best hallmark christmas movies

So, it seems we all share a guilty penchant for Hallmark Christmas Movies.

At least, when I asked if you’d be interested in reading a Hallmark Christmas Movie guide on Instagram Stories, a whopping 100% of you voted ‘OMG YES’, so here we are.

Let me start by acknowledging that, yes, there are some absolutely awful Hallmark Movies out there. Some not-so-bad, but not-so-great; the type that show conventionally-attractive cutie pies falling in straight love, surrounded by snow, and usually with some wannabe high-powered business woman, or manic pixie media type, re-evaluating her life’s choices.

Most of whom have, inexplicably, been played by Full House’s Candace Cameron Bure.

Then there are the truly confusing releases — like Catch a Christmas Star (2013), in which Shannon Elizabeth plays a pop star (?!) and none of the cast has chemistry, and Crown for Christmas (2015), in which a New York City maid becomes a governess to a princess, then gets swept off her feet by the king (of course) — which I feel implored to save you from.

So here they are, the seven best Hallmark Christmas movies, featuring extra-special selections for fans of Battlestar Galactica and One Tree Hill. Mince pies and Baileys at the ready, y’all:

7. The Mistletoe Promise (2016)
This little gem is based on a best-selling book by Richard Paul Evans, which means it has a bit more of a story to it than the average Hallmark film. Jaime King and Luke MacFarlane make a properly cute pair (even if they’re only ‘dating’ as revenge on her character’s ex), and there’s plenty of anti-holidays rhetoric to delight cagey Christmas types.

6. Finding Christmas (2013)
Finding Christmas offers a nice little twist on the city-to-country self-discovery tropes, in a tale of two bachelors who trade apartments for the holidays. Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer is the key love interest here, which marks one of many big former Battlestar Galactica cast member appearances.

5. The Christmas Train (2017)
When journalist Tom Langdon (Dermott Mulroney), his former girlfriend and coworker Eleanor (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), Joan Cusack and Danny Glover all end up on a cross-country American train journey together, ye olde rom-com at Christmas formula becomes an unexpected delight. The ‘special effects’ are also hilarious. A must watch.

4. Christmas at Graceland (2018)
As something of a superfan, seeing Elvis Presley’s beloved Graceland estate decked out in holiday decorations was more than enough to get me to the end of this ever-so-slightly-saccharine holiday romance. Laurel (played by country singer Kellie Pickler) has a few lovely performances, too.

There’s also a sort-of sequel, called Christmas at Graceland: Home For The Holidays, which stars Entourage’s Adrian Grenier. Which I plan to hate-watch this week.

3. The Christmas Secret (2014)
If the idea of seeing Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica’s Saul Tigh) waltzing around a small town in grandad jumpers is up your street, The Christmas Secret has you covered. The story hinges on single mom Christine (One Tree Hill’s Bethany Joy Lenz), whose life is falling apart, and the ripple effects of everyday kindness. With some heart-warming twists and turns, to boot.

2. One Winter Weekend (2018)
In this predictable-but-fun snowscape, we get to enjoy the trials and tribulations of a recently dumped relationship writer and her best friend, who happened to be double booked in a ski lodge with two eligible men, including Dewshane Williams (The Expanse, The Umbrella Academy). It’s a bit girl power-y, a bit snowboard porn-y, and a bit great.

1. Road to Christmas (2018)
When a high-flying TV producer learns she has to produce a Christmas Special with the host’s son, she’s rightly peeved, but the Christmas season (and incredibly festive road trip) soon brings everyone together. One Tree Hill’s Chad Michael Murray leads the formulaic courting, basically reprising his role as Lucas Scott (before he became absolute intolerable).

christmas day
Yesterday was a special day. I am not necessarily one for religious festivities, but Christmas is my definite exception: spending time with wonderful people, watching your loved one’s faces light up when they open a present you’ve been trying to hide for weeks, the food, the family, the ability to become exhausted when you haven’t left the house…I love it all.

After The Boyfriend stole my OnePiece (but exchanged it for a unicorn onesie,¬†#nocomplaints) yet again, Christmas Day 2013 went a little something like…”I bought you a ski lift!”, “I bought you a gun!”, The Boyfriend getting tricked out with new cricket gear (including his dream cricket bat – which might be my favourite purchase ever), “I bought you some pants!” (x 3974692), brilliant and thoughtful gifts in general, ‘Christmas Dinner’ aka lunch aka cannot eat anything else past 4pm, The Ultimate Sticky Toffee Pudding, happy family engagements (!), Christmas puppies, giggles, Dads falling off of their son’s new longboards (ahem), macarons, champagne, and much more.

We finished the night by heading over to our family friends’ house and being coerced into male vs. female competition. Naturally, the women annihilated the men…boys…in a quiz, charades, and SingStar.

It’s a day I’ll never forget. (It’s Christmas. Please indulge the cheesy.)

christmas day
christmas day
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last minute secret santa gifts
Okay, to be clear: this is a very female-focused list. Last-minute gifts for men are just not my forte; see, Reindeer Beer.

Fortunately, the rest of these gifts are nothing short of amazing and all under £20!

Last Minute, Cheap (and Amazing) Secret Santa Gifts:
Test tube shot glasses from River Island
Snow leopard faux fur cushion from Biba
Handbag headphone jack from Etsy
NW3 Compass Bangle from Hobbs
What Would Blair Waldorf Do pencils from Etsy
Pearl and chain headband from Miss Selfridge

young mom christmas gifts
I love giving young moms/mums presents that are a little bit self-indulgent. While their children are obviously the centre of their universe, I doubt that gifting them a designer baby romper is going to be any more enjoyable than a calendar of hot men and a Netflix subscription.

Presenting…

Gift Ideas for Moms (who don’t want baby gifts)
The Boys 2014 Calendar from ASOS
Lexington Triology Watch from Michael Kors
Frida tote from Furla (doubles as a diaper bag – holla)
Violetta rabbit iPhone 5 cover from Moschino (because every baby I know loves to steal a mommy’s cell phone)
Frame Fix cream foundation (SPF 25) from Suqqu

m&s christmas gift
As I have been working with M&S quite a bit this year, I have become something of an unofficial spokesperson for everything they sell (from gluten-free Percy Pigs to flowers, I kid you not). When I came home to receive a little Merry Christmas/thank you package from the M&S Team this week, the deal was pretty much sealed: I am an M&S superfan.

After committing to share the contents with my nearest and dearest for a cosy night in, I wiggled into my new pyjamas and popped Elf in (because what else do you watch in the month of December?) before the couches were overtaken by food, drink, and Christmas cheer. Supplementing¬†Crunchy Mint Choc Twigs (I truly hope these are only available for Christmas – I fell in love and my waistline is scared) with some more M&S nibbles, we did mini-facials with Formula’s Advanced Illumin-ATP Radiance Day Cream (it’s a lot like Clarins’ infamous flash balm – but better – and half the price) and painted ourselves silly with an Eyeshadow Palette and lipstick from Lola until Buddy The Elf saved Christmas.

Thank you for the love, M&S!

m&s christmas gift
m&s christmas gift