Lets Talk Hallmark: The Signed, Sealed, Delivered Series, Episodes 6 to 10

July 2020 – I continue writing about one of my favorite Hallmark series,  the Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Dead Letter Mysteries. The first movie had a very good reception from the viewers. After the first movie aired in 2013, Hallmark then switched the presentation format to 1-hour episodes. The series had 10 1-hour episodes, which aired from April to June of 2014. The network then changed the format back to 2-hour movies.

The actors with Carol Burnett

Those 10 episodes were all packed with emotion, action, mystery and drama. Each episode brings a new lost letter to investigate and deliver to its rightful addressee. But it also brings us to find out more about the POstables team, our efficient group of postal workers, and their personal struggles. Read my first post about the Signed, Sealed, Delivered pilot movie here https://fullofcoffee.blog/2020/05/10/lets-talk-hallmark-introduction-to-signed-sealed-delivered-the-postables-team/.

I also wrote a previous post about the first five episodes of the series, https://fullofcoffee.blog/2020/06/14/lets-talk-hallmark-the-signed-sealed-delivered-series-episodes-1-to-5/. As I write and review each episode, I’m trying not to spoil what happens next -very difficult for me! I really want each viewer to discover the intrigues and emotions of the stories.

Since I’m talking about Hallmark, let me 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 www.hallmarkchannel.com. I check the Hallmark Channel page every day! All pictures/images used are from Hallmark/Crown Media.

There’s so much to tell you about it, that I divided the information of the series in two posts. Here I tell you about the next five episodes, from 6 to 10 (all descriptions are summarized from information retrieved from the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries web page https://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/signed-sealed-delivered/episode-guide/5#listheader):

Ellie (Jessica Kishner Morgan) and Bobby (Jeremy Raymond)

Episode 6- The Future Me – In this episode we meet a new supervisor, Glynis Rucker (Marilu Henner).  We also meet carrier Kimmi Cooper (Andrea Brooks), who brings in an undeliverable letter. She’s interested in meeting Rita, as they’d be rivals for the title of Miss Special Delivery. The team finds out that the daughter of new supervisor Glynis, Vivinee (Cate Richardson), is also a contestant for the title. Glynis has assured them that her daughter will win the contest at any cost.

Oliver arrived at the office, stating that he had started throwing away things from his past, including eliminating the bin of “lost letters” from Paris. The others are intrigued, but Oliver, trying to dismiss their concerns, assured them that he is fine. They moved on to investigate the letter that Kimmi brought to them. It was found inside a drawer of an old school desk. Norman informed them that the letter was written by a young female, and he went on his first solo investigation to find out where did the desk (where the letter was found) came from.

The team discovers that the letter was from a young lady with Down Syndrome, Ellie (Jessica Kishner Morgan), who works in a flower shop. She wrote a letter to “her future self”. She works with her boyfriend, a young guy named Bobby (Jeremy Raymond), who also has a disability. They want to get married, but her father is opposed to this. Ellie, with Oliver and Shane’s help, tries to convince her family that they are ready to get married.

The team goes with Rita to the pageant’s elimination round. Because Rita starts doubting herself, Norman gave her a message of encouragement. Glynis had said that she could squash the competition like a bug. Norman tells Rita that there’s a bug called a tree lobster, and they have an outside skeleton like a lobster. This makes them “unsquashable”. This gave Rita the courage she needed. Yes, she won the contest for her division, and the right to participate in the state pageant. And yes, Ellie and Bobby got married, why I tell you this? Because Shane and Oliver danced again at the wedding.

Billy (Adam DiMarco) and Jennifer (Nicole Fraissinet)

Episode 7- Something Good – Rebecca “Becky” Starkwell (Valerie Bertinelli) is visiting the office, assigned to find a special project. She chose to feature Rita in the monthly magazine. She found out that Shane was working here, and they had worked together in Washington, D.C.. They go out to lunch, and Shane told her about Oliver. They didn’t realize that he was there and heard their conversation.

The team works with an item from the small unattached items bin, things that had fallen of their original letter or packaging. They picked a CD that had a note written on it. They ended up listening to the CD and traced it to singer Linda Hawkins (Leah Gibson). Shane contacted Linda, and she directed her to the recording studio were they found Jennifer (Nicole Fraissinet), who is the studio manager. She remembered the CD was from Billy James Antonopoulos (Adam DiMarco), and she also remembered that was the last night she saw him.

The team found Billy by tracing the license of his vintage motorcycle. Billy was in a motorcycle accident and lost his memory, and he was in a rehab center. Shane and Rita realized that the song was written for Jennifer, as Billy was in love with her, and Jennifer is also in love with Billy. They brought Jennifer to see Billy, and they brought him his guitar. The team convinced Billy to play his song. He wasn’t sure he would remember the lyrics, but Oliver says to him “sometimes your heart remembers what your mind forgets”. The song, the guitar (and the girl) managed to help him recover part of who he is.

Lane Edwards (center) as Michael Wheeler

Episode 8- Dark of Night – This is a very emotional, and controversial episode. The team of actors managed to create such a memorable masterpiece. The episode starts with a lady in a hospital bed, who was in a car accident. She wrote a letter while in the hospital, and later died. The letter was found inside a bible and was sent to the Dead Letter Office.

Becky Starkwell (Valerie Bertinelli) is still in Denver (Colorado). She told Shane that Oliver heard their conversation about him (from the previous episode). Oliver interrupts them, bringing a package. When he shows what’s inside the package, it’s the letter from Melissa (Kimberley Sustad), the lady who died in the hospital. It was dated 10 years ago.

The letter was addressed to Michael Wheeler (Lane Edwards), who turned out to be the District Attorney. His wife died after the car accident, and their daughter, Abby (Stephanie Bennett), survived. In the letter, she revealed the truth about their daughter. The news made Michael very distraught. As they investigate, the team realized that they need more support to go on special assignments or more liberties to investigate letters beyond just delivering them. Becky steps up and sends a letter to Washington, D.C., authorizing the Dead Letter Office to expand their investigation’s powers and be declared a Special Task Force. This is the episode where they officially became the “POstables”, as they’re looking for a name when Rita mentions that they are like “special agents, like super heroes”.

The team discovered that Abby is in a life-death health situation. They helped Michael realize that Abby’s life is more important than revenge. In doing so, they managed to saved two lives. So the team received a Distinguished Service award, but they also received the Dark of Night award.

Episode 9- The Treasure Box – In this episode, a wooden box was found inside a damaged package. Norman thinks it’s a puzzle box and he deciphers the compartment, finding a key. The key turned out to be for a safety deposit box. Oliver and Shane headed to the bank to visit the box in the vault. As they were in, a boy playing around pulled the fire alarm, resulting in Oliver, Shane and Jason, the bank employee (Keenan Tracey), being trapped in the safety vault.

They all thought that they have only a few hours of oxygen. Oliver set to write a letter, and Shane is looking for conversation to stay distracted. She noticed that the letter he is writing is for Holly, his wife. They then decided to check the content of the box, and found out a bunch of letters. They were written by Jonathan and Katherine, from the time they knew each other and continued as their long-distance relationship grew.

Meanwhile, Norman and Rita headed to Rita’s reception and opening night ceremony of the pageant. They suspected something happened to Oliver and Shane, as he’s never late. Rita started the sentence “Oliver is more reliable than…” to which Norman added “than a mule delivering mail bags to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.” Then Norman overheard a lady talking about the emergency evacuation at the bank.

After the big ordeal of being stuck in the vault, Oliver and Shane headed out to visit Jonathan Walker (Richard de Klerk) to give him back the box and the letters. It turned out that the letters were from his great-grandparents. He said that every men in the family had received the box and letters as a wedding gift.

The team accompanied Rita to the pageant, where we find Ramón Rodríguez (Zak Santiago) being the master of ceremonies. Rita won the title of Miss Colorado Special Delivery, and her next step is to participate in the national competition.

My blogger friend Ruth Mayer Hill had the opportunity to interview Zak Santiago in 2017 (still a very good one!). Read here https://mydevotionalthoughts.net/2017/02/interview-with-actor-zak-santiago-signed-sealed-delivered.html.

