bit of a mess. But I loved the “dirty reindeer” drink of crushed cookies in hot chocolate – yum!! And I enjoyed the warmth of community that was shown in pubs and elsewhere.
    So much about this movie just didn’t make sense but it was a lot of fun, nevertheless, especially for a lover of all things Scottish!! I loved these lines (paraphrased): “I think we took a wrong turn between Buckingham Palace and Downton Abbey.” and “Where is the snooze button on this guy?” Hah! Hamish and his bagpipes! Family friendly except for lots of alcohol; I doubt kids would like this one anyway (although, on second thought, they might find Hamish funny instead of annoying). ~~Jane

  54. Catch Me If You Claus. This one’s a “no”, for me. There were a few funny moments in this caper-type movie and I tried to stick with it, but this one was just more mess than I was in the mood to watch, so I quit when Santa Jr. (Luke) and Anchor Girl (Italia) got abducted around the halfway point. I see there have been questions as to whether it’s family friendly and I can’t say for sure since I didn’t watch all the way through. I will say that the questionable thespian troupe, in my opinion, was not blatantly homosexual and, honestly, kind of looked like any group of actors I have ever known (they’re generally all a bit of a unique lot!!). However, it WAS called the “Rainbow Club” and there were a few of the men that could be considered a bit effeminate and mildly flamboyant, so my guess would be that it truly was a homosexual acting troupe; but there was nothing really objectionable that I caught, at least in the first half of the movie. ~~Jane

    1. Catch Me If You Claus. Re-watched in July (while multitasking) and found that my opinion changed. I liked this much more on the second go-round. I have no desire to run out and buy the dvd, but I found the movie to be much more enjoyable and entertaining than I did the first time. A fun little movie. ~~Jane

  55. Christmas in Notting Hill. Nope. Most of the acting was subpar. Although, I think I would like the lead actor in a better movie with a better lead actress. And I’m not sure if it’s the writing or the directing, but this movie just felt weird and awkward. Even so, it would’ve probably had potential to be a decent “second-string” movie, if they hadn’t completely ruined it with the drag show and the whole family attending and cheering for the men in drag. Yuck. Not to mention, in the beginning we find out that usually the one sister lives with her boyfriend but he temporarily moved out to make room for the visiting sister to stay. So… not family friendly. ~~Jane

  56. Letters to Santa. Meh. It deals with a couple who have separated and are trying (mostly unsuccessfully due to busy, or their perceived busy, schedules) to make time for counseling in order to save their marriage and family, and they have two adorable children who now get bounced between homes (although, the parents, thankfully, do try to still do activities as a family unit). So, the topic is not a warm, fuzzy Christmas classic, to say the least! But, in some respects, this was handled rather realistically; even in our churches we see marriages in rocky situations, and at least this couple was trying to reconcile, and even though we saw their anger and frustration, we also saw the love and warmth they still had for each other. HOWEVER, I quit watching. Oops. I think I quit mainly because I was just not in the mood for marital issues (and I wasn’t overly fond of the wife character), but then they introduced a beautiful young female manager at the husband’s family restaurant and it just felt like the writers/director were trying to throw an infidelity-type obstacle into the movie. From what I saw and from reading other reviews, I don’t think that really happened but I just was not in the mood to keep watching to see get to the happily ever after. It probably actually turned out to be an okay movie, especially with the grandmother character, who was great. The parts I saw were technically clean and there were adorable kids and a puppy, but I really don’t think it’s a movie to watch with young children. ~~Jane

  57. Our Christmas Mural. I really enjoyed this one and thought it was an excellent, mature production that was well-acted all around and well written and directed. Sweet movie with a unique twist for a town’s Christmas celebration. Nice, warm, caring family. Great chemistry between the leads, with some cute banter. I love Dan Jeannotte and he was perfect as an elementary school art teacher and art therapist. This one’s a keeper, for me, and I would definitely consider buying the dvd. Family friendly. ~~Jane

