Melissa Joan Hart, Mario Lopez, and Kelly Rowland will spruce up your holidays.

By Dan Snierson
September 17, 2020 at 11:30 AM EDT
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It probably feels like a lifetime ago that you were heading into the 2019 holiday season, innocently plotting which Christmas TV movies to add to your binge schedule. Now Lifetime is ready to provide some twinkly escapism from the pandemic and get you into the candy cane-sweetened holiday spirit nice and early. This year's Hollywood shutdown isn't deterring Lifetime's plans for festivities — a healthy chunk of the slate was filmed prior — and the network is planning a full-on blizzard of new Christmas movies, original and acquired; 30 of them, to be exact.

The network's “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” campaign begins pre-Halloween, on Oct. 23, and will run deep into December. Lifetime holiday vets including Melissa Joan Hart, Mario Lopez, Kelly Rowland, Kyla Pratt, Tiya Sircar, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Vanessa Lachey, and Kelly Rowland will be reporting for decking-the-halls duty, as will new (familiar) faces such as Fran Drescher, Robin Givens, Nia Vardalos, and Jason Priestley (who did direct the 2011 Lifetime holiday movie Dear Santa, which should not be confused with this year's Dear Christmas). Also gathering around a roaring fireplace: Marie Osmond, Meredith Baxter, Tim Reid, Ed Begley Jr., Cheryl Ladd, and Patrick Duffy. (Betty White fans will have to check their stockings next year, as her holiday film has been delayed until 2021. More on that here.)

This year’s sack of movies also reflects an eye toward diversity: The Christmas Set-up is Lifetime’s first-ever movie to focus on an LGBTQ romance (starring Ben Lewis and Blake Lee), A Sugar & Spice Holiday is its first to feature a Chinese-American family (starring Tzi Ma, Jacky Lai, and Lillian Lim), and Christmas Ever After, its first starring a lead actor (Ali Stroker) with a disability.

So... would you like to see what happens when a reality TV producer meets a "wildly sexy guy" who celebrates Christmas 365 days a year? How about when star-crossed college sweethearts bump into each other years later as they help plan a Christmas Eve wedding? Do you just simply need to watch a movie about a widowed father played by Mario Lopez and boldly titled Feliz NaviDAD? Scroll down and start opening your presents.

Credit: Lifetime

Christmas on Ice

Premieres: Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Abigail Klein, Ryan Cooper, Caroline Portu, Will Lyman, Meara Mahoney Gross

Official synopsis: “Courtney Bennett (Abigail Klein), a former U.S. figure skating hopeful, runs the city’s public skating rink, but when the Mayor (Will Lyman) announces its closing, Courtney is heartbroken but determined to save it. After Courtney’s attempts to warm the Mayor’s Scrooge-like heart fail, she enlists the help of Noah Tremblay (Ryan Cooper), a former professional hockey player and single dad, who owns the new indoor skating center, to help her, and together they find more than just the spirit of holidays on the ice.”

Credit: Albert Camicioli/Lifetime

Christmas Unwrapped

Premieres: Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Amber Stevens West, Marco Grazzini, Cheryl Ladd

Official synopsis: “From executive producer Tiffany Haddish, Christmas Unwrapped follows Charity (Amber Stevens West), an ambitious reporter, who learns the true meaning of Christmas when she investigates Erik Gallagher (Marco Grazzini), a beloved member of the town who insists all the gifts he provides are from none other than Santa himself.”

Credit: Lifetime

Forever Christmas

Premieres: Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Chelsea Hobbs, Christopher Russell, Matthew Anderson, Jill Morrison

Official synopsis: “When workaholic reality TV producer Sophie (Chelsea Hobbs) starts working on a holiday-season show about Will (Christopher Russell), a wildly sexy guy who celebrates Christmas every day of the year, she finds herself falling for her mysterious, unlikely new star, renewing her long-lost faith in Christmas in the process.”

Credit: Lifetime

A Crafty Christmas Romance

Premieres: Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Nicola Posener, Bradford B. Johnson

Official synopsis: “Mandy (Nicola Posener), the owner of a craft and hobby store, discovers an old copy of A Christmas Carol among donations for a book drive. In the book is a letter to Santa from 70 years ago along with a valuable coin. Mandy sets out to find the owner of the book, letter, and coin with the help of Jonah (Bradford B. Johnson), a contractor who first came upon and donated the book. Along the way, they find clues that lead them closer to the author, and to each other, but can Mandy return everything to the book owner in time for Christmas and make her own Christmas wish come true?”

