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/

Let’s talk about: Hallmark’s Royal Romance Movies

Once upon a time… most stories about the Prince who falls in love with a town girl start this way. They fall in love against all odds. And the ending is another memorable line: …they lived happily ever after. Almost every girl, at some point, had that dream. Like in the Cinderella story, she would meet “Prince Charming”, and he’d marry her and live happily ever after.

In real life, it’s not that simple. The chances of meeting and marrying a true Prince or heir to any monarchy are slim. According to the article “What Are Your Chances of Meeting a Prince”, written by Dan Newman for LA Times, the chances are 1 in 285,000. Yes, someone did the calculation. Check the article here https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-newman-odds-of-becoming-a-princess-20180520-story.html

It does happen. Once in a while, a lady with no rank in monarchy will meet and marry a member of a royal family. Look at Letizia Ortiz, who married Prince Felipe, now King and Queen of Spain. Of course, she was a TV news reporter, so she had a good chance of meeting Felipe or someone who knew him. Well, I was dreaming of meeting him, but he lived in Spain, I lived in Puerto Rico. We both speak Spanish, that’s all I could think we have in common. Then he met Letizia, they married, and now she is Queen of Spain.

Then, look at Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William, now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in England. Of course, she had a good chance of marrying Prince William, since they went to school together. And look at American star Megan Markle, who recently married Prince Harry, brother of Prince William, now Duke and Duchess of Sussex in England. Harry is number six in line of succession to the British throne. Of course, she is a public figure, she has a friend who is also a friend of Harry and thought they should meet. They met, they dated, and they got married.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.
Picture used for the promotion of Royal Hearts, Hallmark Channel movie

I didn’t watch those kind of movies when I was growing up, or read those kind of stories. But at some point in my young life I thought I’d meet a guy who would “save” me. By the time I graduated high school, I was more ready to leave the house and be on my own, than to marry a guy.

Now, as an adult, I get to enjoy many romance stories, thanks to cable television and Hallmark Channel. Hallmark Channel was launched in 2001 by Crown Media Holdings, Inc. Same corporation that already owns the most popular greeting cards company in the United States. I like to remind everyone, that even though I love the movies, 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!).

Their formula is to present light romance movies, some mixed with comedy (called rom-coms), where the main couple always end up together and “live happily ever after”. These movies are light, and clean, in the sense that there are no intimacy scenes, no foul language, or no nudity.

I’ve selected the magic world of royal romances for this post. The prince that falls in love with the lady, the lady that didn’t know he was a prince. Or the lady who knew the guy was a prince or king, but couldn’t help but fall in love, and of course, the guy falls in love with the her. There’s almost always a villain, another lady interested in the Prince, or another guy interested in the lady, a Queen Mom or King Dad, and one of my favorite parts, a royal ball or dance.

Cindy Busby as Princess Kelly in
Royal Hearts, picture courtesy Hallmark Channel

Up until now, 2019, there are 14 Hallmark movies with royalty romance theme. I made the list in chronological order (by premiere date), because it’s too difficult for me to list by favorite. I like them all. Well, there are a few that are not so favorites, but I still watch them. For more information on the movies, visit www.hallmarkchannel.com website.

  • 1- Smooch (2011) starring Kiernan Shipka as Zoe, Kellie Martin as her mother Gwen, and Simon Kassianides as Prince Percy, an English royal. They met in San Francisco, California, USA. This movie was filmed in San Francisco, California, and Detroit, Michigan, USA. I haven’t watched this one, but found it listed in Hallmark movies. In the U.S., it’s shown as part of the new streaming service Hallmark Movies Now.
Image courtesy Hallmark Channel
  • 2- A Princess for Christmas (2011) starring Katie McGrath as Jules Daly, Sam Heughan as Prince Ashton, and special guest Roger Moore as Duke Edward of Castlebury Hall, Ashton’s father. Charlotte Salt plays Lady Arabella Marchand du Belmon. Jules is from Buffalo, New York. Jules and Prince Ashton met in Castlebury Hall. This movie was filmed in various castles around Bucharest, Romania. (In the U.S., this movie is part of the programming shown at Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, another Crown Media station).
Image courtesy Hallmark Channel
  • 3- A Royal Christmas (2014) starring Lacey Chabert as Emily, and Stephen Hagan as Prince Leopold, Leo, of Cordinia. Special guest Jane Seymour is Queen Mother Isadora. Emily and Leo met in college in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (Emily’s hometown). They both traveled to Cordinia. This movie was also filmed at various castles in Bucharest, Romania.
Image courtesy Hallmark Channel
  • 4- Once Upon a Holiday (2015) starring Briana Evigan as Princess Katie of Mountsaurai, and Paul Campbell as Jack. Princess Katie and Jack met in New York City, New York, USA. This is the first movie where the girl is the Princess and they’re not in her country (until the end of the movie).
Image courtesy
Hallmark Channel
  • 5- Crown for Christmas (2015) starring Danica McKellar as Allie, and Rupert Penry-Jones as King Maximillian, Max, of Winshire. Also stars Ellie Botterill as the King’s daughter, mischievous Princess Theodora, and Alexandra Evans as Countess Lady Celia. Allie and King Max met in New York, but they traveled to Winshire. This movie was also filmed at various castles in Bucharest, Romania, and parts in Slovenia.
Images courtesy Hallmark Channel
  • 6- My Summer Prince (2016) starring Taylor Cole as Mandy, and Jack Turner as Prince Colin of Edgemere. Guest star is Lauren Holly who plays Deidre Kelly, Mandy’s boss. Vanessa Angel plays Queen Mom Rosalind of Edgemere. Mandy and Prince Colin met, and story takes place, in Greenbriar, Idaho, USA. They do travel to Edgemere in Europe for the Queen’s Jubilee Dance. The movie was filmed in Utah, USA.
Image courtesy Hallmark Channel
  • 7- A Royal Winter (2017) starring Merritt Patterson, as Maggie, and Jack Donnelly as Prince/King Adrian of Calpurnia. Samantha Bond plays Queen Mother Beatrice. Maggie and Prince Adrian met in Calpurnia. Maggie is from Manhattan, New York, USA. She traveled to Calpurnia, where she met Prince Adrian. This movie was filmed in various locations in Romania, including Bucharest.
Image courtesy Hallmark Channel
  • 8- Royal New Year’s Eve (2017) starring Jessy Schram as Caitlyn, Sam Page as Prince Jeffrey, Hayley Sales as Lady Isabelle Collins, and special guest Cheryl Ladd as Abigail Miller, Caitlyn’s boss. Gerard Plunkett plays King Richard, Jeffrey’s father. Caitlyn and Prince Jeffrey met in New York City, New York, USA. This is the only movie that doesn’t specify where the Prince is from, only that he’s from a small country in Europe. (I did verify with the writer Rick Garman).
Image courtesy Hallmark Channel

