PEOPLE It's a Wonderful Lifetime Christmas

PEOPLE It's a Wonderful Lifetime Christmas

Before you’ve even put out the Halloween candy, it’s time to cozy up for a favorite holiday tradition: Watching the made-for-tv Christmas movie. This special edition of PEOPLE looks at the best of Lifetime’s seasonal rom-coms and holiday fare: From meeting cute under the mistletoe to finding true love while discovering the true meaning of Christmas. Includes exclusive interviews with stars Kelly Rowland, Reba McIntyre, Tia Mowry, and Queen of the Holiday TV Movie, Melissa Joan Hart. Also: Recipes for your viewing party and a look at the 2021 line-up, with some surprising, nostalgic, and heart-warming TV cast reunions.

United States
Meredith Operations Corporation


it’s holiday movie time!

AS HOLIDAY TIME ARRIVES, thoughts turn again to tradition. (And by “holiday time” we mean the crisp days when Halloween candy shares space with the season’s first in-store Santas.) Unpack the heirloom ornaments and the matching flannel jammies. Find that reliably potent eggnog recipe and those trusty reindeer cookie cutters. Crank up Bing Crosby! In these times the lure of familiar comforts is stronger than ever. For many that means gathering in the glow of the television for Lifetime’s cascade of Christmas movies. The network introduces some 10 new titles a year, carrying on a tradition that, if not quite as storied as your aunt’s fruitcake, is just as immutable and—let’s just put it out there—even more beloved. What those made-for-TV delights get right year after year is recognizing the seasonal…

mistletow magic

DEAR CHRISTMAS 2020, MELISSA JOAN HART, JASON PRIESTLEY Natalie (Hart) hosts a popular podcast, Holiday Love, about a special something that she has yet to experience in her own life: romance during the Christmas season. That changes when she’s getting ready to go on tour to promote her new book and decides to make a quick trip home for Christmas with her family. She runs into a local firefighter named Jack (Beverly Hills, 90210’s Jason Priestley) and, well, flames ignite. THE CHRISTMAS GIFT 2015, MICHELLE TRACHTENBERG, STERLING SULIEMAN Newspaper reporter Megan (Trachtenberg) approaches her editor with a novel idea for a story: finding the boy who sent her a meaningful “Secret Santa” gift many years ago when she was a child in need. All Megan has to go on is the boy’s photo and her…

merry musicals

REBA McENTIRE’S CHRISTMAS IN TUNE 2021, REBA McENTIRE, JOHN SCHNEIDER Marketing exec Belle (Candice King), worried about losing her job, comes up with a smashing idea for the Nashville charity Christmas concert she’s orchestrating in honor of the nation’s veterans: get her long-separated parents—country queen McEntire as popular singer Georgia, former Dukes of Hazzard star Schneider as singer-songwriter Joe—to reunite and perform at the show, though they haven’t spoken to each other, much less sung together, for years. Of course along the way there is plenty of music, some classic, some original—and new love for Belle with a military man (Justin David). What mom and dad wouldn’t find that worth singing about? SWEET MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS 2019, MEGAN HILTY, MARCUS ROSNER Real-life Broadway star Hilty (Wicked) plays fictional country star Laney Blu, who leaves her fancy-schmancy…

christmas is for kids

CHRISTMAS RESERVATIONS 2019, MELISSA JOAN HART Holly (Hart) is shocked when former boyfriend Kevin (Desperate Housewives’ Ricardo Chavira) checks into the ski resort she runs with her widowed father (Family Ties’ Michael Gross). “I never thought I’d see you again,” she says in a moment made even more awkward when she mentions their 10th college reunion, which Kevin missed because of his wife’s death. A trip down memory lane reignites the old spark, but Kevin’s busy life as a single dad of two in Buffalo gives Holly the “reservations” of the film’s title. As holiday skiers descend on the resort (beautifully filmed in Lake Tahoe), Holly decides she can’t leave her family business. But Kevin’s children—and Holly’s father—have other plans for the holidays. ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS 1997, MARK RUFFALO, MARY STUART…

yuletide vows

MERRY LIDDLE CHRISTMAS WEDDING 2020, KELLY ROWLAND, THOMAS CADROT Lifetime’s first holiday movie sequel follows Jacquie (Rowland) and Tyler (Cadrot) as they battle family interference, a busted cake and a snooty party planner on the way to their resort destination wedding on Christmas. “I wanted so much to prove to Tyler that I wasn’t this annoying perfectionist who gets uptight over every little detail, but that’s still who I am,” says Jacquie, who has a lot to be uptight about after she gets stuck in her wedding dress (“buttons!”) and her future stepdaughter gives her a makeover more suited for Ringling Bros. circus. A plot twist delivers a happy ending and sets the stage for Lifetime’s first holiday trilogy: Merry Liddle Christmas Baby (see page 30). A CHRISTMAS WEDDING DATE 2012, MARLA SOKOLOFF, CHRIS…

ghosts of christmas

EVERY DAY IS CHRISTMAS 2018, TONI BRAXTON, GLORIA REUBEN In this reimagining of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, Toni Braxton plays Alexis, an Atlanta money manager who forces her employees to turn off the music at the office Christmas party and work through the holidays. Her past, present and future collide after she catches sight of her mother (ER’s Reuben), who had been dead for years, at a house beautifully decorated with illuminated angels. “I’m not crazy!” Alexis tells her incredulous driver. Maybe not—but is she capable of learning from her past when her mother’s ghost reenters her life and shows her the error of her mean-girl ways? “Anything is possible at Christmas,” counsels her spirit guide. THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS 2015, JEN LILLEY The owner of Hollygrove Inn dies, leaving no heirs. Estate lawyer…