For millions of people, watching Hallmark Holiday movies is an annual Christmas tradition. But how do the stars of those movies celebrate the holiday season?
These are the burning questions that keep us up at night, and thanks to an early Christmas miracle—a brief Zoom interview with the stars of this year’s Hallmark Countdown to Christmas collection—we were finally able to get some answers. We asked Danica McKellar (You, Me & The Christmas Trees), Jordyn Sparks (A Christmas Treasure), Lacey Chabert and Stuart Townsend (Christmas at Castle Hart), and Mark Deklin and Keith Robinson (Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday and Sister Swap: Christmas in the City) about everything from their favorite Christmas movies and songs to their honest opinions on Elf on the Shelf. Check out their answers below; to watch all of this year’s Countdown to Christmas movies live and on demand, add the Lifestyle Extra package with Hallmark Channel to your Sling subscription today!
Answers have been lightly edited for clarity.
What’s Your Favorite Christmas Movie?
Danica McKellar: I love A Christmas Story. It’s a classic from the ‘80s. We love it and watch it every year.
Jordyn Sparks: My favorite Christmas movie is The Grinch with Jim Carrey. I love that movie, I just love it. [Laughs]
Lacey Chabert: I mean there’s a few. People ask me this question a lot and I can’t just pick one. It’s definitely Christmas Vacation, Elf, and Love, Actually.
Stuart Townsend: I was gonna say Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, but I think that’s a Thanksgiving movie, right? [Both laugh]
Keith Robinson: Home Alone and Bad Santa.
Mark Deklin: [Laughing] I love it, I love that dark turn. I’m going to say It’s a Wonderful Life and Elf.
What’s Your Favorite Christmas Song?
Stuart Townsend: I like “Silent Night,” I gotta go with a classic. It’s just so beautiful, any time it’s sung, I’m like [grabs chest and inhales sharply], you know?
Lacey Chabert: I hear you, I feel that way about “Oh Holy Night.” Every time I hear that one, it gives me chills.
Keith Robinson: “This Christmas”
Mark Deklin: Maybe “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”?
Keith Robinson: Boom
Jordyn Sparks: Ooo, oh no! Well, I love all of them, but “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole is my favorite.
Danica McKellar: I love “All I want for Christmas is you” by Mariah Carey, I just think it’s so romantic. It’s on my non-Christmas playlist, that’s how much I like it.
Elf on the Shelf: Brilliant or Evil?
Danica McKellar: I think it’s brilliant, my son doesn’t like it. The compromise we’ve come to is I let him take a NERF gun and shoot it down. So every morning he wakes up, the first thing in the morning, he’ll look for it with his NERF gun and shoot it down. [Laughs]
Lacey Chabert: I am obsessed with Elf on the Shelf, because [my daughter] is obsessed with it. We have two elves on the shelf, we have Elfy and Lulu. So now we also have a girl elf and they go on crazy adventures together.
What’s Your Favorite Family Tradition?
Jordyn Sparks: It wasn’t really a tradition, but I really vividly remember one year…my Grandpa and Nana, they put Christmas lights on their convertible that they had, and we drove around the neighborhood and blasted Christmas music and I just sat on the back singing, like basically caroling to the whole neighborhood. I will never forget it, it was so fun.
Danica McKellar: My favorite Christmas tradition is cooking a really big dinner for the family, including a chocolate yule log, which has actually been featured in a few of my Hallmark Christmas movies now, including this one. I’m not the one who makes it, but there is a chocolate Yule log and I’m sure they put that in there for me.
Mark Deklin: I’ll say eating and sports.
Best Present You Got as a Kid?
Danica McKellar: The best present I got as a kid was this fresh and fancy makeup chemistry set. I was 5-years-old and I saw these ads for it on TV, and I was so excited with the idea of making my own makeup. And I was obsessed, and I remember asking my parents like every day, “How do you know for sure that Santa’s gonna bring it?” And they seemed so confident, and I was so bewildered, like, “How can you be so calm? Don’t you understand how much I want this, what a big deal this is?” I did get it, which was very exciting, so that worked out. [Laughs]