Leading lady, Erin Krakow of “When Calls the Heart” has hardly had a moment to catch her breath over the past few weeks, never mind the Christmas rush. The beautiful brunette has kept up a breakneck pace of activities related to her hit drama on the Hallmark Channel. She related to fans on social media that she and her castmates were finishing up the last tweaks to make a beautiful Season 6 of “When Calls the Heart,” before she mixed and mingled with adoring fans at the HFR4 “Hearties” convention in Vancouver.

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The toasty and tender feelings are mutual between Erin Krakow and the millions of fans who have made the drama the biggest draw for the Hallmark Channel since the series beginning in 2014. The star even took her own photos and video of the huge reception at the convention, and made time for a lovely interview, during which she eloquently gave gratitude to loyal “When Calls the Heart” viewers, and assured them that there was much to look forward to in the new season.

Even though Erin Krakow and her castmates have concluded their work for Season 6, proper protocol demands that specific details of what's to come, for Elizabeth Thornton and the other Hope Valley residents, be kept quiet.

The actress did reiterate that new beginnings and new relationships would flow into the life of the young teacher and expectant mother.

There was plenty of reason to celebrate along with Erin Krakow and many of her fans and friends last night, as “Marrying Father Christmas,” starring Krakow and her “When Calls the Heart” co-star, Niall Matter, had its November 4 premiere on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. No one can resist a Christmas wedding, and once again, the star was utterly stunning in white.

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A satisfying trilogy

Like “When Calls the Heart,” based on the novel by Janette Oke, the “Father Christmas” series is based on the book series by Robin Jones Gunn. Like Oke, Gunn is a Christian author, but much of her focus is on choices and empowerment for young women in modern times, in contrast to Oke’s historic and period novels set in the frontier. Both authors share the perspective of how faith and community work to provide strength through life's trials, and how unexpected circumstances in life ultimately work for the good.

One of the delights for fans is that in the “Father Christmas” movies, Miranda Chester gets to wear her dazzling engagement ring about halfway through “Engaging Father Christmas,” before the sticky situation of solving who is divulging her newfound family’s details arises. In “Marrying Father Christmas” Miranda is completing and personalizing every detail of her dream wedding, and contending with the delicate balance of being gracious or standing firm under the barrage of too much family advice.

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The culminating third installment has a Christmas wedding that could only be created by the masters of Christmas radiance at Hallmark. Beyond seeing Erin Krakow in her classic and exquisitely simple wedding gown, allowing the bride to shine, the story embodies themes of acceptance and appreciation for the gifts of love, family, and friendship. The struggles that Ian (Matter) has in finding just the right words for his vows fade away, as he learns that the heart speaks its own language.

Wendie Malick is as marvelous as ever as Margaret Whitcomb who learns to let go of her tendency to “direct” a situation in an effort to help, just as she dares to take a chance that an old friendship could turn into something more. Miranda, too, makes room for a new relationship, as an uncle (Bill Dow) who she knows nothing about makes his entrance days before the nuptials.

Another refreshing new character is Pastor Eric Whalen, portrayed by Alvin Sanders. His demeanor and wisdom help to steady the proceedings throughout.

Rave reviews

Fans from Australia, and a few from closer locales were dismayed that “Marrying Father Christmas” was not available on the generic Hallmark Channel, but there's plenty of time to wrangle an invitation to a friend’s house to see the Yuletide treat. A flurry of future airings begins November 5 and runs through December 30, with 16 rebroadcasts in all.

At the time of its airing, in late 2016, “Finding Father Christmas” was the most-watched Hallmark movie premiere, ever, and this romantic and heartfelt topper on the Christmas trilogy is certain to reap a similar following for generations. “Marrying Father Christmas” is already making its way to becoming a holiday tradition. The second film, “Engaging Father Christmas,” aired before last night's premiere, and will air again on December 20 and 29. “Finding Father Christmas” is available for purchase at Amazon, and from Hallmark Movies Now.

Erin Krakow’s followers are already applauding the beautiful bridal installment, and so are her “When Calls the Heart” friends like Pascale Hutton. This star shines, whether beside the Christmas tree, or just by being herself.