10 Signs You Are Currently Watching a Hallmark Christmas Movie

So busy right now, guys.EXPAND
So busy right now, guys.
Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Katrina Law

In a world where the Christmas season starts earlier and earlier, few networks truly bring it like Hallmark Channel. As early as Halloween, they start bringing feel-good films into the fold, followed by a full takeover post-Thanksgiving.

They've amassed an impressive stable of straight-to-TV, less-than-50-percent-on-Rotten-Tomatoes movies. Despite their lack of accolades, they have the formula down to an art form. Here are just a few things you'll often find when you jingle all the way through their holiday marathon. 

The Busy Executive
They're way too busy to have a life, let alone know that it's Christmas. They're probably holding their employees late on Christmas Eve or bolting out of their child's pageant to take a phone call right before the solo. Later, while looking down at their phone, they'll crash into an attractive stranger who will teach them to slow down and enjoy life. 

See: My Christmas Dream, A Heavenly Christmas, Snow Bride

Think The Santa Clause, except Hallmarkified.EXPAND
Think The Santa Clause, except Hallmarkified.
Copyright 2010 Crown Media United States, LLC

The Santa Swap
"You mean I have to do Santa's job?" Yes, Santa has caught a cold or is so burned out that he's gone to Hawaii right before Christmas Eve. Or perhaps our protagonist has to take a job as a department store Santa. Odds are, this person is a holiday Scrooge, such as Kevin Sorbo's character, pictured above, from The Santa Suit. You heard that right, Kevin Sorbo.

See: The Santa Suit, Christmas at Cartwright's, Santa Switch

I'm ... who? Sure.EXPAND
I'm ... who? Sure.
Copyright 2013 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Ben Mark Holzberg

Mistaken Identity
Searching for a fresh start (or not even knowing they needed one), our main character stumbles into a situation where they must play along to a group of people, or better yet, a love interest, as someone they're not. Sooner than later, they'll be in too deep and have to 'fess up, only to be forgiven in the spirit of Christmas. 

See: A December Bride, A Very Merry Mix-Up, Snow Bride

"Secret" Santa?EXPAND
"Secret" Santa?
Hallmark Channel ©2004 Crown Media United States, LLC

The Nonbeliever
This person, who gave up believing in Santa at age 4, will most assuredly run into him on the street. It's likely he'll be a nice old man named "Nick" or "Kris" who often alludes to his true identity. "Join you for Christmas Eve dinner? I'm actually pretty ... um ... busy that night."

See: A Wish For Christmas, The Santa Incident, Matchmaker Santa

When you're stranded, but your hair and makeup are on point.EXPAND
When you're stranded, but your hair and makeup are on point.
Copyright 2014 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Fred Hayes

Stranded in a Small Town
A cancelled flight, broken-down car, or obligation drops them into a tiny town with bad Wi-Fi. They'll be surrounded by small-town love and realize that their big-city life isn't all it's cracked up to be. Their car will be fixed just before Christmas Eve — should they stay or should they go?

See: Love You Like Christmas, Every Christmas Has a Story, Christmas Under Wraps

Read on for more signs (including clarinets!) that you're watching a Hallmark Christmas movie



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