I love cheesy Christmas romance movies. Something about the snow and the sparkling lights, and the over-the-top Christmas decorations. The city girl comes home, the grumpy grinch rediscovers the joy of the season, the small towns with businesses and festivals that need saving from big corporations, the closing scene where they finally kiss as snow starts to fall. It looks absolutely nothing like our summer Christmases in Australia but still feels so right.
I feel like these movies have had a real bump in popularity over the past few years, and something that people might not realise is how many of them are adapted from books. Holiday movie watching season is upon us (Hallmark actually start their Countdown to Christmas, with new movies several times a week in October – they do have 40 or so to get through!), so I thought today I would share 5 of Hallmark’s Christmas movies that are currently available to stream in Australia and the books that inspired them.
The Christmas Cottage by Samantha Chase
Any couple who spends the night in the Christmas cottage shall have love everlasting… Lacey Quinn did not believe in happily ever after or the legend of the Christmas cottage. As maid of honor for her best friend Ava, her duties included decorating the cottage for the newlyweds. It was a simple enough task, but she hadn’t counted on sexy Ean Callahan, the bride-to-be’s brother, to be assisting her. Spending the evening ensconced in the overly romantic setting while a blizzard howls outside has Lacey wondering if fairy tales really do come true…
You can find Samantha Chase’s The Christmas Cottage on Goodreads here.
Hallmark’s The Christmas Cottage
Starring Merritt Patterson & Steve Lund
Still only in her mid-twenties, Lacey Quinn has already given up on love. Her heart’s been broken too many times, and now she concentrates on her career as an interior designer in Raleigh, North Carolina. When BFF Ava Callahan asks Lacey to be her maid of honor, she must take on a few responsibilities, including making sure the Callahan family cottage is perfect for the honeymoon. Legend has it that if newlyweds spend their first night there, everlasting love and happiness follow. Lacey isn’t sure she buys into that notion. Still, when she finds herself snowed in there with Charlie, Ava’s brother, Lacey has to reconsider if the little house may hold some romantic magic after all — especially at Christmas.
The Christmas Cottage is currently streaming on 7plus in Australia.
The Christmas Train by David Balducci
Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington D.C. to L.A in time for Christmas. Forced to travel by train, he begins a journey of rude awakenings, thrilling adventures and holiday magic. He has no idea that the locomotives pulling him across America will actually take him into the rugged terrain of his own heart, as he rediscovers people’s essential goodness and someone very special he believed he had lost.
You can find David Baldacci’s The Christmas Train on Goodreads here.
Hallmark’s The Christmas Train
Starring Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Dermot Mulroney
A journalist embarks on a cross-country train ride at Christmas having no idea this journey will take him into the rugged terrain of his own heart.
The Christmas Train is currently streaming on Prime Video in Australia.
Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn
This is the second book in Robin Jones Gunn’s Father Christmas series, after Finding Father Christmas which has also been adapted into a movie by Hallmark. I’ve included this one here because it’s readily available to stream – you might be able to find it on DVD at your local library or somewhere though.
Miranda Carson can’t wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she’s sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation.
But Miranda’s high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian’s father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda’s mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost.
And yet . . . maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all.
Hallmark’s Engaging Father Christmas
Starring Erin Krakow and Niall Matter
It’s Christmas and Miranda leaves Seattle with a suitcase full of presents to join her long- lost family in Carlton Heath, where she will experience the joyful traditions she missed as a child. Last Christmas, Miranda fell in love with Ian, a local man who helped her as she searched for her father, James Whitcomb, a famous theatre actor she believed had a connection to the town. At his widow Margaret’s request, Miranda agrees to keep it a secret to protect the family from scandal. This Christmas, she fears the warm welcome she received from the Whitcomb family will soon turn cold when Miranda receives an anonymous text from someone who threatens to expose her identity.
This one is called A Family for the Holidays in Australia and is currently streaming on Prime Video.
