Here we are. The third edition of my cheesy holiday movies blog where I sacrifice my time to watch ALL of the made for TV classics. Since last year’s installment was never published due to running out of time/maybe a little bit of holiday laziness, I’ve combined movies past and present. It doesn’t really matter anyway, Hallmark, Lifetime, Ion and UP basically play a 24/7 rotation of original movies dating back to 2007 all December long so you really can’t go wrong. Feel free to scroll through my recommendations and laugh at the terrible acting and unrealistic relationship storylines to prepare for the most joyous holiday of the year. Because if Hallmark has taught me anything, it’s that Christmas is the time to reflect on your life and also to marry someone you’ve been on two dates with.
Christmas Cookies, Hallmark
“Christmas is what you make it, or bake it!”
Hannah works for a big company, travels to a town called Cookie Jar. No, seriously. Cookie Jar…and has to learn about the cookie factory their town with a dumbass name was built upon because her boss is going to franchise it or something. There’s a kid in it, which is always a hard no for me but besides her screech worthy singing at the tree lighting, she’s not terrible. Also a key side character: a meddling troutsniffer named Betty who immediately tries to marry Hannah off and make her a permanent resident of Cookie Jar, as old people in Hallmark movies tend to do.
Bonus Points: Hannah’s square of a boyfriend introducing himself as her “significant other” and then proposing. Also the lead (and real love interest) is a babe soda.
A December Bride, Hallmark
It’s pretty much scientific fact that any Hally with Bride or Wedding in the title is going to be an automatic homerun. (Snow Bride & A Bride for Christmas are both HOF’ers.) There’s just something about marrying the guy you just met at Christmas that resonates with America. This one is obviously no different. Layla’s ex-boyfriend marries her cousin on Christmas EVEN THOUGH THEY BOTH KNEW THAT SHE ALWAYS WANTED A CHRISTMAS WEDDING. What a couple of turds. Layla reacts perfectly by wearing a skanktastic dress to their wedding and pretending to be engaged to her ex’s best friend. After debuting their fresh relationship at the wedding, it may strike you as unrealistic that 30 seconds later when they say they’re actually engaged, all their family and friends are like yes ok this makes sense–congrats!!! She decorates his house to get ahead in her career and he’s like I always loved you anyway so let’s get married for real.
Bonus Points: turning Seth’s (Daniel Lissing) attempts at doing an American accent into a drinking game. Watching the moment when Layla gets hired by a big wig and hugs him in a backless dress. As my sister so nicely put it “I could hear the skin to skin contact from my couch.”
Christmas in Homestead, Hallmark
Full discloszh there’s a kid in this one but also there’s a two for one love story combo deal. Choose your battles. Jessica is a movie star filming a movie in, wait for it, a small town called Homestead. Matt is the mayor and thinks Jessica is a real twat of a celebrity until he gets to know her and they do Christmas things together with his daughter. Matt’s sister falls in love with a paparazzi who then publishes a scandalous pic of Matt and Jessica not even kissing and he basically ruins everything. Except not really because Jessica suddenly becomes a better actress, changes the ending of her movie and decides to stop being such a princess. SMALL TOWN LIFE AT CHRISTMAS CURED HER!!!! IT’S A MIRACLE. Unfortunately, paparazzi love didn’t work out the same way. Boohoo.
A Dream of Christmas, Hallmark
I didn’t see a whole lot of movies where Santa grants a wish, so this one will have to fill our quota for this year. Penny has a hot husband and a kickass job and for some ridiculous reason wishes that she didn’t? I don’t know. I’m not exactly clear on why she would ever utter the words I don’t want to be married when she is married to this:
But regardless, she wakes up single as a bird and an executive in her company. Lo and behold she discovers that not having Stu in her life sucks the big one and she wants to do a little reverse, reverse on her Christmas wish.
Bonus Points: Andrew Walker. Seriously, this guy is Hallmark gold. What a piece of eye candy.
My Christmas Love, Hallmark
This movie was almost unbearable due to the lead actresses’ high pitched and overly excited voice. I say almost because she had a SLEW of hot ex boyfriends that all pop up multiple times and it kept me hooked. Cynthia’s cross to bear is that she thinks every guy she dates should want to marry her and do big romantic gestures always. So when someone orders the 12 days of Christmas in gift form to be delivered to her house, she assumes it’s for her which is selfish AF and starts chasing down exes to find out who she needs to marry. Turns out her hot coworker who came home with her for the holidays doesn’t love Cin being such a thirsty bitch because he’s in love with her of course. She embarrasses herself a lot, but no more than when she wears a plaid mini skirt and knee high boots to a date with her high school sweetheart. Clean it up, Cynthia.
Bonus Points: a final choreographed dance number and Cynthia feeling like a REAL self-centered B when it’s revealed who ordered the gifts.
