35 Best Hallmark Christmas Movies of All Time, Ranked

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35 Best Hallmark Christmas Movies of All Time, Ranked 🎅

You know it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas when the near-entire cast of Full House starts popping up on the Hallmark Channel, starring in Christmas movies. That’s right, Hallmark Christmas movie lovers—if you didn’t know before, Candace Cameron BureJodie Sweetin and Lori Loughlin each star in their own festive Hallmark films. And they all rate pretty high if you ask us!

As always, Hallmark Christmas movies tend to stick to a familiar formula: big star power (most commonly in the way of the aforementioned leading ladies of Full House, Tia Mowry, Lacey Chabert or Bailee Madison), the trope of a lonely but successful executive/beloved local at a crossroads in his/her life and/or career, and of course, a need to learn a magical lesson about the meaning of the holiday season. Once you’ve got your formula in order, you have yourself a very little merry Christmas Hallmark movie!

Despite a proven formula, some movies are just better than others. We’re ranking the top 35 best Hallmark Christmas movies of all time.

1. A Royal Christmas (2014)

Starring Chabert (of course), Jane SeymourStephen Hagan and Katie Flynn, the title pretty much gives this one away. It’s not just any old kind of Christmas; it’s a royal Christmas. In the ever-popular surprise!-you-are-secretly-royalty fashion that worked so well for other films (namely, The Princess Diaries) Emily Corrigan (Chabert) suddenly finds out that her BF, Leo, is royalty. In fact, he’s the heir to the throne in his native Cordinia. If you’ve seen the fictional movies about royalty that came before it (and have even remotely kept up with the Kensington Palace drama over the years) then you can guess how it goes down: Leo’s ex gets a Christmas dinner party invite from Queen Isadora herself, making things pretty awkward for Emily. However predictable it may be, Chabert is thoroughly enjoyable and the premise as a whole is a welcome and heartwarming cliché come Christmastime.

2. Christmas in Evergreen (2020)

Ah, what kind of “all time best” list would this be if it didn’t include a movie about a magical snowglobe or two? Ashley Williams stars as a veterinarian named Allie Shaw, who—you guessed it!—makes a wish upon a snowglobe. That wish doesn’t come true in the way she intended it to, as soon, she’s trapped at the now closed-down airport with her BF as a snowstorm cancels flights. But when an unlikely friendship with other snowed-in travels starts to form, Allie comes to terms that her wish might actually be coming true, just not the way she thought it would. Can a snowed-in Christmas at the airport with your BF and strangers truly be the best Christmas ever? It’s certainly fun to watch!

3. Let It Snow (2013)

Cameron Bure has made too many made-for-TV Christmas movies (and movies in general) to not make one of the top spots on this list. Also starring Jesse Hutch and Alan Thicke, in Let It Snow we meet Stephanie Beck (Cameron Bure) while she’s spending the week before Christmas rebranding Snow Valley Lodge, which was recently purhcased by her company, Falcon Resorts. Of course, she starts off hating the resort (and everything about it) but with the help of a nearby cutie (Hutch), she may just come to love the resort and everything it stands for. In fact, she might not even be down with the resort’s rebrand at all! It’s cute, it’s charming, it’s affable. It’s everything you you want in a Hallmark Christmas movie.

4. The Note (2007)

A Christmas movie, yes, but The Note is such a stunning piece of Hallmark magic, it even made it on our top 30 Hallmark movies of all-time list. Of course, it’s much sadder than anything else on here (except maybe The Christmas Shepherd—see #17). Peyton (Genie Francis) is a journalist who comes across a mysterious note washed onto shore after a fatal plane crash. Unsure of who the letter is intended for, she sets out for answers and for the letter’s intended recipient. You may not feel joyous exactly after watching The Note, but you will feel something.

5. Northpole: Open for Christmas (2014)

Now we’re talking star power! With Loughlin, Madison and Dermot MulroneyNorthpole: Open for Christmas is like the Hallmark version of The Polar Express meets The Santa Clause. Loughlin is Mackenzie Reed, who recently inherited the family hotel, but naturally, she wants to sell the thing. All that changes when Santa’s elf (Madison) and a super-hottie (Mulroney) come into the picture to dissuade her. Can she keep the hotel and the hottie?

