A definitive ranking of all 40 Hallmark movies of 2022

Hello, dear readers! I am back, for the third year in a row, to rank every holiday movie Hallmark came out with this year. Hallmark movies come with their ridiculous cheesiness and reliability, but this year, I found myself even more excited to see what would come. Back in April, in a press release from Great American Channel Media, long-time Hallmark star Candace Cameron Bure announced that she was leaving Hallmark Channel for Great American Family Channel. Bure was not the only Hallmark actor to make the shift, leaving a divide in the company. The Great American Family Channel is more conservative, promoting their ideas of traditional family values, while Hallmark is making moves towards diversity. I, for one, celebrate Hallmark’s inclusion and representation. My friend and fellow music student Annika Williams remarked in November about the Hallmark trope of killing off parents in order to have a single parent love interest while keeping “family ideals,” and while widows and widowers are alive and well in the Hallmark universe, this year there were eight (!) divorced characters! Additionally, while this may seem like slow progress, this year Hallmark released their first Christmas movie that centres a gay couple. I am extremely excited to see where Hallmark continues to grow. 


  1. Christmas Bedtime Stories: This one made me pretty speechless. A widowed single mom  tells her son stories about her husband, and realizes she is not actually over her husband. Oh yeah, he was a marine and went MIA 3 years ago. Weird depiction of the military, weird surprise: (spoiler alert) he’s alive! Just…weird. 


  1. A Magical Christmas Village: A magical Christmas village seems to affect the actions of an architect and a contractor in town. I hated how little agency these characters had. It seemed like some sort of voodoo doll Christmas village and they had zero control over falling in love. 


  1. The Most Colorful Time of the Year: Okay, this title is absolutely hilarious, because the joke is that the main guy is colorblind. Yep, that is the pun they decided on. And she is an optometrist who helps him see colour for the first time. There is some definite medical fraud but wow the premise is hilarious to me.


  1. Three Wise Men and a Baby: Three brothers with a strained relationship are brought together when a baby is dropped off with a note. The scenes of them taking care of the baby are sweet, but this was just way too much bro energy in one movie for me. 


  1. A Royal Corgi Christmas: A prince who wants to win over his mother by buying her a corgi as a gift enlists an American dog trainer for help. I only cared about the corgis. 


  1. Christmas Class Reunion: A “cursed class” comes back together fifteen years later for a reunion. There were way too many plotlines going on for a Hallmark movie. If I cannot be actively making cookies and still know what is going on, there is something wrong. 


  1. We Wish You a Married Christmas: In an attempt at couples’ therapy, a married couple takes a vacation to a Christmas village to re-spark their relationship. My favourite part of this movie was the gay couple that ran the B&B that were so stereotypical I think they might have been homophobic. 


  1. A Cozy Christmas Inn: In this sort-of-sequel to a Candace Cameron Bure feature from 2014, a woman ends up at a Christmas inn and falls in love with the owner of said inn. I did not like the implication that the first movie did not end with a happily ever after! This movie suggests that not all Hallmark couples stay together, and that, in my opinion, bursts the perfect bubble of Hallmark rom coms. 


  1. A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe: A girlboss CEO from New York takes over her grandma’s cookie company, but when the family recipe is stolen, she works with a local baker to reverse engineer the recipe. I did not enjoy the main character. I know she is supposed to have her cold heart warmed by Christmas magic, but I just did not like her. 


  1. Time for Him to Come Home for Christmas: I hate these long titles; they are so annoying. This plot had wrong number calls and voicemails and flashbacks and a car crash? Which was in the flashback and killed a close friend? There was so much going on and so much guilt, wow. 


  1. We Need a Little Christmas: A widow redesigns a restaurant owned by a guy named Peter. That is truly all I have got. Red sweater, green sweater, Christmas decorations. 


  1. A Maple Valley Christmas: She works on a maple syrup farm, and he works at a real estate company that wants to compete with her to buy land. With all the flannel and the fun little boutique farm, I think this one could have been the perfect opportunity for a sapphic Hallmark movie. 


