You know ’em and you love ’em! ’Tis the season to binge watch a bunch of heartwarming Hallmark Christmas movies.
A career-obsessed woman finds the true meaning of Christmas when she returns to her hometown. A man finds a lost ornament that leads him to a new romance. High school sweethearts reunite just in time for the holidays. It’s no secret that the Hallmark Channel has perfected the art of the comfort film, allowing viewers to enjoy themselves with a family-friendly movie that offers no stress Christmas spirit. The Hallmark Channel's 2022 Countdown to Christmas schedule continues this exquisite pattern, stocking each day with warmth and joy to last the whole holiday season. However, this year, the Christmas movie mogul is branching out, featuring some new motifs, characters, and themes.
Check out the schedule of new releases, premiering every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT (unless otherwise specified):
While new movies make up the headliners for each night, rest assured that no matter what time you switch on the Hallmark Channel, you are bound to catch some Christmas magic — reruns of Christmas movies from years past are always playing. You can check out a full schedule on Hallmark’s official website. We commend the Hallmark enthusiasts who are able to catch each and every one of these flicks; however, we understand that staying glued to a TV screen consuming Christmas movies 24/7 is not for everyone. So, we've compiled the Hallmark movies of this year that we’ve got our eyes on.
Maple Valley Christmas
Western enthusiasts will understand that it’s hard to see a film synopsis that begins with “Rancher Erica spent her whole life working the family farm” and not be the least bit intrigued. Ranchers and ranch-lovers alike may find solace in main character Erica’s inner struggle between what she knows and what she wants. The teaser on Hallmark’s website reads, “Rancher Erica has spent her whole life working the family farm with her mother and sister. When Aaron arrives and disrupts her plans, she starts to question what it is she actually wants.”
With a cast led by Peyton List and Andrew Walker, this film, while not the most accurate embodiment of ranch life (we'll admit), offers an interesting look from the outside in, giving ranchers and Western enthusiasts the opportunity to see themselves presented from a mainstream perspective. Plus, there’s romance!
Final Rating: 7 campfires out of 10
My Southern Family Christmas
Remember when we said Hallmark was branching out? This is what we meant. The teaser reads, “Under the guise of a journalist, Campbell has a chance to get to know her biological father for the first time — without him ever knowing who she really is. As she spends time with him and his family, as well as with the town's record keeper, she realizes that families are messy, wonderful things. In the end, Campbell must decide if she's going to keep her identity a secret or reveal the truth to her father —a decision that will change their family Christmas forever.”
Finding ourselves in a rural Louisiana bayou town, we follow Campbell as she travels to cover the town’s Pere Noel Christmas celebration, only to realize that the man running the event, and the sole focus of her project, is her estranged father. While the motifs that we already know and love — a rekindled romantic flame, holiday decor, and general Christmas spirit — still exist in this film, My Southern Family Christmas dives into the complicated relationship between previously estranged family members, exploring those complexities while still maintaining its stress-free entertainment quality. Our only disclaimer: Louisiana folks may want to skip out on this one, as it’s not the most accurate representation of bayou life.
Final Rating: 8 crocs out of 10
All Saints Christmas
When aching for some good rhythm and blues, a Hallmark movie may not be the first place you’d look. However, All Saints Christmas defies all expectations yet again by adding some funk to this year’s lineup. The teaser tells us, “R&B singer Lisette is set to travel home to New Orleans for Christmas when a picture of her and her ex boyfriend is misinterpreted as a surprise engagement.”
Another film set in Louisiana, this movie takes us to the music industry, watching two music moguls go from annoyed coworkers to friendly to friends to hopeless romantics as the power of family pulls them together. The killer music, enemies-to-lovers journey, and good old fashioned family Christmas cheer make for an enjoyable film that is great for lifting spirits.
Final Rating: 9 spontaneous musical moments out of 10
Three Wise Men And A Baby
Ditching romance almost completely for family bonding, Three Wise Men And A Baby tells a story of self-discovery and self-improvement one Christmas miracle at a time. Hallmark teases us with, “Three brothers get the surprise of their lives when they are forced to work together to care for a baby over the holidays. As they slowly get the hang of things, they find themselves on unexpected journeys of self-discovery and begin to rebuild their relationships as brothers, as well as the damaged romantic and professional relationships in their respective lives all while rediscovering their love of Christmas.”
Watching three brothers grow up bumbling along while caring for a child is heartwarming to all those who have found themselves in over their heads in life. Being forced to overcome their shortcomings and immaturities is also surprisingly inspirational, adding an extra dimension to the Christmas cheer. Also, who doesn't love physical comedy?
Final Rating: 9 Wise Men out of 10
A Holiday Spectacular
Period pieces are always a hit-or-miss. However, it doesn’t get any more Christmas-y than Radio City Music Hall during the holidays. The teaser spills, “In 1958, Maggie is an heiress from Philadelphia who puts her high-society wedding plans on hold in order to sneak up to New York City and make her secret dream come true: dancing live on stage in the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.”
When following Maggie through the sweeping halls of New York City’s dazzling theaters while marveling at the elegant 1950s costumes, it is difficult not to be sucked in to the insatiable spirit of showbiz at Christmastime. And there’s DANCING! Stuffed full of classic charm, A Holiday Spectacular provides a heartwarming spectacle that makes the perfect finale to the holiday season.
Final Rating: 10 Radio City Rockettes out of 10
These are just a few of the many holiday spectaculars available to stream on the Hallmark Channel this holiday season, so don’t just take our word for it. Find your new holiday comfort film and let us know what’s special about it. Whether you’re a purist or a Hallmark adventurer, this 2022 Hallmark Countdown to Christmas has a little something for everyone.
All images courtesy of Hallmark