Before David Haydn-Jones became a household name in the Supernatural fandom, and before he was starring in multiple State Farm commercials with none other than Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers, Haydn-Jones was best known for his roles in holiday TV movies.
In fact, Haydn-Jones has starred in four Christmas movies released between 2011-2017. If you became a fan of Haydn-Jones because of Supernatural (as many fans did) you may be surprised to hear that he’s typically cast in these movies as a single father who finds love throughout the holiday season. Yes, the same guy many loved to hate on Supernatural for his brilliant portrayal of smarmy, swanky suit-wearing villain Arthur Ketch will absolutely melt your heart in each one of his Christmas movies.
Here is a run-down of the four holiday movies David Haydn-Jones has appeared in so far, along with why you should add them to your annual holiday movie schedule. There are some plot spoilers included, so stop reading here if you don’t want to read them!
Dear Santa – 2011
David Haydn-Jones plays Derek Gowen in this movie, single father to Olivia (played by Emma Duke). Thirty-year-old Crystal (Amy Acker) is doing what she does best – shopping – when she stumbles upon a letter written to Santa from Olivia who asks for a wife for her father instead of toys, endearing Crystal to her before they’ve even met. Since Crystal just so happens to be looking for a way to change her life for the better after being threatened with being cut-off by her parents, the timing is perfect for her to try to be this little girl’s Christmas wish come true.
Once she drives to the address on Olivia’s letter, she spots her and Derek getting into their truck and decides to follow them to see where they go. After watching them get something to eat, she winds up finding her way to the soup kitchen Derek works at. He assumes she’s there to volunteer, and of course, she doesn’t correct him. Instead, she hops in and begins to get to know both Derek and Olivia better while she works.
With the help of Pete Kennedy (played by Patrick Creery), the eccentric head chef at the soup kitchen, Crystal and Derek begin to spend more time together outside of work. Crystal bonds with Olivia on the skating rink and while babysitting, and even Derek’s current girlfriend Jillian isn’t enough to get in the way of how the three of them just seem to fit together. Of course, Christmas tree decorating as a trio, shopping together for Olivia (where Haydn-Jones’ brilliant comedic timing comes into play while he tries to figure out what to do with cucumber water while the girls put on a fashion show), and a sick Olivia calling Crystal to tuck her in instead of Jillian is a lot to compete with.
Without giving away too many spoilers, Dear Santa accomplishes everything a holiday romance should. It has the stereotypical privileged woman coming to find meaning in life outside of a shopping mall, an adorable little girl plotting to find her dad a wife, and a down-to-earth single father who is equal parts charming, adorable, and sweet. Viewers are left with the impression that they become one big, happy family in the entirely predictable but still immensely satisfying way of every great Christmas romance.
If you aren’t already convinced to give Dear Santa a watch, the official trailer is below to nudge you in the right direction. Dear Santa is currently available on Canadian Netflix, iTunes, and it can be rented or purchased on Amazon right here.
A Cookie Cutter Christmas – 2014
Ever since a notorious fight took place at a Christmas assembly in elementary school as children, Christie Reynolds (Erin Krakow) and Penny Miller (Miranda Frigon) have been feuding. Now adults, they work together at the same elementary school and still have yet to stop competing over every little thing.
That doesn’t help the rivalry situation when a new holiday fundraising event is announced at the school: a teacher Christmas Cookie Bake-Off. The winner of the bake-off wins a free class trip, and both Christie and Penny want it. Unfortunately for Christie, despite the help she gets from her mom, she remains helpless in the kitchen.
Enter David Haydn-Jones, who plays James, the father of the school’s newest student, Lily (played by Genea Charpentier). Not only is James single and sweet, he’s also an excellent cook. Of course, James is just one more thing for Christie and Penny to fight over. Once they discover James runs the town’s donation center, they compete over how many events they volunteered for last year, whose house has the better Christmas decorations, and even who can donate the most to the donation center.
One-upped by Penny there, Christie decides to work the child angle. After Lily fails a spelling test, Christie volunteers to starts tutoring Lily at home and ultimately gets to know James better that way. They initially bond over cookie making after a burned gingerbread incident, and Christie starts to lose sight of the competition in favor of deepening their relationship.
With James’ help in the kitchen, Christie is able to put his expertise to good use and become a worthy opponent in the school bake-off. It isn’t until the final challenge is upon them that James gets caught up in the middle of Christie and Penny’s feud, and because of an underhanded and desperate move by Penny, he comes to the conclusion that Christie only bothered to get to know him in the first place in order to win the bake-off.
For the first time in Christie’s life, it seems she’s found something more important than her rivalry with Penny – now she just has to convince James that’s the case.
This movie is actually more of a comedy than a typical fluffy Christmas movie, and a lot of it features more on Christie and Penny than on James and Lily, but it does still deliver by the end, and it’s definitely worth watching.
You can buy A Cookie Cutter Christmas on DVD here.
My Christmas Dream – 2016
This movie begins with Christina (Danica McKellar) getting dressed to the nines in order to meet the founder of the company she works for. She walks into the department store she works at, straightening signs and ensuring every detail is perfect, when she sees Kurt (David Haydn-Jones) up on a scissor lift, painting. They make eye contact, Kurt says hello… and then promptly spills his tray of paint all over Christina’s fancy outfit. Talk about a meet-cute!
