How to have a Hallmark Christmas at Thanksgiving
To say that the folks at Hallmark like Christmas is a grand understatement: Those people live for this stuff, and this year they are unleashing a blizzard of 37 (!) new original Christmas TV movies. Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries kicked off the Most Wonderful Time of the Year back on Oct. 27, which according to our calendar, was multiple days before Halloween. But things kick up a notch over another holiday — Thanksgiving — as the two networks are set to debut six new Christmas movies (and re-run a dozen others that premiered earlier in the month) featuring such actors as Candace Cameron Bure, Tatyana Ali, and Lacey Chabert. Herewith, some early stocking stuffing (the other kind) in the form of those premieres:
Reunited at Christmas (Nov. 21, 8 p.m. ET, Hallmark Channel)
STARS: Nikki Deloach, Mike Faiola
CONTAINS: Writer's block, holiday homecoming, wise deceased grandmother
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Frazzled and struggling with writer's block, novelist Samantha (Deloach), along with her boyfriend, heads home to her late grandmother's home to spend Christmas. While at home with family, her grandmother's wise words reveal the true meaning of Christmas with Samantha at a time when she most needs encouragement."
Christmas at the Palace (Nov. 22, 8 p.m. ET, Hallmark Channel)
STARS: Merritt Patterson, Brittany Bristow
CONTAINS: Lots of ice skating, a king who's skating on thin ice by falling for his daughter's instructor
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Katie, a former professional ice skater (Patterson), is hired by the king of San Senova, Alexander, to help his daughter in a Christmas ice skating performance. As Katie spends time in the castle and with the king, she and Alex begin to develop feelings for each other and ultimately fall in love. But will the tradition-loving people of San Senova allow their king to make a foreigner their queen?"
Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe (Nov. 23, 8 p.m. ET, Hallmark Channel)
STARS: Lacey Chabert, Brendan Penny
CONTAINS: Holiday homecoming, reconciliation with parent, old rivalry blossoming into romance
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Darcy (Chabert) has always worked hard to prove herself and be successful on her own terms, even choosing to start her own company, rather than work with her father. Returning to her hometown for Christmas, Darcy reconnects with an old rival, restaurant owner Luke (Penny), and they are forced to plan a charity event together. As Darcy spends time with her family and Luke, she starts to realize what matters most in life and sets out to mend her relationship with her father, and possibly fall in love. Based on the book of the same title by Melissa de la Cruz."
Christmas Everlasting (Nov. 24, 8 p.m. ET, Hallmark Channel)
STARS: Tatyana Ali, Dondre T. Whitfield, Patti LaBelle, Dennis Haysbert
CONTAINS: Family funeral, surprise inheritance, reigniting of old flames
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Christmas is fast approaching and years of long workdays employed at New York's top corporate law firm are about to pay off now that Lucy Toomey (Ali) will be made partner after the New Year. However, when Alice, her older sister with special needs, unexpectedly passes away, Lucy returns back to Nilson's Bay, Wis., to attend the funeral and handle her estate. While Lucy dreads returning to her childhood home, she also feels real sorrow that she was too busy to take her sister's last call. Once back in Nilson's Bay, Lucy meets Peter (Whitfield), her old high school sweetheart and Alice's former attorney, who informs her of the terms of Alice's eccentric will that states in order for Lucy to inherit the family home, she must live there for 30 days through the holidays."
Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane (Nov. 24, 9 p.m. ET, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
STARS: Alicia Witt, Colin Ferguson
CONTAINS: Sibling reunion, bittersweet sifting through dead parents' belongings
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Emma (Witt) returns home to celebrate Christmas for the last time with her siblings in the house they grew up in. After their parents' recent passing, the siblings reluctantly agree to sell the family home on Honeysuckle Lane, leaving Emma in charge of its belongings. While Emma's mother's collection is being appraised, they find a hidden surprise that takes them on a journey to discover the power of love and family during the holidays. Based on the book by Mary Elizabeth McDonough."
