In terms of measuring time until the holiday, Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas isn’t particularly useful. As a measure of holiday enthusiasm, it still wears the crown.
With 31 new original movies premiering between Friday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Dec. 17, Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas remains the gold standard in warm and fuzzy holiday movies. This year’s batch of freshly-baked movies include trips to Christmas Island, Heidelberg, Germany, Scotland, and more, while stars include Hallmark Channel all-pros like Lacey Chabert, Scott Wolf, and Catherine Bell.
Here’s a brief look at all of the movies premiering during Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas 2023. Remember, Hallmark Channel will be in free preview all October long; to watch Hallmark Channel year-round, subscribe to the Heartland Pack or America’s Top 200 or higher.
All movies premiere at 8pm ET unless otherwise noted. All descriptions via Hallmark.
Checkin’ It Twice
Premiere: Friday, October 20
Stars: Kim Matula (“Ghosts of Christmas Always”), Kevin McGarry (“When Calls the Heart”)
Description: A journeyman hockey player (McGarry) falls for a real estate agent (Matula) in a career crisis when he’s traded to her hometown and moves into the cottage in her hockey loving family’s backyard.
Where Are You, Christmas?
Premiere: Saturday, October 21
Stars: Lyndsy Fonseca (“How I Met Your Mother”), Michael Rady (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), Jim O’Heir (“Parks and Recreation”), Julie Warner (“The Good Doctor”)
Description: When Addy (Fonseca) wishes for a year without Christmas, she wakes up in a world of black and white. She must work together with the town mechanic (Rady) to restore Christmas.
Under the Christmas Sky
Premiere: Sunday, October 22
Stars: Jessica Parker Kennedy (“The Flash”), Ryan Paevey (“Fourth Down and Love”)
Description: Kat (Kennedy) is an esteemed astrophysicist, who is scheduled for her first trip into space next year until an accident grounds her. While on leave, coming to terms with the reality that her dream of being an astronaut is over, she volunteers at the local planetarium. There, she is paired up with by-the-book David (Paevey) to work on an exhibit opening right before Christmas. Will the stars align to bring these two together at the holidays?
Christmas by Design
Premiere: Friday, October 27
Stars: Rebecca Dalton (“Spun Out”), Jonathan Keltz (“Reign”)
Description: A fashion designer (Dalton) gets accepted into a Christmas challenge to create a new holiday-
themed collection and not only finds the inspiration for her next line but decides to redesign her approach to what’s most important in life.
Premiere: Saturday, October 28
Stars: Jessy Schram (“Chicago Med”), Chandler Massey (“Days of our Lives”), Patti Murin (“In Merry Measure”), William R. Moses (“Mystic Pizza”)
Description: Juniper (Schram) travels to Mystic, Connecticut during the holidays to work at the rehabilitation center and aquarium. She reconnects with Sawyer (Massey), the owner of the pizza shop.
Premiere: Sunday, October 29
Stars: Jaicy Elliot (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Brant Daugherty (“Pretty Little Liars”)
Description: When a romantic painting of a Christmas market captures the imagination of copy editor Lea (Elliot), she is sent to France with pragmatic reporter Mark (Daugherty) to uncover the mystery behind the artist.
Flipping for Christmas
Premiere: Friday, November 3
Stars: Ashley Newbrough (“Love in Glacier National: A National Park Romance”), Marcus Rosner (“Arrow”)
Description: It’s almost Christmas when busy realtor Abigail (Newbrough) agrees to help her sister with the “simple flip” of a recently inherited home. Unfortunately, co-beneficiary Bo (Rosner) has other plans in mind.
Never Been Chris’d
Premiere: Saturday, November 4
Stars: Janel Parrish (“Pretty Little Liars”), Pascal Lamothe-Kipnes (“Trigger Me”), Tyler Hynes (“Three Wise Men and a Baby”)
Description: Home for the holidays, BFFs Naomi (Parrish) and Liz (Lamothe-Kipnes) reconnect with high school crush Chris Silver (Hynes). A complex love triangle forms, forcing them to take stock of their lives and find the value of friendship.
