The 10 Best And 10 Worst Holiday Movies On The Hallmark Channel

The Hallmark Channel's holiday movies have become a seasonal mainstay. Whether you can't get enough of them or wish their fall premieres would stop stealing Thanksgiving's spotlight, these made-for-TV holiday flicks aren't going anywhere anytime soon — and the Hallmark Channel is consistently churning out more titles to add to its festive film roster. 

In the 2022 season, the network has added 16 brand-new holiday movies, perfect for fans who love to embrace romance this time of year (via Entertainment Weekly). And with each new holiday season, viewers can surely expect to see even more Christmas-themed movies. However, considering the sheer number of Hallmark Channel holiday films out there, it's safe to say they can't all be winners. While most of them are generally entertaining, heartwarming tales the whole family can enjoy, there may be some that you might want to skip. Here are some of the best and worst holiday movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Best: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year lets Henry Winkler shine

Henry Winkler is one of the most beloved actors of his generation, so it should come as no surprise that the Hallmark Channel holiday movie in which he stars is among the network's best. 

Winkler stars in "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" as Ralph, the well-meaning uncle of Jennifer Cullen. Having lost her father at a very young age, Jen isn't a person who loves the holidays. However, as a stand-in father figure for Jen, Uncle Ralph takes it upon himself to help his niece find her Christmas spirit by sneakily trying to set her up with a new acquaintance of his, professional chef Morgan Derby. 

"The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" has everything you could possibly want in a Hallmark Channel holiday movie — a sad backstory, an adorable meet-cute, a silly misunderstanding, a happy ending, and, of course, Henry "The Fonz" Winkler. You'll definitely want to add this flick to your must-watch list this holiday season. 

Worst: A Boyfriend for Christmas is just plain odd

The Hallmark Channel is home to a roster of holiday movies with cleverly concocted, punny titles, including "Christmas Under Wraps," "A Very Merry Mix-Up," and "A Christmas Carol." However, not every title can be a winner — and "A Boyfriend for Christmas" is a Hallmark Channel holiday flick with a title that leaves little to the imagination.

As you've probably guessed, "A Boyfriend for Christmas" tells the story of a woman who wishes for a boyfriend for Christmas. The only problem is that the woman at the center of the film, Holly Grant, was just 13 when she told a mall Santa that she wanted a boyfriend. Fast-forward 20 years later, and Santa literally sends a boyfriend to Holly's doorstep in the form of a man named Ryan

While it's certainly odd for Santa to grant a teen's wish for a significant other, it's even stranger that he held onto Holly's request for a whopping 20 years. Did Santa somehow have the ability to see into the future and know that 33-year-old Holly would be single and ready to mingle? We have so many questions, Hallmark. 

Best: Help for the Holidays is a must-watch movie for Elf fans

After reading the description for the Hallmark Channel's Christmas flick "Help for the Holidays," you might find yourself thinking that the movie's plot sounds familiar. According to the Hallmark Channel website, "Help for the Holidays" tells the story of Christine, one of Santa's elves, who "wonders if there could be more to life than making toys in the North Pole." The film's description continues, "When Santa receives an emergency wish from a little boy in Los Angeles, he puts Christine on a special assignment." That special assignment is traveling to Los Angeles to "give the VanCamp family ... a holiday wake-up call."

While far from an exact replica, "Help for the Holidays" does seem to take inspiration from "Elf," the popular holiday movie starring Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel. Still, this Hallmark Channel Christmas original stands on its own as an incredibly entertaining ride from start to finish. With a little something for the whole family, "Help for the Holidays" is definitely one of Hallmark's best holiday movies yet. 

Worst: Hallmark Channel's Fir Crazy romanticizes problematic behavior

The Hallmark Channel holiday movie "Fir Crazy" tells the story of Elise, a recently out-of-work shoe company executive who's put in charge of her family's New York City tree lot. While reluctantly managing the tree lot, Elise meets Darren — a schoolteacher who not only buys three trees from the lot in various attempts to make a connection with Elise, but even admits to walking by the lot regularly to try and catch a glimpse of her. Even more upsetting is the way Darren continues to pursue Elise, even after she initially expresses disinterest in starting a relationship.

