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The Hallmark Christmas Movie Drinking Game to End All Drinking Games

Cheers to Santas in disguise and handsome widowers.

There's nothing quite like cozying up to a romantic, heartwarming, gloriously predictable Hallmark Christmas movie. The network's 2023 Countdown to Christmas features 40 new holiday films with all the irresistible beats we've come to adore: Royal love stories, an impossibly high-stakes baking competition and, oh, look, that one dude was Santa Claus all along! (Hey, if we wanted our holiday movies to make the naughty list, we'd go to Lifetime.) Hallmark's reliably good-natured storytelling is a comfort in a chaotic world — and it makes for perfect interactive entertainment. So we created the ultimate Hallmark Christmas movie drinking game to liven up your group holiday activity or make your solo binge a little less sad.
This holiday season, Hallmark airs all-new Christmas movies every weekend until December 21. That's ample opportunity for a boozy good time with the well-groomed Kings and Queens of Hallmark Christmas. The rules of our drinking game are simple. Below, we've compiled a list of recurring themes and well-worn tropes you always see in Hallmark movies. They include things like city girls infiltrating a small town or getting stuck on the side of the road. Then there are cheer-worthy moments like, I dunno, a character ascending to a fake throne. Keep this list handy and, we promise, you're in for the holiday watch-along of your dreams.

How to Play the Hallmark Christmas Movie Drinking Game

Stephen Tobolowsky in "Haul Out the Holly" (2022). (Fred Hayes/Hallmark)

Stephen Tobolowsky in "Haul Out the Holly" (2022). (Fred Hayes/Hallmark)

Ready to hit the ground guzzling? We recommend whipping up your favorite big-batch Christmas cocktail and going easy on the liquor, especially if you're settling in for a double feature. Depending on the Hallmark cliché you stumble upon, you'll take one sip, two sips or—in the most extreme cases—finish your drink. Ready, set, sip!

Take a Sip If...

Stephen Huszar and Katie Cassidy in "A Royal Christmas Crush" (2023). (Johnson Production Group/Hallmark)

Stephen Huszar and Katie Cassidy in "A Royal Christmas Crush" (2023). (Johnson Production Group/Hallmark)

  • Within the first 10 minutes someone says, "We only have a week until Christmas!"
  • Someone has a Christmas-y job on a tree farm, at a bakery or planning a town festival, etc. 
  • The main character has a dead parent or spouse.
  • You hear a Christmas-themed name, including, but not limited to, Holly, Noelle, Chris or Nick.
  • The leading lady's businessman boyfriend cares more about his job than her.
  • Someone gets a magical glimpse into the past, future or someone else's life.

Bonus: Take two sips if time travel exists.

  • The main character moves from the big city to their small hometown or...
  • gives up a corporate career to pursue a niche (read: not economically viable) personal dream or...
  • reconnects with a high school flame.
  • There's a rival brunette.
  • Someone partakes in a quintessential Christmas activity like a snowball fight, ice skating or baking cookies.

Bonus: Take two sips if they build a snowman or go on a sleigh ride.

  • A Scrooge-like boss hates Christmas and doesn't understand work-life balance.
  • A notable TV star or film legend (Jane Seymour, Teri Hatcher, Wallace Shawn and the like) makes a cameo or...
  • someone from "When Calls the Heart" shows up or...
  • an actor's real-life spouse and fellow Hallmark star appears.
  • Someone gets snowed in.

Bonus: Take two sips if a car is stuck in a snowbank or a flight/train is cancelled.

  • Christmas tree decorating turns into something more.
  • Jingle bells mark a scene transition.
  • You can tell they're not actually drinking whatever's in that mug.
  • There's royalty.
  • Someone attends a Christmas tree lighting or festival.

Bonus: Take two sips if a holiday tradition causes way too much stress.

  • It's totally obvious the movie was filmed in summer (green trees, a noticeable lack of dead foliage).
  • The main characters kiss under the mistletoe, by a Christmas tree or in the snow.

Bonus: Take two sips if their romance began as a love-hate relationship.

Finish Your Drink If...

Ashley Williams and Kimberly Williams-Paisley in "Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday" (2021). (Fred Hayes/Crown Media)

Ashley Williams and Kimberly Williams-Paisley in "Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday" (2021). (Fred Hayes/Crown Media)

  • The main character goes on a date while fully engaged to someone else.
  • It snows on Christmas Day.
  • A character turns out to be Santa or a possessor of Christmas magic.
  • The small business defeats corporate greed.
  • The main character becomes a royal in another country.
  • Actual Christmas magic saves the day.

The Hallmark Channel's 2023 Countdown to Christmas begins Friday, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT.

READ MORE: Hallmark Christmas Star Ranking: The True Kings and Queens of Christmas