Image by Galina via Adobe Stock.
If I had to name a few Christmas season guilty pleasures, I’d have to say gingerbread eggnog lattes, lounging in candy cane patterned pajamas, and watching cheezy “made for TV” (aka Hallmark and Lifetime) movies are at the top of my list. And I checked it twice! (You can thank my husband for that joke…)
I asked one of my closest friends for some help creating the list and writing a few blurbs. She happens to be a movie buff (you wouldn’t dare take her on in a trivia game!) and many of these movies I watched with her or know of because of her. Please welcome Tammy Watson to the blogging stage!
Together we made a list of 12 Christmas movies for you to watch, one for each night leading up to Christmas Day! (WARNING: If you don’t like super cheezy, almost nauseating romantic comedies — This post is not for you.) Our reviews are noted by our initials (TW,KB) and some reviews are pulled from IMDB.
We know there are some “made-for-TV” movies out there that are just way too bad to even finish watching the first 15 minutes of, but all of these that made our list were worth watching and in fact, we actually love them! Don’t let the terribly uncreative and generic titles fool you — pull out those Christmas onesie pajamas, grab a plate of festive Christmas cookies and your favorite holiday beverage, and enjoy!
(NOTE: These are not ranked in any particular order.)
1. A Christmas Prince (Netflix 2017) – Staring Rose McIver (iZombie) and Ben Lamb (Divergent) A Christmas Prince is the Netflix version of a Hallmark movie, only with a slightly bigger budget. This is the story of a copy editor sent to the country of Aldovia as a reporter to cover a press conference about the playboy Prince Richard who is about to take over after his father’s death. But, when she doesn’t get anything at the press conference she sneaks into the Palace and goes undercover as a governess to Princess Emily. Even with all of the secrets and lies, this movie is heartwarming and sweet. (TW)
2. The Mistle-Tones (Hallmark 2012) – Holly’s (Tia Mowry-Hardrict) Christmas dream is to become a member of the Snow Belles, a singing group that her late mother founded. When an opening becomes available, Holly auditions for the part but Marci (Tori Spelling) is jealous of her talent and afraid that she will take her place as the leader of the Snow Belles, so she denies her a position in the group. Holly is heartbroken, but determined to follow her dream and honor her mother’s memory with her voice. With the help of some co-workers and her “all work and no play” boss Nick (Jonathan Patrick Moore) who has a hidden talent, Holly forms her own singing group. She ends up taking on more than she bargained for and makes some surprising discoveries and choices along the way. We dare you not to sing along! (KB)
3. Christmas in the Smokies (INSP 2015) – Country star Mason Wyatt (Alan Powell) returns to his hometown in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee to rediscover his roots, and the girlfriend he left behind years ago is protesting his return. Shelby (Sarah Lancaster) is desperate to save her family’s berry farm. Will Mason lend a helping hand, and will Shelby allow it? This heartwarming mountain movie is bound to get you in the Christmas spirit. (KB)
4. Christmas Crush (Lifetime 2012) – Twenty-eight-year-old Georgia is convinced the man of her dreams is the one “that got away” back in high school. Though she’s tried dating other men, they just never seem to compare to her high school flame. When Georgia learns of her high school reunion a week before Christmas, she’s ecstatic to finally have her chance to win Craig back. But as she gets to relive high school for a night, she begins to realize it might not be Craig at all who got away, but Ben (Jonathan Bennett, known for Mean Girls), an old friend with whom she’d fallen out of touch. (Lifetime)
5. Merry Kissmas (ION Channel 2015) – Unwinding her relationship from a controlling choreographer, Kayla (Karissa Lee Staples) happens to take an elevator ride with lonesome caterer “Dustin” (Brant Daugherty). The lift stalls, and spontaneously, magical kisses follow. Soon the choreographer makes nice, and Dustin retreats. Kayla becomes confused as to which man to love. (ION Channel)
6. Angels Sing (Hallmark 2013) – This movie has a stacked cast. It stars Connie Britton, Harry Connick Jr., Willie Nelson, Chris Kristofferson, and Lyle Lovett. After Michael suffered the tragic lose of his brother 30 years ago on Christmas, he just can’t get into the Christmas spirit. Then he buys a house from a mysterious stranger name Nick (Nelson) that comes with the stipulation that he must maintain tradition of the street. It just so happens that the street is famous for its Christmas decorations. The movie follows Michael on his journey dealing with the guilt he carries for his brother’s death and finding his Christmas spirit again. This movie is a bit of a tear-jerker, but it warms the heart and gives you hope. (TW)
7. A Christmas Kiss (ION Channel 2011) – Priscilla Hall (Elizabeth Röhm) is a tough woman to work for, but her long suffering assistant Wendy Walton (Laura Breckenridge) is convinced that someday all the hard work will pay off. One night she encounters a handsome stranger in the elevator. When the elevator stalls abruptly, Wendy is thrown into the stranger’s arms, and the two share an impulsive romantic kiss. (IMDB)
8. A Christmas Melody (Hallmark 2015) – Staring Lacey Chabert (Party of Five, Mean Girls) and Mariah Carey (who also directed the movie) is the story of a widowed single mom, Kristin (Chabert) who has lost her small business has to move back home to Ohio with her daughter, Emily. Emily isn’t happy about the move, so Kristin sets out to find a way to help Emily acclimate to her new environment. Emily loves to sing so Kristin gets her into the school’s Christmas show that is ran by the school’s handsome music teacher and the PTA queen bee, Melissa (Carey). This movie is fun and sweet with a touch of magic. It ends with a musical number reminiscent of Love Actually and it’s cover of Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” but this time Carey has written a brand Christmas song for this fun ending that will be sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. (TW)
9. Guess Who’s Coming To Christmas (2013) – Jaded rock star Dax (Drew Lachey) reluctantly relocates to a small town in Illinois for the holidays to fulfill a “Christmas wish” radio contest that Kelly’s (MacKenzie Porter) little brother entered her in without her knowing, which is actually a publicity stunt in disguise developed by Dax’s manager. When Kelly’s teen idol (Dax) leaves a very disappointing impression on her, she only allows him to stick around to perform in the town’s Christmas concert fundraiser. See what unfolds as Dax gets to know the Harding family while living under their roof for a week, learning new values and renewing his spirit. (KB)
10. Naughty & Nice (2014) – A famous DJ in Los Angeles gets put on job probation after handling a caller situation in a rather mischievous way. Pepper Sterling (Tilky Jones) gets sent to Idyllwild, Colorado to co-host with “Dr. Love” (Haylie Duff). Their on-air banter begins to spark the interest of their small town listeners, as well as each other. Pepper has to make a choice between his career and his new co-host when ratings at his L.A. radio station drop and he gets asked to go back. (KB)
11. The Christmas Shepherd (Hallmark 2014) – The Christmas Shepherd is a story about a widow of a veteran, Sally Brown (Teri Polo), who is a published children’s book author. After her husband dies she is left with just “Buddy”, his German Shepherd. After a severe storm, Buddy runs off afraid setting in motion a series of events that are sure to unite more than just Buddy and Sally. (IMDB)
12. Back To Christmas (ION Channel 2014) – Last Christmas, Allie (Kelly Overton) broke things off with her boyfriend, Cameron (Michael Muhney, known for Veronica Mars). Looking back, she regrets it and no longer believes in the magic of Christmas, but when she meets Ginny, a truly magical being, she gets the chance to relive last Christmas. Determined to make the relationship last this time, she pulls out all the stops but realizes, you can’t always change the past and happiness may appear in the strangest places. Also stars Jonathan Patrick Moore (Mistle-Tones). (IMDB)