The Santa Summit
Premiere: Sunday, November 5
Stars: Hunter King (“The Young and The Restless”), Benjamin Hollingsworth (“Virgin River”)
Description: It’s time for the annual Santa Summit, in which revelers put on Santa suits and hop around designated locations in town to eat, drink, and be merry. Three best friends decide to go together: Jordin (King), a recently dumped art teacher looking to cut loose; Ava, a shy woman hoping to run into her crush; and Stella, a Christmas cynic with no interest in the Santa Summit whatsoever.
At the start of the night, Jordin meets and bonds with Liam (Hollingsworth), but doesn’t get his name before getting separated and lost in a sea of Santas. As the night progresses and hijinks ensue, amidst the chaos, celebration, and a sea of Santas, they all find what they’re looking for: Christmas spirit, potential romance, and a strengthened bond of friendship.
Premiere: Friday, November 10
Stars: Katherine Barrell (“Good Witch”), Cindy Busby (“Love in Zion National: A National Park Romance”), Corey Sevier (“Take Me Back for Christmas”), Matt Wells (“Spencer Sisters”)
Description: Lori Jo’s (Busby) love for Christmas takes her on a road trip to Yuletide Springs with her roommate Tori (Barrell), where Christmas is celebrated year-round, to participate in a longstanding town tradition to honor her late grandmother. Along the way, the friends meet Carl (Sevier) and Jason (Wells), and the foursome make stops during their journey to enjoy more small-town Christmas attractions. But when a series of events puts a damper on their plans, a little Christmas magic may put this trip back on the right path.
Premiere: Saturday, November 11
Stars: Rachel Skarsten (“The Royal Nanny”), Andrew Walker (“Three Wise Men and a Baby”)
Description: When a snowstorm diverts Kate’s (Skarsten) first private flight en route to Switzerland to Christmas Island, she must team up with an air traffic controller (Walker) to secure her dream job as the family’s pilot.
A Heidelberg Holiday
Premiere: Sunday, November 12
Stars: Ginna Claire Mason (“A Holiday Spectacular”), Frédéric Brossier (“Todo lo Que Necesitas”)
Description: Heidi Heidelberg (Mason) receives the dream opportunity to sell her beautiful, handmade glass ornaments at the prestigious Heidelberg Christmas Market in Germany. While there, she meets Lukas (Brossier), a local artisan who helps her reconnect with her lost heritage.
Premiere: Friday, November 17
Stars: Chelsea Hobbs (“Dream Moms”), Stephen Huszar (“A Royal Christmas Crush”)
Description: Recently divorced Melanie (Hobbs) and her son Jason visit a remote island for Christmas, only to find themselves running a real working lighthouse where she connects with the curt but cute owner (Huszar).
A Merry Scottish Christmas
Premiere: Saturday, November 18
Stars: Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls), Scott Wolf (“Nancy Drew”)
Description: When estranged siblings, Lindsay (Chabert) and Brad (Wolf) Morgan travel to Scotland at Christmas to reunite with their mother Jo, a big family secret is revealed.
Premiere: Sunday, November 19
Stars: Emily Tennant (“Polly Pocket: Sparkle Cove Adventure”), Niall Matter (“Come Fly With Me”)
Description: After leaving London, Abby (Tennant) connects with an anonymous caller while working at a cooking hotline. The caller is single dad “John” (Matter) who Abby unknowingly has become smitten with in real life.
Merry Thanksgiving Weekend
Catch Me If You Claus
Premiere: Thursday, November 23
Stars: Italia Ricci (“The Imperfects”), Luke Macfarlane (“Notes of Autumn”)
Description: Avery Quinn (Ricci) is an aspiring news anchor who’s finally getting her big break on her station’s Christmas morning newscast. But that’s put in jeopardy when she captures an intruder in her home wearing a red suit claiming to be Chris (Macfarlane), Santa’s son, who is on his first mission. A night of adventure ensues as they find themselves being pursued by the police as well as some shady characters. Along the way, they connect over living in the shadow of their parents and inspire each other to go after their dreams.
Letters to Santa
Premiere: Friday, November 24, 6p ET/PT
Stars: Katie Leclerc (“Switched at Birth”), Rafael de la Fuente (“Dynasty”)
Description: When young siblings receive a magic pen from Santa that appears to be granting wishes, they request a Christmas gift they want more than anything – for their separated parents (Leclerc, de la Fuente) to reunite.