  58. My Norwegian Holiday. I quite enjoyed this sweet movie, but it won’t be for everyone (see cautions that follow). This movie was beautiful and cozy and extremely well done; I thought the writing, directing and acting were all excellent. And I love movies set in other countries. All my life, people have asked me if I’m from Norway or Sweden, so at one point I actually learned to speak some Norwegian so that I could answer them; therefore, it was nice to see my “homeland” on film.πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ The settings for this production just screamed “cozy, Norwegian Christmas” but it really wasn’t all that focused on Christmas. It was more about a wedding, and family, and life, and grief, and finding your place in the world (all with Christmas as the cozy backdrop) -- but mostly all from a secular viewpoint, especially with lots of talk of “fate”. The romance between Jessica and Henrik was sweet (their meet-cute was fun); I thought both actors felt natural and did a good job and I think it might be Rhiannon’s best role that I’ve seen, so far. There were things that were a bit too coincidental and some weird bits but, overall, I really liked this movie and I appreciated that Henrik’s Norwegian family were so warm and loving and welcoming.
    I would say the movie is perhaps family friendly, with caution, for older teens and above. Here are the cautions: *Spoilers* 1)There’s a storyline where we find out that Jessica’s beloved grandmother (now deceased) had a romance in her youth and a child out of wedlock back in the 1960’s. It’s fairly major to the story so it is talked about and cannot be ignored (and in the end it actually turns out to be a touching storyline – if not a bit coincidental). There are no gory details but it is what it is and there is talk of dna tests to figure out the father, etc.; and because this is Hollywood, no one really bats an eyelash at the “out of wedlock” part. 2)Henrik makes a brief toast at his sister’s wedding where he tries, awkwardly, to be funny with a sort of double entendre with a homosexual innuendo about a former conversation he had with his new brother-in-law. Something like: “When Mark approached me about marriage, I was flattered, … but I couldn’t do that to my sister. Haha! Then I found out that he just wanted me to be his best man, so I was relieved.” So, it’s a tacky toast at a wedding. Just several years ago, people would’ve just smirked and rolled their eyes and murmured something about “inappropriate” but now that we’re all on a LGQBXTZYPBJ tinder box, something tacky and awkward now sends up bright red flags in our heads. My point is that, as an adult, this scene was not a big deal to me and was easily glossed over, but I would not want young children to watch and I would probably use it as a teaching moment with older children. 3)Henrik’s sister is getting married to a divorced man with a child, if that bothers anyone’s viewing pleasure. 4)Some alcohol drinking ~~Jane

  59. A Not So Royal Christmas. I think others will enjoy this more than I did. I like Brooke D’Orsay and I especially like Will Kemp but I was not a fan of this movie. I quit watching about 2/3 into it. Completely ridiculous and unrealistic storyline (and nothing warm and fuzzy or emotional to redeem it, for me). I need a tidbit of “real” in my movies but everything just felt fake in this one. Both lead characters are operating under false pretenses, so that wasn’t fun. Everything about the storyline of a noble Count of some Scandinavian country seemed off; for starters Counts are not referred to as “Your Grace”, only Dukes are addressed as such; and Counts are not royal Prince’s and do not have the same stature or responsibilities. I’m not an expert on the nobility (of pretend countries), but I really do not like when the writers of these movies don’t even try for some tiny semblance of accuracy (just a little bit would be nice). The “Royal Council” in this movie was ridiculous and even if it were true that a middle-of-the-pecking-order Count had Royal Council meetings at his home, why in the world would they let Brooke’s character sit in on the meetings (and she butts in and gives them her opinions!!)?? Even the garland that is talked about as “real’ was FAKE -- seriously, couldn’t the producer or director find an actual real garland, considering there was a whole dialogue about it?! And there are so many silly misconceptions. For instance, she believes that a Count would never wear casual clothing or wrinkled shirts – huh??! When talking about his childhood he mentions sledding and she says, “I didn’t know Counts went sledding”. To which he replies, “Oh, they normally don’t”. Say what?!? This is all such complete twaddle. It wasn’t funny (maybe I would’ve stuck with it, if it had had some good tongue-in-cheek humor?). It wasn’t sweet or romantic (I didn’t believe in their romance, at all). It wasn’t really Christmassy or warm or cute. It just felt shallow and so completely farfetched that I couldn’t even buy into a tiny piece of it. I always look forward to seeing Will Kemp in movies, but this one just didn’t hold my interest. I would love to see Brooke and Will together in a different movie; I thought their acting was fairly decent, in this one, but the written roles or scripts they had to work with were lacking. I appreciated that this part wasn’t Brooke’s usual syrupy-sweet role and that she got to stretch her wings a bit, but I just didn’t love either of their characters, they lacked some depth and warmth and did not really pull me in emotionally. What I saw was basically family friendly except there is talk of “illegitimately born” royals during a trashy tabloid meeting and also mention of Brooke’s character previously shacking up with a boyfriend. (p.s. – I decided to go back and watch the last 25 minutes to see if maybe it would win me over. It did not. The ending was even more hokey than the first two thirds.) ~~Jane