A Shoe Addict's Christmas (Nov. 25, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel)
STARS: Candace Cameron Bure, Luke Macfarlane
CONTAINS: Department-store stranding, guardian angel, department store, hot firefighter neighbor
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "As Christmas approaches, Noelle (Bure) is at a crossroads in her life when it seems that love, a connection with her father, and her dream career are out of reach. When she stays late at her job in a department store on a snowy Christmas Eve, she accidentally gets locked in after closing. She isn't too concerned about the prospect of spending the night in the store… until a quirky woman appears out of nowhere in the shoe department and tells Noelle that she's her guardian angel. Soon, Noelle finds herself revisiting Christmases past, present, and future as she must work with her new neighbor, a handsome, Christmas-loving firefighter, to plan the annual Christmas Charity Gala. Will visiting the holidays of yesterday and tomorrow help Noelle take new chances and discover the true spirit of Christmas? And in realizing that the only thing standing in her way of leading a fulfilling life is herself, will the love she has longed for all her life be the best surprise gift of all?"
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And now, here's the list of new movies that Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries debuted earlier in the month and will re-air over the holiday:
It's Christmas, Eve (Nov. 21, 6 p.m. ET, Hallmark Channel)
STARS: LeAnn Rimes, Tyler Hines
CONTAINS: Multiple Rimes performances, school budget trims, internet crowdfunding
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "As interim school superintendent, Eve (Rimes) trims budgets and now she's in her hometown where it's personal. Her handsome neighbor Liam (Hines) is a music teacher and Eve feels his program must be cut. But luckily her friend is married to an IT guy, who's created a website for donations directly to save the arts program. Launched during the tree-lighting ceremony where Liam's students will perform, the website could provide the Christmas miracle the town needs. Already the universe is cooperating. Eve is back home and she, Liam, and his daughter look like they might be celebrating many a future Christmas."
A Veteran's Christmas (Nov. 22, 5 p.m. ET, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
STARS: Eloise Mumford, Sean Faris
CONTAINS: Small-town stranding, possible reunion with a canine, likely romance between decorated war vet and judge
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Captain Grace Garland (Mumford), a decorated U.S. veteran, returns home after two tours of Search and Rescue in Afghanistan. After being separated from her beloved K9 partner, Grace must rediscover the magic of Christmas. When she finds herself stranded in the town of River's Crossing a couple weeks before Christmas, the local judge, Joe Peterson (Faris), offers her a place to stay on his property and takes it upon himself to show Grace everything she has been missing; Christmas, family, community, and love."
Christmas at Pemberley Manor (Nov. 22, 6 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark Channel)
STARS: Jessica Lowndes, Michael Rady
CONTAINS: Attractive billionaire, estate in jeopardy
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "As Christmas approaches, Elizabeth Bennett (Lowndes), a New York event planner, is sent to a quaint, small town to organize their holiday festival. When she arrives, she finds William Darcy (Rady), a high-profile billionaire lacking in holiday spirit, in the process of selling the charming estate she hoped to use as a venue. Determined to make her event a success, Elizabeth persuades the reluctant Darcy to let her hold the festival on the historical estate once known for its holiday cheer. When they wind up working together to arrange the festivities, the unlikely pair begins falling for each other. But when complications arise and the festival is unexpectedly shut down, the couple parts ways and Darcy moves forward with his plans to sell the estate. On the night before Christmas, a wistful Elizabeth hopes for a Christmas miracle to revive the festival, save the estate, and rekindle her holiday romance."
Road to Christmas (Nov. 22, 10 p.m. ET, Hallmark Channel)
STARS: Jessy Schram, Chad Michael Murray, Teryl Rothery
CONTAINS: Secret plan, family reunion, Vermont
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Los Angeles television producer Maggie Baker (Schram) unwittingly falls for Danny Wise (Murray), the son and former producer of his mother's (Rothery) popular annual Christmas special Julia Wise Lifestyle. When Maggie's secret plan to reunite Danny and his two brothers with Julia during the live broadcast in Vermont goes awry, Maggie is reminded that above all, it is the love for family and friends that makes the merriest of Christmas."