Carol Burnett as Ardis

Episode 10- A Hope and a Future – The episode started with a young lady leaving a baby with a note by the front door of the local church. Back in the office, the team is celebrating Rita’s accomplishment. Oliver let her pick the letter to investigate, picking a letter that was not intended for the system. It was a personal note addressed to Pastor Thomas, from a baby’s mother asking the pastor to find someone to take care of her baby, to give him “a hope and a future”.

The story affected Norman, as he confessed that he was abandoned as a child, had to go into foster care, and eventually was adopted. He also confessed that he had contacted the National Adoption Registry, and he received a letter a year ago, one that he hadn’t opened. He asked Oliver to open it for him. The letter was from Ms. Ardis Parker-Pennington-Paine (Carol Burnett), Norman’s biological grandmother, and she wants to meet him. Norman got in touch with her, and Ardis came to Colorado to meet him. They did spent a day together, and she revealed that Norman’s mom had passed away.

The team visited the church, looking for Pastor Thomas. They found out that the Pastor had passed away, but the pastor in charge is his son (Viv Leacock), and he said he was the one who found the baby. They found Joshua (Adam Korson), the baby who is now a doctor, and he is not interested in meeting his biological mom.

Rita recognized Joshua’s face, and it turned out that he had a twin brother, Matt. Oliver and Shane went to visit him, and found out that the mom (Ingrid Tesch) was living with him. She had never reveal to Matt that she had a twin brother. Norman’s grandmother, Ardis, ended up hospitalized and being attended by Joshua. While in the hospital, she arranged for Matt and his mom to come in. They all met with Joshua and finally made peace.

Oliver had a conversation with Ardis, in which she told him that he could do with a little crazy himself. He said that he wouldn’t know where to begin. Ardis told him “you begin by doing the thing that scares you the most, face up to the scary and the rest is easy”. After this, Shane revealed to him that she was concerned about the letter he wrote for Holly. He was still holding on to it. He finally decided to mail it.

After these episodes aired, the Hallmark network changed the format to 2-hour movies. There are 11 movies and, it was announced that one more movie will be filmed. At this time, when I wrote this, the COVID pandemic has halted production and actors are waiting the okay to go make the movie.

Although the format changes, the story continues. The relationship between these four friends continues growing. And the relationship between both couples, Oliver-Shane and Norman-Rita, also keeps evolving. There’s more drama and mystery as the movies continue. I have more to tell you about it! So, look up for my next posts.

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, and I love Hallmark movies. It’s time for my tacita de café. Salud!

Para versión en español, vea https://fullofcoffee.blog/2020/07/12/hablemos-hallmark-la-serie-el-misterio-de-las-cartas-perdidas-episodios-6-al-10/.

Lets Talk Hallmark: The POstables Fans of the Signed, Sealed, Delivered Series

I have become a big fan of the Hallmark network movies. In the process, I have discovered a few series that have called my attention. I’m not a fan of series because I tend to forget what day they’re running and I hate missing episodes. Well, in this case, I not only became a fan of the series, I became a part of the fan club.

I’m talking about the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series. I became a fan of the POstables, the main characters of the series: Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius), Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth), Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe), and Norman Dorman (Geof Gustafson). I wrote about how the series started, check the post here https://fullofcoffee.blog/2020/05/10/lets-talk-hallmark-introduction-to-signed-sealed-delivered-the-postables-team/.

The POstables group that met in Florida

Before I tell you more about the movies, I have to tell you about the fans. When I joined Twitter, I did it to follow all news and posts about Hallmark movies. Well, I started to follow a bunch of fans of Hallmark. I started seeing and following the POstables fans. They are an active group, always writing posts promoting the movies, setting dates to rewatch movies, and praising (rightly so) the great work of the actors and writers. They use a lot of positive thoughts and inspirational quotes.

This group is always interacting and writing to each other. The actors often participate of this interaction! I’ve gotten “lost” a few times in the maze of comments, following a conversation. They set dates to watch the movies, as most of them own the complete collection, alerting everyone of the movie to watch and tweeting along as they do. The Hallmark network knows they are loyal followers, so they have added the series to the Hallmark Movies Now streaming service.

I had the chance to watch one of the movies when it premiered, “The Road Less Traveled”, and I was intrigued. I wanted to know more. I wanted to follow the story. I noticed the hashtag on Twitter and I started reading and following. I found out there were more movies, and there are many, many fans!

As I’ve been following, I’ve seen that these group of fans often travel to meet and get together quite often. A big trip I wished I had gone to was when this group of fans went to Los Angeles, California, to meet Kristin Booth and Crystal Lowe, as they participated in an interview for the show Home and Family TV. Then they went to a private lunch with the actors, and with writer Martha Williamson.

July 2018: POstables in California, meeting actors Crystal Lowe (4th in back row), Kristin Booth (7th in back row), and writer Martha Williamson (center, 10th in back row)

The actors are also on Twitter. They also participate of the tweeting events and respond to fans questions. They know this fan family loves them and loves their work. They work hard for the fans and that’s one thing we all appreciate. That’s part of why this series is so loved.

Well, I finally had the chance to meet a big part of this group. I read that they were planning a trip to Florida. I contacted my good friend Judy (who I only knew from Twitter) to make sure she was coming and where were they meeting. Judy lives in California and is one of the first friends that introduced me to the POstables fan group. I told her “if it’s in Florida, I don’t care how many hours I have to drive, I want to meet you and the group”.

Judy and I finally met in person!

This all happened in October of 2019. I contacted Amanda, who lives in Florida, to make sure of the date and the location. I set up my mind, and planned my trip. I was driving by myself to go meet my friends Judy and Amanda. I really didn’t know who else was coming. It was only a couple of hours away, so I told myself that I was going to be okay. The thing is that in May 2019 I had a panic/anxiety attack while traveling by airplane by myself. So this was quite the challenge for me. But I wanted to do this, go meet these friends. I drove about two hours and a half, after a few stops and not taking the expressway. I made it to the location without incidents.

In my mind, I thought I was coming to meet a few ladies, 4 or 5 maybe. I asked if it was okay to wear my POstables t-shirt, and Judy said it’d be perfect, they’d wear theirs too. The welcome they gave me was fantastic. I cannot express in words how awesome it felt. It was like being with family. That gave me such a warm feeling! Like we’ve known each other for a long time. Like I was reuniting with my aunties, my cousins, and sisters. Fourteen (14) ladies had traveled to Florida, plus three (3) of us were locals, and two little ladies that joined the group.

I also met these two wonderful ladies!
Ramona (left), me (center), Amanda (right)

I’ve never met any of these ladies in person, only on social media. They received me like they’ve known me for the longest time. All of them knew I was coming, all of them wanted to say hello and give me a hug. They had brought gifts to share with me! I felt a little bit overwhelmed, my anxiety wanting to take over. But I managed to control that feeling, and I said hello to all of them, one by one. We were soon chatting like we do online!

All the POstables goodies I received!

My question as I was meeting each one of them? Where are you from? I was curious in knowing where they were coming from. These ladies came to Florida from Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, and Virginia.

This was a group of 17 people: Judy, Marybeth, Ramona, Blair, Ann M, Ann P, Amanda, Teresa, Darlene, Paula, Fotoula, Jessica, Jennifer, Rosemary, Connie and me. This group included the elusive “Ducky”, who gave me a warm welcome and a keepsake. I got to meet the “Ducky” lady! I also met Ramona! We also had two cute little girls who joined the group, and they had a lot of fun sharing with us!

Among the gifts I got, I got my ducky!

Their main question for me? How did I found out about the POstables and the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series. I told them my story. How I had started watching Hallmark Channel, then discovered the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel, and I was able to watch the “Road Less Traveled” movie. And it called my attention. I wanted to know more, see more. I fell in love with Oliver, Shane, Norman and Rita.