  60. Magic in Mistletoe. Sweet movie. Paul Campbell’s character, when he was a teen, wrote a magical fairytale Christmas story that was inspired by his childhood and the town where he grew up. The book was wildly successful and became a huge conglomerate of books, movies and paraphernalia for sale; and, subsequently, he has become very cynical and feels that Christmas is just one big marketing ploy. The movie is all about him getting his Christmas spirit back. It’s all secular about the “magic” of Christmas, but it was warm and engaging - a nice, typical Hallmark movie. The romance was low-key and maybe felt a bit more like a budding friendship rather than a romance. Since it was a Paul Campbell movie, I expected good acting (which we got), but I also pretty much held my breath through the whole thing waiting for the annoying and forced inclusivity of something or another, but it turned out to be clean and family friendly (so long as you’re okay with a fantasy of a beautiful magic Christmas fairy instead of the usual magical Santa Claus and elves). Not a keeper, but it was a cute little movie. (p.s. – Kimberley Sustad had a cameo.) ~~Jane

  61. Finally watched Our Christmas Mural, and it was sooo sweet! -Maria

  62. Christmas with a Kiss. Meh. Kinda cute and warm. I liked the lead actor. I guess it was okay for another cookie-cutter version of the same old, same old storyline of big-city girl comes home and ends up “saving the town/family festival”. And, of course, there is a family member who is in the military and can’t make it home for Christmas… but then, miraculously, someone pulls some strings. It was all sweet and too perfect, too predictable, in every way. And, as always, the family was warm and picture-perfect. They did say a generic thank-you grace before family dinner, so that was nice. It was okay for a one-time watch, but not a keeper. Family friendly and kids might like some of the Christmas carnival scenes. ~~Jane

  63. Countdown to Christmas 2023 Review Part 1:

    I'm officially done with watching the new lineup, and here is my rankings of all the ones I watched:

    #1: A Biltmore Christmas
    #2: Rescuing Christmas (HMN)
    #3: A Merry Scottish Christmas
    #4: Holiday Road
    #5: A Not So Royal Christmas
    #6: A Heidelberg Holiday
    #7: Holiday Hotline
    #8: Navigating Christmas
    #9: Everything Christmas
    #10: Flipping for Christmas
    #11: The Secret Gift of Christmas
    #12: Christmas by Design
    #13: Christmas Islad
    #14: My Norwegian Holiday
    #15: Letters to Santa
    #16: Where are you Christmas
    #17: The Santa Summit
    #18: Christmas in Notting Hill


  64. Countdown to Christmas 2023 Part 2 review:

    Thoughts on this year's lineup:

    Yeah, the network's execs kept their mouths shut long enough for me to be interested in some of this year's lineup. And I was impressed in some. Definitely more then last year for sure.

    As I've seen a few times this Season, this network can still make good movies, and once in a while, they can make an extremely good movie like Biltmore. And that's good.

    But as demonstrated more then once, there's definitely still much room for improvement. Writing feeling diluted or flat, forced minority pandering, trying too hard to be funny, etc.

    Hallmark has a choice next year: They can spend all year developing a Christmas line up that closely resembles the pre 2020 era, or they make do on their 'word' of making multiple movies that only Leftists will want to see and as a result, be abandoned by their real core audience.

    We have an extremely important year ahead of us. What happend with the election next fall will ultimately determine the fate of this country as we know it. And every day, there is more people waking up to the realities of how damaging Leftist agendas really are.

    Hallmark can either change their ways, or be eft behind as a consequence of their actions. Plain and simple. I may have a lot of happy memories pre 2020 with this network, but I will never defend it on it's woke agendas. They have zero place in their movies, and always will.

    Enough is enough of the playing 2 sides. We want the network that we used to deeply love and trust back!

    Thanks for listening. -Maria

  65. Countdown to Christmas Review Part 2:

    My thoughts on the Season.

    Longer version of this was obviously too long for this site since it never showed up, so here's my shorter version of my personal thoughts:

    I like that there was so many clean movies this Season, and that it's still possible for Hallmark to still make very good movies.

    But I can't overlook the inserted agendas either. There is a choice to be made next year: Either sharply decrease the woke movies, or lose even more of the real core audience. With a very important political year ahead, more people every day wake up to how damaging leftist agendas really are.

