These 18 New TV Movies Will Put You in the Holiday Spirit (PHOTOS)

arrow - left
arrow - right
Christmas - specials
From left: Crown Media United States, LLC/Brian Douglas, Courtesy of Lifetime, Crown Media United States, LLC/Marcel Williams

Magical Movies

There’s no Grumpy Cat film in this year’s lineup of new feel-good (but slightly cheesy) made-for-TV Christmas movies. But there is a flick directed by and featuring Mariah Carey. There’s also four romances starring child actresses from the 1990s, three films featuring plebes falling for royalty, two that involve (friendly) ghosts and a comedy with the parents from Family Ties playing Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Now sing all that to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas.” But to help you get into the Christmas spirit, we’ve narrowed down the 18 best and the brightest movies to watch (on repeat) in December.
Crown For Christmas, Danica McKellar
Crown Media United States LLC/Gabriel Hennessey

A Crown for Christmas

Airs: Tuesday, December 1, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel | See All Showtimes

A former maid (The Wonder Years’ Danica McKellar) becomes governess to a European princess (Ellie Botterill) over the holidays and ends up getting cozy with her widowed dad (Rupert Penry-Jones, who Jane Austen fans will recognize as Persuasion's Captain Wentworth)—completely pissing off the countess (Alexandra Evans) he’s supposed to marry, of course. Think The Sound of Music without the gaggle of singing children.
Angel of Christmas, Holly Robinson Peete
Crown Media United States, LLC/Marcel Williams

Angel of Christmas

Airs: Tuesday, December 1, 10/9c, Hallmark Channel | See All Showtimes

A hard-hitting journalist (Jennifer Finnigan, Tyrant) decides to write an article about her family’s 100-year-old, hand-carved Christmas tree angel—and finds out it possesses the magical ability to make people fall in love. Yet, she (strangely) fails to fly right to Hollywood and hold it while standing next to Chris Hemsworth. Ah, missed opportunities. Also: Holly Robinson Peete rounds out the cast along with Jonathan Scarfe (playing the journalist's potential love interest).
Murder She Baked A Plum Pudding Mystery
Bettina Strauss/Crown Media United States LLC

Murder, She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery

Airs: Wednesday, December 2, 7/6c, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries | See All Showtimes

As baker/sleuth Hannah Swensen, The Biggest Loser's Alison Sweeney steps away from the scales to bake up some plum pudding (natch) while also trying to catch a killer and flirt with some eye candy. No, Murder, She Wrote's Jessica Fletcher doesn't appear, but this adaptation of another cozy culinary mystery book by Joanne Fluke will surely lead to visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads.
Northpole Open For Christmas, Dermot Mulroney, Donovan Scott, Lori Loughlin, Ava Telek, Bailee Madison
Crown Media United States, LLC/Philippe Bosse

Northpole: Open for Christmas

Airs: Wednesday, December 2, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel | See All Showtimes

Another Full House alum (Lori Loughlin) pops up as a woman who receives some help from Santa's elves (led by head elf Bailee Madison) to manage a run-down hotel she inherited from an aunt. And since Christmas is not complete without some romance, Dermot Mulroney (who's been various versions of dreamy suitors) plays the very single dad/hotel handyman.

Once Upon a Holiday

Airs: Friday, December 4, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel | Show All Showtimes

A Prince for Christmas

Airs: Saturday, December 5, 1/12c, ION | Show All Showtimes

Bad, bad nobles. A princess (Briana Evigan in Once Upon a Holiday) and a prince (Kirk Barker in A Prince for Christmas) separately shirk their royal responsibilities to pose as commoners—and fall under the spell of mere commoners during the holidays.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler, The Christmas Note
Crown Media United States, LLC/Bettina Strauss

The Christmas Note

Airs: Friday, December 4, 9/8c, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries | See All Showtimes

Jamie-Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos) plays a young mom facing a lonely Christmas without her serviceman husband, until she becomes embroiled in a mystery surrounding her loner neighbor.
Christmas - specials
Clockwise fromleft: Crown Media United States LLC/Marcel WilliamsHybrid, LLC/Lifetime; Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States; LLC/Eike Schroter

Christmas Detour

Airs: Friday, December 4, 10/9c, Hallmark | See All Showtimes

The Flight Before Christmas

Airs: Saturday, December 5, 8/7c, Lifetime | See All Showtimes

Debbie McComber’s Dashing Through the Snow

Airs: Sunday, December 13, 9/8c, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries | See All Showtimes

Don’t get upset if your yuletide travel plans are ruined. According to all three of these films, that just leads to unexpected romance. Christmas Detour stars Candace Cameron Bure (Full House) as a hopeless romantic who finds her true love while stuck at an airport. While Dashing Through the Snow, inspired by a novel, sees Meghan Ory (Once Upon a Time) discover her soulmate while on a cross-country car trip. But the most bizarre of the trio: The Flight Before Christmas, with The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik and Chuck’s Ryan McPartlin as opposites forced to share a small room in a Montana bed and breakfast after a snowstorm grounds their plane to Connecticut.