A coffee and a yummy treat

I spent half the day with this amazing group of ladies. We went for coffee and treats. We talked, we laughed. I didn’t want the day to end. But I had to go back home. When I drove back, I was not feeling lonely at all. I drove with all of them in my mind and in my heart. This event happened in November, and this is published in May. I still remember it like it was yesterday.

These girls were having fun!

I’m glad I got to meet this group of POstables. I know that I have found a group of people that, like me, enjoy watching a good movie, having a cup of coffee and making each other smile. They are amazing friends and motivators.

Sign at the coffee place

This year 2020, plans for trips have been put on hold, due to the health crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, we are experiencing around the world. I know there might be more trips planned in the future. I cannot wait to meet some more and share another cup of coffee with them. As soon as everything goes back to normal, and we are allowed to travel and gather again, I’m sure there will be plans for this group of friends to go somewhere fun.

I cannot wait to see them in person again. Meanwhile, it’s time to watch a movie, time for me to keep writing, and time for my tacita de cafe. To the POstables! Salud!

Para versión en español, vea https://fullofcoffee.blog/2020/05/16/hablemos-hallmark-los-postables-fanaticos-de-la-serie-el-misterio-de-las-cartas-perdidas/

Lets Talk Hallmark: Introduction to Signed, Sealed, Delivered (The POstables Team)

May 2020 – Becoming a fan of the Hallmark Channel Network has helped me discover so many good movies, and so many talented actors. In a couple of years since I started constantly watching Hallmark Channel, I’ve been impressed with all the talent that have joined the network. These actors become favorites easily, as they manage to get into their characters making them seem so real. Of course, many of them come from other shows or networks. They get introduced to the Hallmark fans, and we love seeing them become part of the family.

The Hallmark/Crown Media company has been producing and promoting movies since 1951, when they were approached by the NBC TV station (National Broadcasting Company) to sponsor movies. Then in 1991, they founded the Crown Media Holdings, Inc., to manage their own movie production. In 2001, they launched the Hallmark Channel as a TV station and started introducing their movies and series that have become favorites of so many.

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 their website https://www.hallmarkchannel.com. I check the Hallmark Channel page every day. I do. I like to check the schedule and what new movies are coming soon. All images/posters used for this post are from Hallmark Channel/Crown Media Holdings.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered promotion poster

Of all the series produced by the Hallmark network, I recently discovered one that has become a favorite of mine, and I know has many fans: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered“. This Hallmark series is a mix of drama, mystery, comedy, and, the one thing I like: romance. It also has a message of faith, hope and loyalty, as the characters deal with difficult situations working together to resolve them.

The creator is Martha Williamson, writer and executive producer of the very popular series “Touched by an Angel” that aired on CBS station for 9 seasons. She’s a native of Colorado, so she gave the series the location of Denver. For more information, visit her official page here https://marthawilliamson.com/signed-sealed-delivered/.

This series introduces four dedicated employees of the U.S. Postal System who become a team of detectives identifying lost mail as it gets to their office. The office they work at is actually called the “Dead Letter Office”. They manage to investigate the undeliverable letters, which takes them into a journey where letters and packages save lives, solve crimes, reunite old loves, and change the future by arriving late, but always miraculously on time. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).

The lead actors sharing a moment during filming
Image courtesy of Hallmark/Crown Media

The first movie aired in October of 2013. It was originally called Dead Letters Mystery, with the subtitle “Second Chances”. It was successfully watched by 1.715 million viewers (according to the article, http://www.thefutoncritic.com/ratings/2013/10/15/saturdays-cable-ratings-and-broadcast-finals-alcs-nascar-and-college-football-top-charts-133411/cable_20131012/). The network announced the start of a series of one-hour episodes that ran weekly from April to June 2014 (total of 10 episodes). Then programming switched to a 2-hour movie format, with 11 movies that premiered from 2014 to 2018. It has been announced by Hallmark executives and the actors, that a new movie is starting production, premiere to be disclosed at a later date.

Let me tell you about the principal actors and their characters.

Eric Mabius as Oliver O’Toole.
Image courtesy of Hallmark/Crown Media
  • Oliver O’Toole – The team is led by the charming and handsome Oliver (Eric Mabius). Oliver is an old fashioned guy who still believes in commitment and lives with his faith and conviction as his life guides. He leads the team and manages to combine their unique talents to work together and come up with a solution to resolve the case at hand.
  • Eric Mabius was born in Pennsylvania, and grew up in rural Massachusetts. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. He is best known for his role as Daniel Meade in the series Ugly Betty. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries web page). Besides starring in this series, Eric has also starred in the Hallmark Channel Original Movies How to Fall in Love (2012), Reading, Writing & Romance (2013), Welcome to Christmas (2018), and It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (2019).
Kristin Booth as Shane McInerney
Image courtesy of Hallmark/Crown Media
  • Shane McInerney – a beautiful, no-nonsense expert in technology named Shane (Kristin Booth) is mistakenly transferred to the Dead Letter Office. It takes her some time, but she’s able to blend her talents with the team to become an essential part of it. She notices all the quirks and unique talents of each of them and soon becomes involved in helping them solve cases, introducing her witty and knowledge to complement the team.
  • Kristin was born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, and graduated from Ryerson University in Ontario. She has spent most of her acting career in Canada, where she has won a Gemini Award (2005), a Genie Award (2008), and a ACTRA Award (2019, presented by the Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists). She has also been nominated for a second Gemini Award (2008) and a second ACTRA Award (2010). Kristin has not starred in any Hallmark Original Movies, other than this series. She had a small cameo appearance in Winter’s Dream (2018).
Crystal Lowe as Rita Haywith
Image courtesy of Hallmark/Crown Media
  • Rita Haywith – free-spirited Rita (Crystal Lowe) has a fantastic photographic memory, one that Oliver counts on when they work into investigating “dead” letters. She has an affinity for anything with owls, as she considers that owls “are a reminder that someone is there’s always somebody out there flying around that thinks you’re special” (her words from the movie). She is in love with non other than (spoiler!) Norman. She even wrote a novel, inadvertently basing her main character on Norman.
  • Crystal was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and had the opportunity to live in Hong Kong. Her first role was at age 15, and she continued her career as guest star in many movies. Crystal has co-starred in a few Hallmark movies: The Gourmet Detective: A Healthy Place to Die (2015), Hearts of Christmas (2016), Marry Me at Christmas (2017), Christmas at Holly Lodge (2017), Flip that Romance (2019), and Christmas at Dollywood (2019).
Geoff Gustafson as Norman Dorman
Image courtesy of Hallmark/Crown Media
  • Norman Dorman – Norman (Geoff Gustafson) is an expert in postal history. He is a bit shy, but with Oliver’s trust and approval, he steps up to do his part when trying to figure out what to do. He is unconventional, in the sense that he has a unique way of seeing things. Later on the series, it’s revealed that Norman grew up in foster care. All the connections and friends he made, he relates as “his family” and recurs to them when in need of information to solve cases.
  • Geoff was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He studied theater at the University of Victoria, in Victoria, British Columbia. He has co-starred in a few Hallmark movies: It’s Christmas, Carol! (2012), Finding Mrs. Claus (2012), Darrow and Darrow 2 (2018), Emma Fielding: More Bitter Than Death (2019), A Summer Romance (2019), and Write Before Christmas (2019).

Now, let me tell you about the first movie:

Second Chances (pilot) – The daily routine of the “dead letter” office changes when a lady named Shane gets mistakenly transferred in. Shane inspires the team, Oliver, Rita and Norman, to change the way they usually work with a lost letter, and they all go to find out what happened. They started calling themselves the “POstables”.

Oliver and Shane
Image courtesy of Hallmark/Crown Media

The letter in case had been mailed a year before, and the team realizes that Kelli (the sender) intended to meet Charlie (the addressee) a year after. They go on following a few clues, until they find Charlie (Ben Hollingsworth).

Ben Hollingsworth as Charlie
Laci Mailey as Kelli

This is the start of their adventures and, as the movies continue, so does their stories and the relationships that develop between them. Of course, they continue working together in resolving cases and reuniting people. This group becomes a family, helping and supporting each other.