Christmas in Love (Nov. 23, 12 p.m. ET, Hallmark Channel)
STARS: Brooke D'Orsay, Daniel Lissing, Mary-Margaret Humes
CONTAINS: Quaint bakery, threat of layoffs and automation
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Ellie Hartman (D'Orsay) is an aspiring crafter working in her small town's bakery making famous Christmas Kringles. When the new, big-city CEO Nick Carlingson (Lissing) visits the bakery, he arrives filled with modernization ideas destined to lay off many employees. During his visit, Ellie is to teach Nick how to make a Kringle, and determined to show him it's the people who make the business a success, not machines. Nick meets more of the employees and townspeople, visits the food bank and begins to see all the kindness that is shared, and he begins to soften — though not convinced automation isn't better. Struggling with chasing her own entrepreneurial dreams, Ellie begins to fall for Nick but not before feeling betrayed when she inadvertently sees Nick's laptop filled with automation plans. When Nick finally tells the employees his future ideas for the company, Ellie must decide if she should trust him, but more importantly, whether to take a leap of faith in making her own dreams come true."
Return to Christmas Creek (Nov. 23, 9 p.m. ET, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
STARS: Tori Anderson, Stephen Huszar, Steven Weber, Kari Matchett
CONTAINS: Holiday homecoming, romance with childhood friend, family feud, unconventional toy deliveries
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "As Christmas approaches, Amelia Hughes (Anderson), a career-focused Chicago app developer lacking in holiday spirit, returns to her small hometown of Christmas Creek to rediscover the meaning of Christmas. There, she reunites with her childhood best friend Mike (Huszar) and her estranged uncle Harry (Weber), whose mysterious rift with Amelia's father divided her family during the holiday season when she was a child. As she engages in local holiday festivities — and begins falling for Mike — Amelia finds herself feeling the Christmas spirit and looking forward to Harry's Christmas Eve tradition of delivering toys to needy children in his small, private airplane. Meanwhile, Harry begins repairing his damaged relationship with his ex-girlfriend Pamela (Kari Matchett). But as she helps prep Harry's airplane for the toy delivery, a shocked Amelia learns her parents have unexpectedly shown up in town for the holiday and is crushed when her father and Harry resume their longstanding feud. On Christmas Eve, disappointed by her family's continued fighting, Amelia prepares to return to Chicago and leave behind Christmas Creek and her budding romance with Mike along with it. But just as she's about to leave, she feels a burst of inspiration that just might turn things around and help her finally restore family peace and embrace romance as love prepares to take flight for Christmas."
A Godwink Christmas (Nov. 23, 11 p.m. ET, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
STARS: Kimberley Sustad, Paul Campbell, Kathie Lee Gifford
CONTAINS: Multiple trips to Nantucket, an engagement that doesn't feel right, a Hoda-less Kathie Lee Gifford
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "As Christmas approaches, Paula (Sustad), a St. Louis antique appraiser, reluctantly accepts a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Daniel (Giles Panton, Chesapeake Shores), a career-focused attorney. When her Aunt Jane (Gifford) senses she has mixed emotions over the engagement, she invites Paula to her Nantucket home. Upon her arrival, Paula plans a trip to the nearby island of Martha's Vineyard where she meets Gery (Campbell), a charming inn owner. When bad weather prevents her from departing, Paula winds up staying at Gery's inn and enjoying local holiday festivities alongside him. They begin to have feelings for each other but when the weather clears up, they part ways and Paula returns to Nantucket. Sensing she's fallen for Gery, Aunt Jane shares with Paula her belief that their meeting was God's way of "winking" at her to help determine which direction her life should take. When Daniel surprises her by spontaneously arriving in Nantucket, Paula decides to move forward with their marriage plans. But back in St. Louis, Daniel soon returns to his all-business ways and a fed-up Paula finally realizes they're not compatible. When Jane invites her back to Nantucket for Christmas, Paula accepts, unaware that Jane has devised a plan to bring her and Gery together. From author, SQuire Rushnell of the God Winks book series."
