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Our Favorite Holiday Movies Of 2021...So Far

Our Favorite Holiday Movies Of 2021...So Far

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This Post To Be Regularly Updated During The Holiday Season

It's the most wonderful time of the year, especially for holiday movie nerds, like me! Hallmark is already 2 weeks in to their Countdown to Christmas. Lifetime's "It's A Wonderful Lifetime" movies start November 12th and this year everyone from GAC Family to the Food Network to VH1 is producing new holiday movies (I can't wait for RuPaul's The Bitch Who Stole Christmas).

As the new releases come out, and as I have the time to consume them, I will be updating this list. So, enjoy the holidays, take these brief reviews with a grain of gingerbread seasoning and find the movies that put YOU in the holiday spirit!

Christmas...Again?! - Disney Channel & Disney+

This movie is so much fun! I'll be honest it started off a little chaotic. There was a lot happening in a short amount of time and I was lost. But, it didn't take long before it kicked into gear and was a blast to watch! This is a true, big budget, Disney holiday movie. It has all the production value of Home Alone (and it's also shot in Chicago). From the top of the Sears Tower to the inside of a stretch limo...they take us on a ride.

Scarlett Estevez is the adorable and endlessly energetic star. She is doing whatever it takes to get her divorced parents back together. And thanks to a magical wish from Santa (who clearly loves the movie Groundhog Day) she gets chance after chance after chance to try to make this family reunion happen.

It's funny, fun, sweet and has wonderful representation (from a black Santa to gay uncles to a beautiful Latinx family). Kudos to Disney for this holiday gift!

The Christmas Promise - Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

This is a heartbreaker, but in a good way.

It's one of the most beautiful and powerful Hallmark movies I've seen in a while.

Without giving away too many spoilers, something very sad happens early on, in the story. That leaves Torrey DeVitto grieving and in search of healing.

Torrey plays this perfectly. She is so sweet and believable and likable. She perfectly plays the balance between someone genuinely in pain, but also deep down a truly joyful person,.

It also has a great supporting cast including Karen Holness as the hilarious Christmas-party obsessed friend and the legendary Patrick Duffy as Pops (grandpa).

Then, there is Dylan Bruce who plays 'Joe'. An appropriate name for his character, since about 3/4 of the way through the movie, it gives off major "You've Got Mail" vibes.

If you're someone grieving this holiday season, give this one a watch. It might be the cry and the motivation you need to start healing.

My Christmas Family Tree - Hallmark Channel

It surprises me that this one shot right to the top of my list, so far, for 2021. When I first heard the concept, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it. But I did!

The story was so powerful, about a young woman, who's mother had died and who never knew her father - but suddenly learns that through a DNA test, her father has been identified.

As she and her biological father meet, it has all the awkwardness you would expect in that kind of situation - expertly portrayed by Aimee Teegarden and James Tupper.

Aimee is even more beautiful, sweet and sincere than she was on Friday Night Lights. And Tupper plays the patriarch of this family, perfectly.

For the first time in a long time, I had no idea how this Hallmark movie was going to end. An emergency call from the DNA agency threatens to blow up this moving family reunion. The plot isn't centered around a love story between a man and a woman. But instead, around a love story about a family.

It will leave you with all the feels (and some tears). Oh, and don't worry - the always handsome and convincing Andrew Walker does still provide some sweet, Hallmark romance.

Eight Gifts of Hanukkah - Hallmark Channel

As a Jewish kid who grew up envious of all my Christmas-celebrating friends, I'm always grateful for a movie or song that celebrates our December holiday! Thankfully Hallmark Channel has been giving us, at least, one new Hanukkah movie each year for the past few years. This time, it's: Eight Gifts of Hanukkah starring Inbar Lavi (from the series Lucifer).

I'm not gonna tell you it's the greatest holiday movie I've seen this year, but it is really sweet and really accurate. I got to interview Inbar about the movie and she shared, quite powerfully, about why it was important to her to make this movie. It's her first project with Hallmark.

She had just gotten married and was about to leave on her honeymoon when she got the call. And she said 'yes' because she really wanted to give Jewish kids and families something special for this time of year. Growing up in America, as a Jewish kid in December..in Inbar's words: "sucks". We don't have nearly as much fun stuff to do as our gentile friends.

But, all that we do have is packed into this movie..and then some (I had no idea there were so many Hanukkah themed inflatables). From the food, to the beautiful music, the blessings, family gatherings, etc...it's all in there. And, as someone who celebrates Hanukkah...it is a true gift (or 8 gifts) that I'm grateful for.

Christmas in Harmony - Hallmark Channel

This movie was a joyful, musical delight! Ashleigh Murray has the voice of angel (and she is stunning). I loved her character and the love story with Luke James. Then, you throw in some gorgeous choir performances, the legendary Loretta Devine and the Destiny's Child icon that is Michelle Williams and you have one beautiful holiday movie.

Gingerbread Miracle - Hallmark Channel

Is it possible that Jon Ecker is the most handsome man ever to star in a Hallmark movie? Or was his character just so sweet and lovable that it seemed that way? Either way, it's impossible not to fall in love with this guy. He and Merritt Patterson were star-crossed teenage crushes, that had to wait years before finally getting their timing right.

