Christmas might not be until December, but some networks are slapping on their mittens and gearing up for the holiday season as early as October.
Families often find themselves gathered around the TV binging some of Hallmark or Lifetime’s latest Christmas-themed films, and this year is no exception. With people around the country encouraged to stay indoors and avoid crowded locations, Variety breaks down a list of feel-good Christmas movies to tune into this year.
As part of Lifetime’s “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” holiday movie slate, the channel will premiere 30 original TV movies beginning Oct. 23 and running through mid-December. In its efforts to diversify the stories it showcases, Lifetime said it worked with GLAAD and CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) for its first-ever LGBTQ-led film “The Christmas Setup” and “A Sugar & Spice Holiday” centering on an Asian American family.
More films will be added to the list as networks announce them. But for now, read the full list of Lifetime movies, in order of airing, below.
“Christmas on Ice” (Oct. 23, Lifetime) – Abigail Klein and Ryan Cooper star in the film about a former figure skating hopeful and a former professional hockey player who work to stop the Mayor (Will Lyman) from closing the skating rink. It is written and directed by John Stimpson.
“Christmas Unwrapped” (Oct. 24, Lifetime) – A reporter named Charity (Amber Stevens West) investigates a man named Erik Gallagher (Marco Grazzini) in the film executive produced by Tiffany Haddish. Charity shows interest in Erik’s claims that the gifts he gives were provided by Santa Claus.
“Forever Christmas” (Oct. 25, Lifetime) – A reality TV producer (Chelsea Hobbs) works on a show about a man (Christopher Russell) who celebrates Christmas every day of the year, slowly falling for the subject of her new project. The script is written by Gary Goldstein, and the film is directed by Christie Will Wolf.
“A Crafty Christmas Romance” (Oct. 30, Lifetime) – The investigation into a valuable coin and a letter from Santa left in an old copy of “A Christmas Carol” drives the film’s plot — and the romance between characters Mandy (Nicola Posener) and Jonah (Bradford B. Johnson).
“Candy Cane Christmas” (Oct. 31, Lifetime) – When a neighborhood usually filled with Christmas decorations decides not to put on their annual Candy Cane Lane, a disappointed Phoebe (Beverley Mitchell) searches for new traditions. In the film directed by Adrian Langley and written by Emily Golden, Mitchell’s character falls for a man played by Mark Ghanimé.
“The Christmas Aunt” (Nov. 1, Lifetime) – Childhood best friends reconnect when Rebecca Miller (Keshia Knight Pulliam) returns to their hometown to care for her niece and nephew. She revives the kids’ Christmas faith while growing a newfound view of best friend Drew (Jarod Joseph) in the process.
“The Christmas Yule Blog” (Nov. 6, Lifetime) – A social media travel writer (Sara Canning) meets a music teacher (Zak Santiago) while covering a holiday parade in New Mexico. She falls in love with more than just Christmas as the teacher shows her different traditions from her own.
“A Welcome Home Christmas” (Nov. 7, Lifetime) – Jana Kramer and Brandon Quinn lead the film, which follows a woman paired with an Army veteran to promote an Army toy drive ahead of the Officer’s Christmas Ball. The movie, directed by Brian Herzlinger and written by T. Booker James, will also air again on Nov. 11 for Veteran’s Day.
“A Very Charming Christmas Town” (Nov. 8, Lifetime) – For a holiday vlog, Aubrey Lang (Natalie Hall) goes to the “Most Christmassy Town in the USA” and meets the man assigned to show her around, a chocolate shop owner named Sawyer Larsen (Jon Prescott). Its executive producers are Vanessa Shapiro and Lars Lindstrom.
“Christmas on the Vine” (Nov. 13, Lifetime) – A young marketing executive (Julianna Guill) cultivates a relationship with her client (Jon Corr), the owner of a winery, while working to bring Christmas spirit and local wine back to his town.
“Christmas on Wheels” (Nov. 14, Lifetime) – In the film directed by Marita Grabiak, Ashley (Tiya Sircar) finds out her uncle sold her mother’s vintage convertible and recruits her uncle’s attorney (Michael Xavier) to help her reclaim and restore it.
“The Christmas Edition” (Nov. 15, Lifetime) – Carly Hughes stars as a journalist who gets the chance to run a newspaper in Alaska, jump-starting both the paper’s profits and her budding romance with the former owner’s son, played by Rob Mayes.
“A Taste of Christmas” (Nov. 20, Lifetime) – An optimistic Natalie (Anni Krueger) convinces a pessimistic chef named Stefano (Gilles Marini) to help her open her sister Francesca’s (Nia Vardalos) Italian restaurant in time for its original Christmas Eve launch. The movie is executive produced by Omar Roma.
“Feliz NaviDAD” (Nov. 21, Lifetime) – Mario Lopez stars in and executive produces the film, which centers on a single father who is also a high school principal. His daughter (Paulina Chavez) and sister (Marycarmen Lopez) match him with a musician (AnnaLynne McCord) to bring back his joy. Mark Schulman also executive produces the movie.
