Let’s Talk Hallmark: 2009-2010 Countdown to Christmas tradition begins

Hallmark has become a beloved brand for so many. From the popular greeting cards, unique gifts and keepsakes, to the beloved and popular movies brought to us by the magic of television. The Crown Media family and the Hallmark Channel network constantly provide us with wonderful movies, throughout the seasons. From all those movies, the most popular ones have always been the Hallmark Christmas movies.

Since 1951, when the Hall Brothers, who already had established their greeting cards business in Missouri, were invited to sponsor special programming for television, their brand grew and became “Hallmark”. Over the years, the Hallmark Channel network (owned by Crown Media Holding) has continued producing and adding Christmas movies every year. I wrote a previous post on how it all started, check here https://fullofcoffee.blog/2019/10/13/lets-talk-hallmark-the-beginning-of-hallmark-christmas-movies/. This is my fourth post.

As always, I like to remind all readers that, even though I love the movies, I’m only a fan. I have no rights or access to any production or merchandise. None. But if you’re interested, you may visit the website https://www.hallmarkchannel.com. I check the Hallmark Channel page every day! I check the merchandise page too! See all they have in stores here https://www.hallmark.com/. The design in the picture below is from merchandise available for purchase. All images/posters used for this post are from Hallmark Channel/Crown Media Holdings.

Design from Hallmark merchandise

With the success of the Hallmark Channel, in 2004 the Crown Media company launched a second cable channel, the Hallmark Movie Channel. In 2014, it was renamed as the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. In 2017, they added the Hallmark Drama, and the Hallmark Movie Now, streaming movie service for customers.

This year, 2019, Hallmark Channel celebrates the 10th year anniversary of the “Countdown to Christmas” movies.

By 2009, the Hallmark Channel had already managed to captivate many fans who liked and enjoyed many of their movies, especially the Christmas-themed movies. The network then decided to promote the block of movies as “Countdown to Christmas”, starting to show them from the end of October to the end of the year, throughout the Christmas season. With that, the channel started showing only Christmas movies continuously, like a marathon. Check out their press release, announcing the 2009 new movies:

HALLMARK CHANNEL’S ‘COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS’ PUTS OTHER NETWORKS DOWN FOR THE COUNT!

Information retrieved from The Futon Critic. Read more at http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2009/11/23/hallmark-channels-countdown-to-christmas-puts-other-networks-down-for-the-count-33573/20091123hallmark01/.

In 2010, after the success of the 2009 campaign of promoting the “Countdown to Christmas” programming, Hallmark Channel decided to give it a boost and 11 new Christmas movies premiered that year. They were added to the schedule, and the channel continued with the concept of “Countdown to Christmas”, presenting only Christmas movies for 24 hours, again starting at the end of October, until the end of December.

Let’s take a look:

