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Christmas on the beach in this promo for Christmas in July from Hallmark Media
It’s too early to celebrate the holidays in the middle of the year. (Image: Hallmark Media)

If you’re a fan of cheesy Christmas movies, you’re probably seeing Hallmark and Great American Family advertising their Christmas in July movie lineups. I won’t pretend my TV isn’t primarily set to the Hallmark channel for most of the holiday season, but even as an avid fan, I can’t deal with Christmas movies during summer.

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Christmas in July Is a Dying Trend

In years past, Christmas in July was a huge trend. Retailers would attempt to inflate sales as though it was Black Friday all over again. People would rekindle their holiday spirit with movies and music because they simply couldn’t wait for the season to come back. Even though the trend has died down over the past few years, cable channels like Hallmark and Great American Family are clinging to the holidays.

There’s a reason people don’t feel as compelled to dive into all things Christmas during summer: Every year, the holiday season seems to start earlier. It used to be that celebrating Christmas came after Thanksgiving, hence the excitement surrounding Black Friday.

But now, more people celebrate as early as Nov. 1, and some even throw their Christmas trees up in October. When the holiday is already celebrated for at least two months, there’s not a strong desire to bring it back six months later. Frankly, I’m getting my fill of Christmas at the end of the year, and I have no desire to celebrate in July.

Inflated Holiday Season

Sweater motif with holiday and Hallmark-logo embellishments in this promo for Countdown to Christmas from Hallmark Media
Who can forget the countdowns to a holiday? (Image: Hallmark Media)

There’s a chicken-or-egg scenario when deciding who is responsible for inflating the Christmas season. Did Hallmark respond to society’s desire to celebrate early, or did it strategically begin its Countdown to Christmas earlier to pull everyone into its early-holiday vortex? Either way, the Christmas season is much longer than it used to be.

A few years ago, I was so excited about the holiday season that I started watching Hallmark Christmas movies the first week of November. I had it on TV even if I wasn’t actively watching it, but I was burned out by the time mid-December rolled around. It had lost its allure.

That experience sealed it for me with Christmas in July, and I don’t make the same mistake now. I realized that overindulging in these movies made them less special. Fans already have the opportunity to indulge in plenty of holiday movies in the last couple months of the year. Why not just leave it there to make the season that much more special?

Low-Quality New Content

Ava Jensen and Prince Henry from “A Royal Christmas Crush” in this image from Hallmark Media
Ava Jensen (Katie Cassidy) and Prince Henry (Stephen Huszar). (Image: Hallmark Media)

Hallmark and Great American Family are telling on themselves based on how they approach their Christmas in July campaigns. Each network airs original movies during the Christmas season, with Hallmark launching at least two movies every week. Both networks are putting out new movies this Christmas in July, but there's something very telling about their choices.

Fans of either network know there are pools of actors and actresses who frequently grace the Christmas movies with their presence, but those actors are noticeably missing from the new Christmas in July movies. Great American Family’s new film for July was originally axed from the 2022 Christmas movie lineup, showing the network doesn’t put much stock in its July campaign.

There’s one particularly big sign that Hallmark saves its more talented actors for the exciting holiday season: These films typically shoot during the summer leading up to the holidays, but in January the network was already shooting a movie for the next Christmas. To take advantage of holiday decor, “A Biltmore Christmas” was filmed early at the Biltmore, a French Renaissance chateau in Asheville, North Carolina.

“A Biltmore Christmas” stars popular Hallmark actors Bethany Joy Lenz (“An Unexpected Christmas”) and Kristoffer Polaha (“We Wish You a Married Christmas”). Given the typical turnaround time for Hallmark movies, it would be easy to put this one in the Christmas in July lineup. Instead, Hallmark is saving it to launch its Countdown to Christmas this year.

Wait Until the Holiday Season

The holiday season is plenty long as it is, and no one needs to be watching Christmas movies in July. Even the networks themselves know these movie campaigns are lackluster at best. There are plenty of other quality movies — including some of Hallmark’s new releases throughout the year — to indulge in while you await Christmas’ arrival.

12 thoughts on “Why We Say ‘Bah Humbug’ to Hallmark and Great American Family’s Christmas in July Movies

  1. Vicki Price says:

    Christmas movies in July are too much. Also, the Christmas movies from Great American Family are lacking in production values/quality.
    The actor’s hair and makeup are pretty awful an much of the clothing looks second hand. Regardless, July is way too early for Christmas content from either channel/network.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If you doubt like it…DONT WATCH!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you don’t like it…DONT WATCH!!

  4. Jean Hayward says:

    The writing is poor and some of the actors are lacking in the craft of natural acting. Some of the newer actors could take some pointers from the more seasoned actors.

  5. DeeLynn says:

    Due to all of the recent senseless shootings everywhere, cars & trucks flying into homes on a daily basis, I don’t like watching the news. The Hallmark Christmas movies take me to another time and place, especially during the Pandemic years, that I can breathe better & remember the good times. I love every bit of it. Thank you Hallmark for always being there when I need you the most! Merry Christmas in July everyone! Treat someone to a little Christmas kindness today! DeeLynn

  6. Mmr says:

    As someone a little new to the channel, I’ve enjoyed Christmas in Jul for 2 years. It has let me catch up w the older movies and enjoy the newer ones I just saw when I started watching the channel… those of us who work miss out on the shows during the daytime and unless subscribed, that’s it…no repeats til its shown the next year or months later… I think its great!

  7. Rose wentzel says:

    I love christmas in July. It’s just relaxing to watch the christmas movies. Keep up the good work….

  8. Anonymous says:

    I guess an odd person I can enjoy a simple Christmas movie anytime. With all the turmoil in the world it’s a nice way to remind us we can be kind anytime.

  9. Joyce says:

    So many of Hallmarks movies (Christmas and otherwise) are just remakes of previous ones with different ( and often lesser known actors). What I watch on this channel are older original movies, not the remakes. I read the synopsis of what they are showing and know if it is the same old,same old with just a different cast . And as someone who’s Bday is Dec. 23 I am a Christmas and holiday nut, but only from Nov. 1-Jan. 1. I take in as many holiday activities as I can with my loved ones to create lasting memories .

  10. Chris Wood says:

    I can give or take Christmas in July. To be sure I think they can do away with Christmas in July and replace them with more summer, 4th of july themed movies. I more of a fall /Halloween guy myself. They should make more fall themed movies. Halloween and Thanksgiving movies, then start Christmas after Thanksgiving.

  11. Connie B says:

    I disagree. It’s 118-120 degrees in Phoenix. I watch Christmas movies in July because I want to see cold weather and snow to try and at least mentally cool down a bit. It doesn’t put me in the mood to shop at all. It takes my mind off the heat while I hibernate in my cave

  12. Francine Geraci says:

    Thanks for this balanced view of “Christmas in July” movies. Personally, I loathe them — my usual joke is that I’m unable to watch them because my eyes involuntarily roll at the cheesy plots and sappy dialogue. Recently, I expressed this sentiment on Facebook for the benefit of my few (50) FB friends, many of whom would agree with me. But one took strenuous exception: she is a palliative care nurse who works exclusively with dying people and their families, often in very adverse circumstances. Coming home to a CIJ movie helps her put aside “the healthcare horror” (her words) and brings her some peace at the end of a tough workday. I can’t imagine responding to one of these movies in this way, but our exchange helped me recognize that some people find release (or even redemption) where I just see “schmaltz.” To each their own… :-/

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