When Calls the Heart” fans have plenty of reason to look forward to the snows of winter, even though the sweltering summer has just begun. June 18 reports by TV Line and more have confirmed that a new “When Calls the Heart” Christmas movie is included in the 2018 Hallmark Channel lineup. The news is enough to make faithful fans long for frosty weather and fruitcake, and, along with the delight of seeing the cast together again before the premiere of the new season in January, fans can look forward to seeing their favorite stars in other Hallmark holiday movies.

Reasons to celebrate

Every Christmas season, the Hallmark Channel strives to outdo itself in terms of creating holiday joy, and this season is no different, with plans to present a record number of seasonal films. After the jolting shock of the departure of Daniel Lissing, who left the drama set in the Canadian Northwest territories for “very personal reasons,” the producers and cast concluded that there was no other option than to bring his character to a heroic demise. The Australian actor played the role of Mountie Jack Thornton since 2014, making recasting the role completely implausible. Instead, “When Calls the Heart” chose to celebrate the love of the character and his bride, Elizabeth, through Season 5, complete with an intimate and deeply personal wedding, with vows written by the actors themselves.

The season finale revealed that Elizabeth was pregnant. This Christmas, the community of Hope Valley will join together to ensure that children experience the joy of Christmas and the feeling of family.

The storyline focuses on a group of orphaned children who become stranded in Hope Valley. Naturally, Mayor Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin) dedicates herself to ensuring that the unexpected guests experience the Christmas of their young lives in Hope Valley, as all the residents do their part.

A beautiful, baby-related bonus of the episode will be that Elizabeth is preparing to give birth. Fans likely will see actress Erin Krakow with much more than a baby bump by the Christmas season, and she will more than likely be surrounded by her closest friends. No official title for the 2018 installment has been released.

In 2015, “When Calls the Heart: New Year’s Wish” debuted, followed by “A When Calls the Heart Christmas” in 2016, and last season’s “When Calls the Heart: The Christmas Wishing Tree.”

Favorite cast regulars Pascale Hutton, Kavan Smith, Paul Greene, and Jack Wagner also star in the new holiday offering.

Lori Loughlin not only loves the big heart and strength of her character, but she also loves that she portrays a woman who is “holding down a job, running her own business, and being involved in the community politically with the other women,” as the actress and producer noted in her Us Weekly feature in February.

“When Calls the Heart” consistently conveys a message of finding hope and strength through faith and from unexpected experiences, even for characters with traditional roles.

Different Christmas roles

Daniel Lissing will be absent from the “When Calls the Heart” project, but his character’s presence will not be forgotten as Elizabeth embarks on her motherhood journey. Lissing has his own holiday viewing treat for fans, tentatively titled, “Kringles for Christmas,” for this season. The latest movie will be in the regular rotation along with “A December Bride” from last year. Favorites return season after season, and the Hallmark Channel’s Yuletide surge starts in October, providing many opportunities for viewing.

Erin Krakow reprises her role as Miranda Carson in “Marrying Father Christmas” this year, topping Christmas off with wedding joy. She has previously co-starred with Wendie Malick and Niall Matter in “Finding Father Christmas” and “Engaging Father Christmas,” based on the Robin Gunn Jones book series.

Fans should start decorating early, and devising plans for combination weddings and baby showers, because “When Calls the Heart” and its stars have a lot to give this coming Christmas.