  1. Five More Minutes: Moments Like These: A widow with a struggling son returns back home for the holidays. The love interest wants to buy her house, which is explicitly not for sale. It is really strange. I liked her husband, before he died on Christmas Eve about five minutes in. Bleak. 


  1. Holiday Heritage: A woman comes home to reunite her mom and grandma for Kwanzaa after the death of her grandfather, with the help of her ex. This was cute. It is the only Kwanzaa-related Hallmark movie that I can think of. 


  1. A Fabled Holiday: A bookstore owner runs into her childhood friend, and is whisked away to a magical inn. I liked all the characters, and I really liked that one of her childhood stories came alive. Neat concept, meh execution. 


  1. A Tale of Two Christmases: An architect runs into a magical Santa, giving her the opportunity to have two Christmas timelines: to pursue her crush in the city and spend the holiday with friends, and to go home and reunite with a neighbour she always had a crush on. The city crush was in the Netflix show Spinning Out, and I really liked him, despite the fact that she was obviously always going to pick the hometown crush. It was still neat, very If/Then


  1. When I Think of Christmas: a Manhattan lawyer comes home to help her mom move and ends up helping her ex plan a holiday concert. I do not think he should still be mad at her for choosing Yale over a shaky music deal, but other than that, it is cute. 


  1. Long Lost Christmas: An interior designer’s mom is grieving, as it is the first Christmas without the dad. The interior designer decides to attempt to reconnect the mom with her long-lost pseudo-brother from a shared children’s home. I really like how she finds the family that she and her mom are missing. 


  1. Undercover Holiday: The premise is like a low budget, Christmas version of The Bodyguard, which I love. A pop star has to bring home her bodyguard posing as her boyfriend to deal with the threat of a stalker. They are pretty lovely together, but I felt like nothing really happened in this movie. 


  1. Inventing the Christmas Prince: Tamera Mowry has passed on a childhood story about a Christmas Prince to her daughter, who then thinks Tamera’s Scrooge-esque boss is the Christmas Prince. They really made his Christmas Prince improv hilariously bad, which was probably my favourite part. 


  1. #Xmas: A designer has to pretend to be a perfect family with her best friend and her sister’s baby on social media to win a prize. The chemistry is nice, and her best friend is a really good fake husband to her, but the extremely millennial use of social media drove me up the wall.  


  1. A Kismet Christmas: She is a children’s book author who was once scorned by grandma’s magic kismet cookies, which supposedly help you find your true love. Another boy next door story, another kid helping bring people together, another very rom com job. 


  1. The Holiday Stocking: A new angel returns to earth to try to bring his sisters back together with a holiday tradition. A new concept! Hurrah! And more of a focus on family than love, which I always enjoy. 


  1. Haul Out the Holly: My new Hallmark queen Lacey Chabert returns home to a community that was always extremely into Christmas and works through some trauma. Love a story about healing from your childhood, and I think this is the first one on the list I would actually recommend. 


  1. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: A former actress moving into directing and writing is working on a play where a court fights over the true author of the poem “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Her producer pushes for stronger characters, but she wants to stay true to the history and enlists the help of her lead actor. You can also spot Mt. A alum, Amanda Barker, in the Christmas festival scenes. This movie actually brought up interesting arguments on adapting history into fiction, although I am not sure if they meant to. 


  1. Christmas at the Golden Dragon: There were so many plotlines that I do not know if I could give a synopsis beyond an exploration of how a Chinese restaurant brings people together during the holidays. There were about five different love stories happening and I was only really sold on two of them. My dad also argued, “that’s not an Asian person’s house,” while we were watching, but I thought it was sweet. 


  1. Lights, Camera, Christmas!: A clothing store owner becomes the costume designer for a Christmas movie shooting in her town, and falls for the star who she initially hates. There was so much potential here. If they really leaned into it being a Hallmark movie in a Hallmark movie, I think this could have been way higher on my list. 