Christmas in Evergreen: Letter to Santa (Nov. 24, 4 p.m. ET, Hallmark Channel)
STARS: Jill Wagner, Mark Deklin, Holly Robinson-Peete, Barbara Niven, Andrew Francis, Ashley Williams
CONTAINS: Save-the-general-store campaign, undelivered letter to Santa, hot contractor
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "When Lisa (Wagner) takes a last-minute Christmas trip to her hometown of Evergreen, she finds that the historic general store has been closed. Using her skills as a professional retail designer, Lisa decides to keep local tradition alive and help the good people of Evergreen bring the store back to life. As Lisa charms a local contractor named Kevin (Deklin) into working with her, the pair find themselves facing one surprise after another as they restore the store to its former glory. When the staff at the Kringle Kitchen temporarily accept the store's beloved ‘Mailbox to Santa' for safekeeping, the townspeople find and rally around a mysterious 25-year-old letter that never made it to the North Pole. As old traditions are made new again, Lisa finds herself falling for Kevin, the traditions, and the town of Evergreen."
Marrying Father Christmas (Nov. 24, 5 p.m. ET, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
STARS: Erin Krakow, Niall Matter, Wendie Malick
CONTAINS: Search for biological father, mysterious visitor, wedding drama
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "When Miranda Chester (Krakow) sets off to find information on her biological father two Christmases ago, she never imagined her investigation would lead her to both the love of her life, Ian McAndrick (Matter), and the family she had always longed for, including Margaret Whitcomb (Malick) and step-brother Peter Whitcomb (Jim Thorburn). After her romantic engagement last Christmas, Miranda prepares for a Christmas wedding surrounded by this new family. While Miranda finalizes the details of her big day, Margaret forges a surprising romance with a friend from the past. Miranda's wedding plans are quickly complicated when a mysterious visitor who claims to have ties to her late parents reaches out to her just days before her wedding. As Miranda's wedding approaches, she must decide if she wants to spend one of the most momentous days of her life with this new family connection, and must carefully navigate the first steps into the next chapter of her life with Ian."
Christmas at Graceland (Nov. 24, 6 p.m. ET, Hallmark Channel)
STARS: Kellie Pickler, Wes Brown
CONTAINS: Reignition of old flames, bank acquisition, Memphis blues
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Laurel (Pickler), a Chicago-based business executive travels to Memphis to secure one of the city's oldest family-owned banks. While in Memphis, Laurel reunites with old flame Clay (Brown), a local music promoter with loftier aspirations. Though Laurel tries to keep her eye on the prize of the business acquisition, Clay is very persuasive reminding her of the days when they were a performing duo on the brink of stardom. Now Laurel's focus turns to the home of the Blues and dreams of making music again."
Hope at Christmas (Nov. 24, 7 p.m. ET, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
STARS: Ryan Paevey, Scottie Thompson
CONTAINS: Inheritance, bookstore, town Santa
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Sydney Ragsdale (Thompson), recently divorced, decides to spend Christmas in a house she inherited with her young daughter. As Sydney begins to spend more time at the local bookstore, she meets a teacher, Mac (Paevey), who also fills in for the town Santa. Mac tries to make Christmas wishes come true, and this year Sydney is at the top of his ‘nice' list. As a new opportunity with the bookstore unfolds, Mac helps Sydney open herself up to life, love, and believing in the spirit of Christmas again."
Last Vermont Christmas (Nov. 25, 5 p.m. ET, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
STARS: Erin Cahill, Justin Bruening
CONTAINS: Sibling reunion, Vermont, guy who weirdly wants to buy his ex-girlfriend's family home
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: Every year the three Marvin sisters, Megan (Cahill), Bethany and Mary, gather from across the country to spend Christmas together under the same roof in their beloved childhood home. And while they couldn't be any more different from one another, they all agree on one thing: there's nothing more magical than spending Christmas together with their parents. Unfortunately, this legacy is coming to an end as their parents have decided to sell the house, and their buyer is Megan's former high-school sweetheart Nash (Bruening). As she returns home this Christmas, Megan works to keep her beloved childhood home that is being bought by her high-school sweetheart."