6. Christmas at Pemberley Manor (2020)

Jessica Lowndes is Elizabeth Bennett, a city-girl event planner who briefly leaves behind her metropolitan life to plan the holiday festival in a small town. There she meets a rather picky millionaire (Michael Rady) who becomes her very difficult partner in festival-planning. A small town, Christmas festival and millioniare? Sounds like the perfect recipe for holiday romance.

Related: Candace, Lacey, Meghan, Oh My! These Are the 30 Best Hallmark Movies of All Time 

7. A Gingerbread Romance (2020)

Tia Mowry is an architect tasked with creating a life-sized ginger bread house for the holidays. She pairs up with a master-baker-slash-single-dad (Duane Henry) and we, the viewer, get quite a treat: The biggest gingerbread house of all time and a pretty sweet holiday romance. Pun-intended.

8. The Christmas Train (2020)

Mulroney is journalist Tom Langdon who is riding a train cross country with the intention of writing about it. Also, he promised his late father that he would. But surprise, surprise, Tom doesn’t simply turn in an amazing travel article about his cross-country train ride, he also reconnects with an ex-lover and ex-coworker, Eleanor (Kimberly Williams-Paisley). Between the beautiful scenery, very different setting than most other Hallmark movies and a star-studded cast that includes Joan Cusack and Danny GloverThe Christmas Train in our Top 10 is a no-brainer.

9. The Christmas Ornament (2013)

A grieving widow, a rather attractive guy selling Christmas trees, and a plan to forgo Christmas because it reminds her of her late husband. That’s the premise of The Christmas Ornament (though you might not see the connection with the title just yet). If you want to feel all the Christmastime feels, bawl your eyes out and then end on a happy note, this film is a striking stand-out within the usual grief-during-Christmas fare.

10. A Christmas Detour (2020)

More Cameron Bure for you! This time she plays a bride unable to get to her wedding…in New York. In a Planes, Trains, and Automobiles kinda vibe (or maybe the mom in Home Alone as she hitches a ride with a polka band to get back home to Kevin), she convinces her fellow plane passenger to drive her to Manhattan when their flight is canceled due to the pesky snowstorm. Just as cute and charming as Cameron Bure herself, A Christmas Detour is a must-watch every year.

11. Christmas at Cartwright’s (2014)

Cartwright’s is the department store where Nicky Talbot ends up this Christmas. A single mom, it’s the only job she can find—department store Santa Claus—however, it involves some necessary gender-bending. As in, no one at the store can find out that she’s not exactly Saint Nick himself. Throw in the hopes of a new romance and this movie is as silly as it is sweet to watch.

Related: Lifetime Christmas Movies 2020 Schedule

12. Northpole (2014)

This time Madison teams up with Tiffani Thiessen as she, an elf named Clementine, attempts to save The North Pole. Santa’s hometown is running out of magic energy to run off, so Clementine enlists the help of a small town in the hopes that if they throw a Christmas tree lighting ceremony this year, the magic will restore. In what kinda-sorta-feels like the ending of Elf — “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”—but in a full-movie premise kind of version, this one is silly, corny and fun, which makes it perfect for the whole family to watch together.

13. The Christmas Cottage (2020)

When Lacey (Merritt Patterson) arrives in town for her best friend‘s Christmas break wedding, her BFF gives her the keys to her cottage, with the promise that anyone who stays there over Christmas tends to find true love. Just as she starts falling for her coworker Roger (Victor Zinck, Jr.), her ex Ean (Steve Lund) scores some brownie points with her, too. It’s a classic Christmas-themed love triangle. Only with some seriously envious cottagecore vibes. That fireplace, though!

14. Finding Christmas (2013)

Think The Holiday, but the Hallmark movie version. Sean is a successful Manhattanite in advertising and Owen is your standard small-town, good-with-his-hands musician. The two guys swap homes for the holidays, both (obviously) finding something in their new residence they didn’t have before. But before it gets too cliché, Sean and Owen actually end up spending the holidays together. Secrets, ex-fiancées, attractive veterinarians…What more could you want?

15. The Sweetest Christmas (2020)

When you think of Christmas, you might think of all the cookies. If baking is the best part of the holidays for you, bring on Chabert because the Hallmark queen is back as Kylie in The Sweetest Christmas. After breaking up with her boyfriend-slash-boss, Kylie is over the drama of that relationship and ready to start anew, pursuing her dream to become a talented baker. Winning the grand prize at a gingerbread house baking competition will give her the funds she needs to start her own bakery, but a star baker and a broken oven might just turn her dream into a nightmare. With Chabert, Christmas and cookies, this Hallmark film feeds every Christmas movie craving you could have.

