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Christmas comes early at the Hallmark Channel. You might still be thinking about Halloween costumes, but the network is in full gingerbread, snow, and twinkly lights mode.

The family-friendly channel kicks off its annual ‘Countdown to Christmas’ celebration on October 26 with the premiere of the first of 24 (!) all-new Christmas movies for 2019. (An additional 16 new movies began airing on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on October 25.) 

It all starts with ‘Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses’

Matthew Davis and Jill Wagner in Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses
Matthew Davis and Jill Wagner Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses | ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Josh Stringer

Technically, the Christmas fun began on October 25 with A Merry Christmas Match on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. But things get going on the Hallmark Channel with Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses, which airs Saturday, October 26 at 8/7c. 

In the movie, single mom Abbey is an interior designer with a serious love of Christmas. While she’s shuttered her design firm to take a more secure 9-5 job, a friend convinces her to meet with businessman Nick, who wants her to decorate his estate for a big Christmas gala. But the house needs a lot of work to get it ready for the big event in just four weeks, and Abbey’s job is complicated by her client’s distant demeanor. Plus, there’s the issue of her growing feelings for Nick. Will these two be able to confess their love for each other before the credits roll?  

It stars Jill Wagner and Matthew Davis 

Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses stars Jill Wagner as Abbey. Viewers will recognize her from her roles in previous Hallmark movies like Autumn Dreams, Christmas Cookies, and A Harvest Wedding, as well as her starring role on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’s Mystery 101 series.

Matthew Davis (aka as Elle Woods’s ex Warner Huntington III in Legally Blonde) plays Nick. He’s also appeared in The Vampire Diaries and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. This is his first Hallmark movie. 

Donna Mills from Knot’s Landing and General Hospital also stars as Nick’s mother Caroline.

Expect a lot of magical Christmas decor 

Nick and Abbey might not see eye-to-eye when they first meet, but this is a Hallmark movie, so we’re pretty confident it ends in a happily-ever-after for everyone involved. But the romance isn’t the only thing viewers will enjoy, Wager said in a behind-the-scenes look at the movie. There’s also the magical Christmas decor. 

“It’s been great to watch this house transform into the glory of Christmas,” she said. “I mean, the decor is outstanding, so you could actually learn a lot just by watching some Hallmark Christmas movies.”

It’s based on a book by Jenny Hale

Hallmark’s first ‘Countdown to Christmas’ movie for 2019 is actually based on a book. Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale was published in 2015 and has rave reviews from many readers on Amazon, who called it “heartwarming” and “sweet.” 

Hale is also the author of Coming Home for Christmas, which was made into a 2017 Hallmark movie starring Danica McKellar. Her other books include Christmas at Silver Falls, It Started with Christmas, and All I Want for Christmas.  

Check out the complete ‘Countdown to Christmas’ and ‘Miracles of Christmas’ schedule here