Honestly, if someone replaced the cheery, instrumental Christmas music with the soundtrack to a B-list horror movie, this film would be genuinely terrifying. Before agreeing to a first date, Elise even asks Darren, "How do I know that you're not some sort of homicidal maniac with a sense of humor?" Immediately, Darren provides her with multiple forms of identification — which is exactly what a homicidal maniac with a sense of humor would probably do. 

Hey, perhaps all of Darren's red flags will make for festive Christmastime decor. 

Best: The Nine Lives of Christmas is a purrfect holiday movie

While it may be the Hallmark Channel holiday movie of every cat lover's dreams, "The Nine Lives of Christmas" is a wholly entertaining film certain to be a crowd-pleaser even for the dog people of the world. 

In "The Nine Lives of Christmas," a lost cat named Ambrose finds his way to Zachary, a charming firefighter who takes the kitty under his wing — despite objections from his model girlfriend, Blair. This chance encounter leads Zachary to the cat food aisle of a supermarket, where he has an adorably awkward encounter with Marilee, an aspiring veterinarian and part-time pet shop employee. Marilee is also housing a cat against someone else's wishes. However, that someone else isn't her significant other — it's her landlady. 

While Marilee's love for her cat ultimately gets her kicked out of her apartment, Zachary — who also restores and flips houses — just so happens to have a room available. A misunderstanding throws their burgeoning relationship off course for a bit, but, in true Hallmark style, "The Nine Lives of Christmas" wraps up with the purrfect happy ending. 

Worst: A Christmas Detour sends a confusing message

"Full House" star Candace Cameron Bure stars in "A Christmas Detour" as Paige Summerland — a magazine writer flying to New York City to meet her fiancé's family. However, in a twist of Christmas fate, a snowstorm causes Paige's flight to be redirected. As a result, she ends up forming a bond with her seatmate, Dylan MacKenzie.

Despite Dylan's cynicism and Paige's, you know, engagement, these two travelers eventually fall head over heels in love. Following a grand gesture from Dylan, Paige decides to call off her wedding, and this Hallmark Channel holiday movie ends with the new lovebirds riding off into the snowy sunset together. 

It's important to keep in mind that Paige has known Dylan for a grand total of three days when she abandons any and all plans for a future with her fiancé. She's either dangerously impulsive or incredibly exhausted from her days-long trek — or, perhaps, both. Hallmark would obviously like viewers to buy into Paige and Dylan's serendipitous romance, but we just can't bring ourselves to root for a relationship between two people who are virtually strangers. 

Best: A Wish for Christmas is an empowering holiday movie

"Mean Girls" star Lacey Chabert stars in "A Wish for Christmas" as Sara, a junior web developer at a big-city marketing firm. The movie starts with Sara pitching a proposal designed to land the firm's biggest client yet, something she calls "Christmas 365." Dirk, Sara's boss, immediately shoots down her proposal. However, at the company Christmas party, it's revealed that Dirk has repackaged Sara's proposal and successfully pitched it to the company's CEO, calling it "Holidays 365." 

Later that evening, Sara runs into none other than Santa Claus, who tells her he'll make her wishes come true — but only for the next 48 hours. Still reeling from having her idea stolen, Sara wishes for the courage to be brave and speak out when she feels like she has an idea that deserves to be heard. Santa grants her wish, and, as a result, Sara storms back into the Christmas party to reclaim her pitch.

Of course, this Hallmark Channel holiday movie is centered around a love story — but the real love story is Sara learning to stand up for herself. 

Worst: A December Bride seems like a stretch

While Hallmark Channel holiday movies are famously formulaic, "A December Bride" is especially predictable — which is part of the reason it falls into our "worst" category. Starring Jessica Lowndes and Daniel Lissing in the leading roles, "A December Bride" tells the story of Layla O'Reilly, an aspiring interior designer dreading the wedding of her ex-boyfriend, who just so happens to be marrying her cousin. Desperate to have a date for the event, Layla is forced to take Seth Murphy — who, incidentally, is the man responsible for setting up Layla's ex with her cousin. 

An overzealous people-pleaser, Seth takes it upon himself to announce at the wedding reception that he and Layla are engaged, despite this being 100% false. However, by the end of the movie, Seth and Layla aren't just fake-engaged — they're literally married

As with most Hallmark Channel holiday films, the relationship at the center of this movie doesn't make a whole lot of sense. However, we're even more befuddled that Layla's family would be so supportive of her cousin marrying the guy who broke Layla's heart. What gives?

Best: My Christmas Love is a holiday movie with a surprise twist

Featuring "Search Party" star Meredith Hagner in the leading role, Hallmark Channel's "My Christmas Love" is a lighthearted holiday romance flick with a plot twist you'll likely never see coming. If you don't want to ruin the surprise, you might want to skip over this next bit.

Hagner stars in "My Christmas Love" as Cynthia, a bubbly young woman reeling from a breakup and grieving the loss of her recently deceased mother. When she returns to her childhood home for her sister's wedding, Cynthia is surprised to find herself the recipient of mysterious 12 Days of Christmas-themed gifts. Naturally, this sends Cynthia on a quest to uncover the identity of her anonymous admirer. However, after a series of unsuccessful attempts to solve the Christmas case, the truth is revealed: Cynthia's mother had arranged for the gifts to be delivered to her husband (a.k.a. Cynthia's father) following her death.

At its core, "My Christmas Love" is a holiday movie about enduring love, even after death. If that doesn't bring a tear to your eye, we're not sure what will. 

Worst: Every Christmas Has a Story takes the holidays too seriously

The college admissions scandal (known as "Operation Varsity Blues") might have been the first time Lori Loughlin's reputation was called into question for the entire world to see. However, the actress once played a character dealing with her own tarnished reputation in the Hallmark Channel holiday movie "Every Christmas Has a Story." 

In the film, Loughlin plays Kate Harper, a Los Angeles-based morning television show host who accidentally admits her disdain for the holiday season on the air. The slip-up angers Kate's boss and her morning show's advertisers — because, in Hallmark Land, Christmas is very serious business. 

In fact, Kate's accidental admission is such a colossal error that she winds up having to visit Hollyvale — a tiny, Christmas-obsessed town in North Dakota — to find her holiday spirit and repair her public image. Only in the Hallmark Channel universe would disliking the holidays nearly cost a person their livelihood. If you ask us, the "story" in "Every Christmas Has a Story" could use a bit of a reality check. 

Best: Christmas Getaway is a movie with a lot of heart

While they may technically be geared toward adults, Hallmark Channel's holiday movies are family-friendly films, lighthearted and simple enough for even kids to enjoy. However, the network seemingly took a risk with the made-for-TV holiday movie "Christmas Getaway," which tells a more complicated story of finding new love after the death of a spouse.

In "Christmas Getaway," Bridget Regan plays Emory Blake, a brokenhearted writer who decides to spend the holidays alone in a wooded cabin. As luck would have it, the cabin has been double-booked, leading Emory to meet widower Scott Hays (played by Travis Van Winkle) and his young daughter, Katy. 

Scott is obviously still grieving his late wife. However, Emory proves herself to be empathetic and understanding. It doesn't take long for these two to fall head over heels in love, but — unlike the progression of relationships in some Hallmark Channel holiday movies — Emory and Scott's romance never feels rushed or forced. With its careful storytelling, "Christmas Getaway" will break your heart and put it back together again in less than two hours. 

Worst: Mingle All the Way has a cast of unlikable characters

Unfortunately, the main characters in the Hallmark Channel's holiday movie "Mingle All the Way" are seemingly unredeemable. The made-for-TV Christmas rom-com tells the story of Molly, the creative mind behind Mingle All the Way, an app designed to help businesspeople find dates to networking events so their peers don't judge them for being single. Oh, the horror! 

When an investor wants Molly to prove the app's worth, she's forced to use Mingle All the Way herself, which leads her to Jeff. Despite him being the romantic male lead, the film does nothing to make Jeff appealing to viewers. In fact, he is a total jerk to Molly during what we can only assume was meant to be their meet-cute — and his attitude doesn't improve much throughout the course of the film. 

Basically, "Mingle All the Way" is a love story about a woman who thinks people should lie about their relationship status to climb the corporate ladder and a man who has a bit of a mean streak. We think we'll swipe left on this one. 

Best: A Royal Christmas is perfect for fans who love a royal love story

If you're a fan of royal families and a lover of romance, this movie is definitely for you. "A Royal Christmas" features some of Hallmark's most famous faces, including Lacey Chabert, Jane Seymour, Stephen Hagan, and Katie Flynn. If you haven't seen the film, Emily Corrigan, portrayed by Chabert, works in her family's business as a seamstress in Philadelphia and is in love with her European boyfriend, Leo. However, as Christmas approaches, Emily finds out that her boyfriend isn't exactly who he says he is, and that he is actually Prince Leopold, heir to the throne of a sovereign country called Cordinia. Finding out your boyfriend is a prince right before the holidays sure sounds like a holiday miracle to us!

Soon enough, Emily becomes a royal and learns the ropes of her new glamorous lifestyle. As excited as she is about her new life with her real-life Prince Charming, Emily struggles with her new livelihood and her relationship with Leo's mother, Queen Isadora. The film follows Emily's quest to stay true to her roots as the queen schemes behind her back, in hopes of ruining the couple's first Christmas together with his family. The movie is full of love, drama, and, of course, plenty of royal Christmas magic.

Worst: Christmas at the Palace is a royally bland holiday movie

It's no secret that we, as a society, are totally obsessed with royalty. Particularly, Americans seemingly can't get enough of the British royal family. According to data provided by Nielsen, over 29 million Americans tuned in to watch Prince Harry's May 2018 wedding to American-born actress Meghan Markle.

This collective obsession with the royal family likely inspired the Hallmark Channel holiday movie "Christmas at the Palace." However, just as royal fever is nothing new, neither is Hallmark's penchant for making movies centered around unexpected royal romances. Because the network already has a roster of royal flicks, "Christmas at the Palace" feels entirely unnecessary and painfully predictable. 

In theory, the story of Kate — a former professional ice skater — accidentally falling in love with King Alexander of San Senova (a fictional country) is a cute idea. Unfortunately, though, the film lacks the originality needed to make it memorable. 

Best: The Christmas Secret is great for those who love mystery

If you're a fan of actress Joy Lenz from shows like "One Tree Hill," then you'll likely love this movie. Next up, we have one of our favorite Hallmark Christmas  films, "The Christmas Secret." In the film, Christine Eisley, portrayed by Lenz, goes through a pretty tough time. After losing her job, battling her ex-husband for custody of her children, and losing a sentimental family heirloom, things are going downhill fast. 

However, everything changes once she gets a new job at a bakery and meets Jason, played by John Reardon. Naturally, romance blooms between the two, and Christine finds out about a family secret that changes all of her bad luck for the better. 

This movie has the perfect holiday vibe for those who need just a little bit of hope that whatever they're struggling with will turn out for the better, and shows how magical the holidays can be.

Worst: Christmas Song is a bit cheesy

The Hallmark Channel has produced a large number of holiday movies for our viewing pleasure, but unfortunately, some don't make the cut as our favorites — and "Christmas Song" is one of them. The film — which features Natasha Henstridge as Diana Deason and Gabe Hogan as Ken Stoddard — is centered on two schools merging into one as they struggle to get acquainted with their new system. Diana and Ken are both music teachers who must compete against one another for a position in one singular music department. They create dueling musical acts in a Christmas song competition that is televised for the entire town to see.