  • A Dog Named Christmas (2009) – premiered on CBS as part of Hallmark Hall of Fame, with Bruce Greenwood, Linda Emond and Noel Fisher. This movie is based on a novel of the same name by Greg Kincaid. A young man with a developmental disability wants to foster a dog for Christmas, but his dad says no. With the help of his mom, the young man gets a dog and names him Christmas. Bringing Christmas home proves to be a life-changing event for the whole family. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Christmas in Canaan (2009) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with singer Billy Ray Cyrus, Zak Ludwig, and Jaishon Fisher. This movie was based on a novel co-written by Kenny Rogers. A widowed farmer struggling to make ends meet, forces his young son, who has begun to show racist tendencies, to spend time with his black classmate, leading to an unexpected friendship. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Debbie Macomber’s Mrs. Miracle (2009) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Doris Roberts, James Van Der Beek and Erin Kapluk. This movie is based on the book by Debbie Macomber. A widowed father of two, Seth, is looking for a housekeeper and babysitter for his rowdy boys. As the Holidays approach, Mrs. Merkle comes in and the boys are happy with her, giving her the nickname of “Mrs. Miracle”. Then Seth meets Reba (Karpluk), who comes in to help with the school Christmas pageant. I’ve seen this one. It’s a lovely story. It’s on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • The National Tree (2009) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Andrew McCarthy, Evan Williams and Kari Matchett. A father and son go on a road-trip from Oregon to Washington, DC, to transport a spruce pine tree from their own farm to be planted across from the White House on Thanksgiving. On their way there, the son is filming and posting on his blog all their interactions. They’re accompanied by Faith, a marketing representative. This movie was the official kick-off to Countdown to Christmas, being the first movie to premiere during the 2009 season. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • The Three Gifts (2009) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Dean Cain, Jean Louisa Kelly, and Mimi Kennedy. Three rowdy orphan boys temporarily move in with Jack and Cherie Green over the Christmas Holiday. The Greens are unable to have children, and Jack is wary of fatherhood, but they’re able to give the children the greatest Christmas gifts they’ve ever known. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • An Old Fashioned Christmas (2010) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Catherine Steadman, Leon Ockenden, Tatiana Maslany and Jackeline Bissett. This is a sequel to An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving (2008), both movies based on a short story by American novelist Louisa May Alcott. Isabella (Bissett) and Tilly (Maslany) pay a visit to Ireland, hoping Isabella’s long-ago suitor, the Earl of Shannon, can assist Tilly in getting her writing published. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Battle of the Bulbs (2010) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Daniel Stern, Matt Frewer and Allison Hosack. Bob Wallace makes sure to go all out every year on Christmas decorations so that he can have the brightest and most festive house in his neighborhood. He notices that his new neighbor has put up an even brighter and more lavish display. The fight is on when they declare war for the best Christmas decoration display in the neighborhood.  I haven’t seen this one. It’s not on schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Channel web page).
  • Debbie Macomber’s Call Me Mrs. Miracle (2010) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Doris Roberts, Jewel Staite, Eric Johnson and Lauren Holly. This movie is based on the book by Debbie Macomber. When Mrs. Miracle appears as a seasonal employee in the toy department at the financially troubled Finley’s Department Store, neither the store’s owners, nor the customers, have any idea of the events that are about to unfold. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • Farewell Mr. Kringle (2010) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Christine Taylor, Christopher Wiehl, Vivica A. Fox and William Morgan Sheppard. Annabelle, a widowed journalist, begrudgingly accepts an assignment on Kris Kringle, a Santa Claus impersonator who lives in a small, Christmas-themed town. To her surprise, she is enchanted by Kris and the townspeople. As her involvement with the town grows, she is able to open herself up to love again. I’ve seen this one! It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Gift of the Magi (2010) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Marla Sokoloff and Mark Webber. A newlywed couple burdened with economic hardship decides not to exchange Christmas presents to save money over the holidays. Secretly, they make sacrifices to buy the other a special gift. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • November Christmas (2010) – premiered on CBS as part of Hallmark Hall of Fame, with John Corbett, Sarah Paulson and Sam Elliott. This is the story of how neighbors come to help a family trying to cope with their young daughter’s illness. The father’s unwavering love toward his sick little girl propels him to come up with a plan to move the clock, pushing up all the holidays, including Christmas. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • The Night Before the Night Before Christmas (2010) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Jennifer Beals and Rick Roberts. Young children with self-absorbed, workaholic parents long for intimacy and family life the way it used to be. One night, without warning, Santa Claus crash lands into their home. Santa has a bad case of amnesia, so with the fate of Christmas in their hands, the family will have to put other lives ahead of their own for a change in order to restore Santa and Christmas. I haven’t seen this one. It’s not on schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • The Santa Incident (2010) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Ione Skye and Greg Germann. Santa is marooned in a small town when his sleigh is mistaken for a UFO. He is rescued by two children and tries to prepare for Christmas while stranded far from the North Pole. I’ve seen this one! It’s a mix of comedy and romance. It’s not on schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • The Santa Suit (2010) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Kevin Sorbo, Jodie Dowdall and Derry Robinson. Drake Hunter, president of Hunter Marketing, finds himself working as a dress-up Santa to make ends meet. Stripped of power and position, Drake discovers the importance of honesty, compassion, and respect as he helps an unprivileged girl enjoy the magic of Christmas. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • The Town Christmas Forgot (2010) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Lauren Holly and Rick Roberts. A family that can’t seem to get along gets stranded in a remote lumber town two days before Christmas. When they become involved in the town’s home-grown Christmas pageant, they not only help solve the town’s problems but learn to connect with each other just in time for the holidays. I haven’t seen this one. It’s on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • Three Wise Women (2010) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Fionnula Flanagan, Amy Huberman, Hugh O’Connor, Lauren Coe and John Rhys Davies. Liz (Huberman) is a successful doctor who doesn’t fully realize she is settling for less than ideal with the man she is about to marry. Her guardian angel travels through time and enlists the help of Liz as a late teenager and as an older woman to steer her clear from making this mistake. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).

Of this list of 16, I’ve only seen three! From here on, after year 2010, the list of Christmas movie premieres grow bigger each year. Yes, there are many more movies still to cover.

I’ll be writing some more. I have plenty more to add, more to write about, and more movies to watch and love. I love writing, I love Christmas, and I love Hallmark movies. It’s time for my tacita de café. Salud!

Para versión en español, vea https://fullofcoffee.blog/2019/11/09/hablemos-hallmark:-2009-2010-comienza-la-tradicion-del-conteo-regresivo-de-navidad/

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