Mayim Bialik on The Flight Before Christmas
Just In Time For Christmas, William Shatner
Dan Power/Hallmark Channel

Just in Time for Christmas

Airs: Saturday, December 5, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel | See All Showtimes

A small-town woman (Eloise Mumford) can’t decide whether to marry her devoted, longtime beau or accept a job offer teaching at an Ivy League college when a magical spirit (William Shatner) beams her into the future. Also along for some time travel? Back to the Future's Christopher Lloyd as Grandpa Bob.
Christmas - How Sarah Got Her Wings
© Credit Barry J Holmes/ION

How Sarah Got Her Wings

Airs: Sunday, December 6, 9/8c, ION | See All Showtimes

It's literally a match made in Heaven when Sarah (Lindsay Gort) must "reunite" with a dumped ex-boyfriend (Derek Theler) to right a past wrong—or else she can't pass through the Pearly Gates. Problem is, he already has a new girlfriend. Talk about an awkward (but angelic) third wheel.
Christmas - specials
Crown Media United States, LLC/Ben Mark Holzberg (2)

Christmas Incorporated

Airs: Tuesday, December 8, 12am/11c, Hallmark Channel | See All Showtimes

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

Airs: Saturday, December 12, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel | See All Showtimes

Got a Grinch in the family? It seems they just need a pretty lady to set them straight. In Christmas Incorporated, a poor woman (Shenae Grimes of 90210 reboot) convinces her rich bad-boy boss not to close one of his factories right before the holidays. And in On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, a girl (Brooke Nevin) gets her moody former crush into the holiday spirit (and her arms) with 12 gifts. Take that, Cindy Lou Who.
Meredith Baxter and Laura Bell Bundy
Courtesy of Lifetime

Becoming Santa

Airs: Saturday, December 12, 8/7c, Lifetime | See All Showtimes

Twentysomething Holly (Laura Bell Bundy) decides it’s time that her boyfriend, Connor (Jesse Hutch), spend the holidays up north with her family. The issue: Holly’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. Claus (played by Family Ties mom and pop, Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross). Making things awkward: They see when Connor is sleeping. They know when he’s awake. And they are definitely aware when he tries to sneak into Holly’s room for a little festive slap and tickle.
Aaron Ashmore and Larisa Oleynik
Photo by Courtesy of Lifetime

Wish Upon a Christmas

Airs: Sunday, December 13, 9/8c, Lifetime | See All Showtimes

A business woman (Larisa Oleynik, Mad Men) returns to her hometown and rekindles a romance with her old boyfriend (Aaron Ashmore, Warehouse 13), who’s also the owner of the family-run ornament company she’s been assigned to dismantle right before the holidays. Bet you three turtledoves that by Christmas morning she’s saved everyone’s job. Or at least upped their severance. (Hey, it’s Christmas!) Plus, Alan Thicke (Growing Pains) adds to a charming cast.
A Christmas Melody, Mariah Carey
Crown Media United States, LLC/Brian Douglas

A Christmas Melody

Airs: Friday, December 18, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel | See All Showtimes

Hallmark Channel makes your dreams come true with this “musical spectacular” directed by and featuring pop diva Mariah Carey. Mean Girls' Lacey Chabert also stars as a failed clothing designer who returns to her Ohio hometown with her young daughter, only to find out that her high school rival (Carey) is the president of the PTA. Are you trying to figure out how Chabert and Carey could have possibly been in high school at the same time? Chalk it up to a Christmas miracle.
The Spirit of Christmas Lifetime Movie
Coutesty of Lifetime

The Spirit of Christmas

Airs: Saturday, December 19, 8/7c, Lifetime | See All Showtimes

It’s a mystery! It’s a romance! It’s a ghost story! And it’s a holiday movie! This genre hybrid focuses on an ambitious city lawyer who’s sent to Vermont to broker the sale of an old country inn. But! It’s haunted by a super-hot ghost who comes back to life for the 12 days before Christmas to solve his 95-year-old murder so that he can move on. Does the city lawyer help the ghost solve the murder so he’ll leave the building, and so she’ll get a promotion? Or does she move in with him, promising to stay celibate for 353 days out of the year? One can only guess.
1 of