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2021's Most (and Least) Creative Made-For-TV Holiday Movie Titles

And what we imagine they're about — based on their titles alone.
  • When it comes to made-for-TV holiday movie titles, there's the good, the bad, and the totally inane.
    When it comes to made-for-TV holiday movie titles, there's the good, the bad, and the totally inane.

    You know you're knee-deep in the holiday season when every day brings a new collection of seasonal made-for-TV movies. Traditionally the province of Hallmark and Lifetime, recent years have seen players across the TV landscape jump into the mix. With just so many holiday-themed phrases to be plumbed (and puns to be made), inevitably it's become a challenge to come up with compelling and different enough titles for these films that at least attempt to convey what they're about.

    Some still manage to be ingenius. (Feliz NaviDAD, anyone?) But most are bland, repetitive and/or non-sensical, to the point where you start to wonder whether Hallmark really is using AI to come up with holiday movie titles. 

    And so, this year we decided to compile our favorite made-for-tv holiday movie titles of 2021, broken out by most and least creative. For kicks, we thought we'd also include what we hoped the movie was about based on the title alone, followed by the actual plot description. In a few cases we've bundled a couple of titles together because they're so similar we had a hard time differentiating the two. In no case have we actually watched the movie in question.

    Most Creative Holiday Movie Titles

    Soul Santa
    The Guess:
    Train cover band “Hey, Soul Sister” has struggled to break out in a crowded music scene, but their fortunes change when they’re offered a spot in a Christmas singing competition.
    The Official Description: No Train here: this BET+ flick centers on a man who chooses to hide out as a mall Santa after he gambles away the mob’s money.
    Original Air Date: Thursday, November 11 on BET+

    Mistletoe & Molly
    The Guess:
    Desperate to get away from her uptight family, a free-spirited young woman does Ecstasy on Christmas Eve — only to wake up on a “Kiss Under the Mistletoe”-themed float in her small town’s holiday parade.
    Official Description: Alas, this one is not about MDMA. Waitress and animal lover Molly Bishop is counting on a big career opportunity to come through during the holidays, but when a handsome cafe regular begins to meddle in her life, she realizes he just might be the holiday miracle she’s been waiting for.
    Original Air Date: Saturday, November 20 on UPtv

    Reba McEntire’s Christmas in Tune
    The Guess:
    After stepping away from music, Reba McEntire reluctantly returns to the stage for a holiday concert that reminds her of the true meaning of Christmas.
    Official Description: This guess wasn’t too far off, actually: “Years after their personal and professional breakup, the singing duo of Georgia (Reba McEntire) and Joe Winter (John Schneider) agree to reunite after their daughter Belle (Candice King) asks them to participate in a Christmas charity concert, only to find themselves getting back in tune on stage and off.”
    Original Air Date: Friday, November 26 on Lifetime

    Merry Liddle Christmas Baby
    The Guess:
    For years, the Boss Baby and Stuart Little have operated as nemeses, but when their siblings marry and announce that they’re expecting a Christmastime baby, they must put their personal feelings aside in the name of family.
    The Official Description: The latest film in Lifetime’s holiday movie franchise about the Liddle sisters (ah), played by Kelly Rowland, Latonya Williams, and Bresha Webb, sees preparing for the arrival of their first baby.
    Original Air Date: Saturday, November 27 on Lifetime

    The Bitch Who Stole Christmas
    The Guess:
    Fresh off a breakup, office mean girl Hayleigh is determined to put a damper on her company’s holiday party, but will a cute new VP be able to lift her spirits?
    Official Description: Executive produced by RuPaul, and described by VH1 as “the draggiest Christmas movie ever made,” The Bitch Who Stole Christmas follows a workaholic fashion journalist who finds herself in the middle of a high-stakes “Winter Ball” competition and a sinister plot that could destroy Christmas forever.
    Original Air Date: Thursday, December 2 on VH1

    Single All the Way
    The Guess:
    When Ian, a chronically-single professional caroler, once again finds himself alone for the holidays, he agrees to oversee a middle school lock-in, where he bonds with a sexy Santa.
    Official Description: Finally, an LGBTQ+ romance! Single All the Way stars Michael Urie as a guy who convinces his friend to be his fake boyfriend over Christmas, but when he learns his mother (Kathy Najimy) has set him up with someone else, he’s forced to juggle his many conflicting feelings.
    Original Air Date: Thursday, December 2 on Netflix

    A Clüsterfünke Christmas
    The Guess:
    This Schitt’s Creek spinoff follows a wealthy family forced to spend the holidays at Clüsterfünke, a run-down estate they purchased on a lark many years ago, after they lost the bulk of their assets in a criminal embezzlement case.
    Official Description: Comedy Central parodies traditional holiday TV movies with this comedy about a go-getter real estate exec (Vella Lovell) who must convince the spinster owners (Ana Gasteyer and Rachel Dratch) of a quaint inn to sell their property so it can be developed into a mega-resort.
    Original Air Date: Saturday, December 4 on Comedy Central