The movies (and the actors) are so loved, that there are many bloggers that dedicate posts to the series. One that I discovered as soon as I became a fan of the POstables is the Alameda Downing blog, by blogger Chandel. For more information (a lot of info!), visit https://alamedadowningblog.weebly.com/about.html.

Another one of my favorite posts about the series is from my blogger friend Ruth Mayer Hill. To get to know these characters a little bit more, read Ruth’s review from 2015 (still a very good one!) https://mydevotionalthoughts.net/2015/06/signed-sealed-delivered-season-1-review.html.

There is still so much more to tell you about this amazing series. As we wait for the next premiere, I’ll be writing some more. I will tell you more about the movies that followed this one. I love writing, and I love Hallmark movies. It’s time for my tacita de café. Salud!

Para versión en español, vea https://fullofcoffee.blog/2020/05/10/hablemos-hallmark-introduccion-a-el-misterio-de-las-cartas-perdidas-el-equipo-de-los-postables/

Lets Talk Hallmark: 2012 Countdown to Christmas Movies

We are now already in the month of December (when I wrote this). Christmas is in full display here in the United States of America, and in some of the countries of the northern hemisphere. It’s time for Christmas trees, decorations, and lights. And it’s also time for Christmas-themed movies on TV.

Of course, favorites of many fans are the Christmas movies of the Hallmark Channel. When I watched the first one in 2017, I became a big fan. Now I don’t miss one! I try to watch as many as possible, as all are beautiful productions and lovely stories.

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

This year, 2019, the Hallmark Channel network is celebrating the 10th anniversary of “Countdown to Christmas”. This celebration has been promoted throughout the network, including the other channels Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, Hallmark Drama and Hallmark Movie Now.

I’ve been working hard, but happily, doing this research. This is my sixth post about the Hallmark Christmas movies.

For the year 2012, Hallmark Channel added a total of 14 movies to the Countdown to Christmas premieres. They were added to the schedule, and continued showing until the end of December, with all the movies from previous years.

Let’s take a look:

  • A Bride for Christmas – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Andrew Walker and Arielle Kebbel. This was Andrew’s first Hallmark Christmas movie. Jessie (Kebbel) has called off her third engagement, and swearing off serious relationships until she finds “the one”. Aiden (Walker) is committed to being single, and bets his friends he can convince a woman to marry him by Christmas. I’ve seen this one. It’s on Hallmark Channel schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Channel web page).
  • Baby’s First Christmas – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Casper Van Dien and Rachel Wilson. Kyle (Van Dien) and Jenna (Wilson) are two lawyers at a prestigious law firm. When Jenna and Kyle’s siblings fall in love, it binds the two together. When Jenna and Kyle visit their siblings for Christmas, Jenna’s sister goes into labor. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Christmas Dance/Come Dance with Me – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Andrew McCarthy and Michelle Nolden. Jack (McCarthy) is an executive in a financial brokerage firm trying to impress the firm’s president in hopes of a promotion. However, Jack happens to be dating his boss’ daughter. Trying to create the perfect marriage proposal, he signs up for dance lessons in preparation for his proposal at the family’s lavish annual Christmas Dance. Sparks start to fly between Jack and his dance instructor, Christine (Nolden). I’ve seen this one. It’s on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • Christmas Song – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Natasha Henstridge and Gabe Hogan. Music teachers Diana (Henstridge) and Ken (Hogan) are forced to compete for a single music department position by entering musical acts in a televised Christmas song competition. I haven’t seen this one. It’s not on schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • Christmas with Holly – premiered on ABC as part of the Hallmark Hall of Fame, with Sean Faris, Eloise Mumford, and twins Lucy and Josie Gallina as Holly. Mark (Faris) and his orphaned niece Holly move in with his brothers to small-town in Washington State. Holly hasn’t spoken a word since her mother died. Maggie (Mumford) moves to the same small-town, after being stood up at the altar, and opens a toy store dedicated to expanding kids’ imaginations … and meets Mark and Holly. I’ve seen this one many times, and I love it! It’s a precious story, one of my top favorites. It’s on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • Help for the Holidays – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Summer Glau, Eva La Rue and John Brotherton. Santa was played by Steve Larkin. When Santa receives an emergency wish from a little boy, he puts his elf Christine (Glau), on a special assignment, sending her to give the VanCamp family a holiday wake-up call. Christine comes in as a nanny, and meets the kids’ uncle, Dave (Brotherton). I’ve seen this one. It’s another lovely story. It’s on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • Hitched for the Holidays – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Joey Lawrence, Emily Hampshire, Marilu Henner and Paula Shaw as Rob’s Grandma. Rob (Lawrence) is criticized by his big Italian family about his inability to keep a relationship. Wanting to prove them wrong and fulfill his dying grandmother’s (Shaw) wish to see him happy in love, he goes online and finds Julie (Hampshire), another single New Yorker who’s meddling Jewish mom (Henner), has driven her to find a temporary boyfriend. They agree to pose as a couple through the holidays. But things get complicated when Rob’s Catholic clan and Julie’s Jewish family get involved. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Movies Now streaming service. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Channel web page).
  • It’s Christmas, Carol – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Carrie Fisher, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Tygh Runyan and Carson Kressley. Carol (Vaugier) has become a ruthless businesswoman. The staff hates her and they all wish that founder Eve (Fisher) was still alive. After quarrelling with her ex-boyfriend on Christmas Eve, Carol tries to compose herself when she comes face to face with the ghost of her former boss, Eve, who takes her on a journey through her past, present and future showing Carol the unhappiness she has created. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Movies Now streaming service. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Channel web page).
  • Jingle & Bell’s Christmas Star (animated) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Thomas Stroppel (Jingle’s voice), Ryan Bley (Andrew’s voice), Julie Reiter (Bell’s voice) and Ami Shalabh (Sofia’s voice). This is a sequel to “Jingle All The Way”. A little girl named Sofia and her Husky pup, Bell, have moved from sunny Palm City to Pineville just before Christmas. This looks like it could be the worst Christmas ever. With a little help from Jingle and Andrew, Sofia and Bell will soon discover that Christmas isn’t about where you are, it’s about who you’re with. Another animated movie that I didn’t know about! I haven’t seen this one. It’s not on schedule. I have to find this one! (Information retrieved from Hallmark Channel web page). This sequel movie also has a cute promo released by Hallmark Channel. Check here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKmRYPG_Qto
  • Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Antonio Cupo and Autumn Reeser. Chicago native Emily loves her city, and has dedicated her career to coordinating its Thanksgiving Day parade every year. Then, the parade director hires Henry, a consultant, to analyze the finances of the parade and increase profits. The two are forced to work together to pull off a successful production, and Emily is determined to show Henry she’s in charge. I’ve seen this one! It’s another top favorite of mine and of many fans. It’s on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • Matchmaker Santa – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Lacey Chabert and Adam Mayfield. Also starring in this movie were Florence Henderson, John Ratzenberger, Lin Shaye and Donovan Scott as Santa. This was Lacey’s first Hallmark Christmas movie. Melanie (Chabert) runs her own bakery and is dating a handsome CEO, Justin (Thad Luckinbill), who asks her to spend the holidays at his beautiful lake house. Melanie finds herself spending more time with Justin’s best friend and loyal assistant, Dean (Mayfield), who just might be harboring a secret crush on her. I’ve seen this one! It’s one of my top favorites. It’s on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • Naughty or Nice – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Hilarie Burton and Matt Dallas. Krissy Kringle is fired from her job and is still receiving misdirected Santa mail at her home on Candy Cane Lane. One package in particular stands out: Santa’s “Naughty or Nice” book, which he left behind when visiting a child. She realizes the book is magical and will show her all the bad deeds of those around her, so she sets out to expose everyone she knows who has been naughty. But Krissy discovers that the book’s powers also reveal the nice in people. I haven’t seen this one. It’s not on schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Channel web page).
  • The Christmas Heart – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Teri Polo, Tess Harper and Paul Essiembre. The neighbors on Arthur Avenue have proudly lit Christmas luminaries for 40 years, but the tradition is cancelled when Matt (Ty Wood), a teenage boy in the neighborhood, is hospitalized in desperate need of a heart transplant. As his parents Ann (Polo) and Mike (Essiembre) anxiously pray by his bedside, a donor is found. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • The Wishing Tree – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Jason Gedrick, Erica Cerra and Richard Harmon. Widower Evan Farnsworth (Gedrick) is a professor at a prestigious boarding school in Maine. He accepted to teach the students left behind during Christmas vacation, including talented scholarship student Juliet (Emmalyn Estrada), nerdy outcast Albert (Amitai Marmorstein) and privileged bad boy Drew (Harmon). He faces a challenge when Drew gets into trouble, as Drew takes his anger out on the neighboring town’s ancient Wishing Tree, a tree decorated with handwritten notes containing the townspeople’s holiday wishes. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).