    I'll continue to root for clean movies that everyone can watch all year, but I will never defend a clear leftist movie. That is that. -Maria

  66. Sealed with a List. I really enjoyed this fun little movie. Good acting all around, especially the lead actress, Katie Findlay, who has a unique style. The HEA kiss is initiated by the female (again-ugh!) but, other than that, this was a cute movie and a keeper for the moment. Family friendly (except two scenes that might be vaguely questionable (??) for impressionable young tweens: One is where he’s in her bedroom sitting on her bed talking for a few minutes but it’s all basically just friends/platonic. And another scene that feels mildly intimate is where the two “just friends” are sitting on the couch and he’s massaging her leg after she pulled a muscle accomplishing one of the things on her resolution list.) ~~Jane

  67. The Secret Gift of Christmas. It’s okay for a one-time watch. Maybe? I feel like they tried to copy Lifetime’s 2015 “A Gift Wrapped Christmas” …. and they copied the premise, but they failed to copy most of the fun and the joy and the sense of style and the quirkiness and the warmth and the sparkle. That movie was charming and a breath of fresh air, whereas this current movie certainly has some Christmas warmth and is nice enough (with caveats!), but it’s just rather unexceptional in comparison. And now for the caveats. Meghan Ory’s character was over-the-top annoying; her silly, immature giggles and fake perkiness were like nails on a chalkboard, for me! (And as for her sense of style, some of her fashion was okay, for me, but some of it just felt forced; I think they were trying to portray her as someone with a natural stylishness like Meredith Hagner’s character in A Gift Wrapped Christmas, but, once again, they somewhat missed the mark.) I’m not familiar with her as an actress but I think I’m going to blame her ridiculous character on the writer and director because whenever she would drop the hyperactive-perkiness act and talk quietly and normally, I could see glimmers of a much better actress, so it must have been the script/direction she was given? Her character was way too pushy and did inappropriate things such as whipping out her tape measure in the middle of a construction site and wrapping it around the torso of a guy she just met in order to take his measurements (and he had not asked to have his measurements taken!), and giggling at weird moments (enough already with the perkiness and awkward giggling!!!), and chatting up his young daughter and promising her things and giving her life advice without ever being actually introduced to her and without checking with the parent first, and she ignored what her client asked her to buy as gifts and just bought whatever she wanted to and all with some kind of carte blanche that I never heard him give her (how in the world does she stay employed??!!). And there is a music teacher who has a crush on Christopher Russell and instead of the writers making it a sweet little unrequited crush, they made it weird; at times it felt like this might morph into a creepy stalker movie. 😊 So, take your pick for a new girlfriend – psycho woman or perky woman. Amazingly, one of the highlights of the movie was Christopher Russell who was warm, relaxed, and quite believable in his role; I feel like he’s getting better in this season’s string of movies. And I loved the actor playing his nephew. This movie could have been so much better, but it just felt a bit “off” and like a disjointed mish mash; I really think it was the script and directing (mainly revolving around Meghan’s character). But still, all in all, it had its cute moments and Christmassy things, so I think it would be a nice watch for folks who are not as critical as me. Family friendly (I saw questions about when Meghan’s character asks her secretary if the new Christmas client she needs to get in touch with is a “he, she or they”. In today’s tinder-box we naturally jump to the assumption that Hallmark is interjecting a bit of transgender nonsense; and, knowing Hallmark, it probably was just that. But I also heard it differently, I thought she was asking if the client was more than one person -- a lot of gift-buying services are shopping for corporate clients and businesses, so sometimes they are meeting with more than one person as a liaison.) ~~Jane