Unfortunately for Kurt, getting paint all over the store manager isn’t so great, especially not when he was supposed to have the paint job completed yesterday. While Christina is on the phone trying to get a replacement dress, Kurt is let go by the service director, Henry. That is, Henry says, unless Christina sees it differently. Before Christina can answer, her phone rings and she’s told that the founder of the company, Victoria (played by Deidre Hall of Days of Our Lives) has arrived. Now in a rush, she leaves the decision up to Henry as she scurries away, and Kurt is officially fired.
Once Christina meets Victoria, she’s asked to gather the managers because she has an important announcement to make: there’s a new store opening in Paris, France that needs a manager. Christina expresses her interest almost instantly, and she’s told that a great way to “wow” Victoria would be by showing her the 25th annual Christmas display that’s traditionally hidden until a few days before Christmas. The display isn’t finished though (because that’s the display Kurt was working on), and Christina has no idea what to do in order to get it done.
On her way out of the store, she accidentally bumps into a young boy, Cooper, who just missed seeing Santa to tell him his special Christmas wish. Christina promises to pass the wish on, and that’s when Cooper tells her all he wants for Christmas is his best friend – his dad – back. Cooper says his dad hasn’t been himself in a while and all he wants is for him to be happy. Just then, Kurt comes around the corner to a shout of, “Dad!” from Cooper. Christina looks stricken as she realizes who he is and how she likely only made things worse for both Cooper and Kurt by allowing him to be fired.
Through a series of coincidental meetings with Cooper – which leads to Christina spending time with Kurt – she eventually re-hires Kurt to help her with the Christmas display. Though there’s some hiccups along the way, she and Kurt work together to make the best display the store has ever seen, and Christina lands the promotion she was looking for. But it’s funny how quickly things change, and Christina is forced to admit she might not want what she’s been working towards all along – not if it doesn’t come with Kurt and Cooper.
For a holiday movie, My Christmas Dream features a more realistic story line than most. For once, it’s not love at first sight or easy sailing all the way through. Instead, it’s a slow build between two characters with undeniable chemistry that will have you rooting for Kurt and Christina from beginning to end. You’re guaranteed to be pleasantly surprised by this one if you give it a shot.
A Bramble House Christmas – 2017
David Haydn-Jones plays Finn Conrad who becomes suspicious when his late father, Greg, leaves a nurse, Willa Fairchild (played by Autumn Reeser), $100,000 in his will. Knowing Greg also left Willa a two-week vacation to a bed and breakfast called Bramble House, he decides to go undercover to investigate how Willa managed to dupe his father into giving her so much money.
Things get complicated once he meets Willa at Bramble House and discovers she’s a single mom to a little boy named Scout.
Much to Scout’s delight, he realizes that Finn is the illustrator of his favorite book series, Everyday Sam. Finn uses that to his advantage, inviting Scout and Willa along with him while he does some sketching for the next book in the series coming out next year. Of course, they can’t turn that down, and from there, the three of them begin to get to know each other better. It turns out Willa and Scout have had anything but an easy few years, and the more Finn gets to know them both, the less he thinks she had anything sinister to do with the money she’s been given.
As Willa tries to set aside her worries of finding a new nursing job now that Greg is gone, she finds herself becoming fast friends with the aging but headstrong, self-sufficient Mable Bramble. The more she manages to take over Mable’s duties, the more she realizes how much she’s enjoying life at Bramble House. With Scout now with a clean bill of health and her mounting hospital bills paid for with the money Greg left her, she starts to fall for the charming and good-looking Finn.
Meanwhile, Finn and Scout become fast friends. They make gingerbread houses together, go on a horse-drawn carriage ride, and Finn teaches Scout and Willa how to skate with an adorable chant of pizza, pizza, french fries. Throughout it all, Finn and Willa try to fight the chemistry bubbling between them. With some help from new friends Willa makes along the way, a tentative romance begins between she and Finn. Of course, Finn is still hiding his true identity, and by the time he realizes he’s falling for her and has to tell her the truth, somebody else beats him to it.
Can Willa do what she promised Greg she would do – follow her heart and take chances, even after she’s already been lied to? It’s a Hallmark movie, so the answer might not surprise you, but the movie is still worth watching even if the ending isn’t necessarily shocking. It will definitely put a smile on your face! A Bramble House Christmas is available on iTunes here or purchased on Amazon here.
The number one quality many viewers enjoy about TV Christmas movies is that they’re almost guaranteed to have a happy ending. It’s a way to switch out the stress often brought on by the holidays for a few hours with an opportunity to bask in the happy feelings, sleigh rides, Christmas trees, and beautiful scenery all certain to come with movies like these.
What’s even better when it comes to the four movies above is that they all star David Haydn-Jones. If you haven’t seen any of these movies until now, you will undoubtedly walk away from them impressed with Haydn-Jones’ range of acting skills, and likely a set of heart eyes brought on by how fantastic he is with the children in each of these movies. (How good he looks hanging Christmas lights all bundled up in a scarf doesn’t hurt, either!)
By the time you’ve watched all of these movies over and over, you’ll probably be looking for more of David Haydn-Jones on your screen come the new year. And you’re in luck, because Love Under the Rainbow is due to be released in 2019, which is a movie Haydn-Jones stars in with Jodie Sweetin (Full House, Fuller House). With talent like his, he’s sure to have more exciting projects coming up soon, but until then, watching these Christmas movies over again sounds like a pretty good idea.