Premiere: Friday, November 24
Stars: Sara Canning (“Christmas at the Golden Dragon”), Warren Christie (“Batwoman”)
Description: When bad weather leaves each of them stranded at the airport for the holidays, a tech entrepreneur (Christie), a travel writer (Canning), a devoted mother (Enid-Raye Adams) and her son (Kiefer O’Reilly), a stubborn senior (Trevor Lerner), an enigmatic woman with a hint of mystery (Brittany Willacy), a couple traveling from Hong Kong (Sharon Crandall, Ryan Mah) and a social media influencer (Princess Davis) all agree to rent a shared van to embark on a road trip to Denver. When their unexpected journey brings them into uncharted territory, they navigate a series of misadventures together and form a deeper bond that just might change the trajectories of each of their lives. Inspired by true events.
Christmas in Notting Hill
Premiere: Saturday, November 25, 6p ET/PT
Stars: Sarah Ramos (“Parenthood”), William Moseley (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
Description: Famous soccer star, Graham Savoy (Moseley), has always been too busy for love, but when he
comes home to Notting Hill for Christmas, he changes his mind after meeting Georgia (Ramos) – a visiting American and the one person who has no idea who he is.
Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up
Premiere: Saturday, November 25
Stars: Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls), Wes Brown (We Are Marshall), Stephen Tobolowsky (“One Day at a Time”), Melissa Peterman (“Reba”), Ellen Travolta (“Charles in Charge”), Seth Morris (“History of the World: Part II”), Jennifer Aspen (“Party of Five”)
Description: As the holidays approach, Emily (Chabert) and Jared (Brown) are looking forward to celebrating the holidays together again, this time as a couple. Emily, now embracing Evergreen Lane’s uniquely festive spirit, is ready to work with Jared, Ned (Tobolowsky), Mary Louise (Travolta) and Pamela (Peterman) to make this year’s Christmas celebrations the best yet – even if being the HOA president’s girlfriend doesn’t stop those dreaded decorating citations.
When a house on the block goes up for sale, it causes quite a stir with residents. When the soon-to-be neighbors turn out to be holiday royalty (Morris, Aspen), it looks like this year’s competition is about to heat up. As the welcoming committee prepares for the new arrivals, only one thing is certain – this Christmas, Evergreen Lane is going to sleigh!
Our Christmas Mural
Premiere: Sunday, November 26, 6p ET/PT
Stars: Alex Paxton-Beesley (“Murdoch Mysteries”), Dan Jeannotte (“The Bold Type”)
Description: Olivia (Paxton-Beesley) is a single mom who returns home for Christmas. Her mom secretly enters her into a mural contest; she wins but partners with teacher Will (Jeannotte) to create a Christmas masterpiece.
A Biltmore Christmas
Premiere: Sunday, November 26
Stars: Bethany Joy Lenz (“Good Sam”), Kristoffer Polaha (“A Winning Team”), Jonathan Frakes (“Star Trek: Picard”) , Robert Picardo (“Star Trek: Voyager”)
Description: Lucy Hardgrove (Lenz) is a screenwriter who lands the job of a lifetime when she’s hired to pen the script for a remake of the beloved, holiday movie classic, His Merry Wife!, which was filmed in 1947 at beautiful, historic Biltmore House. When the head of the studio isn’t satisfied with the ending Lucy wrote because it deviates from the original’s feel-good conclusion, he sends Lucy to Biltmore Estate for research and inspiration.
While there, she unwittingly discovers the ability to travel to the 1947 set of His Merry Wife! through the help of an hourglass. While on set, she and Jack Huston (Polaha), one of the film’s stars, spend time together and become close. But her sudden appearance has set off a chain of events that put the production in jeopardy. Before she can return to the present, Lucy must make things right or threaten to alter the future forever.
My Norwegian Holiday
Premiere: Friday, December 1
Stars: Rhiannon Fish (“The 100”), David Elsendoorn (“Ted Lasso”)
Description: JJ (Fish), grieving the loss of her grandmother and seeking dissertation inspiration, stumbles upon an unexpected holiday destiny. Meeting Henrik (Elsendoorn), a Norwegian from Bergen, their connection deepens when he discovers she has a troll figurine from his hometown. To explore the troll’s history and her grandmother’s ties, JJ agrees to join Henrik on a journey to Norway. In Bergen, they’re drawn into Henrik’s family Christmas and wedding traditions, with his sister’s wedding the day before Christmas Eve. JJ embarks on a holiday adventure, uncovering the troll’s origins and finding her own path to healing, love and family.
