Countdown to Christmas: Jaicy Elliot and Nikki DeLoach about their upcoming Hallmark movies

Ever since movies have been made, the Empire State Building was the setting for some of the greatest scenes in movie history. Whether Sleepless in Seattle, Spiderman, or KingKong, the building has been featured in many different ways and genres over the past years.

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To promote their upcoming Hallmark movies Jaicy Elliot and Nikki DeLoach went to New York‘s famous attraction and soaked in the spirit of movie history. Every year around the holidays, Hallmark Channel puts out 40 movies for the Countdown to Christmas lineup, starting in October.

In her upcoming movie “My Southern Family Christmas”, Jaicy Elliot, best known for her role as Dr. Taryn Helm in Grey’s Anatomy, plays the role of Campbell. Campbell is a girl who lives in the south and is reconnecting with her family. Under the guise of being a journalist, Jaicy’s character gets to know her biological father for the first time, played by Bruce Campbell. The movie thematizes the topic’s identity and family ties, highlighting how important your past is in defining who you are. “It’s a very special family Christmas movie”, Jaicy says. For her, “My Southern Family Christmas” stands out compared to other Hallmark movies. The love story serves as a crutch in the movie and is not the main story. “It’s more about exploring the different levels of love, self-love, and family”, she says.

Photo Credit: Mike Coppola/ Getty Images for Hallmark Media

Meeting her father for the first time as a grown-up woman was nothing Jaicy herself ever had to experience. While preparing for the role she had to find other bits and pieces of the story to relate to. In the movie, Campbell gets contacted by her father’s wife, played by Moira Kelly. At first, she’s unsure whether she wants to get to know her father at all. On this journey, the character realizes how closed off she was. In order to accept love and let new people into your life you have to make yourself vulnerable. For Jaicy, that realization was where she and her character met in the middle. Once you become open “it is not a coincidence that things just start coming to you,” she says. The movie is set to premiere November 24th as part of the Countdown to Christmas lineup on Hallmark Channel.

Nikki DeLoach, one of Hallmark’s leading ladies, is starring in the network’s first faith-based movie “The Gift of Peace”. Her character Traci is an artist and once-devout Christian who stopped believing in God after her husband tragically died two years ago. Traci has been unable to paint or do anything since his passing. A friend pushes her to go to a support group for grievers, which she does only reluctantly at first. Along the way, the character learns that with the help of others and the sharing of grief, one can find joy, hope, peace, and love again – but most importantly healing.

Photo Credit: Mike Coppola/ Getty Images for Hallmark Media

Mid-last year Nikki lost a loved one herself with the passing of her father. This similarity between her and the character helped her connect with Traci on a deep and personal level. That made filming the movie even more special to her. “It’s been a year of real deep grief for me and I found the movie extremely healing being a part of it”, she says. The experience doing the movie shifted her and opened her eyes to the joy that can be found even when you are at your saddest. Surrounded by a team of amazing co-stars, like Brennan Elliott who faced recent grief in his personal life as well, the team felt that this was a film unlike anything Hallmark had ever done before. Nikki describes the movie as real, rare, and emotional – tissues will be needed. She hopes others will find the same comfort in the film that the team found in making it. “The Gift of Peace” is set to premiere on December 10th as part of the Miracles of Christmas on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Since both Hallmark stars are big Christmas fans, they really enjoyed working on the movies. During the holidays Nikki and Jaicy like doing classic Christmas traditions but also have their own family traditions as well. Jaicy is going back to France to be with her family for Christmas. Nikki and her family celebrate the holidays like they’re in a Hallmark movie themselves. As a child actor, Christmas became even more meaningful to her since it was sometimes the only time she was able to come home. Nowadays, the most important family tradition for Nikki and her family is to shop the wishlist of families that have to spend their holidays at the children’s hospital LA, which provided life-saving care for her son during his heart surgeries. “That is what Christmas is about”, she says. “Being with people you love and helping others.”

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