Somewhere in the past few years my sister and I picked up the habit of watching Christmas Hallmark movies. I know, I know…it’s cheesy, but you can only watch White Christmas so many times.
Faced with the delimma of watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the 4,067th time and catchy Lifetime titles such as Annie Claus is Coming to Town, the DVR eventually won out.
For amateur viewers out there, these movies tend to have one of a few main themes:
- Switching places
- Someone needs a fake fiancé for Christmas
- A town who has forgotten the meaning of Christmas
- Someone is about to marry the wrong person
- Workaholics get a visit from Christmas ghosts
- A an animal saves Christmas
Moms on strike, people being hit on the head with snowglobes, people kidnapping reindeer…really, what’s not to love?
To help you decide which ones to watch, here is a rundown of some of this year’s featured films. Yes, these are all real:
It’s Christmas, Carol! (Starring: Carrie Fisher)
A domineering CEO observes her past, present and future when the ghost of her former boss visits her on Christmas Eve.
A close relative of Eats, Shoots and Leaves this one narrowly missed being a movie about a grumpy miser set in Dickensonian England – although being visited by the ghosts of former bosses is terrifying in its own right. Carrie Fisher can probably handle it though, as she did once strangle Jabba the Hut with a chain leash.
The Nine Lives of Christmas
A confirmed bachelor adopts a stray cat, which leads a pretty veterinary student to enter his life and alter his feelings about remaining single.
Hmm…did the guy decide to adopt the cat before or after deciding to remain single? That’s important.
Then again, this one stars Brandon Routh, so nevermind – we’re watching it anyway.
Santa’s hometown faces a crisis when folks around the world forget the importance of togetherness, so an optimistic young elf sets out to fix things, and the spirited son of a skeptical journalist agrees to help her.
Usually Santa saves Christmas, but here we see the emerging trend of elves taking matters into their own hands. When people forget the importance of togetherness, it calls for drastic action, like buying the world a Coke. Cue the polar bears.
A Christmas Wedding
A woman who lost her job returns home to visit her mom and attend a friend’s Christmas Eve wedding, and although her homecoming doesn’t go well at first, she discovers that she has many chances to improve things.
Good. Because this was starting to sound pitiful. Does she get hit by a bus on the way to the wedding?
The Santa Incident
After St. Nick’s sleigh is shot down by Homeland Security, a nurse takes in Santa Claus while he recovers from the fall and deals with the prying eyes of the FBI. Despite the setbacks, Santa still needs to make toys.
This is what happens when you take the sleigh out over Pakistan when it’s not Christmas Eve.
The Christmas Spirit
A woman lands in a coma, but realizes her spirit is awake, so she tries to communicate with people in her town and convince them to change their minds about a pending real-estate development in their community.
Where’s the part about Christmas? Does she get mauled by a giant candy cane?
This one loses points because if my spirit is ever loose outside my body, influencing people’s real estate deals is about the last thing I’d do.
Hats off to Christmas!
A woman loses a promotion to her boss’s son, whom she falls for as she trains him for the position. A romance soon develops, but the woman considers ending things when she has doubts about her charming new beau’s reliability and his influence on her son.
It’s always awkward dating people who stole your job, especially if they are a bad influence on your kid. But where do the hats come in? Maybe it’s like Adjustment Bureau, where you can open door and be watching a different Hallmark movie.
Three Wise Women
A hospital administrator is visited by her past and future selves at the behest of her guardian angel. Their visits are designed to help her realize she’s about to marry the wrong man.
It usually does take three women to convince someone they shouldn’t marry the wrong man. It helps considerably if those three women are yourself. Guardian angels are busy, and they can’t be everywhere.
A Snow Globe Christmas
A cynical television executive gets knocked out when she is hit by a snowglobe and wakes up in a idyllic snow-covered town where she is married to a handsome man and is the mother of two kids. But she desperately tries to return to her old life.
I’d try to return to my old life as soon as possible too, wouldn’t you?
Christmas in the City
A woman tries to bring the Christmas spirit back to a big city department store where a new consultant replaces Santa with a hunky underwear model.
Wait, wait…why do we have to choose between Christmas spirit *and* a hunky underwear model? Who says the hunky underwear model doesn’t need to know the meaning of Christmas? H.U.M.s need Christmas too. I’m sure of it.
Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas
Grumpy Cat develops a unique bond with a 12-year-old girl during the holidays and must rescue her from a mall after it closes on Christmas Eve.
That’s right — grumpy cat has his own Christmas movie. Who says Rudolph should have all the fun saving Christmas? Somewhere a Rankin and Bass animated classic just lost its wings.
Wishin and Hopin (Starring: Molly Ringwald)
In 1964 Connecticut, a 10-year-old boy whose family claim to fame is their famous Mouseketeer cousin Annette Funicello, has his Christmas season turned topsy-turvy with the arrival of a French substitute teacher and a feisty Russian student.
I like the gratuitous use of a Mouseketeer and not one, but two ethnicities. If it ever goes head to head with Ralphie in A Christmas Story, I’m putting my money on Annette Funicello.
There you have it – more exciting choices than Clark Griswold’s Jelly of the Month Club. If you’re ever short on holiday cinematic drama, you know where to turn.
And remember, in the famous words of Annie Claus (my sister’s favorite), “Christmas lights will save your soul!”
And so, in a very small way, will Hallmark movies.