Of these 14 movies, I’ve seen 6. These are only the premieres from the year 2012. The network has continued adding plenty more movies in the following years. 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/2019/12/08/hablemos-hallmark:-2012-peliculas-del-conteo-regresivo-de-navidad/

Let’s Talk Hallmark: 2011 Countdown to Christmas Movies

The Hallmark Channel network and the Crown Media family have been working hard to bring us fans movie after movie, season after season, for many years now. For the majority of the fans, the favorite movies of all seasons are the Christmas-themed ones.

All the executives, producers, writers, actors and all crew members involved in the making of these movies, are constantly visiting and adapting locations, to look as authentic to the season as possible. In the case of the Christmas movies, they put together plenty of snow and decorations as possible, and we fans appreciate their effort.

Well, I’ve been working hard, but happily, doing this research. This is the fifth post I write about the Hallmark Christmas movies. I’ve covered how it all started, then I’ve continued the research by year.

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, the Hallmark Channel network is celebrating the 10th anniversary of “Countdown to Christmas”.

For the year 2011, Hallmark Channel added more movies to the Countdown to Christmas premieres than on previous years. A total of 16 movies were added to the programming schedule. They continued showing until the end of December, with all the movies from previous years.

Let’s take a look:

  • A Christmas Wedding Tail – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Jennie Garth, Brad Rowe, Tom Arnold, and voice talents Jay Mohr and Nikki Cox. Two passionate pooches, fall head-over-tails in love. The two pups conspire to get their owners to wed. The canines must channel their pooch powers to keep their family from ending up in the dog house. I haven’t seen this one. It’s not on schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Channel web page).
  • A Christmas Wish – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Kristy Swanson, Tess Harper and Edward Herrmann. Martha’s husband has left her, emptying her bank account and disappearing without a word. Martha (Swanson) takes the kids to a town where she moves into a motel and begs the owner of the local diner, to hire her as a waitress. There, Martha meets some of the locals, including the handsome sheriff. I haven’t seen this one. It’s not on schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • A Princess for Christmas – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Sam Heughan, Katie McGrath and Sir Roger Moore. Jules has custody of her nephew and niece, whose grandfather is the Duke of Castleburry Hall. The Duke, who was absent from the kids’ lives, but wants to reconnect out of love for his late son, invites them to spend Christmas with him and his son Ashton. I’ve seen this one many times. It’s one of my top favorites. It’s on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • Annie Claus is Coming to Town – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Maria Thayer, Sam Page and Vivica A. Fox. Annie Claus goes away from the North Pole for the first time and arrives in L.A., where she becomes friends with the owner of the inn and her daughter. She gets a job at Wonderland Toys, whose owner is struggling to stay in business. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Cancel Christmas – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Judd Nelson, Sante Scaletta, Connor Price and Justin Landry. The Christmas Board of Directors issues an ultimatum to Santa: In 30 days or less, make Christmas less commercial and material, or lose it forever. They think the turnaround is so hopeless that they give Santa the task of changing the hearts of privileged kids so they, in turn, will reach out to help a less fortunate boy. I have seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Christmas Comes Home to Canaan – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Billy Ray Cyrus and Gina Holden. This movie is a sequel to Christmas in Canaan (2009). Daniel’s son needs surgery after a car accident and they go to San Francisco, where they meet Briony (Holden), a physical rehabilitation specialist. Daniel invited her to go to Canaan to spend Christmas with them. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Christmas Magic – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Lindy Booth and Paul McGillion. A successful event planner in New York suffers a head trauma after a car accident, that puts her between life and death. She must fulfill a task to gain her access to Heaven. She must help a restaurant owner whose business is failing. I have seen this one. It’s not on schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • Have a Little Faith (Hallmark Hall of Fame) – premiered on ABC as part of Hallmark Hall of Fame, with Lawrence Fishburne, Bradley Whitford and Martin Landau. Mitch Albom (Whitford) is an award-winning sportswriter, newspaper columnist, screenwriter, and radio/television broadcaster. When two men come into his life, Rabbi Lewis (Landau) and Pastor Covington (Fishburne), he realizes they both take comfort in believing there’s a divine spark in all of us, and that one person – or two – can make a big difference in others’ lives, as long as they have a little faith. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Holiday Engagement – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Bonnie Somerville, Jordan Bridges and Shelley Long. Always struggling in life and love, Hillary (Somerville) constantly feels the pressure to marry from her mother. When her boyfriend breaks up with her, she decides to hire a fiance (Bridges) and bring him home to meet the family. I’ve seen this one! It’s on Hallmark Channel schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Channel web page).
  • Jingle All the Way (animated) – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Thomas Stroppel (Jingle’s voice), Ryan Bley (Andrew’s voice) and Chad Darrow as the Narrator. A spirited Husky puppy looking for a home at a Christmas tree farm instantly bonds with a young boy visiting with his parents. As the boy rides away, the pup escapes and embarks on a snowy journey to find his friend. Now, Hallmark showed an animated Christmas movie? I didn’t know this! I haven’t seen this one. It’s not on schedule. I have to find it! (Information retrieved from Hallmark Channel web page). This is so cute that I had to find the promo released by Hallmark Channel for this movie. Check here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMvDMKZYBTQ
  • Love’s Christmas Journey – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Natalie Hall, Greg Vaughan, Sean Austin, JoBeth Williams, Dylan Bruce and Bobby Campo. This movie is part of the Love Comes Softly series exclusive for Hallmark Channel, based on the novel by Jannette Oke. While still mourning the loss of her husband and daughter, recently widowed Ellie (Hall) visits her brother (Vaughan) and his children for Christmas. She makes new friends with a local shop keeper, and the handsome admirer deputy. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Lucky Christmas – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Elizabeth Berkley and Jason Gray-Stanford. A single mother buys a lottery ticket, and tosses it in the glove compartment of her car. The car is stolen, and Holly (Berkley) discovers her lotto numbers are the million dollar winner. Mike (Gray-Stanford) and his friend had inadvertently taken Holly’s car. When they find the winning lottery ticket they suggest Mike romance Holly in order to get a cut of the money to help save his family business. I haven’t seen this one. It’s on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • Mistletoe Over Manhattan – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Tricia Helfer, Greg Bryk, Tedde Moore and Mairtin O’Carrigan. Rebecca, Mrs Claus (Moore), goes to Manhattan to help Santa recapture his holiday spirit. She meets a caring cop who reveals he and his wife are in the middle of a divorce. Sensing that he’s still in love with his wife, Rebecca agrees to work temporarily as the family’s nanny until Christmas. I’ve seen this one. It’s on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • The Case for Christmas – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Dean Cain and Rachel Blanchard. A struggling lawyer, and single father, gets hired to defend Santa in a lawsuit from a sporting-goods mogul who never received the holiday gifts he wanted as a child. Santa believes he didn’t get any gifts because he was always on the naughty list. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • The Christmas Pageant – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Melissa Gilbert and Robert Mailhouse. An overly intense and demanding Broadway director, after being fired, has no choice but to take a gig directing a small town Christmas pageant in upstate New York. She attempts to back out, but is convinced by some of the locals to give their town a chance. She discovers her former fiance is the person who recommended her for the job. I’ve seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Trading Christmas – premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Faith Ford, Tom Cavanagh, Gil Bellows and Gabrielle Miller. This movie is based on the novel by Debbie Macomber. Emily (Ford) decides to visit her daughter Heather (Emma Lahana), while she’s in college in Boston. She arranges a house-swap with Charles (Cavanagh), a professor who goes to Washington State to finish his novel. Emily goes to Boston, but Heather has gone to Arizona without her mother knowing. While in Charles’ condo, Emily meets Charles’ brother Ray (Bellows). Meanwhile’ Emily’s friend, Faith (Miller), goes to visit her, and finds Charles in the house. I’ve seen this one. It’s on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).

