You know the plot: A beautiful woman comes home for the holidays to Smalltown, U.S.A. She’s lost her Christmas spirit either because of some personal loss or because she’s been caught up in the bustling life of a city-dwelling, corporate ladder climber. But through a miraculous series of events, she’s ready to have a holly jolly Christmas, most likely with the help of a handsome, rugged man.
Yeah, you guessed it: It’s time for Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas (hosted by Candice Cameron Bure once again this year).
For over a decade, Hallmark Channel has produced a plethora of Christmas movies — of varying production quality, to say the least. Some households have made these movies a Christmas tradition. However, the unoriginality of some of Hallmark’s offerings has transformed the network’s annual Countdown to Christmas into a nearly month-long memefest for many others.
Whether you genuinely enjoy these movies or if you turn Countdown to Christmas into an annual bash fest, here’s IMDb’s worst and best rated Hallmark Channel original Christmas movies.
The most highly ranked Hallmark Christmas movies
Before jumping in, it’s worth noting that even the best-rated Hallmark Christmas movie only gets a 7.6. While that’s decent, it certainly isn’t beating “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which has an 8.6, or a slew of other Christmas classics.
Nonetheless, here’s the top 10 Hallmark Christmas movies from the last decade or so.
10. The Nine Lives of Christmas
“The Nine Lives of Christmas” is a 2014 Hallmark original with a 7.2 rating. Zachary, a fireman and long-time bachelor, begins to question his lifestyle after meeting a beautiful veterinary student who helps him take care of a stray cat he’s taken in.
9. Christmas Waltz
“Christmas Waltz,” which earned a respectable 7.3, is a 2020 Hallmark movie about a woman who’s dumped a month before her extravagant Christmas wedding. She decides to take the ballroom lessons the would-be couple would’ve used to plan and practice their wedding dance and revives her Christmas spirit in the process.
8. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” which also earned a 7.3, is a 2008 movie about Jen, a corporate analyst and single mom. She’s ready to go into the holidays with an all-business, Grinch-esque demeanor until her uncle introduces her to a handsome guy.
7. Five Star Christmas
“Five Star Christmas,” a 2020 Hallmark original with a 7.3, is about a family-owned bed and breakfast that gets an unexpected visit from a travel writer. While the family poses as guests to try influencing the writer’s review, family member Lucy begins falling for a guest named Jake.
6. Christmas with the Darlings
The No. 6 spot, “Christmas with the Darlings,” is also sitting pretty at 7.3 on IMDb. This is another 2020 movie about a woman helping a handsome man look after his orphaned nieces and nephews for Christmas.
5. The Good Witch’s Gift
“The Good Witch’s Gift,” also scoring a 7.3, is a 2008 movie that’s the third installment in a Hallmark movie series called “The Good Witch.” The town of Middleton comes together to help the local sheriff, Jake, plan a wedding for his financé, Cassie, who has opened a boutique since moving to the town.
4. The Christmas Secret
“The Christmas Secret,” rated 7.3, is a 2014 movie about Christine, a single mom down on her luck until she finds a family heirloom. The magical heirloom helps her find luck and love during the holidays.
3. Christmas by Starlight
“Christmas by Starlight” earns a 7.4 for its storyline about a woman named Annie trying to save her family restaurant, The Starlight Café, from demolition. This Hallmark Christmas movie, which premiered this year, is the first to finally rank above 7.3.
2. Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas,” 2014, earned a 7.5 by IMDb users. It’s about four postal detectives who get a letter written to God on Christmas Eve. The letter is written by a girl whose mother’s life is in peril. The detectives band together to help the girl and her mother.
1. November Christmas
“November Christmas” tops the list with a 7.6. The 2010 movie is about a little girl with cancer. Town members put past grudges behind them to help create a Christmas in November for the ill child.
The worst-rated Hallmark Christmas movies
For those more interested in binge-watching the worst-rated movies that Hallmark has to offer this Christmas, look no further.
10. Gift of the Magi
“Gift of the Magi,” which aired in 2010, and is based on the classic O. Henry story, gets a 5.5. Newlyweds Jim and Della are cash-strapped for the holidays and agree to forego Christmas gifts. However, both try to earn extra cash to buy presents anyways, which ends up straining their marriage.
9. Baby’s First Christmas
Another 5.5-rated movie is 2012’s “Baby’s First Christmas.” Colleagues Kyle and Jenna must learn to get along after their siblings have a child together on Christmas. After realizing the young couple is low on funds, the colleagues plan an adventure for their siblings and nephew.
8. Battle of the Bulbs
“Battle of the Bulbs,” which premiered in 2010, earns a 5.5 for its plot about Bob, who goes above and beyond to decorate for Christmas. However, a new neighbor brings competition this year for the best Christmas display.
7. Santa Switch
“Santa Switch,” 2013, earns a 5.4 on IMDb. Dan is starting the holiday season unemployed and struggling to pay for his kids’ gifts. His wife has filed for divorce because he continually puts his business ideas over the family. Seeing Dan is desperate, Santa, who’s ready for a vacation, puts Dan in charge of the North Pole while he’s gone.
6. Santa, Jr.
The 2002 movie “Santa, Jr.” gets a 5.4 for its story about Santa’s son trying to take over his father’s sleigh. However, along the way, Santa Jr. gets arrested while trying to deliver presents.
5. The Christmas Pageant
“The Christmas Pageant,” 2011, follows a broadway director who finds herself jobless yet again because of her temper. The 5.4-rated movie follows her journey toward finding the Christmas spirit after she’s forced to direct a community Christmas pageant.
4. Mr. Miracle
In “Mr. Miracle,” 2014, a guardian angel disguised as an attractive male English teacher helps a young woman find her way before Christmas. The movie gest a 5.3 on IMDb.
3. A Carol Christmas
In 2003’s “A Carol Christmas,” which garners a 5.2, talk show host Carol is followed around during the holidays. While her studio staff tries to spread the Christmas spirit on set, Carol’s on a mission to destroy it.
2. The Santa Incident
2010’s, “The Santa Incident,” with a 5 rating, follows Santa after his sleigh is shot down while flying in a restricted military zone. Homeland Security seeks Santa for questioning while he attempts to evade them and keep Christmas on track.
1. A Cheerful Christmas
With another 5.0 rating, 2019’s ” A Cheerful Christmas” earns the bottom spot. Friends Lauren and Colleen are “Christmas coaches” who help clients plan the perfect Christmas season. They take on their hardest client yet, a royal family, who prove hard to get into the Christmas spirit. The family’s adult son, James, begins opening up to Lauren as the friends desperately try to make the family happy.
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