All Photos Courtesy of the Hallmark Channel and HallmarkChannel.com
I love Christmas. I mean I really love Christmas. I love everything about it! This year in particular I promised myself back in November that I was going to enjoy each and every moment of this holiday season and I’m proud to say that I truly have. I decorated my apartment the weekend before Thanksgiving. (I live alone, so hey, I have no one to answer to!) I put on a Christmas CD, poured myself a glass of wine (or 4) and spent the entire Saturday decorating. Putting up my tree, garland, white lights, candles, and all the décor that I’ve collected over the years was so much fun….I love decorating and look forward to that day every year.
Another thing I look forward to every year is the Hallmark Channel’s annual Countdown to Christmas. Since it is December 21 and the early returns are in, I have to say I am really impressed. They have truly outdone themselves. Some of my past favorite Hallmark Channel Christmas movies include Matchmaker Santa, Snow Bride, A Very Merry Mix Up, Merry Matrimony, Fir Crazy, Christmas Magic, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year & so many others. Watching these movies each & every year is a Christmas tradition that I always enjoy. Since I work in non-profit management, I always enjoy volunteering each Saturday at a local soup kitchen, which was so nicely highlighted in 2015’s On The Twelfth Day of Christmas. 🙂
Let’s start with this year’s top 3 favorites in no particular order: Love You Like Christmas, A Dream Of Christmas and My Christmas Love.
Love You Like Christmas stars Brennan Elliott, a “Hallmark all-star,” as I like to call them. He is handsome, charming, a great actor, and so sweet to all the Hallmark fans on Twitter. It was great to see him in another Christmas movie and SO great to see Bonnie Sommerville, who I always loved in Holiday Engagement from way back in 2011. It had the typical “people crossing paths by fate” undertone, the single father with the adorable daughter, and the woman struggling to find her Christmas spirit. All in all, I loved their chemistry and the cute holiday antics (esp. the fruitcake!)
Next up is A Dream of Christmas starring Nikki DeLoach who we know from 2015’s Christmas Land and Andrew Walker who I absolutely adored in the 2012 film, A Bride for Christmas and the non-Christmas Hallmark movie, Bridal Wave. This is another story of someone who thinks their life might be better off if they had taken a different path (similar to lots of other Hallmark movies we’ve seen in the past) but something about her charm and her honesty really touched me in this film. When she realizes what she would be missing, she remembers how precious her life truly is. This one made me reflect a lot – Highly recommended.
Finally, this is the movie that I really didn’t see coming, My Christmas Love. Last night I caught the replay of this movie starring Meredith Hagner who I fell in love with last year in the movie “A Gift Wrapped Christmas,” which aired on Lifetime. She is fun and silly and quirky and I just loved her. My Christmas Love also stars Bobby Campo who played the brother in 2013’s Snow Bride. I just love how they use the same actors & actresses, I think it really makes the viewers feel connected to the stories.
While visiting her family home for a wedding, Meredith’s character starts receiving gifts in the form of the 12 Days of Christmas, right down to the 10 Lords a Leapin’ and the remainder of the movie are the antics that follow as her character tries to figure out who is sending the gifts. Without ruining the ending, I truly didn’t see it coming. From the beautiful Christmas house they are staying in, to the family bonding, to the messaging, it really left me with tears in my eyes in the end.
My 2016 honorable mention goes to : Christmas Cookies & The Mistletoe Promise and I am sure I am going to love A Nutcracker Christmas but I haven’t gotten around to seeing that one as of yet.
Aside from the ice skating, cooking making and tree trimming, what I love most about Hallmark movies is that it reminds us what’s really important. Not a gift, not a promotion, not a fancy car…it’s not something you can touch, it’s something you can feel. It’s about memories, family, traditions, and most importantly it’s about hope. I know lots of people (myself included) have had a tough year & I can only hope and pray that 2017 is better for all of us. Christmas is about believing, not seeing, and there is still plenty of time left for a Christmas miracle. (Great news for anyone out there trying to save a small town factory or community center, lol!)
So, If you’re feeling sad or lonely this holiday season, make yourself some hot chocolate, light a Christmas candle & watch a Hallmark Channel movie, I promise it will make you feel 1,000 times better. If you’re a Hallmark fanatic like me, let me know what you thought of this year’s Countdown to Christmas and what movies are your favorites from the past. 🙂
Wishing you, your family, friends & loved ones nothing but the best this Christmas and a healthy & prosperous 2017! Lots of love, ~Jennifer~