From this list of 16, I’ve only seen 7. These are only the premieres from the year 2011. The network has added plenty more movies in the following years. 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/2019/11/23/hablemos-hallmark:-2011-conteo-regresivo-para-peliculas-de-navidad/

Behind the Scenes of a Hallmark Movie with Author Barbara Hinske

For an author, it’s a great accomplishment to write a book and have it published. When that book gets selected to be adapted into a movie, that’s a special moment for sure. That happened to author Barbara Hinske, when her book “The Christmas Club” was selected by Hallmark Channel and the Crown Media family to be adapted into a movie.

Author Barbara Hinske

I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing Barbara. Read here https://fullofcoffee.blog/2019/11/01/a-cup-of-coffee-with-author-barbara-hinske/. She had the amazing experience of being invited to the set where the movie “The Christmas Club” was being filmed at, in Winnipeg, Canada.

She visited the set with her husband, and she wrote a nice post about it. Barbara has been kind enough to share it with us, along with the great pictures of that wonderful experience.

Barbara with her husband

Here is what Barbara wrote:

The Christmas Club, my Christmas novella, was purchased by Crown Media and made into a 2019 Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. I’ve written about what a dream come true that was here https://barbarahinske.com/barbara-hinske-news-july-2019/.

As if having my story made into a Hallmark Christmas movie wasn’t enough, my husband and I got to spend a week on location during filming. That was an experience I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.

In addition to every single cast and crew member being extremely professional, warm, welcoming, and downright kind, here are my “best of” moments:

  • The Hallmark culture that you see in front of the screen is what goes on behind it; these folks are the real deal.
  • If there is a world record for Fitbit steps in a day, it has to be held by the assistant directors on a Hallmark shoot. These folks are in perpetual motion.
  • You hear about how efficient the circus was when it came to town back in its heyday, the circus could have nothing on Hallmark set – dressers/makeup, wardrobe, and hair crew/evergreen crew/sound/lighting/script – the list is endless. They all worked together like an oiled machine.
  • It’s hot out when they film these movies. The actors remove their scarves and coats between takes, but if you’re a female star, someone sticks a curling iron on your head! Yikes!!
  • The cast and crew eat constantly. They break for a generous lunch, but someone is always circulating with a wagon of sandwiches, snacks, or water. They’re all in motion the entire time, so they burn off the calories.
A scene being filmed
  • Background noises in a city—sirens/helicopters/city buses—frequently make themselves known and necessitate retakes.
  • Producers and directors notice something out of place from 1000 yards away. Their attention to detail is uncanny.
Barbara with actor Cameron Mathison
  • It is positively thrilling and quite emotional to hear actors say the words that you’ve written.”

What an amazing experience! The movie will premiere this year, 2019, as part of the ‘Countdown to Christmas’ programming on the Hallmark Channel. For more information about the movie, check here https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/the-christmas-club. And for more information about the book, please visit https://barbarahinske.com/the-christmas-club/.

Poster for the movie from Hallmark Channel

Thanks to Barbara Hinske for sharing her experience with us fans! By reading about it, I can only imagine what was it like, to be there in the middle of all the action. Thank you all for reading. I have more to write. It’s time for my tacita de café. Salud!

Para versión en español, vea https://fullofcoffee.blog/2019/11/15/detras-de-escenas-de-una-pelicula-de-hallmark-con-la-autora-barbara-hinske/.

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/

Let’s Talk Hallmark: More about the Magic of Hallmark’s Christmas Movies

Hallmark has created a brand that is associated with warmth and kindness. For the television and cable network fans, like me, Hallmark Channel has become the house of sweet romance, and stories associated with the seasons. The network promotes movies through the seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. But the most popular are the Christmas-themed movies.

Over the years, the Hallmark Channel network (owned by Crown Media Holding) has continued producing and adding Christmas movies to their line-up. There are so many movies, this is the third post I’ve written. Check here for the first one, and how it all began https://fullofcoffee.blog/2019/10/13/lets-talk-hallmark-the-beginning-of-hallmark-christmas-movies/.

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 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 ornament in the picture below is available for purchase.

Ornament available in Hallmark store

It all started in 1951, when the Hall Brothers were approached by TV producers to sponsor movies and shows. They created the “Hallmark” brand, to associate quality with their brand name. They succeeded. Then those presentations became known as “Hallmark Hall of Fame”. Those have remained favorites of viewers throughout the years. The effort of putting together such productions is well worth it, as these movies are cherished by so many fans. For a full list, check here https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/hallmark-hall-of-fame/movies.

With the success of the Hallmark Channel, the Crown Media company launched the Hallmark Movie Channel in 2004. 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.

Image courtesy of Hallmark Channel

This year, 2019, Hallmark Channel celebrates the 10th year anniversary of the “Countdown to Christmas” movies. This time, the group of movies I’m featuring aired from 2005 to 2008. The majority of them premiered on the Hallmark Channel. Some of them still aired on CBS, as part of the Hallmark Hall of Fame.

Let’s take a look:

  • Meet the Santas (2005) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Steven Gutenberg, Crystal Bernard and Dominic Scott Kay. This is a sequel to Single Santa Seeks Mrs Claus (2004). As Nick and Beth prepare to get married, they are informed they need to marry before Christmas Day, as they have to assume their official positions of Santa and Mrs. Claus. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Silver Bells (2005) – Premiered on CBS, as a Hallmark Hall of Fame, with Ana Heche and Tate Donovan. It’s based on the novel of the same name by Luanne Rice. The story of widower Christy (Donovan) and his children, who come to New York to sell Christmas pine trees, where he meets Catherine (Heche). His teenage son runs away, and Catherine helps the kid by buying his pictures and putting them on the newspaper. I’ve seen this one, and I love it. It’s very emotional. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • The Christmas Card (2006) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Alice Evans, John Newton, and Ed Asner. The story of soldier Cody (Newton), who received an anonymous Christmas card while in Afghanistan. He later tracked the card to the person who sent it, Faith (Evans), and falls in love with her. I haven’t seen this one. I’ve been trying to watch this one for a while. This one is on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries web page).
  • What I Did for Love (2006) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Jeremy London, Dorie Barton, and James Gammon. A city attorney goes to small town to spend the holidays with his girlfriend, and has to adjust to farm life, even pretending to be a cowboy. This is one I haven’t seen. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • A Grandpa for Christmas (2007) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Ernest Borgnine, Juliette Goglia and Tracy Nelson. A retired actor agrees to take care of his granddaughter when her mom, his daughter, had a car accident. The two find a connection in a Christmas school pageant. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • All I Want for Christmas (2007) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel with Gail O’Grady, Greg Germann, and Robert Mailhouse. A boy enters a contest in which entrants are asked for their greatest Christmas wish. He asks to help find a new husband for his widowed mother. I’ve seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • The Note (2007) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Genie Francis and Ted McGinley. This movie is based on the novel by Angela Hunt. An advice columnist embarks on a cross-country trip to deliver a note to the father of a stranger. She decides to find the intended recipient of the note, while logging her journey through her articles. (Interesting!) I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • A Kiss at Midnight (2008) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, wiht Faith Ford, Dyan Cannon and Cameron Daddo. A successful professional matchmaker makes a New Year’s Eve resolution to finally find a love match for herself. I haven’t seen this one. It has been added to the Hallmark Drama schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Drama channel web page).
  • Moonlight and Mistletoe (2008) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Candace Cameron Bure, Tom Arnold, Christopher Wiehl, and Barbara Niven. This is Candace’s first Hallmark movie. Holly’s dad runs a year-round Christmas village, Santaville, that is about to get foreclosed. Holly came back to town, after many years gone, and helped save it. This one I’ve seen, a very cute story. It’s part of the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • Our First Christmas (2008) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Julie Warner, Steven Eckholdt, Dixie Carter and John Ratzenberger. Widowers Cindy and Tom and their children are spending their first Christmas together. Both sets of children are determined to keep their traditions of the past, causing a bit of a dilemma. This one I’ve seen, another cute story. It’s part of the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
  • The Christmas Choir (2008) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Jason Gedrick, Rhea Perlman, Tyrone Benskin, and Marianne Farley. This movie is based on a true story. A workaholic accountant volunteers at a shelter, and discovers some of the homeless people have musical talent. He sets to help them and rediscovers the healing power of music. I haven’t seen this one. I couldn’t find it on schedule, but information is available on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries web page).
  • The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (2008) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Brooke Burns, Warren Christie, and Henry Winkler. This is one of my top favorites! It’s a favorite of many fans. Corporate analyst and single mom, Jen, tackles Christmas with a business-like approach. Until her uncle Ralph, a retired police officer, arrives with a handsome stranger, Morgan, that shows Jen how to celebrate Christmas. This is a great movie. It still shows on Hallmark Channel schedule. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Channel web page).

