The Best Christmas TV Movies
It’s the most wonderful time of the year — and for most of us, that means keeping warm by the fire while watching movies. Since all of your favorite TV shows are off for the month, why not settle in with some of the best (and cheesiest) made-for-TV holiday flicks?
15. Christmas in the City
In this Lifetime holiday movie, a woman and her daughter have to bring the Christmas spirit back to a department store in order to help out Santa.
Ashley Williams stars as the protagonist, Wendy, and Ashanti plays Teanna, the store’s “corporate fixer” who is focused on the bottom line.
Next: The queen of Christmas movies heads way north in this flick.
14. Christmas Under Wraps
No one likes a good made-for-TV Christmas movie like Candace Cameron Bure. She stars in this Hallmark holiday flick about a doctor who goes to live in a small Alaska town where she falls in love and discovers a secret about the community.
Next: You better watch out — this movie sees a disgruntled woman get a hold of Santa’s list.
13. Naughty or Nice
Watch out — power in the wrong hands can cause a holiday disaster, as Hilarie Burton’s Krissy Kringle soon discovers. Tune into this Hallmark movie if you want to see Burton, her One Tree Hill co-star Danneel Ackles, the parents from Family Ties, and Kyle XY all learn about the meaning of Christmas.
Next: TGIF and TNBC went head to head in this bizarre TV movie.
12. Holiday in Handcuffs
Fans of ‘90s sitcoms rejoice: Sabrina and AC Slater made a movie together! This ABC Family original stars Melissa Joan Hart as a desperate woman who kidnaps a man (Mario Lopez) and makes him come home for Christmas with her in a standard example of the “from hate to love in one hour” rom-com trope.
Next: There’s nothing like a feline to bring two people together.
11. The Nine Lives of Christmas
If a movie has furry creatures in it, it’s probably going to make any best-of list. Bachelor Zachary’s (Brandon Routh, who plays the Atom in the Arrowverse) new cat leads him to find love with Marilee (perpetual made-for-TV movie actress Kimberly Sustad).
Next: This flick was based on the books around a popular toy.
10. Samantha: An American Girl Holiday
Fans of the American Girl dolls and their accompanying books will be delighted by this retelling starring a very young AnnaSophia Robb. The movie, which aired on the WB network, tells the story of how a wealthy girl in the early 20th century learns about those less fortunate.
Next: A self-absorbed woman learns the true meaning of the holidays.
9. Dear Santa
If you’ve ever wanted to see Amy Acker play the complete opposite of brilliant, independent, heroine Fred (on Angel), then look no further than this Hallmark movie. Of course, she ultimately learns compassion through her friendship with a preteen girl and her volunteer efforts.
Next: Get ready for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding with this flick.
8. A Princess for Christmas
We’ve all got a certain royal wedding on the mind, so satisfy your intrigue with this Christmas-themed British tale. You know the drill: Commoner meets Brit, they fall in love, someone tries to foil things in the name of the crown, but ultimately, love prevails.
Next: Never doubt that Fonzie knows best.
7. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Jennifer and Morgan think they have nothing in common, but after her Uncle Ralph schemes to get them together, they start to realize they’re meant to be.
It’s the usual Hallmark Christmas tale, but Henry Winkler’s in it, so you know it will a little more fun than the rest.
Next: Canine compassion is at the heart of this movie.
6. A Dog Named Christmas
Most of us are here for the romance, but there are few things that universally bring people together more than a love of dogs. This Hallmark Hall of Fame flick shows that the spirit of Christmas can be found with humane acts and slobbery kisses.
Next: A Scrooge-like character acts as the foil to a sweet older woman.
5. Christmas Snow
Long before Holiday in Handcuffs, Melissa Joan Hart starred in this Christmas tale in one of her first acting roles. The ‘80s flick sees Hart as Amy, one of two adopted children who work with their “Widow Ma” to help save their candy store and their home when their grumpy landlord tries to kick them out.
Next: This movie posits that a lot of glittery makeup can act as a legitimate disguise.
4. A Christmas Kiss
Aspiring interior designer Wendy has a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger — who turns out to be the boyfriend of her manipulative boss, Priscilla. But planning a holiday party brings these two lovers of the theater together.
Next: A ‘Groundhog Day’ situation persists on Christmas Eve.
3. 12 Dates of Christmas
Kate is stuck reliving Christmas Eve over and over again, and she can’t figure out why. She goes back and forth between helping others, trying to get back together with her ex, and pursuing a new prospect, Miles, before realizing what the audience knew all along.
Next: This 1986 remake of a beloved classic was an early role for two well-known stars.
2. Babes in Toyland
Everyone has their favorite version of Babes in Toyland, the hybrid nursery rhyme-Christmas tale that taught kids how to spell “Cincinnati.”
Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves star, among others, in what may have just been a very trippy dream for a young girl.
Next: A children’s book comes to life in this holiday movie.
1. Eloise at Christmastime
It’s hard to dispute the perfection that is Eloise. So when you add in a holiday theme, there’s no competition for first place.
Julie Andrews stars alongside Sofia Vassilieva in this adorable and mischievous Christmas story.