Credit: Albert Camicioli/Lifetime

Candy Cane Christmas

Premieres: Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Beverley Mitchell, Mark Ghanimé, Trudy Weiss, Benedicte Belizaire

Official description: “Since childhood, Candy Cane Lane has been Phoebe’s (Beverley Mitchell) favorite Christmas tradition of an entire neighborhood decorated for the holidays. This Christmas, however, the neighborhood decides to skip the decorations, crushing her spirits. As Phoebe is searching for a new tradition to cheer her up, she realizes that it’s not the traditions we cherish, but the people we spend them with. While preparing for her new tradition, Phoebe stumbles upon the final thing her Christmas was missing: love.”

Credit: Lifetime

The Christmas Aunt

Premieres: Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Keshia Knight Pulliam, Jarod Joseph

Official synopsis: “When Rebecca Miller (Keshia Knight Pulliam) returns home to Tennessee two weeks before Christmas to take care of her niece and nephew while their parents are away, the last thing she expected is to reconnect with her childhood best friend, Drew (Jarod Joseph). As she attempts to revive the kids' Christmas spirit and redeem their faith in Santa, she rediscovers her favorite childhood activity: 12 Days of Christmas — something she always did with Drew. As the kids' faith in the holiday grows, Rebecca and Drew's friendship returns, and she starts looking at Drew in a whole new light.”

Credit: Andy Schlamp/Lifetime

The Christmas Yule Blog

Premieres: Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Sara Canning, Zak Santiago

Official synopsis: “Caroline Williams (Sara Canning), a well-known social media travel writer, is given the assignment to cover a 100-year-old Christmas parade in the small town of Carte De Amor, N.M. Not excited about the assignment, Caroline goes anyway and meets a high school music teacher, Oscar Ortiz (Zak Santiago), who introduces her to a side of Christmas that she has never seen, with different traditions and meanings. In the 12 days before Christmas, Caroline falls in love with Christmas all over again and finds true love for herself.”

Credit: Lifetime

A Welcome Home Christmas

Premieres: Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Jana Kramer, Brandon Quinn, Tim Reid, Charlene Tilton, Craig Morgan

Official synopsis: “Chloe (Jana Kramer) has always supported various military organizations, including the town’s Army toy drive for Christmas. This year, she is paired up with Michael (Brandon Quinn), a vet who recently returned home, and together they recruit other veterans and active military personnel to help in the cause. As the community gears up for the Officer’s Christmas Ball, where all the kids will meet Santa Claus and receive their gifts, Michael and Chloe begin to realize the greatest gift this season has been each other’s company.”

Credit: Lifetime

A Very Charming Christmas Town

Premieres: Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Natalie Hall, Jon Prescott, Kelley Jakle, Jo Marie Payton, Tracey E. Bregman

Official synopsis: “City girl and travel and lifestyle blogger, Aubrey Lang (Natalie Hall), goes to the little town of Solvang for her next holiday vlog piece after it’s voted Most Christmassy Town in the USA. She soon meets Sawyer Larsen (Jon Prescott), a local community coordinator and chocolate shop owner assigned to show her around the small town. At first, the unlikely pairing is at odds but soon start to fall for each other amidst the twinkling lights of the romantic little Danish village.”

Credit: Ricardo Hubbs/Lifetime

Christmas on the Vine

Premieres: Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Julianna Guill, Jon Cor, Meredith Baxter

Official synopsis: “Brooke (Julianna Guill), a young marketing executive, goes back to her hometown excited to relive her Christmas memories, while helping a struggling family-owned winery. Her marketing assignment involves an unlikely partnership with Tyler (Jon Cor), the charismatic yet stubborn owner of the winery. Brooke quickly learns that the town’s Christmas spirit has disappeared due to a wine conglomerate buying out all of the local wineries. Determined to bring Christmas back to the town, Brooke and Tyler work together and discover they share more than a love for wine.”

Credit: Albert Camicioli/Lifetime

Christmas on Wheels

Premieres: Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Tiya Sircar, Michael Xavier

Official synopsis: “Ashley (Tiya Sircar) returns to her small hometown to care of her uncle who recently broke his ankle. When she learns that he has sold her mom's vintage red convertible, a car that holds many wonderful Christmas memories for Ashley, she is disappointed. But with the help of Duncan (Michael Xavier), her uncle's attorney, Ashley is reunited with the car, restores it to its former glory, and fills it up with gifts for the community — just as her mother used to do. As she reconnects with happy Christmas memories, she feels torn about her plans to return to the big city and what she may be leaving behind.”