16. Switched for Christmas (2020)

Two Cameron Bures in one movie makes for a pretty fun time! Twins Kate and Chris (both played by Cameron Bure) decide to switch places for the holidays, planning the other twin’s Christmas event. But then, Kate and Chris fall in love while switched, causing them to have to expose their scheme. As long as you don’t mind the cheesiness—and if you’re looking at this list in the first place, you definitely don’t!—then Switched for Christmas is a cutie of a movie.

17. The Christmas Shepherd (2014)

The only thing better than a Christmas movie about baking is a Christmas movie about dogs! Sally Brown (Teri Polo) is a decorated children’s book author and the widowed wife of a veteran. All that’s left of her husband is his German Shepherd, Buddy, so yes, get ready to cry. After Buddy takes off in terror during a thunderstorm, Sally finds herself chasing after him, but meets someone else along the way.

18. Moonlight & Mistletoe (2008)

More than 10 years ago, Moonlight & Mistletoe was Cameron Bure’s Hallmark Christmas movie debut! She played the aptly-named Holly, a Boston executive brought back to her small hometown—also aptly-named—Santaville, by her aging, sick father. Her dad (Tom Arnold) may be sick, but he manages a Christmas-themed amusement park for kids that’s also not so healthy. Holly must save her dad, the park and maybe (definitely) find love along the way. Not her best Hallmark Christmas movie, but a perfectly adequate debut!

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19. Christmas Everlasting (2020)

This movie adaptation from New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick’s novel, The Second Sister, stars Tatyana Ali as Lucy, a successful lawyer who has to return home for the holidays after a death in the family.

20. Finding Santa (2020)

No, no Cameron Bure here, but this time we get her TV little sis, Jodie Sweetin! And you know what? It’s not half bad! Sweetin plays Grace, who is taking over the town’s Christmas parade this year. The parade’s Santa Claus breaks his arm in what has to be the worst timing ever, so naturally, Grace is tasked with finding a replacement or else risks traumatizing children with a parade sans-Santa. Eric Winter, the original Santa’s son, ends up being that replacement and though he is an unwilling participant, it might just work out in everyone’s favor.

21. Christmas Land (2020)

Are Christmas-themed parks really a thing? Because here we have yet another one! Jules (Nikki Deloach), a New York success story, has just inherited Christmas Land, her grandmother Glinda’s (Maureen McCormick) amusement park. The park is struggling to stay afloat and the resident Scrooge Richard Karn isn’t helping. When Jules enlists the help of a lawyer (Luke Macfarlane) to help her manage her grandmother’s estate, she predicably falls in love, but Christmas Land might just be the cost for love…

22. The Mistletoe Promise (2020)

Speaking of Luke Macfarlane, what do he and Jaime King have in common in The Mistletoe Promise? They both hate Christmas! These holiday-hating coworkers meet on the job and make a pact to spend the holidays together. (Like, not in a cute way; simply because they both can’t stand Christmas cheer and perhaps want to be miserable together.) But the more they spend time together at holiday-related events, the more they enjoy each other’s company and ultimately, Christmas itself.

23. Mrs. Miracle (2009)

James van der Beek is Seth Webster, a grieving widower and single parent who has given up playing the piano. It takes the magic of Doris Roberts to work a miracle on Seth. Actually, maybe two: Get him back in front of the keys and give him the permission slip he needs to fall in love again.

24. Meet the Santas (2005)

Even Saint Nick has in-laws. Santa (Steve Guttenberg) and Beth (Crystal Bernard) are about to get hitched, but before they can make it to the very festive altar to tie the knot, he has to impress his in-laws first. It’s Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, but in the North Pole and totally PG.

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25. Memories of Christmas (2020)

It’s the Christmas movie you never knew you needed, starring Christina Milian as Noelle, a young entrepreneur who returns home for the holidays to sell her childhood home! Sure, it’s a classic trope, but there’s something about Memories of Christmas that makes it a stand-out. We don’t know if it’s the holiday ambiance or if we just seriously love Milian in this role, but we can’t stop giggling every time she flirts with the town’s resident dreamboat, Dave (Mark Taylor).

