Hallmark Channel's 'Countdown to Christmas' Must-Sees

Let It Snow Stephanie Beck Candace Cameron Bure Brady Lewis Jesse Hutch Hallmark

“Let It Snow” (2013)

Candace Cameron Bure stars in this sweet Hallmark charmer as Stephanie, a hard-nosed executive sent to examine her father’s latest investment property -- a family-owned ski lodge. He hopes to turn it into a destination ski resort. Through the course of the movie, Bure's Stephanie learns about the traditions of Christmas. She also finds love with the acrimonious son of her hosts and in doing so, discovers the family life she has always wanted.

For “Full House” fans, seeing Candace Cameron Bure play a character similar to what one would imagine a grown-up DJ Tanner to be is a rewarding bit of nostalgia. A slice of wholesome goodness, “Let It Snow,” does not get too carried away with its saccharine side.

Christmas with Holly Mark Sean Faris Maggie Eloise Mumford Hallmark
Image by Crown Media

“Christmas with Holly” (2012)

A family drama more than a traditional Hallmark romance, the titular Holly (Lucy Gallina) is a young girl who has not spoken since the death of her mother. Chiefly raised by her Uncle Mark (Sean Faris), he moves them to a picturesque island where his two other brothers also live. Meanwhile, Maggie (Eloise Mumford), the owner of a toy shop, is trying to heal after having her heartbroken.

The romance between Mark and Maggie is quaint, thanks to Sean Faris and Eloise Mumford sharing sparkling chemistry. The element that really makes this movie a winner is Mark’s storyline with Holly. It is a moving rumination on patience, love, and family.

A Royal Christmas Lacey Chabert Emily Taylor Stephen Hagan Leo James Prince Leopold Hallmark
Image by Gabriel Hennessey / Crown Media

“A Royal Christmas” (2014)

In a storyline heavily reminiscent of the theatrical film “The Prince and Me,” this superiorly realized take finds a delightful seamstress (Lacey Chabert) visiting her royal boyfriend’s (Stephen Hagan) homeland, to meet his disapproving mother (Jane Seymour) for Christmas.

Lacey Chabert’s irrepressible heroine, Emily, is easy to root for as she befriends the palace servants, helps orphans, and gently fights for her paramour. Chabert’s lovely performance combines girl-next-door charm with a regal refinement that serves as the movie’s sensational underpinnings. Jane Seymour also gives a sharp turn as Emily’s stuffy nemesis. All in all, it is a tender movie with a lot of heart.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Henrey Winkler Uncle Ralph Brooke Burne Jennifer Cullen Connor Christopher Levins Brian Cullen Warren Christie Morgan Derby Hallmark
Image by Crown Media

“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (2008)

An overwhelmed Type A single mom (Brooke Burns) gets a much-needed hand from a stranded traveler (Warren Christie) her uncle (Henry Winkler) brings home. As it turns out, the family’s new houseguest has an enduring love for Christmas, and his enthusiasm soon begins to rejuvenate everyone’s love for the holiday.

Along the way, romance inevitably and believably beckons for our heroine. Brooke Burns and Warren Christie’s chemistry sells the love story, helping it to genuinely build, while Henry Winkler’s lovable performance as the matchmaking uncle only furthers the movie’s appeal. “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is one of Hallmark's best. As of November 2019, you can stream this one on Amazon Prime Video.

The Nine Lives of Christmas Zachary Stone Brandon Routh Marilee White Kimberley Sustad Hallmark
Image by Katie Yu / Crown Media

“The Nine Lives of Christmas” (2014)

Zachary (Brandon Routh) is a firefighter who has sworn off love and commitment. Then he meets Marilee (Kimberly Sustad), a third-year veterinary student who has sworn off love until she graduates. When he hesitantly adopts an adorable cat that makes its way into his home, he crosses paths with a cat lover, Marilee. Brandon Routh has been charming up a storm on The CW as Ray Palmer and his turn in “The Nine Lives of Christmas” continues that streak.

Both of the lead characters in this movie are equally likable, so pulling for them to find happiness with one another comes easily. Sustad and Routh play their characters' dynamic with an authentic awkwardness that accurately conveys a developing romance. Featuring the most lovable movie cat since Sassy from “Homeward Bound,” this Hallmark movie is pur-fection!

One Starry Christmas Holly Jensen Sarah Carter Luke Shetland Damon Runyan Hallmark
Image by Christos Kalohoridis / Crown Media

“One Starry Christmas” (2014)

When an aspiring astrology professor (Sarah Carter) heads to New York City to surprise her boyfriend for Christmas, she winds up meeting a rodeo cowboy (Damon Runyan) on the bus ride there, and sparks fly. Rushed relationships in Hallmark movies are the norm, and “One Starry Christmas” proves no exception.

Because Sarah Carter is so endearing as the brainy Holly, you readily forgive the hurried plot development. A robust comedic performance from Paul Popowich as Holly’s longtime ambitious beau adds to the film’s comedic fervor. It is Runyan and Carter’s chemistry that gives “One Starry Christmas” its shiny allure.

Honorable Mentions:

“Trading Christmas,” a holiday house swap leads to unexpected romance for a widowed empty nester (Faith Ford), a professor with writer’s block (Tom Cavanaugh), his brother (Gil Bellows), and a feisty divorcee (Gabrielle Miller). You will not want to miss this one.

Lastly, there is “The Christmas Parade,” which stars AnnaLynne McCord as a talk show host who learns the true meaning of Christmas while doing community service for a petty offense. McCord sells the movie's shaky premise with a terrific performance that recalls her memorable work on “90210.”

Want more Eclectic Christmas picks? Check out the articles below...

5 Unconventional Christmas Movies

5 Unconventional Christmas Movies: The Honorable Mentions

12 Christmas TV-Movies Worth Watching

12 Eclectic Christmas Movies Filled with Holiday Spirit


[Featured Image by Hallmark Crown Media]

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