Talbott’s top Hallmark movies


Key Club members finding some ways to get into the spirit of the season with music, costumes, decorations and Hallmark movies.

Dalton Gates, Reporter

For this holiday season, I’ve decided to ask Mike Talbott for some of his favorite Hallmark movies to help get invested in the spirit of Christmas. Since Talbott is the Hallmark aficionado of Manitou Springs High School, he recommended Lights, Camera, Christmas; A Jolly Good Christmas; The Ghosts of Christmas Always; Christmas Homecoming and Christmas Bedtime Stories

In Lights, Camera, Christmas, made in 2022 for the most recent Hallmark season, a woman (Kimberly Sustad) signs on to be a costume designer for a Christmas movie production that happens to be shooting in her hometown. While working on the production and rediscovering her love for the craft, she falls for the film’s leading man, John Brotherton. 

Out of the five I watched, it was the best I watched. With the movie taking a unique approach to the somewhat formulaic format Hallmark is known to have, it is mostly told through flashbacks and from characters other than the main female lead. With it also came some new story beats and reinventing older ones. Though it does follow the Hallmark format pretty straightforwardly and traditionally for Hallmark. I recommend anyone wanting to get into Hallmark movies for the festival season this year go watch this new arrival from the new Hallmark season. 

In A Jolly Good Christmas, made in 2022 for the most recent Hallmark season, the main plot is a man searching for a late Christmas gift for his girlfriend, an American architect, Will Kemp, in London, crosses paths with a professional shopper, Reshma Shetty, and enlists her help to pick out the perfect gift for his girlfriend. 

Out of the five I watched, this was the second-best of all the movies. It has a similar setup to most Hallmark films but with a unique twist. That unique twist is the characters and acting around them, with both main leads playing different characters than I thought they would or could for this type of story. I recommend that anyone interested in starting to watch Hallmark movies check this out.

In The Ghosts of Christmas Always, made in 2022 for the most recent Hallmark season, the Ghost of Christmas Present, Katherine (Kim Matula), must help one soul rediscover his Christmas spirit, but this year has something unusual in store for the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

Out of the five I watched, this was the middle of all the Hallmark movies I watched. It is a unique twist on the Charles Dickens classics, as it follows the Ghosts of the past and future, but more so, the Ghost of Christmas present. But that’s all I can think of for unique aspects to this movie; otherwise, a pretty good Hallmark movie rewriting an old classic. And if you’re into that story, I recommend you give this a watch.

In Christmas Homecoming, made in 2017 for that Hallmark season, a military widow, Julia Benz, whose faith in Christmas has lapsed and rents an apartment to a soldier, Michael Shanks, who is recovering from an injury in battle. When they team up to save the town’s military museum, these two wounded birds fall in love.

Out of the five I watched, this was pretty ok out of all the Hallmark movies I watched. It is not doing anything new or unique like the others besides the military background, which I think was done well. But otherwise, there was nothing to write home about this movie; I’d say you can skip this one if you’re not interested in the cookie-cutter style of Hallmark movies.

In Christmas Bedtime Stories, made in 2022 for the most recent Hallmark season, Danielle’s (Erin Cahill) husband (Charlie Weber) goes missing in action during his deployment; she’s left to raise her daughter, Alice Comer, on her own. Three years later, as she acclimates to life without him, she tells her daughter bedtime stories about her father.

Out of the five I watched, this was honestly the most forgettable. This could’ve been due to the Thanksgiving madness at the time of watching. But honestly, it was pretty bland, with nothing sticking out to me in my brain. I’d say, like Christmas Homecoming, they handle the military aspects well, but there isn’t anything interesting after that and if you’re on the fence about watching this one, you can probably skip it. 

Even though not all of these movies were great, they helped me get into the spirit of the season, like with Talbott and his family, making it a family tradition around this time of year. “My mom was watching them at the time. She’s now deceased, but at the time she was watching them and so I said ‘Okay, what the heck, it’s a family thing.’,” Talbott said. “So we started sharing, we talked to each other on the phone or texting and stuff like that and we talked about them so I drew me into it. So once I got drawn in I’m like, ‘Well all these make you feel all of make you feel good at the end’.”