Hallmark Channel Original Premiere of “Checkin’ It Twice” on Friday, Oct. 20th at 8pm/7c! #CountdowntoChristmas

by Heather

Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Hallmark Channel. 

As the holiday season approaches, families around the world prepare to embrace cherished traditions that warm our hearts and bring loved ones closer together. In Cincinnati, one such tradition has been lighting up the city with joy and wonder for generations: the enchanting Christmas trains and Shillito’s elves display. Join us as we embark on a heartwarming journey with a little girl and her family to relive the magic of this beloved tradition.

Christmas in Cincinnati

Photo of East 5th Street and an illuminated Christmas tree at Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, USA at twilight blue hour.

Photo Courtesy of Cincy Rents

A Magical Adventure in Downtown Cincinnati

Once upon a time, in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, a little girl named Heather, along with her parents and grandparents, set out on a magical adventure. Every year, they eagerly awaited the arrival of the holiday season to experience the enchanting display of Shillito’s elves and the intricate Christmas train layouts that had become a cherished tradition for the family.

Shillitos Elves

Photo Courtesy of Cincinnati Magazine

A Glimpse into Christmas Past

Shillito’s Department Store, which once stood as an iconic part of Cincinnati’s history, was famous for its stunning Christmas displays. While the store may have closed its doors long ago, the spirit of Shillito’s lives on through the enchanting elf display, which was originally now located at the Cincinnati Art Museum but is now displayed in Mariemont.

The elves, meticulously crafted with intricate detail and lifelike charm, were originally part of Shillito’s grand holiday window displays, captivating the hearts of generations. These elves, each with their own unique personality and charm, continue to amaze visitors, just as they did many decades ago.

Trains at Khron ConservatoryPhoto Courtesy Cincinnati Parks

The Christmas Trains at Krohn Conservatory

The magic of Shillito’s elves was just the beginning of Heather’s adventure. After taking in the delightful display, they made their way to the Krohn Conservatory, where a fantastic world of Christmas trains awaited. The conservatory transformed into a winter wonderland, featuring meticulously crafted train layouts that took visitors on a journey through miniature landscapes adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations.

The Wonder in Heather’s Eyes

As they explored the miniature landscapes of the Christmas trains, Heather’s eyes sparkled with wonder and amazement. The attention to detail in every scene, from snow-covered mountains to bustling cityscapes, transported her to a world of pure enchantment.

Christmas Glow

Tradition and Togetherness

For Heather’s family, this annual visit was not just about the enchanting displays but the tradition and togetherness it represented. They had been making this pilgrimage for generations, and each year it brought them closer as a family. It was a time to reminisce about cherished memories and create new ones to be treasured for years to come.

The Spirit of Giving

One of the most heartwarming aspects of this tradition was the spirit of giving it inspired. Heather’s family, along with many others, often brought canned goods or warm clothing to donate at the conservatory, ensuring that the joy of the season reached those in need. It was a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

Fountain Square Christmas TreePhoto Courtesy of Cincinnati Refined

A Magical End to the Day

After their adventure with the elves and Christmas trains, Heather’s family headed to Fountain Square, where the towering Christmas tree illuminated the night with its dazzling lights. They sipped on hot cocoa, listened to carolers, and watched the ice skaters twirl gracefully on the rink. It was the perfect way to end a magical day in Cincinnati.

Keeping the Tradition Alive

As the years went by, Heather grew up, but her love for the Christmas trains and Shillito’s elves remained as strong as ever. Now, she takes her own children to share in the magic and create new memories, just as her parents and grandparents did for her. The tradition lives on, a testament to the enduring power of family, love, and the enchantment of the holiday season.

In the heart of downtown Cincinnati, a little girl named Heather learned that the magic of Christmas isn’t just about the twinkling lights or beautifully decorated trees; it’s about the love and togetherness that binds us all. Shillito’s elves and the Christmas trains are more than just displays; they are a symbol of the enduring spirit of the season and the joy of sharing it with those we hold dear.

31 All New Holiday Movies on Hallmark Channel #CountdowntoChristmas

This weekend, we are continuing another holiday tradition by tuning into the #CountdowntoChristmas on Hallmark Channel! And check out the first premiere on the list, Checkin’ It Twice, which we will be live tweeting.


Click the graphic below for a printable version of the countdown to keep.

2023 Hallmark Channel #CountdownToChristmas

This season, there will be 31 new original movies premiering on Hallmark Channel throughout #CountdowntoChristmas! Join us THIS FRIDAY for the Hallmark Channel movie premiere, “Checkin’ It Twice“, staring Kim Matula and Kevin McGarry, on Friday, Oct. 20th at 8pm/7c.

A journeyman hockey player falls for a real estate agent in a career crisis when he’s traded to her hometown and moves into the cottage in her hockey loving family’s backyard. 


Learn more about the 31 new original movies premiering on Hallmark Channel by heading to their website.

ALSO, be sure to join us for LIVE-TWEETING on “X” during Friday’s premiere.

Holiday Giveaway

Pink Ninja Blog has partnered with Hallmark Channel to give one (1) lucky reader the chance to win a “Joy of the Holidays” Prize Package! This prize includes (1) Holiday Gift Wrap Kit and (1) $25 Visa Gift Card. Please note, this giveaway is open ONLY to residents of the U.S. who are 18 years and older.

This giveaway/sweepstakes is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This Giveaway is valid to U.S. residents of the 48 contiguous United States only. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 9:59 PM (EST) on 10/20/23. The winner will be selected and announced on “X” formerly known as Twitter. The winner will have 24 hours to direct message @PinkNinjaBlogg on X/Twitter to claim their prize or a new winner will be drawn.

The giveaway is not valid where prohibited! By entering you are authorizing us to collect the information on the form below, this information is used only to contact the winner! No purchase necessary, Void were prohibited by law, and the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winners are chosen randomly by the Giveaway Tools program.

The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contest are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Heather Pfingsten at pinkninjablog (at)hotmail (dot) comIf you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.

Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Hallmark Channel. 

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Helen October 19, 2023 - 6:53 am
I love watching all the new Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music, decorating, baking, wrapping present to put under the tree, the lights, and getting together and spending extra quality time with family and friends.
Jennifer Hess October 19, 2023 - 7:33 am
Checkin it Twice however they all look amazing!! Im Hallmark movie obsessed and this is my favorite time of year.
Donna October 19, 2023 - 7:59 am
I'm most looking forward to watching A Merry Scottish Christmas.
Shelly Peterson October 19, 2023 - 8:06 pm
I'm looking forward to Under the Christmas sky.
Jessica Beard October 19, 2023 - 9:55 pm
I'm looking forward to Under the Christmas Sky.
Anne Perry October 20, 2023 - 5:24 am
That time of year already!
Jamie Durham October 20, 2023 - 6:19 pm
Looking forward to seeing 'A Not So Royal Christmas' most of all.

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