A Not So Royal Christmas
Premiere: Saturday, December 2
Stars: Brooke D’Orsay (“A Fabled Holiday”), Will Kemp (“The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango”)
Description: Tabloid journalist Charlotte (D’Orsay) attempts to land an interview with a reclusive Count. In response, the royal family has a groundskeeper (Kemp) pose as the Count since the real one fled years ago.
Christmas with a Kiss
Premiere: Sunday, December 3
Stars: Mishael Morgan (“The Young and the Restless”), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Jaime M. Callica (“Ruthless”)
Description: A woman (Morgan) returns home to help with her family’s Christmas Carnival and romance ignites. A photo journalist (Rowe) curates a surprise reunion.
Magic in Mistletoe
Premiere: Friday, December 8
Stars: Lyndie Greenwood (“Holiday Heritage”), Paul Campbell (“Three Wise Men and
Description: Harrington (Campbell) is the author of a popular book series but commercial success has left him a bitter recluse. As he returns to his hometown for an annual Christmas festival celebrating his books, he’s joined by April (Greenwood), a publicist for the major publishing house he works with. April is there for damage control after Harrington’s recent comments on social media have ruffled some feathers. But as she gets to know him better, hope springs that April can unlock Harrington’s guarded heart and help him rediscover the spirit of the holiday.
Christmas on Cherry Lane
Premiere: Saturday, December 9
Stars: Catherine Bell (“Good Witch”), Jonathan Bennett (“The Holiday Sitter”), John Brotherton (“Fuller House”), Erin Cahill (“Hearts in The Game”), James Denton (“Good Witch”), Vincent Rodriguez III (“With Love”)
Description: A young couple preparing to welcome their first child (Brotherton, Cahill); an empty-nester (Bell) and her fiancé (Denton) ready to start a new chapter; and a couple (Bennett, Rodriguez III) who unexpectedly have the chance to expand their family on Christmas Eve celebrate the holiday as they navigate these turning points in their lives.
Round and Round
Premiere: Sunday, December 10
Stars: Vic Michaelis (“Upload”), Bryan Greenberg (“One Tree Hill”), Rick Hoffman (“Suits”)
Description: Rachel’s (Michaelis) stuck in a time loop, reliving the night of her parents’ Hanukkah party. Can Zach (Greenberg), the “nice boy” Grandma’s trying to set her up with, help her make it to tomorrow?
The Secret Gift of Christmas
Premiere: Friday, December 15
Stars: Meghan Ory (“Chesapeake Shores”), Christopher Russell (“The Most Colorful Time of the Year”)
Description: Bonnie (Ory) is a personal shopper who helps her new, widowed client Patrick (Russell) reconnect with his young daughter. Though Bonnie and Patrick’s ideas of shopping couldn’t be more different, she is determined to get Patrick and his daughter everything on their wish list.
Sealed with a List
Premiere: Saturday, December 16
Stars: Katie Findlay (“Walker: Independence”), Evan Roderick (“Arrow”)
Description: This holiday season, festive Carley (Findlay) sets out to conquer her list of abandoned resolutions from last year. Aided by coworker Wyatt (Roderick), she finds love and the confidence to chase her dreams.
Friends & Family Christmas
Premiere: Sunday, December 17
Stars: Humberly Gonzalez (“Ginny & Georgia”), Ali Liebert (“Bomb Girls”)
Description: Daniella (Gonzalez) has recently moved to New York to pursue an art career and decides to stay in town to share the holidays with her circle of artist friends, instead of going home to see her sweet, if overbearing parents. Amelia (Liebert) is a talented entertainment lawyer trying to stay focused on her work after a broken engagement. When Daniella and Amelia are set up by their parents, they agree to pretend that they are dating, to appease them for the holidays. However, as they spend time in each other’s worlds, they soon build a connection that is deeper than either of them could have hoped for.