Credit: Lifetime

The Christmas Edition

Premieres: Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Carly Hughes, Rob Mayes, Marie Osmond, Aloma Wright

Official synopsis: “It’s Christmas time and Jackie (Carly Hughes), an up-and-coming journalist, finds that her life is at a crossroads until she finds an unexpected opportunity — to run a small-town newspaper in Alaska. Jackie decides to give it a try and relocates to the picture-perfect town. Using a series of Christmas articles, she’s able to quickly return the newspaper to profitability and soon falls in love… both with her new home and the handsome son of the paper’s former owner. However, when her old boss announces plans to take over the paper for herself, Jackie will need a Christmas miracle to save it.”

Credit: Lifetime

A Taste of Christmas

Premieres: Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Anni Krueger, Gilles Marini, Nia Vardalos, Andrew Brodeur, Emma Myers

Official synopsis: “When Natalie (Anni Krueger) learns her cousin Francesca (Nia Vardalos) must cancel the Christmas Eve opening of her new Italian restaurant, Natalie's heart goes out to all of the guests who were planning on attending. Since no one should be alone on Christmas, Natalie decides to make the opening happen any way she can. However, the attractive but pessimistic Chef Stefano (Gilles Marini) believes it's impossible — there are only three days until Christmas! But Natalie insists that problems are just opportunities in disguise and soon she convinces Stefano that they can do it. At first, these opposites do not attract, but feelings begin to change when they find themselves working side-by-side. With Stefano’s help Natalie learns that cooking, like Christmas, isn’t about perfection... it’s about sharing it with the ones you love.”

Credit: Lifetime

Feliz NaviDAD

Premieres: Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Mario Lopez, AnnaLynne McCord, Paulina Chavez, MaryCarmen Lopez

Official synopsis: “David Morales (Mario Lopez), an Arizona high school principal and single dad, has lost the holiday spirit after also losing his wife a few years ago during the Christmas season. Now, David will do anything to avoid Christmas so he moonlights as a delivery driver during the holidays. But this year, David’s 14-year-old daughter, Noel (Paulina Chavez), and his live-in sister, Marissa (Marycarmen Lopez), are determined to bring the yuletide spirit back to the family and, with a little luck, also help David find love again via online dating. So when Sophie (AnnaLynne McCord), a witty musician and customer on David’s delivery route, swipes right on him, something magical happens between them.”

Credit: Albert Camicioli/Lifetime

Homemade Christmas

Premieres: Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Michelle Argyris, Travis Nelson

Official synopsis: “Every year, Megan (Michelle Argyris), an ambitious young woman uses the weeks leading up to Christmas to become the ultimate holiday freelance assistant for hire, helping with any Christmas-related tasks for extra income. But when the opportunity arrives to save a Christmas party and dazzle her crush, she must choose between the man of her aspirations and Mr. Right.”

Credit: Lifetime

Dear Christmas

Premieres: Nov. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Melissa Joan Hart, Jason Priestley, Robin Givens, Ed Begley Jr., Faith Prince, Nicky Whelan (with cameos by Jamie and Doug Hehner, Hilarie Burton, and Antwon Tanner)

Official synopsis: “Natalie Morgan (Melissa Joan Hart) is the host of a popular podcast, Holiday Love, which shares true stories of holiday romance with its listeners. While to the outside world and her listeners everywhere Natalie is an expert on romance, she’s never truly experienced a romance of her own. As Natalie prepares to embark on a promotional tour for her new book, she stops back home to spend Christmas with her family where she unexpectedly begins to experience her own holiday romance as sparks ignite with local firefighter Jack (Jason Priestley).”

Credit: Ryan Plummer/Lifetime

Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding

Premieres: Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Kelly Rowland, Thomas Cadrot, Debbi Morgan, Bresha Webb, Latonya Williams, Jaime M. Callica, Nathan Witte, Chris Shields

Official synopsis: “Lifetime's first-ever Christmas sequel to last year’s hit movie, Merry Liddle Christmas, Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding once again follows Jacquie Liddle (Kelly Rowland), as she and Tyler try to plan their perfect destination Christmas wedding. Naturally, Jacquie's plans go awry when her boisterous family intervenes in her planning and her snooty wedding planner quits in protest. While nothing goes as initially planned, Jacquie and Tyler get a Christmas wedding more memorable than they could have ever dreamed.”

