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Top 10 Hallmark Christmas Movies 2018 And Earlier | Guest Post By Ruth Hill

In honor of Hallmark's tenth anniversary of Countdown To Christmas,  I thought it would be fun to share my top ten Hallmark Christmas movies from 2018 and before. Since I have not seen all of the 2019 Christmas offerings, I am not putting any of this year's movies on my list (though I admit it's tempting). Also, I have chosen to exclude any movies that Hallmark has removed from their repertoire or any that were not originally Hallmark. Moreover, choosing favorites is something that is not very easy for me because I feel like I've left so many out. So if I don't name your favorite or I don't mention one that features one of my friends, it does not mean I don't have other favorites. To be honest, there probably are only a handful of Hallmark films for which I don't care, but these are a few of my top favorites.
First of all, I must start with an honorable mention that just missed the top ten. Hitched For the Holidays (2012--Joey Lawrence and Emily Hampshire) is one of those special movies that has a cast of stars and a very different kind of story. I always loved the Jewish-Christian angle, and I'm happy to see two Hanukkah/Christmas movies are coming out this year! But I feel like this is one of the originals.
#10: A Heavenly Christmas (2016--Kristin Davis, Eric McCormack, Shirley MacLaine)
This was the Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas movie that year, and I found it incredibly charming from the outset. The fact that I am now such good friends with the screenwriter (Gregg McBride) who wrote this film makes it even more special. While this movie does not necessarily espouse sound theology, neither does It's A Wonderful Life. Regardless, the story, the acting, the music...and Shirley MacLaine as an angel?? Genius!!
#9: Crown For Christmas (2015--Danica McKellar, Rupert Penry-Jones) This movie continues to be one of the most popular of the royal films. It's easiest my favorite Hallmark movie starring Danica. Everything about this movie is delightful, and I don't know how many times I've seen a request for a sequel. While that may not ever be in the cards, I will always adore this film. The little girl is so precocious and that prince! Be still my heart!
#8. Marrying Father Christmas (2018--Erin Krakow, Niall Matter) The "Father Christmas" series of movies is when I first found myself falling for the talent and charm of both Erin and Niall. While this series was not the first time we saw these actors, these two are responsible for creating such amazing characters that carried us through all three movies. This movie was my favorite of the three. Absolute perfection and I cried! I loved that they did not shy away from realistic issues that have affected many in the world today. Infidelity and illegitimacy dealt with in a caring, sensitive and family-friendly fashion...yes please! And is there a more beautiful bride than Erin? Probably not! I realize the series has ended, but I'd certainly support any kind of spinoff from this series.
#7. Mr. Miracle (2014--Rob Morrow, Michelle Harrison, Andrew Francis, Brit Irvin) More than likely, I'm in a minority with this choice. Most know of the popular Mrs. Miracle series, but many are unaware of this one which I understand did not resonate with the masses. I read Debbie Macomber's book and was enchanted. I guess her book didn't do as well either because her original intent seemed to be that more were planned in the series. I have heard that many did not appreciate Rob Morrow's portrayal. Some might say it focused on the male character as opposed to the female. But these are both reasons I adored the movie! I found Rob's characterization charming and hilarious. And the interaction between him and Michelle was enchanting.  This also marked one of the only times Andrew got the girl. I thought he and Brit were outstanding and why they have not been paired again as leads in a film  I don't understand. This movie was so refreshing when it aired and my mom and I never could get enough of it. It's far from a typical Hallmark. Maybe that was what drew me to it.
#6 Mrs. Miracle (2009--Doris Robert's, Erin Karpluk, James Van Der Beek) Of course, this is a modern Christmas classic. I have not read any of the books in this series, but both movies with Doris Roberts are truly fun. I prefer this first one in the series. I felt as though Erin and James made a believable couple, and those two boys were a hoot! While I know this movie series could be resurrected with a different actress playing the title role, it's hard to see anyone else more iconic than Doris Robert's as Mrs. Miracle. I always find myself laughing at the same parts each time, and when Mrs. Miracle leaves at the end...what a touching conclusion. 
