Christmas Films This 2020

Christmas is upon us again and the newest movies are set to premiere.

As many may know, Christmas entertainment brings family fun and cheer through our televisions each year. It’s a tradition that works, and one that Hallmark really hopes to cash in on. Although this year, we have to ask how did they do it in 2020? How did our favorite Christmas producers pull 82 new Christmas movies amid all the lockdowns and quarantines. One might call it a Christmas miracle.

Some say they just used all the movies they've been sitting on, claiming the upcoming films could be the B-list of Christmas cheer. We say enough is enough, let's watch and see for ourselves.

So come and sift through the films, as we break down the year’s holiday fare.

Christmas on Ice (Lifetime, October 23 at 8 p.m.) She was a skater. He was a hockey player. Can I make it any more obvious? She (Abigail Klein) runs the city’s public skating rink, which the mayor wants to shut down for money reasons. So he (Ryan Cooper) helps her fight the injustice and also falls in love with her maybe-probably.

Christmas Unwrapped (Lifetime, October 24 at 8 p.m.) “From executive producer Tiffany Haddish” comes the story of ambitious go-getter reporter Charity, who falls in love with her subject, because reporters in these movies are contractually mandated to be terrible at their jobs. The subject in question? A mysterious Christmas-loving hunk who insists all those gifts he gives out are aaaaaactually from Saaaaaanta.

Jingle Bell Bride (Hallmark, October 24 at 8 p.m.) A wedding planner has to travel to a small town in Alaska to find an extremely rare flower for her client. While there, she falls in love with a handsome local. Will she be the titular jingle bell bride? We’re frankly obsessed with this extremely demanding bride. Making her wedding planner pluck a rare flower from a glacier because it’s “her special day”? She is within her rights.

Christmas Tree Lane (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, October 24 at 10 p.m.) Small-town music-store owner Meg (Alicia Witt) is trying to save the town’s historic shopping district, which is slated for demolition. Meanwhile, she falls in love with a guy (Andrew Walker) who’s secretly working for the developer! Will she save Christmas Tree Lane? Yes! Duh!

Deliver by Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, October 25 at 10 p.m.) Bakery owner Molly is charmed by a mysterious new client while also flirting with the hunky new widower/single dad in town. What she doesn’t know is that they’re the same person! Like You’ve Got Mail without the conflict.

Forever Christmas (Lifetime, October 25 at 8 p.m.) Firstly, that title is what this list feels like. Chelsea Hobbs plays a workaholic reality-TV producer who profiles “Will, a wildly sexy guy who celebrates Christmas every day of the year.” But don’t let that anodyne description lull you into a false sense of trust. Oh, no. Because Forever Christmas is, get this, a regift. It was originally released in 2018 under the name Mr. 365 on romance streaming service, but Lifetime doesn’t want you to know that. This leads me to question what else in my life is a lie. I feel like I’m in the last scene of Inception, only the top is a dreidel. Forever Christmas is in the “hidden identity” section because the hidden identity is the movie itself.

Chateau Christmas (Hallmark, October 25 at 8 p.m.) World-renowned pianist Margot goes to a castle to spend the holidays with her family. Her ex-boyfriend slash ex-bandmate is staying at the same castle(???) and helps her rediscover her passion for music and maybe her passion for him as well.

Holidate (Netflix, October 28) Emma Roberts plays a terrible person who lives in fake-Chicago, as do her remarkably sex-positive mother and aunt, the latter of which is played by a scene-stealing Kristin Chenoweth. Like all young millennials in cities in the year 2020 do, she likes to hang out at the mall a lot, which is where she meets her Holidate: the no-strings-attached Aussie who accompanies her to all holidays with a “plus one” component. This begins and ends with Christmas, although we have to suffer through a deeply unfortunate Cinco de Mayo in the middle (I sincerely hope that white people are not still doing the sombrero-and-mustache thing and that Holidate got it wrong, because yikety-yikes). You know you’ve gone too far into the simulacrum when a rom-com rehashes a Crazy Stupid Love scene which itself was rehashing a Dirty Dancing scene. The thousand monkeys have tapped away at their thousand typewriters and we have run out of all further ideas.

A Crafty Christmas Romance (Lifetime, October 30 at 8 p.m.) Most scavenger-hunt-based made-for-TV Christmas movies only have one enchanted object: this one’s got two. When the owner of a craft and hobby store (Nicola Posener) finds a special Christmas book with a special Christmas coin inside, she teams up with a hunky contractor (Bradford B. Johnson) on the Christmas scavenger hunt of a lifetime. Sorry. Of a Lifetime™.

