Last year I came clean and told everyone that I love Hallmark Christmas movies. I have to admit though, not everyone in my house shares my affection (you too?)—but I think I have a way to fix that…or at least make my family grumble less when I have one on.

I give you Christmas Movie Bingo! (Plus one more bonus idea, so keep reading.)

The Game

Rather than numbers in the bingo squares, you’ll find words and phrases representing the many common elements found in these holiday flicks (you’ll find five different cards at the end of this blog). I think it’s an approach that should please big Hallmark Movie fans AND those who love to hate them.

For families: Print off a batch of cards and leave them on the coffee table so you and anyone else can grab one and play along any day of the week. All ages could use holiday candy as edible markers (Hershey’s Kisses, perhaps?) or holiday stickers if you want to keep the sugar to a minimum.

For adults: Turn on a movie and make it a party game using some adult beverages. (Our attorneys would probably like me to remind you that TDS is not encouraging that kind of thing 🙂 )

How to find a movie

Finding a movie is literally the easiest part of this game. Hallmark is playing them every night of the week right now (yippee!) as part of their annual Countdown to Christmas. And, they’re playing on two channels: both the Hallmark Channel AND the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel.

DIY Option

If you want to try your hand at making some cards yourself, I used (there are other bingo card maker websites out there too). Or, be like the people in the movies and craft them from scratch if you have the time. Here are some ideas of what to include:

The leads seem to have at least one of these characteristics in the movie (or real life):

  • A workaholic woman/man
  • Is a prince/princess
  • Is up for a promotion
  • Is down on their luck
  • Has a love interest at the start of the movie that’s a jerk
  • Starts the movie with a different love interest
  • Hates Christmas
  • Cute career (hat maker, bridal shop owner, professional shopper—not “normal’ jobs)
  • Character was/is successful in the big city
  • Is a townie who loves the small town they grew up in and never left
  • Has a family tragedy in the past around the holidays
  • Was in a TV show as a child/teen (I’m looking at you, Lacey Chabert, Candice Cameron Bure, and Danica McKellar)

And the storyline has at least one of these themes:

  • Character’s business is on its last chance
  • Character(s) don’t believe in Santa…but he’s REAL
  • There’s a case of mistaken identity
  • Magical wishes/miracles
  • Money must be raised ASAP
  • A miscommunication leads to heartache or hijinks
  • They’re business rivals
  • Childhood sweethearts reunited by circumstance
  • City slicker goes to small town/returns to small town roots
  • Makes up a fake significant other
  • Rediscovers the joy of Christmas

And the movie co-stars:

  • A meddling parent or grandparent
  • Precocious son/daughter (bonus points if there’s both!)
  • A celebrity from the past (Roger Moore, Jane Seymore, Alan Thicke, Shirley Maclaine, Florence Henderson, etc.)
  • A dog or cat
  • Wacky neighbor or best friend
  • A character who looks exactly like Santa

And there’s always one or more of these scenes:

  • Snowball fight
  • Gift wrapping
  • Build a snowman
  • Ice skating
  • Ice carving
  • Scene where they decorate the tree
  • Christmas carolers
  • Christmas pageant
  • Christmas crafting scene
  • Musical montage/interlude
  • Drinking coffee or hot chocolate
  • Drinking a real drink (wine, fancy cocktail)
  • Woman gets a fancy holiday/ball dress
  • Movie ends with a kiss

As for the settings, you’ll often notice:

  • Amazingly over-the-top Christmas décor
  • A character has a holiday name (Mary, Holly, etc.)
  • The town has a super cute name (Garland, Fool’s Gold, to name just a few)
  • Fake snow/ batting
  • Trees have leaves when it’s supposed to be cold and snowy (I love looking for this!)

Bonus points:

  • Someone wearing warm weather clothes in the background of a winter movie
  • You see the same set pieces that were used in a previous movie
  • One of the stars has been in at least three other Hallmark movies

Bonus idea!

You could also print off the lists above (perhaps making a few modifications) and use them to make your own Magnetic Poetry-style game but instead we can call it, “The Christmas Movie Generator.”

Print and cut characteristics, plots, co-stars, and scenes listed above onto thick paper and put them in a bowl to play around with. You could also get fancy and use actual printable magnet sheets (like these, for example) and put them on your fridge for a little holiday fun.

Here’s the schedule for Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas 2017 so you won’t miss a thing (so far I give thumbs up to “Marry Me at Christmas” particularly). Note that Hallmark’s showing lots of new movies over Thanksgiving weekend, so be sure to set your DVR!



Update: We have since created new versions of these cards! Check out:


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