A visit to a small town is like having a warm blanket enveloping you as you experience the comfort of friendly folk and family traditions especially during the holidays.
This reporter recently took a trip to my hometown of Beach Haven, New Jersey. It is an island community just north of Atlantic City, thriving as a summer resort but sparsely populated in the winter time. I did not appreciate the tranquility as a teenager (kids never do), but now I cannot think of a better place to grow up; a block from the ocean and a block and a half from the bay…sand between my toes, sea spray in my hair, as I collected shells along the beach. Ahhh, the untroubled memories.
There’s a place to capture that bygone feeling of a safe harbor, with family members and neighbors who look out for each other, and stories that warm your heart. It’s the Hallmark Channel.
It will feel like going home for the holidays.
A highlight of every Television Critics Association’s press tour is the all-star party that Hallmark presents to celebrate their family-friendly feel-good movies, series and specials that are presented on both the Hallmark Channel and the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.
At the network’s summer 2018 party an announcement was made by Michelle Vicary, executive vice president, programming for Crown Media Family Networks, that there would be 37 new Hallmark Christmas movies added to their robust production slate. The Hallmark Channel would debut 22 “Countdown to Christmas” originals, while Hallmark Movies & Mysteries would debut 15 “Miracles of Christmas” movies.
“We’re pleased to offer our viewers a variety of seasonal specials that complement our original movies and primetime series,” Vicary said. “From celebrating the seasons, animal advocacy and life’s treasured moments, these original specials are sure to resonate with viewers.”
The festive holiday films feature some of the most delightful and wholesome performers in showbiz. Among them is everyone’s favorite Fuller House sweetheart Candace Cameron Bure who has Hallmark’s Christmas Across America special premiering Monday, December 17, and the movie with the silliest title—A Shoe Addict’s Christmas. Also among the super-sweet stars in a variety of romantic holiday shows are LeAnn Rimes, Kellie Pickler, Chad Michael Murray, Wendie Malick, Holly Robinson-Peete, Kathie Lee Gifford, Alicia Witt, Colin Ferguson, Danica McKellar, Tatyana Ali, Patti LaBelle and Lacey Chabert who stars in Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe.
The wonderful Christmas movies have been on the schedule around the clock since October, but there are still more than a dozen new romantic stories in primetime that viewers can enjoy leading up to Christmas and beyond.
The upcoming original movies on the Hallmark Channel or Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel schedules include: Homegrown Christmas, airing Saturday, December 8 with stars Lori Loughlin and Victor Webster. Memories of Christmas, also airs December 8 with Christina Milian. Welcome to Christmas, airs Sunday, December 9 with Eric Mabius. Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas also airs December 9 with Josh Henderson. Entertaining Christmas airs Saturday, December 15 with Jodie Sweetin. A Gingerbread Romance airs Sunday, December 16 with Tia Mowry-Hardrict. Small Town Christmas also airs December 16 with Kristoffer Polaha. Jingle Around the Clock airs Saturday, December 22 with Brooke Nevin. Christmas Made To Order, airs Sunday, December 23 with Alexa PenaVega. Christmas Bells are Ringing also airs December 23 with Josh Kelly.
On Christmas Eve the eternal flame of the Yule log will air throughout the night with holiday music and Happy The (rescue) Dog romping around the fireplace with his frisky puppy and kitten friends. It is an example of the company’s commitment to raising awareness for pet rescue and the benefits of having pets in our lives.
The crown jewel in the holiday lineup is When Calls the Heart Christmas: The Greatest Christmas Blessing, airing Christmas day, Tuesday, December 25 on Hallmark Channel with stars Erin Krakow and Lori Loughlin. After Christmas comes A Midnight Kiss on Saturday, December 29 with stars Carlos PenaVega and Adelaide Kane. The movie is followed by the premiere of Hallmark’s Winterfest Preview Special.
Tune in the Hallmark Channels’ Countdown to Christmas shows for some much needed comfort and joy. It will feel like going home for the holidays.
Margie Barron is a member of the Television Critics Association and has written for a variety of top publications for more than 38 years, and was half of the husband and wife writing team of Margie and Frank Barron.