It has been my own unofficial tradition to binge watch Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas with my family ever since I was a little kid. Even though all of these movies are the exact opposite of what I usually watch (action or sci-fi movies with an unpredictable ending and great plot), these Christmas
Hallmark movies, all similar in nature with their male and female love interests, cheesy titles and one-liners, and extremely un-diverse cast, somehow pull me in every year. However, like in every genre, there are some movies that are better than others. Here are my top 12 favorite Christmas Hallmark movies:
1. Silver Bells
Every year, widower Christy Byrne and his two kids, Danny and Bridget, go to New York to sell Christmas trees. This year, Danny, an avid photographer, gets fed up with his father deciding his future for him and runs away. One year later, Christy and Bridget go back to New York to sell their Christmas trees and look for Danny. A yearly customer, Catherine, claims she hasn't seen Danny. But has Catherine actually been helping Danny throughout the year? Is Danny okay? Will he reconnect with his family?
2. The Real St. Nick
Dr. Kate Bryant is saved from an accident by a man who, after hitting his head on a rock, believes he is the real Santa Claus. Nick, the man who saved Kate, is brought to the institute that Kate works at to bring him back to health. Nick brings his Santa-like Christmas spirit with him. How does he help the people working and living at this institute? Is this man the real Santa?
3. Santa Jr.
Father Christmas's son tries to follow in his father's footsteps. However, he hits a bump in the road when he gets arrested for trespassing while delivering presents. Dispirited, he turns to a public defender for help. Will Christmas be ruined because of this newbie Santa's arrest? Will he find the new Mrs. Claus?
4. The Town Christmas Forgot
A fighting family gets stranded in a small town two days from Christmas when their car breaks down on the way to a luxury resort. The sleepy, impoverished lumber-town in Colorado is full of its quirks, interesting people (including the perfect Santa), and a new Christmas pageant which helps bring in the Christmas spirit. Will the Christmas pageant help this town? Will this family reconnect and learn to be happy in time for Christmas?
5. The Christmas Card
Cody Cullen, a U.S. soldier, is deeply touched by an anonymous holiday letter he received while serving in Afghanistan. Home on leave, he visits the small town that the letter was sent from and falls for Faith, the woman who wrote the well-wishing card to the troops. He is accepted by her entire family: mom, dad, and boyfriend (who is eager to propose). How will Faith react when she finds out Cody's emotions toward her? Will Faith accept her boyfriend's proposal, or will she end up with a potential soulmate: Cody?
6. A Grandpa for Christmas
When Becca's mom is hospitalized, Becca's estranged grandfather, Bert, has to take care of her -- a girl he has never met. Bert is a retired, old-time movie star and singer; Becca is a caring, smart nine-year-old. These two grow to be a dynamic duo. How will Becca bring her broken family back together, repair new memories, and begin new Christmas traditions?
7. Matchmaker Santa
Ever since she was a little girl, Melanie Hogan has wished for true love. As an adult, she is running her own business and dating a handsome CEO named Justin. Justin asks Melanie to spend the holidays at his lake house and meet his family, but Melanie finds herself spending more time with Justin's assistant and best friend, Dean. Who realizes that these two are meant to be and pushes them together? Will Melanie choose her perfect match, Dean, or stay with her picture-perfect boyfriend, Justin?
8. The Nine Lives of Christmas
Fireman Zachary Stone does not believe in love or commitment. As the holidays draw near, a stray cat shows up on Zachary's door and he begins to learn that commitment is not as bad as he originally thought. Marilee, a veterinary student and animal lover who is teaching Zachary how to take care of his cat, also challenges his belief of commitment. Will he get over this fear in order to be with Marilee before she moves on?
9. The Christmas Ornament
Kathy, a newly-widowed woman, decides to skip Christmas to avoid thinking about all of the Christmas memories with her late husband. The one exception to this will be her annual Christmas tradition of making Christmas cookies with her friends. However, when she meets Tim, the local tree shop owner, there is undeniable chemistry. Tim gives Kathy a Christmas ornament to help her open up to the Christmas season and provide her hope for the future. How will Kathy find a balance between preserving the memory of her late husband and moving on with her own future, possibly with Tim? Is the Christmas ornament a sign for a hopeful future?
10. Broadcasting Christmas
When Veronika Daniels announces that she needs a new co-host for her talk show, she already has a handful of candidates in mind, including Charlie Fisher (a local New York newscaster and son of a broadcasting legend). Emily Morgan, a human interest reporter in Connecticut, begs to be one of the candidates on her on-air show. Veronika, pleased with the amount of friendly competition, allows Emily to join the running and creates a game for all of the candidates to decide who is the best fit for Veronika's show. Emily and Charlie, who also happen to be exes, are clearly the best two candidates. Who will be the best, though? Will they rekindle their love along the way?
11. Christmas Cookies
Executive Hannah buys Aunt Sally's Christmas Cookie Company and decides to shut down the small town of Cookie Jar's cookie factory, the main source of income for many of the town's residents. It seems like a done deal until Hannah meets the factory manager, Jake. Jake is determined to keep his factory open. Will Cookie Jar's infectious Christmas spirit and Jake's tenacity change Hannah's mind?
12. A Nutcracker Christmas
Lilly, a free spirit, and rising ballet star dreams of becoming the lead dancer as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker. After the horrific news that her sister has died, Lilly leaves the ballet scene and takes in her niece, Sadie. Eight years later, Sadie has become a prodigy ballet dancer (possibly even better than her Aunt Lilly) and is offered the lead in The Nutcracker. The director of this play is none other than her old flame, Mark. Will a bitter Lilly let Sadie take this opportunity? But, more importantly, will Lilly reunite with Mark?