Top Ten Tuesday is a meme started on the Broke and the Bookish blog.
They set the topic, we make the lists. Visit their site to see more on this topic
If you’ve ever swung by the reference desk to chat movies with us, you’ve probably learned my deep, dark secret. I love Hallmark Channel movies. I’ve seen almost every one. As we get closer to the holiday season, it’s the perfect time to talk about Hallmark’s holiday offerings. Last year, Cailey and I watched every single Christmas movie that aired and… I do not recommend doing that. But let’s talk about the ones that are worth watching. Below are my top ten picks for best Hallmark Channel Original Holiday Movies (all of which you can check out from MPL's collection!).
1. A Season for Miracles (1999) – Carla Gugino stars as Emilie Thompson, a woman who has taken her young niece and nephew on the run after their mother was incarcerated. They take refuge in an abandoned house in a small town and when they’re mistaken as the long lost relatives of the home’s owner, Emilie hopes they can hide out long enough to come up with a plan. This was part of Hallmark’s Hall of Fame series which means the quality tends to be higher. That’s not even mentioning a young Mae Whitman co-stars.
2. A Boyfriend for Christmas (2004) – Holly and Ryan are lawyers who have butted heads over an emotional child custody hearing. Holly wants nothing to do with Ryan, but Santa has other plans. He enlists Ryan to help him keep a promise he made to Holly many Christmases ago.
3. The Christmas Card (2006) – While stationed in Afghanistan, sergeant Cody Cullen received a Christmas card from a woman he has never met. After returning to the US, he travels to California to meet the sender.
4. An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving (2008) – Based on the Louisa May Alcott story of the same name, this movie follows a family as they weather hard times around the holidays. Starring a pre-Orphan Black Tatiana Maslany as Mathilda Bassett, the headstrong and tempestuous eldest daughter.
5. Annie Claus is Coming to Town (2011) – Santa Claus’ daughter goes on rumspringa! Before taking over the family business, Annie Claus gets a chance to experience the world away from the North Pole. She helps a struggling toy business and just might also find her own Mr. Claus.
6. Hitched for the Holidays (2012) – Tired of being harangued by their overbearing families, Rob and Julie strike up an agreement to be each other’s ‘plus-one’ through the holiday season. But what starts out as an innocent deal, might lead to something more.
7. A Very Merry Mix-Up (2013) – Alice Chapman (Alicia Witt) is visiting her fiancé’s family for the first time, but without realizing it, she accidentally goes home with the wrong people. Classic holiday hijinks ensue and Alice finds herself falling for her future “brother-in-law.” I would be remiss if I didn’t also plug Witt’s album, Revisionary History which features her hit holiday song, “I’m Not Ready for Christmas.” It’s insanely catchy (although, I think Cailey would disagree with me on that point) and totally worth a listen.
8. The Nine Lives of Christmas (2014) – Firefighter Zach meets vet student Merilee when he adopts a stray cat. When Merilee gets unexpectedly evicted, Zach offers her a place to stay in the house he’s renovating. As the holidays approach, they begin to realize that Christmas might be the purr-fect time for romance.
9. The Christmas Secret (2014) – Hardworking, single mom Christine is struggling to make ends meet during the holidays. This was definitely above average for a Hallmark movie and it had a little bit of everything: Mistaken identities, baked goods, lost long families reunited.
10. A Christmas Melody (2015) – Two words: Mariah Carey. Enough said.
Honorable Mention: Mrs. Miracle (2009)/Call Me Mrs. Miracle (2010) – Doris Roberts plays the eponymous Mrs. Miracle (technically, it’s Mrs. Merkle, but miraculous things tend to happen when she’s around) a kindly old woman who has a knack for solving problems and bringing people together for the holidays. In the first film, she helps struggling single dad, James Van Der Beek, in the second she lends a hand to harried fashion designer, Jewel Staite.
Enjoy your holiday movie watching!