With half-Christmas just around the corner, here’s some news that may put you fully in the Yuletide spirit.
Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is planning to place a record 33 new original holiday films under your tree this year (yes, that number is up from the originally announced 32), and the gifts will keep on giving through the end of the season. Today, we offer you a present that must be opened right now: details on the final eight of those 33 films. (And later in this story, you can get the titles, loglines, and casting information where available for the entire new holiday movie slate across those two networks.)
What awaits you in this last batch? Plenty of earnest-to-goodness sweetness, of course. There’s some big news for fans of When Calls the Heart in the form of another Christmas movie, tentatively titled When Calls the Heart Christmas! (This special should not be confused with last year’s When Calls the Heart Christmas, which contained no exclamation mark. Guess they really mean it this time!) In fact, When Calls the Heart star Erin Krakow breaks the news about the return to Hope Valley via a festive video and off-camera confetti toss.
There’s a Jennifer Love Hewitt-directed film titled Kiss for the New Year. There’s also a movie about a magical snow globe and another about a magical ornament. In addition, an interior designer (Alexa PenaVega) will reconnect with her old high school boyfriend and former dance partner (Carlos PenaVega) through the magic of salsa dancing.
More details on that next batch of films headed into production can be found below, not to mention a few notable casting additions to those previously announced movies. Fair to say that there will be a lot of friendly faces returning to the decked-out halls of Hallmark. In fact, if you ever dream of throwing a party with Lacey Chabert, Candace Cameron Bure, Alison Sweeney, Danica McKellar, and Catherine Bell, but just couldn’t afford their appearance fees, this is probably your next best bet.
Evergreen Inn (Hallmark Channel)
Starring: Alison Sweeney
“Sophie Bennett begins a new holiday tradition of spending every holiday at the Evergreen Inn and Ski Lodge, which she inherited from her parents. Evergreen Inn is a special place filled with people who cannot make it home for the holidays or who have had such wonderful experiences that it has become their home-away-from-holiday-home. This Christmas, Sophie will meet an unforgettable family, and her own life will be forever changed.”
Kiss for the New Year (Hallmark Channel)
“That first kiss of the New Year is special: It’s supposed to signify that special person with whom we’ll spend the next year, and possibly, forever. So it’s wise not to squander those affections. When everyone else just puckers up to the nearest set of lips, Robin has always kept her wits — and her mouth — to herself. An established photographer at a lifestyle website, she’s assigned to work on a New Year’s Eve story with a new hire, Todd. When she confides in Todd that she has never kissed anyone as the clock strikes midnight, he sets about to correct this, by finding someone for Robin to kiss at the magic hour. His theory is a kiss is just a kiss, and she should enjoy the moment. Ultimately, they are both right. Todd finds a man for her to smooch, and Robin does find the right man. And guess who fits the bill?”
Never Too Late for Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
“Rebecca, a businesswoman who has let go of her joy of Christmas, is trying to secure her next big deal and promotion to executive vice president before the end of the year. When she’s sent on assignment to a remote town, she meets the handsome widower John, owner of the Holly & Ivy Inn, which is named after his two daughters. It’s not long before Rebecca’s all-business exterior begins to thaw and she finds her Christmas spirit returning just in time.”
Enchanted Christmas (Hallmark Channel)
Starring: Alexa and Carlos PenaVega
“Weeks before Christmas, interior designer Laura is sent to her hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico to remodel a landmark hotel. As Laura is kept busy with the renovations, her 8-year-old daughter Nicole is introduced to the art of salsa dancing at a local dance studio. Laura is surprised to find that the studio’s owner is Ricardo, her old high school sweetheart and former salsa dance partner. When Laura and Ricardo reconnect, sparks fly on and off the dance floor. The beautiful Christmas traditions of New Mexico become the backdrop for spirited dancing and unexpected romance.”
Snow Globe Wishes (Hallmark Channel)
“Snow globes can have a magical, mesmerizing sway over those who concentrate on them. No one knows that better than residents of Evergreen, Vermont. In this bucolic burg, where families have lived for generations and take care of each other, there’s a belief that if you wish upon the snow globe in the local café, that wish will come true. The only catch is the wish must be completely sincere. When the town veterinarian wishes that this will be her most romantic Christmas ever, she figures that will happen with her longtime beau. Stranded in an airport, she befriends a businessman and his daughter, who had made her own wish on the snow globe. The magical Christmas they share turns out to be more than anyone wished for.”
When Calls the Heart Christmas! (Hallmark Channel)
Starring: Erin Krakow, Daniel Lissing, Lori Loughlin, Martin Cummins, Jack Wagner, Pascale Hutton, and Kavan Smith
“A loved one returns, Christmas spirit is renewed, and children’s wishes are granted in this heartwarming Christmas movie featuring the series’ beloved characters. Elizabeth’s fiancé, Jack, surprises her, coming on home on leave and bringing a young Mountie desperately searching for Christmas inspiration. The community of Hope Valley works together to aid this young man with the help of an enchanted Wishing Tree. And as mayor, Abigail is pretty busy. Recognizing that, her newly adopted son, Cody, engages classmates in creating the town’s annual Christmas Celebration. While Sheriff Bill Avery forges a relationship with the disgraced former mayor, Henry Gowen, Rosemary and Lee are reminded that family is the true meaning of Christmas.”
Secret Santa (Hallmark Channel)
“Just how secret does an office secret Santa have to be? In Melanie’s case, she finds it’s just a little too covert. The assignments were distributed for Secret Santa, and Melanie is a little worried but very excited that she was given her crush, Donovan. She comes up with thoughtful gifts and spot-on notes. Donovan is so taken by his Secret Santa, he starts to fall in love — only someone else is stealing her credit, pretending to be his Secret Santa. Now Melanie must work to prove to Donovan that she is the right one as far as Santas and girlfriends go.”
Magical Christmas Ornaments (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
“A book editor, Marie had always adored Christmas, but that love faded when her marriage ended on Christmas Eve four years ago. To rekindle Marie’s love of the season, her mom sends a family Christmas ornament every day. Marie decorates her tree and feels her spirits lift with each ornament. Though she’s still limiting her seasonal festivities, Marie reads to children at a hospital, where she meets an attractive nurse, Nate. Marie is delighted when she gets to work with her favorite author on his new children’s book. She also happily organizes a book drive with Nate. Maybe mom’s ornaments are magical after all. But Marie jeopardizes her job when she refuses to edit her ex-husband’s book and starts to feel rather negative again — until her mom reminds her that the magic isn’t inside the ornaments but inside her.”
NEXT PAGE: Details on the (25!) other Hallmark Christmas movies, starring Lacey Chabert and Candace Cameron Bure