  1. Jolly Good Christmas: A British professional shopper helps an American get a present for his girlfriend that he seems to know nothing about. Despite the fact that I think it is awful that this man knows nothing about his girlfriend, the scenes of them shopping were really fun. 


  1. My Southern Family Christmas: Campbell is undercover as a reporter to try to get closer to her biological father. The focus on the relationship of Campbell and her biological dad’s family was really heartwarming and did not even need a love interest. 


  1. A Big Fat Family Christmas: A photographer and a reporter cover the story of an annual Chinese American Christmas party. Some of the fusion ideas, like Chinese New Year lanterns for Christmas and decorating fortune cookies were clearly thought up by white people, but I really appreciated the Cantonese, Filipino-Chinese, and second-generation-being-bad-at-speaking-Chinese representation. 


  1. In Merry Measure: a one-hit wonder returns home and creates a rival choir, to her high school rival (the music teacher)’s dismay. I always love a choir story, and this one stars Broadway’s Patti Murin and Jocelyn Schitt from Schitt’s Creek. It kind of has Disney Channel energy, and I really liked that. 


  1. All Saints Christmas: A singer has to fake date her ex after they are caught in a paparazzi photo and appear to be engaged. The music is really good, and the line “I’ll always say yes to you” definitely made me go “aww.” What can I say, I love a fake dating trope. 


  1. Noel Next Door: A single mother fights with her grinchy neighbour without realizing he is the same man that she is dating. Custody battle and divorce storylines? Respectful and interesting representation of a disabled character as the male romantic lead? This movie packed a lot in, but in a well-timed manner. 


  1. The Gift of Peace: After a widow loses faith with God, she joins a support group run by her love interest. I severely underestimated this one. It is a beautiful look at grief and human relationships. It was another one that did not really need to have romance in it; it stood alone. 


  1. Ghosts of Christmas Always: A Ghost of Christmas Present (yes, like A Christmas Carol) attempts to help a soul find its way, but things do not go according to plan. Camp excellence. Broadway’s Beth Leavel at her finest. If you love soulmates, cheesiness, and just a fun romp, I highly recommend it.


  1. Hanukkah on Rye: The token Hanukkah one. It is You’ve Got Mail with Jewish delis. The acting is better than most, starring Broadway’s Jeremy Jordan and television’s Yael Grobglas (Petra from Jane the Virgin). The Hanukkah Hallmark movies always bring me a breath of fresh air, and I mean You’ve Got Mail is great, so why not? 


  1. Our Italian Christmas Memories: When Anna returns home to find her grandfather’s dementia has progressed farther than she thought, she creates a quest to create her grandmother’s famous pasta sauce recipe. The siblings are all really fun, fully fleshed out characters and the grandfather’s struggles with dementia definitely were a punch to the gut. 


  1. The Holiday Sitter: The first gay Hallmark movie! Jonathan Bennett is a workaholic who babysits his sister’s kids for a few days and falls in love with the contractor working on his sister’s nursery. The flirting was adorable, I loved the gay flagging by knowing shoe brands a la Legally Blonde, and I will allow them to make one (1) Mean Girls joke with Jonathan Bennett. I cannot overstate how adorable this one was. Keep ‘em coming, Hallmark! 


  1. A Holiday Spectacular: Maggie sneaks away to become a Rockette and dance at the Christmas Spectacular. This one stars Broadway’s Gina Claire Mason, Derek Klena, and Ann Margret. I love that it is the 1950s, I love the Rockettes setting, and I love the framing device. Older Maggie tells the story of the movie by advice to a kid, which to me was reminiscent of old Barbie movies. This one was the perfect escape that I wanted. Although, if you really watch for it, you do see 1950s Maggie go to what appears to be “Conan Gray at Radio City Music Hall” (whoops!). 


  1. The Royal Nanny: It is campy, it is amazing. A spy has to go undercover as a nanny in order to protect the royal family. This is like if you combined Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and spies. Does that not sound like the best thing ever? This also has an alternate universe British monarchy that lives at Kensington instead of Buckingham and whose heir is Princess Rose, which brings up so many questions. Perfection.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles