Royally Wrapped For Christmas Star Jen Lilley's Real-Life Christmas Charity - Exclusive

Jen Lilley has gained recognition for her acting in "General Hospital" and other popular shows. You may have also seen her around this time of year in one of several holiday movies she stars in, including "Mingle All the Way" and "The Spirit of Christmas," per IMDb. This year, you can catch her in another Christmas film, "Royally Wrapped for Christmas," recently released on GAC Family.

Lilley and her character, Lindsay, in "Royally Wrapped For Christmas," have some striking similarities. The character is the director of an international charity focused on giving Christmas gifts to children in need. And just like her character, the actress is committed to charity work. During an exclusive interview with The List, Lilley explained her connection to this role. "I resonate with that on a personal level so much because I also run an organization called Christmas Is Not Cancelled with the same mission." During her interview, Lilley explained how she first got inspired to start Christmas Is Not Cancelled and how she used her latest Christmas movie to promote the spirit of giving.

How the pandemic inspired Lilley's Christmas charity

Lilley's non-profit, Christmas Is Not Cancelled, focuses on donating toys to children in need. The actress explained that she was partially inspired to start the charity by the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, when the CDC prohibited large gatherings for Thanksgiving, Lilley said she told her business partner, "Well, they better not cancel Christmas." From there, the pair of them realized that they could help keep Christmas alive for families who couldn't afford gifts. So, they set a goal to raise enough money to donate $10,000 to Toys For Tots.

To encourage donations, anyone who gives $15 or more is also entered into their drawing. There are several prizes throughout their "12 Days of Giveaways," plus a chance to win "The Ultimate Christmas," valued at $25,000. "We just like to make giving back fun, and so the idea was really born out of the idea of just not canceling Christmas," Lilley said. "Giving people an opportunity to connect and be able to give back in a fun and uplifting way when things around us aren't feeling the same way."

Using her Christmas movie for Christmas giving

Because her movie, "Royally Wrapped for Christmas," was so focused on the importance of giving, Lilley used the opportunity to promote her Christmas charity alongside the holiday film. She sold holiday game bundles and put the proceeds back into Christmas Is Not Cancelled.

Lilley explained how she tied the bundles in with the movie's plot. "In the movie ... at the 100th year anniversary of the Festive Heart Foundation, the attendees get to open six royal gifts." So, Lilley made the bundles with six "Royally Wrapped for Christmas" themed gifts, like bingo cards, a "Which character are you?" quiz, and a gingerbread recipe to make the movie experience more interactive.

Lilley also did an Instagram Live during the film premiere and opened one of the six gifts during each commercial break to enjoy the movie and the gift bundles along with her fans. All of the gift bundles were sold out before the movie premiere, with proceeds going to her Christmas charity.

"Royally Wrapped for Christmas," starring Jen Lilley and Brendan Fehr, will be airing on GAC Family throughout the holiday season.