Hallmark Channel brings us such lovely movies, that it makes us fans wish for more. The concept of having a love story during Christmas season makes these movies even more special. That’s what makes them so popular, in my opinion. That’s what makes these Hallmark movies so beloved.

From this group of 12, I’ve only seen 5. 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/2019/10/27/hablemos-hallmark:-mas-sobre-la-magia-de-las-peliculas-navidenas-de-hallmark/.

Let’s Talk Hallmark: The Magic of Hallmark’s Christmas Movies Continues

It’s still October when I wrote this post. Hallmark Channel network starts airing Christmas movies in October. This makes me, and many other fans, start reminiscing about all the Christmas memories and moments with family and friends. It gives us an early “Christmas spirit”. We feel the anticipation: Christmas is coming.

Image courtesy of Hallmark Channel

This year, 2019, Hallmark is celebrating 10 years of “Countdown to Christmas”, and as every year, the movies start airing in mid-October through November and December. As I always do, I want to remind everyone that I’m just a fan. I have no rights or access to any production or merchandise. None. But if you are interested, you may visit the website www.hallmarkchannel.com. I check the Hallmark Channel page every day! (I am a #HallmarkNerd!). Image of the coffee mug below is available at https://www.hallmark.com/gifts/kitchen/mugs-and-teacups/lets-watch-hallmark-christmas-movies-mug-15.5-oz.-1HKC1074.html.

Image from Hallmark merchandise

Before I tell you about the next group of movies, let me give you a bit more of history. I wrote a previous post about how Hallmark started sponsoring that we love so much. Check here https://fullofcoffee.blog/2019/10/13/lets-talk-hallmark-the-beginning-of-hallmark-christmas-movies/.

The Hall Brothers were visionaries who saw the potential of their brand. They started their business selling greeting cards. Then, in 1951 they started sponsoring movies and special programs for television that eventually became “Hallmark Hall of Fame” specials.

While they were marketing their brand through TV programs, during the 1960s they developed and built the Crown Center in what became the Hallmark headquarters in Missouri. During the 1990s, since the brand was already associated with quality programming, the Hallmark company created the Crown Media Holdings to create, produce, and promote their own movies.

In 2001, the Hallmark Channel was launched by Crown Media Holdings, as a cable television network. They were able to successfully attract viewers that already recognized the name from watching previous Hallmark Hall of Fame specials. The movie specials were still being shown in CBS and ABC networks until 2011, when the series were cancelled and Crown Media then moved them to the Hallmark Channel. (For a full list of Hallmark Hall of Fame movies, check here https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/hallmark-hall-of-fame/movies).

The next group of movies I include in this post, aired from year 2000 to year 2004. Some of them still aired on CBS, as part of the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Some of them premiered on the Hallmark Channel. Many of these movies I haven’t seen, but knowing they are Hallmark productions, I’m curious and interested in watching.

Let’s take a look:

  • Special Delivery (La entrega especial) (2000) – Premiered on ABC network as part of their Christmas programming. A baby gets misplaced by a worker (Andy Dick) at an adoption agency during the Christmas holiday. I haven’t seen this one. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Movie poster from IMDb
  • The Christmas Secret/Flight of the Reindeer (2000) – Premiered on CBS, based on the book Flight of the Reindeer by Richard Sullivan A scientist (Richard Thomas) sets out to prove that reindeer can fly and discovers the true meaning of faith, family and Christmas. Beau Bridges plays Santa. I haven’t seen this one either. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • A Town Without Christmas (2001) – Premiered on CBS with Patricia Heaton, Rick Roberts and Peter Falk. A boy writes a letter to Santa Claus, wishing that he would no longer exist in order to not trouble his divorcing parents. Locals set out to find the missing child. I haven’t seen this one. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • The Sons of Mistletoe (2001) – Premiered on CBS with Roma Downey, Doris Roberts and George Newbern. A foster home for boys is in danger of being closed when its benefactor dies. I haven’t seen this one. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • Santa Jr (2002) – This movie did premiered on Hallmark Channel! Then it was shown on ABC. Starred Lauren Holly, Judd Nelson and Nick Stabile. Father Christmas’s son tries to follow in his father’s footsteps, but gets arrested while delivering presents. I haven’t seen this one. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • Snow Queen (2002) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel with Bridget Fonda and Jeremy Guilbaut! A young woman must journey through the seasons to rescue her boyfriend who has been kidnapped by the evil Snow Queen. This is based on the book “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen. I haven’t seen this one. It’s a Hallmark version of Disney’s Frozen! I need to see this one soon! (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • Silent Night (2002) – This movies was produced by Hallmark, in association with other companies, with Linda Hamilton and Matthew Harbour. I couldn’t find information on what TV station it premiered on. Based on a true story, a German mother and her son seeking refuge in a cabin on the war front, are invaded by three American soldiers and then three German soldiers, she successfully convinces the soldiers to put aside their differences for one evening and share a Christmas dinner. I haven’t seen this one. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • A Christmas Visitor (2002)- Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Meredith Baxter, William Devane and Dean McDermott. A family that haven’t celebrated Christmas since they lost their son to the Persian Gulf War. Now a stranger has joined them, he might be the miracle the family has been waiting for. I haven’t seen this one. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • A Carol Christmas (2003) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Tori Spelling, William Shatner, Dinah Manoff and Gary Coleman. This is another adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol. A conceited talk show host is determined to destroy the festive fun in the studio. She is visited by ghosts of Christmas, making her a warm, caring person, that vows to make amends. I haven’t seen this one. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • Fallen Angel (2003) – Premiered on CBS as part of the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” specials, with Gary Sinise, Joely Richardson and Gordon Pinsent. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Don Snyder, who also wrote the screenplay. A lawyer comes back to his hometown when his father died, to take care of and settle his father’s estate. He also tends a house his father cared for when a social worker whose parents owned it before their divorce, decides to show the house to her adopted blind daughter. This one I’ve seen, and I loved it. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • Finding John Christmas (2003) – Premiered on CBS, with Valerie Bertinelli, William Russ and Peter Falk. This is a sequel to A Town Without Christmas. The Christmas angel returns when a divorced nurse becomes depressed as her ER is about to close. She spotted a newspaper picture of her brother, who left town 25 years ago, and she approached the photographer. The editor then posts a reward for whoever finds the man whom the public dubs ‘John Christmas’.  This one I haven’t seen. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • A Boyfriend for Christmas (2004) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Kelli Williams, Patrick Muldoon, and Charles Durning as Santa. When young, a girl asked Santa for a boyfriend. Now a lawyer, Santa brings her together with a guy that is meant to be her boyfriend. This one is still shown on Hallmark Channel. I have seen it, and I loved it. It’s one of my top Christmas favorites. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Channel).
Image from IMDb
  • Angel in the Family (2004) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Meredith Baxter, Ronny Cox, Natasha Gregson Wagner and Tracey Needham. An ailing widowed father and his two estranged daughters experience a miracle when their late matriarch returns to spend Christmas with them. I haven’t seen this one. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • Eve’s Christmas (2004) – Movie starring Elisa Donovan, Cheryl Land and Sebastian Spence. A wealthy and successful career woman gets a second chance in life when a magical wish transports her back in time eight years to when she walked away from her fiance to move to New York. I couldn’t find on what TV station it premiered on. I haven’t seen this one. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus (2004) – Premiered on Hallmark Channel, with Steven Gutenberg, Crystal Bernard and Dominic Scott Kay. Nick’s plan to let fate bring his wife to him must be altered, because he must replace his father as Santa Claus. Ernst, the right-hand man to several generations of Santas, generates a list of potential mates. Meanwhile young boy Jake writes to Santa that he wants a new dad for Christmas. I haven’t seen this one. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb
  • When Angels Come to Town (2004) – Premiered on CBS, with Tammy Blanchard, Katey Sagal and Peter Falk. This is a second sequel to A Town Without Christmas. Angel Max is sent to help out a family during the Christmas season. He tries to help a different family, and his supervisor steps in to assist him in helping his assigned family. I haven’t seen this one. (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Image from IMDb

