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A week worth of Hallmark Christmas movies ranked

December 17, 2020

Hey you! Thanks for taking a moment from your day to read my article. 

My name is Madison Haynes and I’ve been a fan of all things Christmas since ’99. I still feel the Christmas magic in my heart and I’m happy to be able to share a little piece of holiday happiness with you.

What qualifies me to rank Holiday Hallmark movies?

Well… I think anyone who owns an official Hallmark Christmas movie watching shirt qualifies. (Thank you to my boyfriend’s mother for gifting this lovely hoodie to me, thus officially qualifying me to write this article for all of you.). 

After reading, you’ll not only step further into the Christmas spirit, but you’ll also have the ultimate Hallmark movie selected for your next movie night! Let’s Get This Hallmark Ranking Party Started!

How does the ranking system work?

I’ve ranked each movie from worst to best based on various categories. 

The first category, being the warm and romantic atmosphere that Hallmark movies are so well known for. If the Christmas décor makes me want to jump into my car and move to whichever quaint town the movie was filmed in, a full 10 points will be allocated. 

If the actors are better, or even on par with that of the annual elementary school’s holiday plays we all attended prior to the pandemic, that will earn the film a full 10 points for the quality of acting. 

My personal favourite thing about Christmas is the magic that is filled throughout the season. I’m a true believer in magic, so these films will have to really pull on my Christmas holiday heart-strings to earn the full 10 points for Christmas magic. 

Something important is the diversity of actors in the movie. Rather if it is gender diversity in the workplace, using actors of various ethnicities for main characters, etc. A ranking of up to 10 points will be given based on the diversity of actors in each movie. 

Finally, to sum up, my ranking system, a maximum of 10 points will be given based on the depth of the storyline. 

Oh, I’m sorry? I can tell your eyes are glazing over while reading my ranking system…It’s okay, let's get into the real reason you’re reading…

A week’s worth of Hallmark Christmas movies ranked from worst to best

Let’s start off with the least favourite of the week, so we can end on a positive note! I was most excited about this one since the concept involved a princess running away from her royal duties. Although the hardest thing to get past is that this actor played the WORST princess I’ve ever seen. Hallmark failed to have the actress follow any of the typical “royal family rules” at the beginning of the movie, prior to her running off in New York, alone, with no money. A dangerous situation right? Not a single shred of pantyhose, duchess cross, or even the typical royal mannerisms were shown for any of the royal characters. Since the so-called princess had been raised in the royal family, even if she had no desire to fulfill her royal duties, her upbringing should have shown through at least enough to be convincing that she held a royal title. Not to mention the character was portrayed to be rather dull and quite honestly, annoyingly indecisive. To say the least, I wasn’t rooting for this character. There was also a huge absence of Christmas magic. It felt as if the movie just so happened to take place during Christmas time.

Breakdown of rankings for “Once Upon a Holiday”

Christmas Décor: 6.5/10

Acting: 6/10

Christmas Magic: 5/10

Diversity: 5/10 

Depth of Storyline: 5/10

This one was a cute watch. The concept was standard, relating the ghost of Christmas’ past, present, and future. Although the Christmas décor was festive, the majority of the movie set was in the same department store, which led the décor to have a lackluster feeling after some time. Christmas magic was present with the guiding elf magically appearing to guide the main character through her past career decisions or lack of them. The elf was cute, however, for some reason has a slightly creepy feel. However, anything to do with shoes or shopping is right up my alley. Being stuck in a department store during a snowstorm sounds like a dream to me. Getting saved by a cute firefighter? Even better. A great addition was to see the presence of female firefighters almost the many men at the station. 

Breakdown of rankings for “A Shoe Addict’s Christmas”

Christmas Décor: 6/10

Acting: 7/10

Christmas Magic: 7/10

Diversity: 6/10 

Depth of Storyline: 6/10

This movie’s concept was unique, with the main character taking a job to essentially stage and assist with the sale of this mega-mansion during the Holidays. This was a standard, feel-good Hallmark movie. Sub-par acting, other than between the love interest and main character, where they felt oddly more like siblings than romantic partners. The fact that the main character was unintendedly terrible at her job, was actually very entertaining in a non-intentional way. 

Breakdown of rankings for “Coming Home for Christmas”

Christmas Décor: 7/10

Acting: 8/10

Christmas Magic: 5/10

Diversity: 5/10 

Depth of Storyline: 8/10

This movie was yet another standard Hallmark Christmas movie. It included all of the typical holiday festivities, however, the main concept of the movie involved orphaned children coming into a distant family member’s household. Seeing them take part in the holiday traditions added a warm holiday feeling to the movie. Although the children’s acting was distracting, their cuteness made up for it. This movie had a significant increase in the diversity ranking tier, being that the main character’s best friend was a lesbian. Hallmark even included a section of the movie dedicated to the best friend being encouraged to ask out the women who worked at the coffee shop. This was the first time I’ve seen something like this be included in a Hallmark movie!

Breakdown of rankings for “Christmas with the Darlings”

Christmas Décor: 9/10

Acting: 5/10

Christmas Magic: 5/10

Diversity: 8/10 

Depth of Storyline: 9/10

Christmas at the Plaza had a very unique concept, where the main character had to plan a holiday event surrounding the history of Christmas at the Plaza hotel. Being that the setting took place in such a lavish hotel and that the love interest was literally the Christmas Interior Decorator, the décor was marvelous, to say the least. I also learned the proper name for a tree topper is called a “finial d’arbre”. Pronounced like fin-e-al-dab-ra. Although it was mentioned every 4 minutes in the movie, I enjoyed learning a cool holiday fact. I smell a new Christmas drinking game! 

Breakdown of rankings for “Christmas at the Plaza”

Christmas Décor: 9/10

Acting: 8/10

Christmas Magic: 7/10

Diversity: 5/10 

Depth of Storyline: 8/10

I couldn’t look away from this movie! The time flew by! The royal Christmas décor was breathtaking and the plotline was interestingly complex for Hallmark. The movie will take you on an emotional rollercoaster! Will love conquer all? You’ll have to watch to find out!

Breakdown of rankings for “A Royal Christmas”

Christmas Décor: 9/10

Acting: 8/10

Christmas Magic: 7/10

Diversity: 6/10 

Depth of Storyline: 9/10**

Finally, we’ve reached the best movie of the week! On the 12th Date of Christmas included an interesting concept of a woman in business who was tasked with creating a campaign for one of her company’s clients. The main character and her love interest had to create various dates around the city, all related to the 12 days of Christmas jingle. The date locations were clues, acting as a scavenger hunt leading participants to a secret holiday party after completing all 12 dates. Not only was the décor amazing, but constantly changing due to the 12 different date locations the characters visited. The movie was packed full of inspiring holiday fun! It made me wish I could participate too! By far the best movie of the week. 

Breakdown of rankings for “On the 12th Date of Christmas”

Christmas Décor: 10/10

Acting: 9/10

Christmas Magic: 8/10

Diversity: 5/10 

Depth of Storyline: 10/10

There you have it! An entire week’s worth of Holiday Hallmark movies ranked! The only question left to answer now is…Which one will you pick for your next holiday movie night?