“Homemade Christmas” (Nov. 22, Lifetime) – Michelle Argyris plays the lead, a woman who serves as a freelance assistant around the holidays. Her latest task for a Christmas party forced her to choose between two men. It also stars Travis Nelson.
“Dear Christmas” – (Nov. 27, Lifetime) – Melissa Joan Hart plays the host of a popular podcast about holiday romances, although she’s never experienced one herself. Before the promotional tour for her new book, she journeys back home to her family where she begins to cultivate an unexpected romance with a local firefighter (Jason Priestley).
“Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding” – (Nov. 28, Lifetime) – A sequel to last year’s “Merry Liddle Christmas,” the film follows Jacquie Liddle (Kelly Rowland) as she and Tyler (Thomas Cadrot) attempt to plan a perfect destination wedding amid family chaos and wedding planner drama.
“People Presents: Once Upon a Main Street” – (Nov. 29, Lifetime) – When Amelia Lewis (Vanessa Lachey) and Vic Manning (Ryan McPartlin) find themselves competing for the same property, they attempt to gain favor with the seller (Patrick Duffy) by taking over his responsibilities for the annual “Battle of the Main Street” holiday competition.
“The Christmas Listing” – (Nov. 30, Lifetime) – While vying for a badly needed listing, a tense realty owner who has lost her holiday cheer (Lexi Giovagnoli) and her business competitor (Travis Burns) find they have more in common than they thought.
“Spotlight on Christmas” – (Dec. 4, Lifetime) – After actor Olivia O’Hara (Tori Anderson) is dumped two weeks before Christmas, she returns home to avoid the press fallout, reconnecting with her family, encountering the charming Casey Rawlins (Victor Zinck Jr.) and taking ownership over her life.
“Let’s Meet Again on Christmas Eve” – (Dec. 5, Lifetime) – After a plan to meet again in two years on Christmas Eve falls through for two college sweethearts, Corinne (Kyla Pratt) and Rob (Brooks Darnell), the pair suddenly reconnects when they are both hired to coordinate a wedding just in time for the holiday.
“Christmas Ever After” – (Dec. 6, Lifetime) – Tony winner Ali Stroker plays a well-known romance novelist Izzi who is facing an upcoming deadline and a case of writer’s block. While at her favorite holiday destination spot, she meets owner Matt (Daniel di Tomasso), who resembles a handsome protagonist from one of her novels, and inspiration strikes.
“The Santa Squad” – (Dec. 7, Lifetime) – Allie (Rebecca Dalton), an unemployed art teacher, accepts a job with the Santa Squad to help wealthy widower Gordon (Aaron Ashmore) and his two daughters lift their holiday spirits.
“Inn Love by Christmas” – (Dec. 11, Lifetime) – When Mandy Leeds (Jonna Walsh), a successful corporate figure in the hotel industry, travels back home per her grandmother’s (Jayne Eastwood) request and to acquire a local inn for sale, she runs into her high school rival Lucas Menzino (Jesse Hutch) who is eyeing the same property.
“The Christmas Setup” – (Dec. 12, Lifetime) – When New York lawyer Hugo (Ben Lewis) heads back home to spend the holidays with his family, his mother Kate (Fran Drescher) plays matchmaker, arranging to set him up with his high school friend and crush Patrick (Blake Lee). As Hugo is up for a promotion requiring a move to London, he has to choose his next steps.
“A Sugar & Spice Holiday” – (Dec. 13, Lifetime) – Up-and-coming architect Suzie (Jacky Lai) returns to her small hometown following the loss of her grandmother, a renowned baker in the community. Guilted by her parents Pete (Tzi Ma) and Mimi (Lillian Lim) into following in her grandmother’s footsteps by entering a gingerbread house competition, she teams up with her former high school friend Billy (Tony Giroux) to find the perfect recipe and love.
“Lonestar Christmas” – (Dec. 14, Lifetime) – Erin (Stephanie Bennett), a single mom, takes her daughters to spend the holidays in Texas with her estranged father when she finds romance with local restaurateur Mateo (Marco Grazzini) and forgiveness for the past.
“Christmas on the Menu” – (Dec. 18, Lifetime) – Celebrated chef Josie Jennings (Kim Shaw) returns home from the city to spend the holidays with her mother (Cynthia Gibb), who has just opened a new restaurant. Famed food critic Tanner Rhodes (Clayton James), who has previously given Joosie harsh reviews, visits to review the restaurant, finding a blossoming romance with her in the process.
“A Christmas Exchange (working title)” (Dec. 19, Lifetime) – When two polar opposites, quaint farmhouse owner Molly Cooper (Laura Vandervoort) and London financier Patrick Kingston (Rainbow Sun Francks), swap houses for the holiday season, sparks fly as they get to know each other through email and text conversations.
“A Christmas Break” – (Dec. 20, Lifetime) – A school teacher (Cindy Sampson) decides to plan a special Christmas for her students as the school will be closing. In her quest, she enlists the help of a Hollywood actor (Steve Byers) who has returned home to reconnect with his roots.
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