10 Signs You Are Currently Watching a Hallmark Christmas Movie

10 Signs You Are Currently Watching a Hallmark Christmas MovieEXPAND
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: Snow Bride, Finding Christmas, I'm Not Ready For Christmas

10 Signs You Are Currently Watching a Hallmark Christmas MovieEXPAND
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

10 Signs You Are Currently Watching a Hallmark Christmas MovieEXPAND
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 Very Merry Mix-Up, Snow Bride, Christmas Incorporated

10 Signs You Are Currently Watching a Hallmark Christmas MovieEXPAND
Hallmark Channel ©2004 Crown Media United States, LLC

The Non-Believer
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: The Santa Incident, Farewell Mr. Kringle, Mistletoe Over Manhattan

10 Signs You Are Currently Watching a Hallmark Christmas MovieEXPAND
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 WiFi. 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, after which they'll decide to stay anyway. 

See: Christmas Under Wraps, 'Tis the Season for Love, Matchmaker Santa

10 Signs You Are Currently Watching a Hallmark Christmas MovieEXPAND
Copyright 2013 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Ben Mark Holzberg

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The Clarinet Means They're Falling in Love
They've locked eyes across the Christmas party and then you hear it: the  hum of the clarinet, likely playing upbeat notes or slow, solemn versions of Christmas classics. You'll also hear piano plucking and sleigh bells off in the distance, signaling obvious soulmate status.

See: All of them. Literally, every single one. 


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