The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere
Christine Eisley is the mother of seven-year-old Zach and five-year-old Haley. Her ex-husband provides little, if any, child support and makes life difficult for Christine by using the children as pawns. She works long hours as a waitress to make ends meet, but her job is in jeopardy because she’s often late to work due to the unreliable teenaged sitters she’s forced to use. When Christine saves the life of a woman who works in Wilson’s department store, the owner of Wilson’s wants to find her, to thank her, but Christine has disappeared, losing another job once again. He sets his grandson, Jason, to the task of finding the mysterious “Christy.” Jason, an accountant by trade who has lost his job to downsizing, thinks he is “above” working at Wilson’s. Soon, he discovers that this new task gives him more than he bargains for.
You can find Donna VanLiere’s The Christmas Secret on Goodreads here.
Hallmark’s The Christmas Secret
Starring Bethany Joy Lenz and John Reardon.
Christine Eisley’s life is coming undone. She’s been fired from her job, evicted from her home and her ex-husband is taking her to court for custody of their children. To make matters worse, she’s misplaced a very special family heirloom, a star-shaped locket handed down from her father, who disappeared from her life when she was a young girl. But things seem to be looking a little brighter for Christine when she lands a new job working with a gregarious bakery owner and a holiday romance begins to blossom with Jason, the handsome grandson of a sweet couple who own a popular local store. As she uncovers a long-standing family secret, Christine’s luck might be starting to turn, bringing her good fortune and true love just in time for Christmas.
The Christmas Secret is one of my favourite Hallmark Christmas movies and is currently streaming on Prime Video in Australia.
Maggie’s Miracle by Karen Kingsbury
Megan Wright spent one unforgettable summer week with a boy when they were both teens. And despite a lifetime of heartache and bad choices, she has never let go of his magical definition of love, even if she has trouble believing in it.
After college Megan settled for a relationship of convenience. Now she’s a high powered attorney and, after the death of her husband two years ago, has been looking for help with her lonely young son.
Across town, Casey Cummins is still dealing with the tragic loss of his wife. His search for meaning and hope leads him to contact the Manhattan Children’s Organization, who connects him with a fatherless child.
Life suddenly takes a series of unusual twists, and soon Megan will learn that the teenage boy from all those years ago actually kept his promise, and the miracle she prayed for as a girl is only a breath away.
Hallmark’s Maggie’s Christmas Miracle
Starring Jill Wagner and Like Macfarlane.
Single mom Maggie is trying to maintain the balance of being devoted to son Jordan while having a career. Jordan needs help at school and meets Casey, a tutor. They quickly bond, and Casey becomes more like a father figure. What he wishes most, however, is for his mom to find happiness and love again at Christmas. With the help of faith and fate, Maggie discovers anything is possible.
Maggie’s Christmas Miracle is currently streaming on 7plus in Australia.
I hope this list has helped get your Christmas reading and viewing off to a good start! Given we don’t have the Hallmark Channel here it can be tricky to find where to watch the movies so I have focussed on titles I know are currently available to stream in Australia but there are many more Hallmark movies adapted from books, including Debbie Macomber‘s Dashing Through the Snow (I reviewed the book and the movie here), and Jenny Hale‘s Coming Home for Christmas and Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses (I talk a bit about being a fan of her books here).
If you are looking for more Hallmark Christmas movies to get the festive feels flowing I really recommend keeping an eye on this page, which is updated monthly with all the Hallmark titles currently streaming here. If you’re also a physical media person you might find you can borrow DVDs of the movies at your local library – Libraries ACT has quite a big range of titles, and I’m always watching out to see which new ones they are adding to their collection.
And I can’t write Hallmarky content without giving a shoutout to my favourite guys at Deck the Hallmark podcast. They do really fun reviews of every new Hallmark movie (plus some from other networks) each holiday season, and review old faves in the ‘off season’. I reviewed their book I’ll be Home for Christmas Movies here last year and I stand by it!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these or plan to, if you have favourite Christmas books or movies, or whether you are also a Christmas movie lover!