The Christmas Cottage, Hallmark
This is your VERY basic, cookie-cutter Hally. The old flame, the douchey work-focused boyfriend, hokey Christmas magic, and two attractive leads. I mean, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, amirite? I’ll be the first to admit that I’m putting this on the watch list mostly because of the female lead, who I’ve had a hardcore girl boner for ever since she was on season 1 of The Royals. I mean, seriously. Babe alert.
Either way, here’s the deal…Ean (dumbest spelling of that name ever) and Lacey were childhood sweethearts who broke up because Ean wanted to travel the world and be a kewl chef and Lacey just wanted to design shit 24/7. They’re reunited for his sister’s wedding at the MAGICAL family Christmas cottage and wouldn’t you know, one snowflake falls to the ground so obviously it’s a state of emergency and the roads are closed, leaving them to talk it out and relive old Xmas memz during a forced sleepover at the cottage. Lacey’s boyfriend is wearing a suit every time she facetimes him so obviously we don’t feel bad when she inevitably dumps him for her old BF. Because whoever steps foot inside the Christmas Cottage, leaves with their forever love and that seems PRETTY OBVIOUS.
Bonus Points: Lacey’s BFF and Ean’s sister being the most overbearing, pushy chick on this earth and also sipping hot chocolate inside by the fire with a full winter coat on and a blanket.
Snowed Inn, Lifetime
“Have you ever been in love? Does Kelly Kapowski count?”
Much like the previous Christmas Cottage, this is a no frills holiday movie. Jenna and Kevin are both assigned to a writing job in Aspen but have a detour by way of a town called Santa Clause. Of course. Because who doesn’t get approached at the airport by a couple that looks like Santa and Mrs. Clause, asking if they want to stay at their Inn. They’re both competitive and terrified of love but they discover the magic of Christmas AND co write an article together. NOTHING LIKE SANTA’S MAGIC, YA FILTY ANIMALS. Of course it wouldn’t be a movie without a douchy boyfriend that can’t take a hint and Jenna’s ex trolloping into town and proposing to her after admitting he’s never read one of her articles was claaaaassic.
Bonus Points: Santa and Mrs. Clause rigging the whole thing. Those rascals. Also one year later we get a callback to the inn, proposal by way of article and BAM, wedding. All in the span of 5 minutes. Gotta love it. My only bone to pick is that Bethany Joy Lenz promoted this movie tirelessly on her instagram as a funny movie and I didn’t crack a smile once.
Switched for Christmas, Hallmark
WHAT a fresh premise for Hallmark…TWINZ at Christmas!!! Not since The Parent Trap have I seen an actress play double so flawlessly, and obviously the honor could go to none other than Hallmark Queen CCB. Chris and Kate are identical twins and they decide to pull the ole switcharoo at Christmas. Obviously they each fall in love with someone while pretending to be the other, which makes for some ZANY hijinx…in particular a scene at the Christmas carnival where they just confusingly say each other’s names for 10 minutes trying to guess who each person was. Chris? Kate. Greg?
Bonus Points: When Chris (or maybe Kate?) is legitimately shocked that her dad knows who she is. She’s like DAD HOW DID YOU KNOW IT WAS ME?! Hey dummy, this guy created you, I think he can tell his own daughters apart with one glance.
The Mistletoe Promise, Hallmark
This movie right here almost ended a very healthy and loving relationship with my sister. We have a system every year where she buzzes through her DVR’ed Hally’s much faster than I do and therefore gives me a thumbs up or thumbs down for what ones to watch. When I questioned her about this one she gave me the thumbs up and I’ve never been angrier. It was SO bad that I fell asleep during the middle of it, still committed to finishing it and when my dad caught a few minutes he had to physically leave the room. This is the same dad that tolerates Teen Mom OG with me, so now you have a barometer of how terrible this movie was. Obviously Elise and Nicholas decide to fake date for the holidays BUT they’ve both had traumatic Christmases past and are scarred for life, which leads to an uncomfortable amount of emotional moments for two people who barely know each other. The cheesy moments far outweigh anything salvageable about this movie. Elise has a teary breakdown at one point where she suddenly develops a British accent. They awkwardly sing carols at each other in lieu of flirting. The list of worsts goes on and on.
Peak Cringeworthy Moment: When Nick is at his corporate holiday party and decides to confess the relationship is a sham so he then begins his life story with “It was autumn…” This was the exact moment I almost took a dull knife to my skull and my father stormed out of the room.
A girl wishes for love by Christmas (giving herself less than 15 days) and uses her dead mom’s scarf to magically bring a snowman to life and start dating him. No, but actually, this guy knocks on her door one day and his name is Cole…and he is a snowman come to life.