The movie is wonderful. The family relationships, the handsome men (did I mention the handsome men?), the beautiful representation of Latinx Christmas traditions and the gingerbread! While Starbucks and Dunkin' have both chosen to remove gingerbread lattes from their menu, this movie celebrates one of the most important flavors of the season!

Grab a specially shaped cookie, make a wish and fall in love!

Christmas in My Heart - Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

It's always a treat when you know nothing about a movie going in and are delighted by what unfolds. This turned out to be another musical delight. There is something for the country music fans, something for the classical musical fans and then there is Mariah Nash. This little bundle of joy, child star, steals the movie. With all due respect to the beautiful Heather Hemmens, the handsome (and darn good country singer) Luke Macfarlane and the legendary Sheryl Lee Ralph, this is Mariah's movie and she adorably steals each scene. Plus, shoutout to Hallmark for truly embracing diversity in their storytelling.

You, Me and the Christmas Trees - Hallmark Channel

There was a reason Hallmark chose this as the movie to kick off their huge, annual event. It's really sweet and a really smart love story. Danica McKellar (a childhood crush of mine) finally gets to play a scientist, which is what she is in real life. While real Danica may be a mathematician, this character is a tree scientist who must help save one farmer's Christmas Tree business. The love story and mystery solving that ensues is so much fun to watch, I really got caught up in it. And, if you grew up watching Danica on The Wonder Years, like I did...you will love the surprise appearance from the bully, Wayne Arnold (Jason Hervey) who still hasn't outgrown his evil ways.

Christmas Sail - Hallmark Channel

Grief seems to be a reoccuring theme in Hallmark’s holiday movies this season.

In the new movie: Christmas Sail, the topic is explored again.

This time, it’s Emmy-winner of “Lost” fame, Terry O’Quinn who is mourning his wife. Her love of Christmas, makes it hard for him to celebrate the holiday.

But when his daughter and granddaughter arrive, the cuteness of the latter (played adorably by Emma Oliver), melt his heart.

Yes, there is a love story, but it doesn’t work out as conventionally as many Hallmark romances do.

Oh, and this is Hallmark’s first holiday film on a boat. And the Christmas boat parade does NOT disappoint.

It’s a little sad, but very sweet. And will give you many heartfelt feels.

Boyfriends of Christmas Past - Hallmark Channel

This is a really fun take on the classic Charles Dickens tale; A Christmas Carol. Instead of the ghosts of Christmas past, it's ex's. The movie is a lot of fun, features a lot of handsome men, and is wonderfully diverse in its casting. if you're looking for a sweet rom-com with all the holiday feels, this is one to check out.

Coyote Creek Christmas - Hallmark Channel

This movie is just a good old fashioned Hallmark holiday love story. There's the handsome, single dad played by Ryan Paevey, his adorable son played perfectly by Azriel Dalman and the beautiful marketing expert played by Janel Parrish. Ryan is a real estate investor, brought in to buy up a quaint, mountain Inn. But Janel is in the dark that her family plans to sell it. Thus the drama and meet-cute begins! The scenery is gorgeous, the set design is wonderful and the aforementioned kid is constantly cute. There is also a beautiful, quiet, understated LGBTQ love story that was a wonderful surprise.

Christmas At Castle Hart - Hallmark Channel

Lacey Chabert can usually do no wrong in my eyes. After all, she was Claudia in one of my favorite shows of all time; 'Party of Five'. She also stars in more wonderful Hallmark movies than almost anyone else. But this movie, didn't quite hit a home run for me.

It's a shame, because this is Hallmark's big, annual international holiday film. This time, they spent the budget on a trip to Ireland. And while the irish actors and settings are lovely, the story lacked...a lot. There's too much lying and scheming and covering up. It just was a bit much for what was supposed to be a feel good, Christmas film.

Lacey is lovely as ever and Stuart Townsend is perfectly charming, but...there are much better movies available this season on Hallmark.

Love Hard - Netflix

The good news is that this movie is funny and goes down so easily, it's over before you know it. The bad news...it's not great. While Jimmy O. Yang is the most loveable catfisher ever, Darren Barnet is still handsome and Nina Dobrev is lovely (and hilarious while doing karaoke during an allergic reaction) the film is nothing special. It doesn't quite have the heart of Hallmark, and at times it is borderline superficial. But overall, it's something fun to have on in the background while you make cookies or decorate your tree.

The Santa Stakeout - Hallmark Channel

I can't say I loved this one. The pacing and the story dragged on at times. But, thank goodness for the treasure that is Tamera Mowry-Housley. Everytime she opened her mouth to speak or sing, she brought new life to this movie. Come for Tamera, stay for Emmy-winning Soprano's legend Joe Pantoliano, and forgive the otherwise kinda boring plot.

Adventures In Christmas - VH1

Time For Them To Come Home For Christmas - Hallmark Movies & MysteriesMerry Liddle Christmas Baby - Liftimes

A Picture Perfect Holiday - Lifetime

An Ice Wine Christmas - Lifetime

A Christmas Treasure - Hallmark Channel

Christmas vs The Walters - Theaters

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Darren Garrett, Executive Producer

Executive Producer, Celebrity Page TV
Executive Producer, Celebrity Page TV