I'll Be Home For Christmas Movies review
Credit: Running Press/Amazon; Hallmark

An entertaining book to add to your holiday shopping list.

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It’s never too early to start picking out goodies for your naughty and nice list, and Soaps.com had the opportunity to review a new release that just might fit the bill for that Hallmark lover in your life. I’ll Be Home for Christmas Movies is a funny, uber-cool unofficial guide to various Hallmark holiday movies from Deck the Hallmark podcast hosts Brandon Gray, Daniel “Panda” Pandolph and Daniel Thompson.

On sale today, with an eye-catching cover that’s sure to be a conversation piece for any holiday-decorated table, the book’s emotional forward was written by one of my personal faves, Kristoffer Polaha (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ Mystery 101 series), who described having been suffocated with grief after the passing of his father-in-law until a message from a stranger named Brandon Gray brought him to tears — tears of laughter and joy. Polaha was taken in by Gray, Pandolph and Thompson’s podcast, who he now considers friends, and promises readers that their book will “lift your spirits and make you laugh.”

Onto the next page, we’re then introduced to the authors, whose funny taglines gave me a giggle, having not heard of their podcast. Gray loves Hallmark Christmas movies, Pandolph just likes them and Thompson simply despises them — talk about a combination of opinions for amusing conversations. And guess what, you get a front row seat to those.

More: Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas book

In fact, the guys review, if you will, 116 Hallmark Christmas movies, including Christmas at Graceland, Snow Bride, Crown for Christmas, The Godwink Christmas series, Nine Lives of Christmas, Christmas at the Plaza, Switched for Christmas and A Very Merry Mix-Up, and give their thoughts in a couple of sections below for each.

  • Hot Takes: A short opinion about the movie.
  • All the Feels: Elements that gave warm Christmas feelings.
  • Wait… What? Points that seemed baffling.
  • What the Hallmark? Parts of the movies that call for a further explanation, maybe even a need for a sequel.

    Plus, fans will receive a brief history on Hallmark, Christmas and television, as well as tips on how to throw your own Christmas party with delicious recipes for holiday treats — some even have Hallmark-element titles with a twist. I mean, who wouldn’t love to indulge in some Save-the-Town Peppermint Brownies or how about a few Shortbread She-Baked cookies, a little spin on Days of Our Lives’ Alison Sweeney (Sami) and General Hospital’s Cameron Mathison’s (Drew) mystery series.

    More: Photos, Countdown to Christmas movies

    Don’t have a sweet tooth? Not to worry, the guys provide savory goodies too like dips, pizza cups, sandwiches and even a Cheese Ball Plot Twist. Sound intriguing? It is! And it wouldn’t be a party without a couple of spiked drinks. Yep, there are recipes for those too — and a few Hallmark fan favorites even share their families’ holiday traditions.

    The book wraps up with a salute to the guys’ wives, and their take on the holiday Christmas-watching movie season, and a Bingo card that might land you on the winning square while watching this year’s Hallmark Christmas movies.

    Not only did I thoroughly enjoy every aspect of the book, Gray, Pandolph and Thompson have gained a new fan in me — I’ll definitely be tuning in to their podcast this season.

    Do you have more than one Hallmark fan on your holiday list? Look through our photo gallery below filled with gifts that any Hallmarkie would enjoy.

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