You should consider asking Santa for a DVR with extra storage this Christmas. Nearly 60 new holiday TV movies will deck your halls this month and next. One will star Lacey Chabert as a struggling-but-talented baker (Hallmark’s The Sweetest Christmas, on Nov. 23), two will feature an alum of American Pie (Jason Biggs stars in Freeform’s Angry Angel on Nov. 25, and keep reading to see where Tara Reid pops up), and three Hallmark flicks will feature a Full House star (Jodie Sweetin in Finding Santa on Nov. 24, Candace Cameron Bure in Switched for Christmas on Nov. 26, and Lori Loughlin in When Calls the Heart: The Christmas Wishing Tree on Dec. 25).
How do you begin to sift through all of this celebration, saccharine, and love when you least expect it? Here are five trends that emerged from this Christmas crop.
Want the royal treatment?
Sound the trumpets! Regal flair abounds at every turn. A Royal Christmas Ball (ION, Dec. 10) boasts a bachelor king who reconnects with his college sweetheart (Tara Reid), while Christmas Princess (UP, Dec. 10) unspools the true story of how a foster child became a Rose Bowl Princess. A Manhattan teacher discovers that her European diplomat boyfriend is actually a throne-bound prince in My Christmas Prince (Lifetime, Dec. 3), which is not to be confused with A Christmas Prince (Netflix, now streaming), which centers on an eager-eyed journalist (Rose McIver) who is assigned to dig up a story on, yes, a throne-bound prince but ends up getting scooped off her feet. Meanwhile, in A Royal New Year’s Eve (Hallmark Channel, Dec. 30), a struggling fashion designer creates a dress for a New Year’s Eve gala hosted by a prince (Sam Page) who’s undercover as a commoner. (Well, in the form of a model. There’s only so low royalty can go.)
Care to celebrate with a celeb?
Stars aren’t found only on top of Christmas trees. In Rocky Mountain Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Dec. 16), an interior designer returns to her uncle’s ranch and falls for a Hollywood actor who giddyups to research a role. In Marry Me at Christmas (Hallmark, Nov. 26), a bridal-shop owner plans a couple’s wedding but, long story short, finds herself in a tabloid mess with the bride’s action movie-hero brother. A country superstar unplugs his life to rediscover his roots in A Very Country Christmas (UP, Nov. 28), while in A Song for Christmas (HMM, Nov. 28), a different country music star (Becca Tobin) who’s disillusioned with fame and craves creative control over her career winds up stranded in a small town, finds love, and… co-writes the feel-good hit of her life.
Dreaming of a Write Christmas?
Personal shoppers were all the rage in 2015’s Christmas movies. Event planners were trendy in 2016. This year? Brace yourself for some novel ideas. In A Christmas Cruise (ION, Dec. 16), an aspiring novelist (Vivica A. Fox) finds love at sea, and in The Mistletoe Inn (Hallmark, Nov. 23), a romance novelist (Alicia Witt) attends a writing retreat in Vermont, while in A Joyous Christmas (HMM, Nov. 26), a best-selling author returns to her hometown for a book event. And don’t forget this tribe of scribes: In addition to A Christmas Prince‘s aforementioned reporter, Snowed Inn Christmas (Lifetime, Dec. 16) centers on two online journalists given a holiday writing assignment, The Christmas Train (Hallmark, Nov. 25) tracks a journalist (Dermot Mulroney) who encounters an ex (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) on a cross-country train ride, and Christmas Getaway (Hallmark, Dec. 23) focuses on a freshly single travel writer who has to share a cabin with a toothsome widower.
Ready for a rescue mission?
Christmas is the time of giving. But also: saving. Let’s review just a few the things in jeopardy:
• A military museum in Christmas Homecoming (HMM, Nov. 26)
• A historic theater in Christmas Encore (Hallmark, Dec. 9)
• Inns in Christmas at Holly Lodge (Hallmark, Dec. 3) and Snowed Inn Christmas (Lifetime Dec. 16)
• Toy stores in Wrapped Up in Christmas (Lifetime, Nov. 25) and A Very Merry Toy Store (Lifetime, Nov. 26)
• A Christmas shop in Sharing Christmas (Hallmark, Dec. 10)
• A classic hotel, which is about to remodeled into a chic hotel, in You Can’t Fight Christmas (TV One, Dec. 10)
• An ice-sculpting contest in Christmas Festival of Ice (Hallmark, Nov. 22)
• A Christmas Tree farm in A Song for Christmas (HMM, Nov. 28)
• A tree in Miss Christmas (Hallmark, Nov. 29)
Raring to revel in the rivalry?
Holiday spirit, meet competitive spirit: In Christmas Solo (UP, Nov. 26), two single parents find love only to realize their daughters are rivals at school, while A Very Merry Toy Store (Lifetime, Nov. 26) offers up Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez playing rival toy-store owners who join forces to fight a giant store (and to fall in love, let’s be honest). And don’t forget about The Spruces & the Pines (ION, Dec. 3): Two people — named, yes, Rick Spruce and Julie Pine — fall in love but must keep it a secret from their feuding Christmas-tree-lot-owning families, thus entering what can only be called the (pine)cone of silence.
For those of you who crave a full course of Christmas movie action, click here to read about all 57 movies.