    Candy Cane Candidate
    The Guess:
    Years before the events of 1972 dramedy The Candidate, a young Bill McKay runs for his college senate on a single-issue platform: replace Candy Cane, the university’s peppermint-scented mascot, with a more imposing figure.
    Official Description: After losing a city council election by a landslide, Julia (Jacky Lai) returns to her hometown to lick her wounds, but history seems to repeat itself when she runs into her old high school rival (Jake Epstein), who beat her in a race for senior class president.
    Original Air Date: Monday, December 20 on Lifetime

    Least Creative Holiday Movie Titles

    Christmas Sail
    The Guess:
    Two of the last remaining sail-makers in New England have a fierce rivalry, but their frosty relationship begins to thaw when they’re stranded at sea over the holidays.
    Official Description: When Liz (Katee Sackhoff) returns home to take care of her estranged father, she’s determined to give her daughter a perfect Christmas, and reconnects with her best friend.”
    Original Air Date: Sunday, October 31 on Hallmark

    Christmas With A Prince: The Royal Baby
    The Guess:
    As Queen Amber and King Richard of Aldovia prepare to welcome their first child, a priceless royal artifact is stolen from the palace, and the couple must race against the clock to find it. Or wait, is that the plot of Netflix’s A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby?
    Official Description: Different royal franchise, same story: the very pregnant Princess Tasha insists upon accompanying her husband Prince Alec on a royal tour, but when a complication forces her into bedrest, their team scrambles to get her home before the baby is born on foreign soil.
    Original Air Date: Sunday, November 7 on UPtv

    An Ice Wine Christmas
    The Guess:
    A group of stay-at-home moms find their lives turned upside-down after baring all and swapping partners at a wine-fueled Christmas party.
    Official Description: A wine sommelier returns home to the magical vineyards of Evergreen, New York for the town’s annual Ice Wine Christmas Festival.
    Original Air Date: Friday, November 12 on Hallmark

    Baking Spirits Bright and Making Spirits Bright
    The Guess:
    A family enters a holiday baking competition, but the intensity of the gameplay causes them to forget the true meaning of Christmas. The plot for Making Spirits Bright remains the same, but the baking competition turns into a Santa’s Village construction challenge.
    Official Description: Close, but no cigar: Baking Spirits Bright follows a woman fighting to save her family’s fruitcake business, while Making revolves around a son and daughter decorating contest.
    Original Air Date: Baking Spirits Bright: Sunday, November 21 on Lifetime; Making Spirits Bright: Saturday, November 27 on Hallmark

    The Nine Kittens of Christmas
    The Guess:
    When Rudolph, Dancer, Prancer, and the rest of Santa’s reindeer fall ill with COVID-19 (in the North Pole, animals can contract the virus, too), nine intrepid kittens take their place and race to spread Christmas cheer.
    Official Description: Yet another sequel nabbing a prominent spot on this list. A follow-up to The Nine Lives of Christmas, this ridiculously-titled film follows cat lovers Zachary (Brandon Routh) and Marilee (Kimberly Sustad) as they’re tasked with finding homes for a litter of kittens.
    Original Air Date: Thursday, November 25 on Hallmark

    A Castle for Christmas and Christmas at Castle Hart
    The Guess:
    Rich white ladies spend the holidays at European castles, either on purpose (A Castle for Christmas) or by accident (Christmas at Castle Hart).
    Official Description: Despite the Hallmark vibes of its title, A Castle for Christmas is actually a Netflix romance starring Brooke Shields as a writer attempting to buy a castle belonging to Cary Elwes’ character. Christmas at Castle Hart, on the other hand, is a Hallmark movie starring Lacey Chabert as a woman who visits an Irish castle and is mistaken for a fancy party planner.
    Original Air Date: A Castle for Christmas: Friday, November 26 on Netflix; Christmas at Castle Hart: Saturday, November 27 on Hallmark

    Sister Swap and Merry Switchmas
    The Guess:
    After discovering that they’re identical twins via a DNA test, Mia and Bria (The Princess Switch star Vanessa Hudgens, playing four different roles across two films) switch places for Christmas, but a false test result threatens to derail their holiday adventure.
    Official Description: Once again, this guess isn’t so far off from reality. Hallmark is trying something new this year with two companion films, Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday and Christmas in the City, that both depict Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Ashley Williams’ sibling exchange from different perspectives. Over on BET+, Merry Switchmas sees identical twin sisters swap places for the night during their parents’ annual Christmas party.
    Original Air Date: Sister Swap: Saturday, December 5 and Saturday, December 12 on Hallmark; Merry Switchmas: Thursday, December 9 on BET+

    PEOPLE Presents: Blending Christmas
    The Guess:
    PEOPLE Magazine celebrates blended celebrity families in this festive documentary special.
    Official Description: If Lifetime wants fans to know that People Presents: Blending Christmas is a Brady Bunch reunion, this title isn't doing it any favors. The romance ostensibly follows a young couple, Emma and Liam, (Haylie Duff and Aaron O’Connell) whose extended families — a group made up of original Bradys Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland, and Susan Olsen — clash as Liam prepares to propose (and no, there’s seemingly no reason PEOPLE has attached its name to the movie). Is it too late to rename Duff’s character and title the film “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia?”
    Original Air Date: Sunday, December 12 on Lifetime

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Holiday Programming, BET+, Comedy Central, Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, Netflix, UPtv, VH1