#5. A Christmas Melody (2015--Mariah Carey, Brennan Elliott, Lacey Chabert) While I adore all Brennan and Lacey Christmas movies, this is the only time we see them combine forces for Christmas. I know many were concerned when it was announced Mariah would star in and direct this movie, but those fears were unfounded, in my opinion. How could you not adore seeing Brennan as a music teacher? Or what about Lacey as the single mom entrepreneur who is attempting to follow her dreams? The music, the dance, the romance, the humor...oh and my friend Lori Meeker was an extra in this one too. How could I not put this one in my top ten?
#4. Dashing Through the Snow (2015--Meghan Ory, Andrew Walker) I read this Debbie Macomber book too, so I was quite excited to see how it would translate to the screen. I was unfamiliar with Meghan before this, and while I had seen other Andrew Walker films, this is the one that caused me to fall in love with him as an actor. I adored the movie back when it came out, but now every time I rewatch it, I discover more of my friends in it! I loved the dog. In fact, Aleks Paunovic has a scene in this that I will never forget. This is a rare moment in a Hallmark film for him, and now that I know what kinds of roles he typically does, I just crack up even more. Oh and being a fan of the classic film It Happened One Night, the nods in this film are hilarious!
#3. A Christmas Detour (2015, Candace Cameron Bure, Paul Greene) This is one of those movies I reviewed before it premiered, and at first, I would never have rated it this high. Sure, I loved Candace, but some of her acting seemed a bit fake...that is, until I realized her character was a bit of a spoiled brat who was not being authentic. Upon understanding that character, everything else made sense. This was my second Paul Greene film, but this was the one that truly introduced me to him. Candace raved about him, and that meant something to me. I can honestly state I know firsthand that everything she said was true. Then David Lewis and Sarah Strange--what a delightful pair they make! Oh, and Barbara Niven and Marcus Rosner (how is it possible I've met three of these individuals in person?!)...I always get a kick out of watching Marcus and Barbara in this film. To be honest, whenever I happen to catch this film, I struggle to turn it off. It is filled with so much humor and just is sheer delight to watch! The more I watch it, the more I adore it!
#2. Signed, Sealed, Delivered For Christmas (2014, Eric Mabius, Kristin Booth, Crystal Lowe, Geoff Gustafson) Anyone who knows my history with Hallmark knows that I am an original Postable. Long before it became a revolution, I was watching and tweeting.  While I don't spend my time tweeting nonstop about the series due to my increased responsibilities, this series holds such a special place in my heart. I adored everything about this story. The focus on the real Christmas story, a visiting angel, a Christmas dance to remember, a heartbreaking moment still filled with hope...and don't forget about that caroling scene!! I was enraptured from the opening to the close, and as far as Christmas movies made in the past few years, this one is tops! Personally, I wouldn't mind another Christmas movie in this series, but I'm eternally grateful for this one.
#1. A Princess For Christmas (2011, Katie McGrath, Sam Heughan, Roger Moore) This was the first-ever Hallmark Christmas movie I fell in love with as an adult. It became a tradition for me to watch it each year. It was one of the original royal Christmas movies, and as far as I'm concerned, there's not another that can hold a candle to this one. Sure, others get close, but this is just the perfect storm. Interestingly enough, when I connected with Michael Damian and realized this was the work of his and his wife's, I loved it even more! Where else can see two actors who have now made their names in mainstream BEFORE they became household names absolutely killing it in a Hallmark Christmas movie? Not to mention James Bond! This movie only barely inches out #2, but I think it still wins pretty handily, and of any of the Hallmark royalty, this would be the one for which I'd most like to see a sequel. 
That is my Top 10 list, excluding 2019 and films that Hallmark has removed from their library.  I'm sure many don't agree with all my choices, but that's the best thing about Hallmark.  More than likely, there will be films that specifically meet the needs and desires of everyone in some shape or form. 

And by the way, thank you, Mercy, for letting me share with you and your readers today.

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