Credit: Lifetime

People Presents: Once Upon a Main Street

Premieres: Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Vanessa Lachey, Ryan McPartlin, Patrick Duffy, Polly Draper

Official synopsis: “Amelia Lewis (Vanessa Lachey) is super excited when she buys an available storefront, planning to open a year-round Christmas shop. But her celebration comes to a screeching halt when she discovers that Vic Manning (Ryan McPartlin) has also bid on the property. Amelia and Vic have the same idea, get to the seller — Elder Dubois (Patrick Duffy) in the next town — and convince him to sell his space to them. Despite the holidays, Elder is down in the dumps. It’s the first Christmas without his wife, and he’s in no mood to chair the decoration committee for the “Battle of the Main Street” yearly holiday competition with the neighboring town. Hoping to win favor with Elder, Amelia and Vic volunteer to take over his duties. After continually bickering and trying to one-up each other, the two combatants learn to work together and even get the merchants on Main Street to put aside their differences for the greater good. Everyone, including Amelia and Vic, realizes that compromise is the key that leads to a happy — and romantic — ending.”

Credit: Lifetime

The Christmas Listing

Premieres: Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Lexi Giovagnoli, Travis Burns, Greg Evigan, Rachel O’Connell, Susan Chambers

Official synopsis: “Julia Rogers (Lexi Giovagnoli) is an uptight, hardworking realty owner who has lost her Christmas spirit. She will have to spend five days at a Christmas Inn with her business competitor, Chad Everest (Travis Burns), in order to win over the badly needed listing of the Erickson Farmstead. While competing to win the listing, Julia and Chad discover that they have more in common than they thought.”

Credit: Lifetime

Spotlight on Christmas

Premieres: Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Tori Anderson, Victor Zinck Jr., Janet Kidder, Lia Franklin, Andrew McIlroy

Official synopsis: “Dumped two weeks before Christmas, actress Olivia O’Hara (Tori Anderson) secretly returns to her tiny hometown to hide out, eat cookies, and avoid the press. What she doesn’t expect is to be faced with the family she left behind, meeting a charming new guy Casey Rawlins (Victor Zinck Jr.), and a noisy reporter following her every move. Completely overwhelmed, Olivia contemplates running away from her life once again, but with a newfound confidence and freedom, Olivia bravely steps up to take the starring role in her own life, realizing that home is where the heart is and that she deserves to be loved for exactly who she really is.”

Credit: Lifetime

Let’s Meet Again on Christmas Eve

Premieres: Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Kyla Pratt, Brooks Darnell

Official synopsis: “When college sweethearts, Corinne (Kyla Pratt) and Rob (Brooks Darnell), get opportunities on opposite sides of the world, they decide to part ways and meet again in two years on Christmas Eve to see if they are really meant to be. However, when one shows up and the other doesn't, the fate of their romance seems to have reached the end. Many years later the two end up bumping into one another when they are both hired to help bring together a Christmas Eve wedding. With many questions left unanswered, they are about to embark on a journey filled with romance and magic, just in time for Christmas Eve.”

Credit: Lifetime

Christmas Ever After

Premieres: Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Ali Stroker, Daniel di Tomasso

Official synopsis: “Popular romance novelist Izzi Simmons (Tony winner Ali Stroker) spends every Christmas at her favorite snowy bed and breakfast, but this year, she’s faced with an impending deadline and a severe case of writer’s block. Luckily, inspiration strikes in the unlikely form of the B&B’s new owner Matt (Daniel di Tomasso), who bears an uncanny resemblance to the handsome hero from Izzi’s novels. As both partake in the lodge’s annual itinerary of Christmas activities, Izzi’s writer’s block is cured and the first pages of her and Matt’s own love story may just be beginning.”

Credit: Danielle Blancher/Lifetime

The Santa Squad

Premieres: Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Rebecca Dalton, Aaron Ashmore

Official synopsis: “Allie (Rebecca Dalton), an out of work art teacher, has to accept a job with the Santa Squad to help wealthy widower Gordon (Aaron Ashmore) and his two precious daughters rediscover the magic of Christmas. As Allie is lifting the holiday spirits of the family with Christmas decorations, cookies, and shopping, her kindness is rewarded with the most unexpected of gifts: love!”