At one point he does something dumb AF and says “Gee, I must have a head full of snow.” GTFO of here, Ion. I mean I try to give Ion a chance because it gave me one of my holiday favorites, “A Christmas Kiss II” but like cut the shit with this premise. I finally had to change the channel because I couldn’t possibly watch a woman travel to Paris with a snowman and think they were going to get married. But as you might have predicted, she ends up with her ginger BFF whose been building snowmen with her every year and lusting the hardest. Also, because he is a real human.
Peak Cringeworthy Moment: The fact that a guy is willing to get friend zoned for a solid 15 years and watch the love of his life date a snowman. AKA THE WHOLE MOVIE.
Christmas Next Door, Hallmark
“You don’t write romance novels…I’d rather LIVE ONE.”
Eric is an author of single guy books and his family tricks him into taking his niece and nephew for Christmas so he stops being such a grumpy, slicked hair dick. His neighbor April obviously loves Christmas and is all OMGEE let me show you the holiday spirit. It’s touch and go for a minute because Eric hates Christmas due to being robbed and having his proposal rejected on the merry day in the past. He gets over that real quick when he hears April practicing her violin and creams his jeans. Literally. This movie would be fine except that there were WAY too many things that drove me bananas and I will obviously point them all out now. I know production budgets are usually low but whatever substance they used as snow was constantly all over everyone’s boots and up to their eyeballs. As a Northeaster whose lived through many blizzards I CALL BULLSHIT. You don’t get snow stuck to your kneecaps just from caroling. Also the kids in this are annoying AF and can’t stay in character for shit. See if you two little rascals get hired for another Hally. DUBZ ALSO, they legitimately allowed this outfit to occur.
I swear to God I thought he was naked for a solid ten minutes. WHO CHOSE THIS SWEATER COLOR?!
Peak Cringeworthy Moment: After all of that garbage, Eric gets a book deal and shouts BOOM SHAKALAKA with his agent as they high five. Goodnight.
Christmas in Mississippi, Lifetime
I’m gonna be honest, I kept calling this a Tennessee Christmas and only wanted to watch it for a little OTH nostalgia with Jana Kramer. I also tried twice and never made it through to the end. Not a whole lot of spark in this movie. But anyway, Holly comes home and helps out with the annual Christmas light show, which OBVIOUSLY her ex boyfriend Mike is running. She’s butthurt because he dumped her when he was supposed to follow her to college. They rekindle, as all old flames do in the spirit of Christmas and you know the rest.
Peak Cringeworthy Moment: When she sees Mike hug a girl who is engaged and then tries to homewreck her wedding by telling said girl that her fiancee has been unfaithful without knowing who this bitch’s fiancee actually is. OOPSIE. LOL. As if there would ever be an interracial marriage in a deep south town called Gulfport anyway. Get your head out of your ass, Holly.
A Christmas Prince, Netflix
Everyone’s salivating over this movie because Netflix is now dipping their toe in the holiday move pool. And you know what? I don’t support it. Mostly because they’re throwing shade at their viewers. You can’t create a cheezebomb holiday movie to play into the stereotype and get ratings, then call women sad for watching it. SHAME ON YOU, NETFLIX. Props to Lifetime for clapping back. This is the true reason for the season.
Anyway, I’m not only bitter, I also just plain thought this movie sucked. I couldn’t get through it to be honest. As all royal holiday movies go, an American reporter is assigned a story on a prince in a made up country. She ends up getting in with the fam posing as the little sister’s tutor and then SEES THE REAL PRINCE and FALLS IN LOVE and can’t possibly write a bad story about him. They really tug at the heartstrings by tossing a disabled child in the storyline but like it’s still not enough to save this flick. Mostly because I don’t think the prince is attractive AT AWL.
Peak Cringeworthy Moment: Amber goes for a solo horse ride in a countryside that she doesn’t know at all and obviously the horse freaks out and leaves her alone in the snow with a casual pack of wolves before Prince Richard saves her. Yeah, ok.
Four Christmases and a Wedding, Lifetime
This movie had all the potential in the world with some Grade A holiday movie actors but the storyline was fiery hot garbage. Chloe meets Evan before Christmas one year and is like omg he’s the one but then he goes to work overseas and for the next THREE CHRISTMASES, they are dating other people or just keep missing each other before they figure their shit out. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Fall in love in the duration of one Christmas or get the hell off of my screen.
Peak Cringeworthy Moment: The “meet cute” of Chloe being a spazzeroni and falling on ice skates into Evan. That’s probably what doomed their relationship to 3 very stressful Christmases. Jus Sayin.
Editor’s Note: It goes without saying (but my dad questioned why this was missing) any holiday movie past, present, or future starring Alicia Witt will forever and always belong on the skip list because her acting is straight dumpster fire quality. If you choose to watch a movie with her as the lead, I do not trust you as a human. The End.