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

Ashley Williams, Shanola Hampton, and Ashanti in Christmas in the City

Ashley Williams, Shanola Hampton, and Ashanti in Christmas in the City | Lifetime

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

Candace Cameron Bure and David O'Donnell in Christmas Under Wraps

Candace Cameron Bure and David O’Donnell in Christmas Under Wraps | Hallmark

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

Hilarie Burton and Gabriel Tigerman in Naughty or Nice

Hilarie Burton and Gabriel Tigerman in Naughty or Nice | Hallmark

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

Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez in Holiday in Handcuffs

Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez in Holiday in Handcuffs | ABC Family

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

Brandon Routh and Kimberley Sustad in The Nine Lives of Christmas

Brandon Routh and Kimberley Sustad in The Nine Lives of Christmas | Hallmark

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

AnnaSophia Robb as Samantha Parkington in Samantha: An American Girl Holiday

AnnaSophia Robb as Samantha Parkington in Samantha: An American Girl Holiday | Warner Bros.

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

Amy Acker as Crystal Carruthers in Dear Santa

Amy Acker as Crystal Carruthers in Dear Santa | Lifetime

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

Katie McGrath as Jules Daly and Sam Heughan as Prince Ashton in A Princess for Christmas

Katie McGrath as Jules Daly and Sam Heughan as Prince Ashton in A Princess for Christmas | Hallmark

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

Henry Winkler as Uncle Ralph and co-stars in The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Henry Winkler as Uncle Ralph and co-stars in The Most Wonderful Time of the Year | Hallmark

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

Noel Fisher as Todd McCray in A Dog Named Christmas

Noel Fisher as Todd McCray in A Dog Named Christmas | CBS

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

Laura Breckenridge as Wendy and Brendan Fuhr as Adam in A Christmas Kiss

Laura Breckenridge as Wendy and Brendan Fuhr as Adam in A Christmas Kiss | Ion

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

Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Miles and Amy Smart as Kate in 12 Dates of Christmas

Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Miles and Amy Smart as Kate in 12 Dates of Christmas | Freeform

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

Julie Andrews as Nanny and Sofia Vassilieva as Eloise in Eloise at Christmastime

Julie Andrews as Nanny and Sofia Vassilieva as Eloise in Eloise at Christmastime | Disney

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.

Read more: These Are the Most Hated Holiday Traditions in America

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