Credit: Lifetime

Inn Love by Christmas

Premieres: Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Jonna Walsh, Jesse Hutch, Art Hindle, Jayne Eastwood

Official synopsis: “Mandy Leeds (Jonna Walsh), a successful young woman living in Miami, is climbing her way up the corporate ladder in the hotel industry. Though she doesn’t get back to her small northern hometown much, this year her Gram (Jayne Eastwood) is able to finally convince her to come home for Christmas. Mandy has another reason too — the quaint local inn is for sale, and she wants to acquire it for her company. With her eyes on the prize, Mandy travels back home but on her way there, she runs into Lucas Menzino (Jesse Hutch) — her high school rival — who has his eye on the inn as well.”

Credit: Luke Fontana

The Christmas Setup

Premieres: Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Ben Lewis, Blake Lee, Fran Drescher, Ellen Wong, Chad Connell

Official synopsis:The Christmas Setup follows the story of New York lawyer Hugo (Ben Lewis) who heads to Milwaukee with his best friend Madelyn (Ellen Wong) to spend the holidays with his brother Aiden and his mom Kate (Fran Drescher), who is also in charge of the local Christmas celebrations. Ever the matchmaker, Kate arranges for Hugo to run into Patrick (Blake Lee), Hugo’s high school friend and secret crush, who has recently returned after a successful stint in Silicon Valley. As they enjoy the local holiday festivities together, Hugo and Patrick’s attraction to each other is undeniable and it looks as though Kate’s Santa-style matchmaking is a success. But as Hugo receives word of a big promotion requiring a move to London, he must decide what is most important to him.”

A Sugar & Spice Holiday

Premieres: Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Jacky Lai, Tony Giroux, Tzi Ma

Official synopsis:A Sugar & Spice Holiday follows Suzie (Jacky Lai), a rising young architect who returns to her small hometown in Maine for Christmas where her Chinese-American parents, Pete (Tzi Ma) and Mimi (Lillian Lim), run the local Lobster Bar. Following the loss of her beloved grandmother who was a legendary baker in their community, Suzie is guilted into following in her grandmother’s footsteps by entering the local gingerbread house competition. Teaming up with an old high school friend Billy (Tony Giroux), who grew up to be a catch, Suzie must find the right recipes and mix of sugar and spice infused with her cultural traditions to win the competition and perhaps find some love in the process.”

Credit: Lifetime

Lonestar Christmas

Premieres: Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Stephanie Bennett, Marco Grazzini, Brent Strait, Colleen Wheeler, Lina Renna, Emma Oliver, BJ Harrison

Official synopsis: “When a single mom Erin (Stephanie Bennett) takes her daughters to spend Christmas with her estranged dad on his Texas ranch, she unexpectedly falls in love with local restaurateur Mateo (Marco Grazzini) while learning to forgive her father for the past.”

Credit: Lifetime

Christmas on the Menu

Premieres: Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Kim Shaw, Clayton James, Cynthia Gibb, Jesse Kove, Michael Steger, Shanica Knowles

Official synopsis: “Josie Jennings (Kim Shaw) a celebrated, romantic, 35-year old chef in the city heads home to spend the holidays at the quaint, magical bed and breakfast where she grew up, and where her mother Shannon (Cynthia Gibb) has just opened a new restaurant. Famous food critic Tanner Rhodes (Clayton James), who has given Josie harsh reviews in the past, comes to town to review the new restaurant and Josie’s Christmas cuisine. As the holidays unfold, Josie and Tanner get to know each other better and a romance soon begins to blossom, but will Tanner find a way to right his wrongs, write a rave review for the bistro’s delicious cuisine, and win Josie’s heart by Christmas Eve?”

Credit: Lifetime

A Christmas Exchange (working title)

Premieres: Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Laura Vandervoort, Rainbow Sun Francks

Official synopsis: “The holiday season has started and Molly Cooper (Laura Vandervoort) is looking for joy. Finally living her childhood dream, Molly swaps her quaint farmhouse for London financier Patrick Kingston's (Rainbow Sun Francks) posh apartment. Through the ups and downs of her new life in London and searching for romance, Molly begins to look forward to all communication with Patrick. Likewise, Patrick finds Molly's warm emails and texts charming and compelling. Sparks fly between them as they get to know each other as they live in each other's spaces.”

Credit: Danielle Blancher/Lifetime

A Christmas Break

Premieres: Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Stars: Cindy Sampson, Steve Byers

Official synopsis: “School teacher Addison Tate (Cindy Sampson) wants this Christmas to be special for her kids especially since the school board has decided that it will be the last as the school will be closing. When Addison meets Danny (Steve Byers), a Hollywood actor home to reconnect with his roots, on a Christmas tree lot, sparks fly, uniting the two to save the school from closing right before Christmas Eve.”

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