The best & worst Hallmark Christmas movies of all time


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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. 

Hallmark's 'The Nine Lives of Christmas'
Hallmark Channel

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. 

Hallmark's 'Christmas Waltz'
Hallmark Channel

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.

Hallmark's 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year'
Hallmark Channel

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.

Hallmark's 'Five Star Christmas '
Hallmark Channel

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.

Hallmark's 'Christmas with the Darlings'
Hallmark Channel

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.

Hallmark's 'The Good Witch's Gift'
Hallmark Channel

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. 

Hallmark's 'The Christmas Secret'
Hallmark Channel

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. 

Hallmark's 'Christmas by Starlight'
Hallmark Channel

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. 

Hallmarks' 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas'
Hallmark Channel

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.

Hallmarks' 'November Christmas'
Hallmark Channel

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. 

Couple watching Christmas movies
Prostock-Studio/ iStock

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. 

Hallmark's 'Gift of the Magi'
Hallmark Channel

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.

Hallmark's 'Baby's First Christmas '
Hallmark Channel

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.

Hallmark's 'Battle of the Bulbs'
Hallmark Channel

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.

Hallmark's 'Santa Switch'
Hallmark Channel

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.

Hallmark's 'Santa, Jr.'
Hallmark Channel

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. 

Hallmark's 'The Christmas Pageant'
Hallmark Channel

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. 

Hallmark's 'Mr. Miracle'
Hallmark Channel

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.

Hallmark's 'A Carol Christmas'
Hallmark Channel

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.

Hallmark's 'The Santa Incident'
Hallmark Channel

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.

Hallmark's 'A Cheerful Christmas'
Hallmark Channel

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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Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn is MediaFeed’s senior editor. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.