Cranberry Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, October 31 at 10 p.m.) Again with the alliteration! Yes I realize that complaint is also alliterative. A separated couple “feign marital bliss on national television to help their town’s Christmas festival — and their business.” Wow, I hate these people already!

Candy Cane Christmas (Lifetime, October 31 at 8 p.m.) Beverly Mitchell — really, the thinking man’s favorite TV Christmas movie star — owns a little flower shop and searches for a new Christmas tradition to replace her beloved Candy Cane Lane. How embarrassing would it be if they couldn’t get the rights to the Sia song for this?

One Royal Holiday (Hallmark, October 31 at 8 p.m.) Broadway’s Laura Osnes plays Anna, a down-to-earth, small-town American gal. Broadway’s Aaron Tviet plays James, crown prince of Galwick, who gets stranded with his mother The Queen in said small town because, uh, the snow came and there’s simply too much of it. He’s a prince and she’s just a regular-degular Christmas-loving person. It’ll never work, right? Let’s just say if you’ve literally never seen a movie or read a book before, you will be in for a big surprise.

On the 12th Date of Christmas (Hallmark, November 1 at 8 p.m.) “Two seemingly incompatible game designers…” Say no more. Yes, I will watch two nerds fall in love while they put together a city-wide Christmas scavenger hunt.

The Christmas Aunt (Lifetime, November 1 at 8 p.m.) This wins my personal “Favorite Title of 2020” award. The Christmas Aunt just sounds so much less magical than, say, The Christmas House or The Christmas Kid or something. The Christmas Aunt — Auntie Christmas if you’re on her good side — will sneak you extra cookies when your parents aren’t looking. The Christmas Aunt got you tickets to the Spice World tour. The Christmas Aunt is finally getting her life together.

Holly & Ivy (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 1 at 10 p.m.) Broadway’s Jeremy Jordan plays a hot contractor who helps Melody (Janel Parrish) renovate her house so that she can adopt her neighbor’s (Marisol Nichols) children before she dies of an illness. I watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie about this once so DM me for spoilers.

A Very Country Christmas Homecoming (UPtv, November 1 at 7 p.m.) A threequel to the A Very Country Christmas series, so if the phrase “Jeanette’s former father-in-law” means nothing to you, you can pass.

Operation Christmas Drop (Netflix, November 5) No, this isn’t the same thing as a “turkey drop,” when you get dumped on Thanksgiving in college, nor is it my codename for going to the bathroom after having too much lactose-rich eggnog. It’s about Christmastime romance at an army base in Guam.

The Christmas Yule Blog (Lifetime, November 6 at 8 p.m.) A “well-known social media travel writer” goes to a small town in New Mexico to cover its Christmas parade, but gets a whole different type of SEO (studly eligible operator) in the form of a hunky music teacher.

Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater (Hallmark, November 7 at 8 p.m.) She will not follow the title’s advice.

A Welcome Home Christmas (Lifetime, November 7 at 8 p.m.) Hunky veteran Michael (Brandon Quinn) comes home to organize the local Army toy drive with Chloe (Jana Kramer) and they probably fall in love or something.

The Christmas Ring (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 7 at 10 p.m.) Yes, the other movie about a Yuletide ring. This one is about an antique ring and a reporter looking for the love story behind it.

A Ring for Christmas (UPtv, November 8 at 7 p.m.) Not to be confused with this year’s other ring-based Christmas original movie The Christmas Ring, A Ring for Christmas is about a single girl who has to find a man to marry by Christmas to unlock her trust fund. You will want to watch this because Lorraine Bracco is in it.

A Very Charming Christmas Town (Lifetime, November 8 at 8 p.m.) “City girl and travel and lifestyle blogger” may be a red-flaggy Hinge profile but it’s a very good character sheet for a Lifetime Christmas movie lead. A Very Charming Christmas Town follows Aubrey Lang (Natalie Hall) who goes to vlog the “Most Christmassy Town in the USA,” where of course she meets a hunky “community coordinator and chocolate shop owner,” which, for the record, is an excellent Hinge profile.

The Christmas Bow (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 8 at 10 p.m.) A promising musician gets into an accident that dashes her dreams of playing in the “Rocky Mountain Philharmonic,” no relation to the Chocolate Factory. So while she’s home during the holidays, she rekindles an old relationship with family friend Michael Rady, who you know from various stuff and things, and who will teach her to believe in her ability to play a violin in a chocolate store, or whatever, despite the accident.

Christmas With the Darlings (Hallmark, November 8 at 8 p.m.) An assistant played by Katrina Law quits her bad bad job right before Christmas, but picks up a gig helping the wealthy brother of her former boss look after his charming orphaned nieces and nephews.