Some of these movies are still shown as part of the programming of the Hallmark Channel, and its sisters stations Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama. Some of them have been moved to the Hallmark Movies Now streaming online service.

These are only some of the movies. I’ve only seen a few of them. There are still more movies, I’ll tell you more on another post. Over the years, Hallmark has increased the number of movies offered by year, and gained many fans that usually watch and look forward to the “Countdown to Christmas” movies presentation.

Yes, 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/2019/10/20/hablemos-hallmark:-la-magia-de-las-peliculas-navidenas-de-hallmark-continua/

Let’s Talk Hallmark: The Beginning of Hallmark Christmas Movies

Christmas is a season often associated with happiness and hope. Many of us see everything take a magical look: decorations, lights twinkling, and, for those who live on northern regions, a snowy landscape that makes it look as magical as in the movies. When all of these combine, you understand when people say “Christmas is in the air”.

Enter here Christmas music and Christmas movies. As we start reminiscing about our Christmas memories, radio stations start playing Christmas music, and TV networks start playing Christmas themed movies. For most of us, our mind connects those memories with happy feelings. This is what the music and the movies are making us feel.

I love Hallmark

Now, enter here the Hallmark Channel network and their Christmas movies. The Hallmark Channel has been producing and promoting Christmas themed movies for a long time. Although the network shows movies all year long, and promote the other seasons -winter, spring, summer, fall-, Christmas movies are always the most popular ones.

Image courtesy of Hallmark Channel

As a reminder, I always mention 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 www.hallmarkchannel.com. I check the Hallmark Channel page every day! Check this post I wrote about the Hallmark royal-themed movies https://fullofcoffee.blog/2019/09/07/lets-talk-about-hallmarks-royal-romance-movies/.

The Hallmark company became the Crown Media Holdings, Inc, and in 2001 they launched the Hallmark Channel. But the Hallmark brand has been in the media market for much longer. Let me go back in time and tell you their story. According to the company’s website, in 1910, a young man named Joyce Clyde (J.C.) Hall started a business of selling greeting cards in Kansas City, Missouri. He was joined by his brother, Rollie Hall, and they named their company the Hall Brothers. In 1928, they started promoting their brand as “Hallmark”, attracted by the meaning of the word as a sign of quality, but also because it was a play on their name. For more information, see https://corporate.hallmark.com/about/hallmark-cards-company/history/founding-1910s/.

In 1951, they were approached by the NBC TV station (National Broadcasting Company) to sponsor movies. Those were the times when big popular companies were sponsoring television programming. That’s how the term “soap opera” became popular. Major soaps or detergents companies sponsored TV shows. For Hallmark, this meant the beginning of the “Hallmark Hall of Fame”, and the opportunity to market their greeting cards business. See more information here https://corporate.hallmark.com/about/hallmark-cards-company/history/building-brand-1930s-50s/.

After that, the Hallmark company started sponsoring TV movie specials. Those movies were then promoted as “Hallmark Hall of Fame” movies. For a full list, check here https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/hallmark-hall-of-fame/movies. Some of those movies were Christmas-themed productions, and aired during the month of December. We can consider this the beginning of the “Hallmark Christmas” movies, way before it became “Countdown to Christmas”. They were later shown in CBS (Columbia Broadcasting Station), and ABC (American Broadcasting Company). For those of you who live outside United States, many networks around the world have started showing some of these movies.

This year, 2019, Hallmark Channel celebrates the 10th year anniversary of the “Countdown to Christmas” movies. Interested in how it all started, I did this research. The following titles are the ones I found to be Christmas-themed. There might be more, or might not. There are over 100 movies sponsored by Hallmark from 1951 to 1980 only. Some of these titles on the list were filmed as movies, others were a show or presentation for TV. Being productions from the 1950s, I couldn’t find pictures for all.

Let’s take a look:

  • Amahl and the Night Visitors (1951) – this was not a Christmas-themed presentation, but I include it on this list, because it was the first show presented as a “Hallmark Hall of Fame”. It was an original made-for-TV opera show written by Gian Carlo Menotti and it debuted in December 24, 1951 on NBC. (Information retrieved from Filmed Television Drama, 1952-1958 by William Hayes)
Promotion from Hallmark
  • The Other Wise Man (1953) – adapted from the book “The Story of the Other Wise Man” by Henry Van Dyke (1895) (Information retrieved from Filmed Television Drama, 1952-1958) (no image available for the movie/show)
Book cover The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dike
  • The Christmas Tree (1958) – adapted by Helen Deutsch from the short story “An Affair at the Inn” by Charles J Finger (Information retrieved from Filmed Television Drama, 1952-1958) (no picture available)
  • A Christmas Festival (1959) – adapted from the story “The Borrowed Christmas” by L Bemelmans (information retrieved from Enser’s Filmed Books and Plays: A List of Books and Plays from which Films have been Made, 1928-2001) (no picture available)
  • A Cry of Angels (1963) – written for TV by Sherman Yellen (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide) (no picture available)
  • The Littlest Angel (1969) – movie adapted by Lan O’Kun from the novel by Charles Tazewell (first published in 1920) (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide and Enser’s Filmed Books and Plays: A List of Books and Plays from which Films have been Made, 1928-2001)
Promotion posters from Hallmark Hall of Fame
  • The Man Who Came to Dinner (1972) – movie adapted by Sam Denoff and Bill Persky from the play written by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman (1941) (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Orson Welles and Don Knotts, scene of
The Man Who Came to Diner. Image from IMDb
  • Have I got a Christmas for You (1977) – written for TV by Jerome Coopersmith (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide) (no picture available)
  • Stubby Pringle’s Christmas (1978) – adapted by James Lee Barrett from the story by Jack Schaefer (1964) (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide)
Promotion Image from IMDb
  • A Season for Miracles (1999) – adapted by Maria Nation from the novel by Marilyn Pappano (1997) (Information retrieved from IMDb -International Movie Database- movie guide and Enser’s Filmed Books and Plays: A List of Books and Plays from which Films have been Made, 1928-2001)

These are only a few titles. I only covered from 1951 to 1999. There are more, many more. I haven’t seen any of these movies/shows, but found it very interesting how the Hall brothers were visionaries and created a brand that is so popular today. The Hallmark brand has put their stamp name in many great movies throughout the years. In 2001, the Hallmark Channel was launched, and now they have 2 more cable TV channels -Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and Hallmark Drama- and they recently launched a streaming online service for customers called Hallmark Movies Now.

Well, I have more research to do, and many more movies to write about. Good, that means I have 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/2019/10/13/hablemos-hallmark:-el-comienzo-de-las-peliculas-navidenas-de-hallmark/