  68. Haul out the Holly: Lit Up. Last year’s Haul out the Holly movie is a huge favorite with me that I watch whenever I want sweet laughs and some wacky and whimsical Christmas spirit. I love it so much, I bought the dvd. Unfortunately, this sequel did not live up to that original. This one didn’t have the sweetness or the hilarity or the Christmas spirit or the joy or the camaraderie of the first one. However, I’m definitely open to watching a Part 3 next year, simply because Wes & Lacey are adorable and the original cast and movie were terrific. For those reasons, I kept going with this one even though I wanted to delete it after the first thirty minutes. Overall, there were some fun (and funny) parts to this movie, but mostly the addition of the Jolly Johnson’s to the neighborhood felt uncomfortable. Some new, sweet & quirky neighbors would make a fun sequel movie but these people were just distasteful, to me. They weren’t endearing and wacky in their Christmas-decorating competitiveness like the rest of the zany neighborhood but, instead, were mean-spirited and brash and tacky. They weren’t goofy or lovable or charmingly eccentric like the rest of the group; they were just brassy and loud and self-absorbed. I kind of felt like I was being screamed at in all of their scenes. The rest of the zany neighbors actually care about each other and work for the good of the group, but this new addition just felt like an invasive weed taking over the neighborhood. They were the opposite of Wes and Lacey’s characters, who were refined and appealing even when being silly. I get it that the Jolly Johnson’s were supposed to be awful in the beginning, but the writers/directors/actors just took it too far and they lost the fun and Christmas spirit of the first movie; I think if they had toned it all down just a few notches, I might have enjoyed this more than I did. As it was, there was nothing even slightly endearing or likable about them for me to grab onto and want to watch. Nevertheless, in the end, goodness triumphs and they eventually all make peace and get along but by that time I was kind of hoping someone would just run them permanently out of the neighborhood. Lol. 🀣 And yet, even though I wasn’t thrilled with the Johnson’s I still found several parts of this movie to be entertaining. The original cast works really well together and you can tell they had a blast filming. I actually kind of thought Lacey was better in this one than she was in this season’s Scottish movie (and that’s saying a lot because I love anything Scottish!); she seemed to be more engaged and having fun in this one and her rapport with Wes is perfection and believable (way more chemistry than the Scottish movie). In fact, the best part of the movie was watching the sweet, comfortable affection of their romantic relationship and I would gladly endure some over-the-top craziness and some new weirdo neighbors in order to watch Lacey and Wes in the next sequel… maybe an Evergreen Lane Christmas wedding in the ‘hood?! Pamela can sew the wedding dress and Ned can chainsaw them an ice sculpture. 😊 Family friendly and kids might like all the silliness. {p.s. – I appreciate that they filmed in Utah instead of Canada.} {p.p.s. – I really did not like those Hallmark “Fan Girls” that made commentary during some of these movies. They felt really awkward and tacky, to me!} ~~Jane

    1. Jane, This is such a great review of "Haul out the Holly: Lit Up." You and I had the same feel on this one. I kept thinking the situation with the Jolly Johnsons couldn't get worse, but scene after scene it did.

      As I read each line of your review, I kept thinking- yep, me too, that's EXACTLY how I felt. Like you, I still thoroughly enjoyed Lacey & Wes together (even more so in this 2nd movie), and I certainly hope we get the wedding sequel!!!

      Thank you, again and again, for all of your wonderful, detailed reviews! I always value your opinion.

      Blessings, Net

  69. Holiday Road. Totally unexpected, but thoroughly entertaining. An odd, but enjoyable little movie. Sweet, annoying, crazy, funny, heartwarming, and at times farfetched. Totally agree with CHMom’s review; I enjoyed the teasing banter, as well as the beautiful singing voice of the one actress. The whole minor subplot about the cash was a bit weird and didn’t make sense (not sure why he was traveling with all that cash anyway?) but, other than that, it was quite well done with a good ensemble cast. Keeper. Family friendly. ~~Jane

  70. Holiday Hotline. I quite enjoyed this movie! Some parts were contrived, some parts were silly (like when he goes a bit psycho about the door handle), the never-ending promos for Daisy dairy products were annoying, and the overblown conflict near the end really made no sense. Yet it was still a lot of fun and Niall and Emily had good chemistry and I liked the twist of them knowing each other in two different spheres but not realizing it (akin to The Shop Around the Corner or You’ve Got Mail). I liked the way the movie’s director handled the telephone calls with both actors in the same room; it was unique, which I found refreshing in a sea of same old, same old movies. Likewise, I appreciated the tasteful Christmas dΓ©cor. Also, there were some hilarious lines and moments, especially involving callers to the turkey hotline (and I did not find the many turkey quips to be excessive, I found them to be delightful, kind of like “dad” jokes). And, lastly, I’m going to have to disagree with the overwhelming consensus… I absolutely adored the turkey hotline manager and did not find him creepy (at all!), I instead found him to be unique, funny, quirky, upbeat, and with a very caring heart -– he was the perfect manager for a part-time, short-term turkey hotline gig; and he also offered some thoughtful advice to Emily. (The same actor played the reindeer, Dasher, in The Santa Summit and I thought he was fabulous in that movie, as well. His huge eyes may be creepy to some people, but I think he’s a great actor.) This one is a keeper until I need dvr space, and I would buy the dvd, especially because it’s a movie that spans Thanksgiving as well as Christmas. Family friendly (other than the one brief – but tacky - line that Paula mentioned in her review – guess they had to make sure the movie got its DEI points!). p.s. – This is the second Christmas movie, that I can think of, where Niall’s character was an architect. The other was Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater, which I just happened to re-watch last week. ~~Jane


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