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Netflix, November 13) From the aesthetic that brought you Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and Mary Poppins Returns comes an adorable musical Christmas spectacular about a brilliant tinkerer named Jeronicus Jangle, played by Forest Whitaker, whose grandkids help him win his whimsical inventions back from the dastardly Keegan-Michael Key. A family holiday classic on sight.

Christmas on the Vine (Lifetime, November 13 at 8 p.m.) A young marketing executive (Julianna Guill) returns to her hometown and helps a hot winery owner (Jon Cor) fight off a big conglomerate. Meanwhile, she’ll “bring Christmas back to town” and charm the hot wine guy’s mom, Meredith Baxter.

Christmas on Wheels (Lifetime, November 14 at 8 p.m.) Tiya Sircar from The Good Place returns to her small hometown to care for her uncle, but when she learns he sold her beloved Christmas convertible (sure, I’m too tired at this point to question it) she teams up with a hot attorney to get it back. Or maybe the uncle sold it to the hot attorney? Unclear.

Meet Me at Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 14 at 10 p.m.) When Joan’s (Catherine Bell) son’s wedding planner quits before his Christmas Eve wedding, she teams up with the bride’s hunky unkie (Mark Deklin) to bring the wedding together. My running theory is this takes place in the same universe as, and simultaneously to, Jingle Bell Bride, and the wedding planner quit because the bride made her go get a rare flower in Alaska.

Meet Me at Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 14 at 10 p.m.) When Joan’s (Catherine Bell) son’s wedding planner quits before his Christmas Eve wedding, she teams up with the bride’s hunky unkie (Mark Deklin) to bring the wedding together. My running theory is this takes place in the same universe as, and simultaneously to, Jingle Bell Bride, and the wedding planner quit because the bride made her go get a rare flower in Alaska.

Christmas in Vienna (Hallmark, November 14 at 8 p.m.) Jess, “a concert violinist whose heart just isn’t in it anymore” goes to Vienna where she meets some white guy who’s probably not even Austrian. He’s probably also American. What’s the point?

Mistletoe Magic (UPtv, November 15 at 7 p.m.) “When self-proclaimed ‘Christmas Grinch [as opposed to the other kind of Grinch] Harper realized that she accidentally donated her family’s beloved magic mistletoe to a charity,” she’ll have to get it back from hot thrift store owner Luke.

A Timeless Christmas (Hallmark, November 15 at 8 p.m.) Charles Whitley (Ryan Paevey) time travels from 1903 to present day where he falls in love with a modern woman named Megan (Erin Cahill) who is a historical tour guide at his manse, which is now a landmark. She tells him “you can’t let the past control your life,” which is a very normal thing to say in a rom-com but a very funny thing to say to a time traveler. Kate & Leopold deserves royalties.

The Christmas Edition (Lifetime, November 15 at 8 p.m.) Up-and-coming journalist Jackie (Carly Hughes) moves to Alaska to run a small town paper. “Using a series of Christmas articles,” she brings the paper back to profitability, which, oh how I wish media worked that way. She’s also falling in love with the handsome son of the paper’s former owner, so there’s that. But when a larger media company threatens takeover, can Jackie save it with the power of Christmas?

The Christmas Doctor (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 15 at 10 p.m.) What if there was a Christmas doctor? And the doctor … was a woman.

The Princess Switch: Switched Again (Netflix, November 19) Vanessa Hudgens and co-star Vanessa Hudgens are back with one of the less creatively named sequels we’ve seen. Now with 33 percent more Vanessa Hudgens.

A Taste of Christmas (Lifetime, November 20 at 8 p.m.) All of these movies, but the ones about bustling restaurants in particular, take place in an alternate-reality 2020. Case in point: This one stars Nia Vardalos! When our heroine’s cousin Francesca (Nia, we presume) must cancel the Christmas Eve opening of her Italian restaurant, “Natalie learns that cooking, like Christmas, isn’t about perfection,” thanks to her bond with “the attractive but pessimistic Chef Stefano.” Scheduling your restaurant opening for one of, like, two nights of the year that people are guaranteed to be at home with their families is, well, it’s not great business.

The Angel Tree (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 21 at 10 p.m.) A writer (Jill Wagner) seeks to uncover the hidden identity of the person (Lucas Bryant) granting wishes placed upon the town’s “Angel Tree,” which is a special wish-granting tree, which surely every town has. Remember when all the Cheetah Girls except for Raven tied wish-ribbons on the special wishing tree in India in Cheetah Girls 3? Stupid question. Of course you do.

Feliz NaviDAD (Lifetime, November 21 at 8 p.m.) Lifetime is killing it with the puns this year. Melissa Joan Hart directs her muse — Mario Lopez, obviously — in this story of a widower and single dad who has to moonlight as a delivery driver because he’s a high-school principal in Arizona and that don’t pay the bills. He meets a “witty musician” on his delivery route, so it’ll be a very feliz navi-dad indeed.