Over the course of the movie, each team prepares to win the competition, with the outcome meant to determine the structure of the new music department. However, romance blossoms between Diana and Ken, causing chaos in their schemes. While preparing for the competition, Diana is faced with one major decision: whether to follow her heart or focus on her responsibilities. Hallmark, as much as we love you, this one feels a bit corny, even for us.

Best: The Christmas Train is a sweet love story

This movie has a special place in Hallmark's Hall of Fame, so it had to make our list of the best Christmas movies. Featuring Dermot Mulroney, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Joan Cusack, and Danny Glover, "The Christmas Train" is a love story that was so sweet it melted our hearts. 

During Christmastime, a journalist sets out on a cross-country journey by train to get inspiration for a story after the passing of his father halted his career (via IMDb). Mulroney, who plays the character Tom Langdon, crosses paths with an old love who is on board and the two reignite their old flame. As he meets other people during the ride who help change his perspective, Tom learns more about himself and his heart than ever before. 

"The Christmas Train" is considered one of Hallmark's best Christmas movies of 2018 and 2019 (via the Hallmark Channel), so it's definitely a must-watch if you love all things Hallmark and Christmas.

Worst: Santa Switch's storyline seems familiar

Whether you enjoy watching "Elf" or "The Polar Express," some Christmas movies will forever be our favorites. However, this Hallmark movie has a plot line that's a bit reminiscent of another Christmas classic we all know and love. 

Hallmark's "Santa Switch" is about Dan Ryebeck, played by Ethan Erickson, who is unemployed and trying to find a way to afford gifts for the upcoming holiday. His wife has filed for divorce and he hasn't been spending enough time with his children, so Dan is on a mission to make this Christmas the best his family has ever had. After being paid a visit by Kris Kringle, portrayed by Donovan Scott, Dan becomes the new Santa Claus and learns a thing or two about what it takes to be in the Christmas spirit. However, things get out of control when he becomes distraught by juggling the role of Santa while trying to make things right with his family. 

Although the plot is slightly different, the idea of someone taking over the role of Santa to improve his own family relationships reminded us way too much of the 1994 film "The Santa Clause" featuring Tim Allen and Eric Lloyd. As sweet as the theme is, it's been done before. 

Best: Christmas at Graceland is packed with talent

While the Hallmark Channel usually relies on little-known actors to carry its holiday films, as well as repeat appearances by tried-and-true stars like Candace Cameron Bure, the network sometimes branches out to showcase the acting talents of stars you'd likely never expect to see in a made-for-TV Christmas movie. Such was the case with the Hallmark Channel holiday movie "Christmas at Graceland," which features country artist, television host, and former "American Idol" star Kellie Pickler.

Whether or not you're a country music fan, "Christmas at Graceland" makes it impossible to deny Pickler's industry-spanning talent. While she may not be winning an Oscar for her work in the Hallmark Channel Christmas movie, Pickler's performance as Laurel — a big-city business executive who reconnects with a former flame — is seriously impressive. 

"Christmas at Graceland" is so popular with viewers that, in early 2019, Hallmark announced not one but two sequels to the film, and later came out with "Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays" and "Christmas in Graceland: Wedding at Graceland" (via Us Weekly). 

Worst: Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle didn't get the best ratings

Last on the list of our least favorite Hallmark holiday movies is "Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle." Rob Morrow portrays Harry Mills, who works as a guardian angel that is on Earth for the first time to help Addie, played by Britt Irvin. After the passing of her father, Addie moved back home with her mother and is trying to adjust to her new life while finishing school and trying to regain her confidence — while also trying to avoid her childhood rival, Erich. 

Posing as an English teacher, Harry is given a deadline by his mentor, Celeste, that Addie has until Christmas Day to find a new perspective on life, or else he has to leave Earth for good. Of course, along the way, Addie and Harry each learn a few life lessons that they wouldn't have gained without the help of one another. If you're a fan of movies that are extra cheesy, and even a bit cringy at times, then this is definitely one for you.