The holiday season is all about traditions, and over the last several years families have made room for Hallmark Channel alongside their mistletoe, stockings and figgy pudding. If you're one of these traditionalists, you can look forward to getting an early present this year: Zap2it can exclusively reveal Hallmark's Thanksgiving week holiday programming, anchored by five world-premiere movies. All times are 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Monday, Nov. 23: 'Home & Family Holiday Special'
Everything starts with this special two-hour event hosted by Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare. Cuddle up with your Elf on the Shelf and enjoy music, food and a lineup featuring celebrity guests, chefs and designers. Featuring such Hallmark faves as Lacey Chabert, Danica McKellar and Holly Robinson-Peete, the special will also have an in-studio performance by LeAnn Rimes.
Wednesday, Nov. 25: 'Once Upon a Holiday'
When an actual, honest-to-goodness royal princess runs off from her official obligations and duties for a couple of days to see how the other half lives, she winds up falling for a good Samaritan who is unaware of her real identity. And it happens right around Christmas. Will the guy still feel the same way once he learns the truth? And if this works out, won’t that make him a prince? The film stars Briana Evigan, her real-life father Greg Evigan, and Paul Campbell.
Thursday, Nov. 26: 'The 12 Gifts of Christmas'
When Anna Russo, an unemployed fine arts painter, is unable to make ends meet, she is hired to become a personal Christmas shopper for Marc, an uptight corporate exec. As they begin working together, Marc learns that Christmas giving has less to do with the amount of money spent and more to do with the importance of the gift, while Anna discovers she might find success as an artist in a way she never expected. The best gift of all of course is the love they discover with one another. Starring Katrina Law, Aaron O'Connell and Donna Mills.
Friday, Nov. 27: 'Crown for Christmas'
After getting fired from her job as a maid at a ritzy New York City hotel, Allie reluctantly accepts a temp gig as the governess to a young girl who is part of a powerful family in Europe that lives in an actual castle. After arriving, Allie learns the girl is named Princess Theodora and her father is Maximillian, the King of Winshire. The King informs Allie that the Princess has a tendency to terrorize authority figures, a predilection that has grown worse since her mother’s death. Yet governess and Princess wind up hitting it off while at the same time a spark forms between Allie and Max. However, Countess Celia is expecting to wed the King. Will Max take a stand for his feelings for Allie and make it truly a merry Christmas for all (or at least, most)? Starring Danica McKeller.
Saturday, Nov. 28: 'A Christmas Detour'
Two New York City-bound travelers find themselves inextricably linked when a snowstorm reroutes them to an airport hotel in Buffalo. Ever the eternal optimist and hopeless romantic, Paige desperately needs to find a way back home to meet her fiancee’s parents before her forthcoming wedding. And it’s somehow up to fellow passenger Dylan MacKenzie, who is permanently soured on romance following a recent heartbreak. Yet Dylan somehow rises to the occasion to become Paige’s chivalrous helpmate. The pair are joined on this misadventure by an older couple named Frank and Maxine trying to get to Connecticut. As their madcap journey ensues, our foursome will find plenty of surprises in store. Starring Candace Cameron Bure, Paul Greene, Sarah Strange and David Lewis.
Sunday, Nov. 29: 'Angel of Christmas'
Susan is a newspaper staffer who decides to generate some Christmas spirit by writing an article about her family’s storied 100-year-old, hand-carved, heirloom Christmas angel. This leads her to accidentally meet Brady, a cute, upbeat artist who insists that he and Susan become fast friends (at least). It turns out that this angel also has the spiritual power to bring people together –- as it seems to be doing with Susan and Brady. What’s behind this enchanted ornament? As time moves on, more about this captivating artifact is revealed. Starring Jennifer Finnigan, Jonathan Scarfe and Holly Robinson Peete.
For more information, you can connect with Hallmark Channel using your preferred social media, and keep your eyes peeled for the #CountdowntoChristmas hashtag.