A Nashville Christmas Carol (Hallmark, November 21 at 8 p.m.) A workaholic (Jessy Schram) organizing a country music festival is visited by the magical spirit of Wynona Judd, who takes her through the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (Netflix, November 22) From a plot and premise standpoint, this Christmas movie about a woman who returns to her hometown and saves it from a big bad mall developer sounds like its Hallmark/Lifetime compatriots. But this is a Dolly Parton production, a full-blown original musical with 14 original songs, choreography by Debbie Allen, and a lead performance from Christine Baranski. It’s in a class of its own.

A Godwink Christmas: Second Chance, First Love (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 22 at 10 p.m.) “Godwink” isn’t the name of the small town in this three-quel. It’s Hallmark’s sexy Christian rebranding of the word “coincidence,” because what is a coincidence if not a wink from God? In this particular Godwink, Pat “ends up stuck in traffic next to his high-school sweetheart, Margie, at Christmas.” Maybe God just had something stuck in his eye with this one.

Dashing Home for Christmas (UPtv, November 22 at 7 p.m.) She’s a workaholic business consultant. He’s a hot, laid back guy. They’re going to have to make it home for Christmas, together. It’s like Planes, Trains and Automobiles, if Steve Martin and John Candy hooked up.

Homemade Christmas (Lifetime, November 22 at 8 p.m.) An “ambitious young woman” (Michelle Argyris) is a Christmas assistant for hire, and has to choose between two men at a Christmas party. A searing examination of the failures of the gig economy. Kidding.

The Christmas House (Hallmark, November 22 at 8 p.m.) Hallmark has traditionally been the more conservative of the two major made-for-TV Christmas flick purveyors. It’s more likely to get all reason-y for the season-y, if you know what we mean (we mean Jesus). But this year, they’ve made a less-traumatic version of The Family Stone in which parents Sharon Lawrence and Treat Williams invite their adult kids home for a Very Ensemble Christmas, and one of those adult kids is Gay Who Jonathan Bennett (Aaron Samuels from Mean Girls) and his husband, Brad Harder.

Heart of the Holidays (Hallmark, November 23 at 8 p.m.) The description on this one is generic to the point of rude. “Career-driven Sam returns to her hometown for the holidays where she comes face-to-face with her high-school boyfriend, Noah.” What career is she driven at, Hallmark? Cupcake baker? Sad romance writer? Some third job that women are allowed to have on your channel? It continues: “Together they rediscover what matters most in life.” Great. I’m in, if only to find out what job she abandons to return to her hometown and date her high-school boyfriend Noah.

A Christmas Tree Grows in Colorado (Hallmark, November 24 at 8 p.m.) Erin is planning the town Christmas celebration and she’s going to look like a total fucking laughingstock if she can’t convince firefighter Kevin to fork over the beautiful spruce tree from his property. Don’t fuck this up, Erin! Secure the Spruce!

Happiest Season (Hulu, November 25) The facts are these: Mackenzie Davis is not out to her progressive-enough-seeming parents, played by Mary Steenburgen and — we have to laugh — Victor Garber. But Mackenzie Davis does not tell her partner Kristen Stewart that they will be engaging in an ongoing piece of performance art when they go visit her fam for Christmas. She springs it on her when they’re pulling up to the house, telling her that she’ll have to pretend to play her straight, orphaned roommate. So cold! Dan Levy plays a best friend who is also roped into the charade, while Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza round out the extremely stacked cast. Between Davis, Garber, and Levy, this film has queer Canadian excellence written all over it.

Good Morning Christmas! (Hallmark, November 25 at 8 p.m.) Great title. More titles should have exclamation points, like Oliver! And dancing sooty street urchins, like Oliver! Or like what I hope Swept Up by Christmas to be. Anyway, Riley from Buffy and Alison Sweeney are two squabbling TV hosts sent to a festive town to cover Christmas and while pretending to be a duo for the cameras and the townsfolk, they fall in love. This will hopefully lead to my favorite type of Morning Show acting: sunny news anchors spitting insults at each other through their smiles.

The Christmas Chronicles 2 (Netflix, November 25) I had to look up what The Christmas Chronicles 1 was because I had never heard of it, until I saw the poster and remembered that yeah, Kurt Russell definitely played Santa in something. Based on the trailer, he’s kind of an … action Santa? Who wears sunglasses and plays the sax? And Goldie Hawn is there too? Sure! A Jewish Mrs. Claus speaks to me on deep personal levels. Those CGI elves gotta go right to jail though.