26. Hope at Christmas (2020)

A key tenet of Hallmark Christmas movies is that they teach us an important lesson: the meaning of Christmas. Hope might just be the most important meaning of all. Sydney (Scottie Thompson) relocates with her daughter after her divorce and they find themselves in Hopewell, North Carolina where she hopes to sell her family home. Throw in a hottie of an elementary school teacher who just so happens to play the local Santa in his free time (Ryan Paevey) and now we’ve got ourselves a plot! Love, hope, and Christmas? Yes, yes, and yes!

Related: All the New Holiday TV Movies Coming in 2020

27. Every Christmas Has a Story (2020)

Hallmark movie veteran Cameron Bure isn’t in this one, but her TV aunt is. Lori Loughlin plays Kate Harper, a journalist in need of rehab after admitting on air that she “hates Christmas.” She then has to travel to Hollyvale, the for-all-intents-and-purposes epicenter of Christmas (aside from the North Pole) along with her ex-boyfriend, Colin Ferguson. It’s there in the most Christmasy town of all that she hopes (even if superficially) to remedy how the public percieves her. But it also might just be where her life is changed forever…

28. Fir Crazy (2013)

One of Hallmark’s more punny titles, Fir Crazy stars Sarah Lancaster as the single and unemployed Elise MacReynolds. Fresh off losing her job, Elise now has to run the family’s Christmas tree business at the lot, which—you guessed it!—is in danger of being shut down. You’ve got a hottie looking to buy a Christmas tree to swoon over, a romantic ice skating scene, and some beyond stylish winter scarves to envy. Magical Hallmark Christmas movie perfection!

29. A Christmas Miracle (2020)

Tamera Mowry-Housley plays Emma, a magazine editor whose boss steals her cover story idea. Now out of content just in time for the holidays, Emma enlists the help of her son and a cute staff photographer to find a local Christmas miracle to write a story about.

30. Window Wonderland (2013)

Chyler Leigh and Paul Campbell both end up competing for a window design gig at the local department store. There’s only one opening though, so who will win? Throw in an appearance from Naomi Judd and this movie is fine for playing in the background while you wrap all your Christmas gifts. Don’t be surprised though if you find your eye straying from the TV…It’s cute, but it’s mainly background noise.

31. Catch a Christmas Star (2013)

What will it take to reconnect a widower (Steve Byers) with his high school girlfriend (Shannon Elizabeth), who just so happens to have grown up to become the biggest pop star on the planet? Two determined children and of course, the power of Christmas! Pleasant if not original, Catch a Christmas Star is a good one to watch when the kiddos are around but it’s more like a pregame to the real Hallmark Christmas movie content we crave.

32. Crown for Christmas (2020)

This one is kind of like Maid in Manhattan meets The Princess Diaries and set around Christmastime…? It’s hard to pin but essentially, Allie Evans (Danica McKellar) gets fired from her job as a maid in a Manhattan hotel, but then lands a gig nannying a princess with a smoking hot dad (a.k.a. the king). Will she go from maid to governess to queen? This kind of distortion of reality can only be explained by Christmas magic…and even that is a little hard to believe.

33. Most Wonderful Time of Year (2008)

If you’re here for Henry Winkler, then Most Wonderful Time of Year is the Hallmark Christmas movie for you. Winkler plays the wacky match-maker Uncle Ralph who tries to make his niece (Brooke Burns) up with a stranger. Why on Earth, you ask?! Um, duh—because Burns is a busy, no-nonsense single mom who needs to learn how to have fun and let loose, obviously. At least, according to Uncle Ralph…

34. The Christmas Card (2006)

Faith (Alice Evans) was part of a church group that sent Christmas cards to U.S. soldiers during the holidays and now, the lucky recipient who got her card, Cody (John Newton), is dedicated to finding her. A veteran who served in Afghanistan, Cody was inspired by her words and wants to see if there’s a real connection there, but comes to find Faith has a boyfriend intent on keeping them apart. If it seems too good to be true or too easy, it’s because it is. But still, a glass of wine or two and The Christmas Card won’t seem as contrived.

35. A Majestic Christmas (2020)

Combine Christmas in a charming small town with a big-city architect returning home and a local historic site in trouble and you’ve got yourself A Majestic Christmas. Nell Harper (Jerrika Hinton) has accepted the job of turning the aforementioned historic site, the Majestic Playhouse into a more modern, accessible multiplex. You guessed it: The town isn’t having it and their annual Christmas festival is now at risk as well. Throw in new theatre-owner Connor Martin (Christian Vincent) and there’s a 99.9 percent chance this movie ends with the theatre being saved, the town forgiving Nell, and a Christmastime romance to boot.

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