  • 9- Royal Matchmaker (2018) starring Bethany Joy Lenz as Kate, and Will Kemp as Prince Sebastian of Voldavia. Simon Dutton plays King Father Edward. Kate is from New York City, NY, USA. She travels to Voldavia, where she meets Prince Sebastian. This movie was filmed mainly at Peles Castle, and around other locations in Bucharest, Romania.
Image courtesy Hallmark Channel
  • 10- Royal Hearts (2018) Cindy Busby plays (Princess) Kelly, and Andrew Cooper is Alex. Guest star James Brolin plays Hank, Kelly’s father, who inherited the title of King of Merania. Lachlan Nieboer plays handsome villain King Nikolas of Angosia, a neighbor country. Kelly and Hank are from Montana, USA. They both traveled to Merania, where Kelly and Alex meet. This movie was filmed in Bucharest and Transylvania, Romania.
Image courtesy Hallmark Channel
  • 11- Once Upon a Prince (2018) starring Megan Park as Susanna, and Jonathan Keltz as Prince/King Nathaniel, Nate, of Cambria. Sarah Botsford plays Queen Mother (apparently with no name, I couldn’t find it). Susanna and Prince Nate met in St. Simons, Georgia, USA, then traveled to Cambria. This movie was filmed in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Image courtesy Hallmark Channel
  • 12- Royally Ever After (2018) starring Fionna Gubelmann as Sara, and Torrance Coombs plays Prince Daniel of St. Ives. Carmen Du Sautoi plays Queen Mother Patricia, Barry McGovern is King Father Edmond, and Rebekah Wainwright plays Princess Fiona, Daniel’s sister. Sara and Prince Daniel met in New Jersey, USA, then they traveled to St Ives. This movie was filmed mostly in Ireland.
Image courtesy Hallmark Channel
  • 13- Christmas at the Palace (2018) starring Merritt Patterson as Katie, Andrew Cooper as King Alexander of San Senova, and India Fowler as his daugher, Princess Christina. This is the second Hallmark royal movie for both star actors. Katie is from New Jersey, USA. She traveled to San Senova, where they met. This movie was filmed in Bucharest, Romania.
Image courtesy Hallmark Channel
  • 14- A Winter Princess (2019) starring Natalie Hall as Princess Carlotta, Carly, of Lanovia, and Chris McNally as Jesse. Mackenzie Gray is King Father Kristof, and Casey Masterson is Prince Gustav, Carly’s twin brother. Carly and Jesse met at a ski resort in Aspen, Colorado, USA. This is the second movie with a princess as main character, and they’re outside her country. The movie was filmed at the Big White Ski Resort and other parts of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
Image courtesy
Hallmark Channel

I hope Hallmark Channel Network will continue making this type of romance movies. I do enjoy and appreciate knowing that the couple will be together at the end, no matter the misunderstandings, no matter the villains along the way, no matter the circumstances. Love conquers all, well, at least in the movies.

Prince Sebastian (Will Kemp) confessing to Kate (Bethany Joy Lenz)
she’s the one who gives him butterflies.
Scene from Royal Matchmaker, Hallmark Channel original movie

I know, we all know, that real life is not a happily ever after, at least not all the time. But I know that having a positive attitude, working on communicating, and resolving disagreements helps you have a happier cohabitation. But, as a woman, my advice to all of you reading is: work on it. Have you heard of the saying “happy wife, happy life”? Yes, you have to work on it. Time for my tacita de café. Salud!

Para versión en español, vea https://fullofcoffee.blog/2019/09/07/hablemos-sobre:-las-peliculas-de-romance-y-realeza-de-hallmark