Christmas Con NJ : What Was it Like? Will There Be Another?

Monday, September 27, 2021
Christmas Con has come and gone here in New Jersey, but so many people are still talking about it and wondering if they can catch their favorite Hallmark Channel celebrities again next year. I have the scoop for ya! I'll tell you all about my experience at the show and what you can (hopefully) expect for next year, 2020.

**Update! Christmas Con New Jersey 2021 dates have been announced and tickets are now on sale! Scroll down for details!

Disclosure: I was given media passes to Christmas Con 2019 by That's 4 Entertainment. All opinions are my own! Do I ever steer you wrong, though? I mean, honestly.

What is Christmas Con?

I wrote about Christmas Con back in October of 2019, because when I caught wind of this show, I knew it was going to be something big. Plus, I really wanted to support the New Jersey ladies who created That's 4 Entertainment (the masterminds behind the show). You can read more about Christmas Con and how it got started in my original post here.

And here is what I've been telling people all over social media. Christmas Con was NOT a Hallmark show. It was not run by Hallmark Channel nor was it organized by them. The fact that the media keeps reporting it as such really bugs me. Get it right, media! You have a job to inform the public about events and to give them the correct information. It's important to know that Hallmark Channel was a SPONSOR of this event (and they were a GREAT sponsorso I am certainly not condemning them in any way). Let's not take the credit away from That's 4 Entertainment, who worked tirelessly to bring their very first con to you. Here's a little video I made on Facebook about the show (I published this on Facebook and IGTV only):

What Was Christmas Con 2019 Like?

There were celebrities, celebrities, celebrities. If you are a fan of Hallmark Channel movies, you would love this aspect of the show. Jonathan Bennett was the host of Christmas Con, and he was darned good at it. He sang with the crowds, mingled, waved, smiled- he spread the Christmas cheer everywhere he went! There were opportunities to meet celebrities and take photos with them. But this was an added fee (for each celebrity), which is standard in almost every con I can think of (it is not included with your admission price). The celebrities are working here, and it's not free to just go up and take their photo from the sidelines (plus, other people who paid for their chance to meet that celebrity might not appreciate you looming over their shoulder trying to cop a photo for free). You can see the celebrities from afar but if you didn't pay for a photo op, then you are not supposed to be taking their picture from across the room. This seemed to upset a lot of people who visited Christmas Con and didn't understand those rules. But that is pretty standard at most shows where celebrities visit to sign autographs. And many, many shows will eject you immediately for trying! Bigger cons (like New York Comic Con) don't even allow you to see those really famous celebs unless you paid (I know this because I walked downstairs at 2018 NYCC in hopes of seeing Jason Momoa, only to find that he was behind giant black paneled walls). Some of the other celebs were at tables and you could see them, but you weren't supposed to take pictures of them either. And yes, there were lines. Unfortunately, that's how it goes. If you sign up for a photo op with a celebrity at a convention, you will most likely be waiting in line anxiously until it's your turn. That's just how it goes!

What Could You Do at Christmas Con?

Christmas Con featured a variety of fun things to do, including:

-Vendor shopping (not all items were Christmas themed. There were some sponsors in attendance like car companies and solar panels, but that's also pretty standard at cons since the shows need these sponsors to run it...$$$).

-Hallmark Channel Experience - this was my favorite part of the show! There was a little area set up in the center of the venue where you could pose in a pretend cozy living room or smile inside a giant replica of a Hallmark ornament. There was free hot cider and cookies, too.

-Souvenirs (you could purchase a variety of Christmas Con merchandise)

-Panels (there were celebrity panels, trivia and Q&A's). There were a lot of seats but I heard some people gripe they had no place to sit. This is also pretty standard at cons - in fact, the panels are usually in separate rooms, and once they are fill up they won't allow anyone else in. It's usually first come, first served.

-Gingerbread Showdown contest. The entries were amazing! Here are just a few...

-Ugly Sweater contest

photo of the finalists, property of Maria R
photo of the finalists property of Emily C. 

-Concert by Alicia Witt with special guest Paul Greene – hosted by Jonathan Bennett (unfortunately I was not permitted to photograph the celebrities, but it was lovely!)

-Beautiful caroling from The Village Carolers

-Visits with Santa

-Tree lighting (hosted by Jonathan Bennett and Lacey Chabert)

-more that I'm sure I'm leaving out!

-Despite what you might have heard, there were Christmas songs playing as well as amazing Christmas carolers. There was fake snow floating over a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. There were decorations and plenty of Christmas cheer.

Was There Food at Christmas Con?

The food at Christmas Con was standard venue food- chicken fingers, fries, hot dogs, pre-packaged sandwiches,sodas, water, etc. Also the addition of Wild Bill's Soda Pop and an empanada stand. You could not bring your own food into the venue (although some visitors told me they were allowed to bring bottled water and snacks in- disclaimer that I don't know if that's the rule or if security just made excpetions. I know That's 4 did say on their Facebook page that you could bring food in if you had dietary restrictions. But I am not the food guru so don't quote me on all of this!).

When is the Next Christmas Con?

Christmas Con 2021 will be held December 10, 11, and 12, 2021 at New Jersey Convention Center in Edison. You can purchase tickets here.

They also stated that this year they will have the entire venue for the show (instead of just a portion of it), so this should help accommodate more vendors and more visitors! Woo hoo!

Where to Stay 

If you plan on coming from a distance and you want to stay overnight for the show, be forewarned that the hotels in the immediate Edison area can sell out quickly. That's 4 Entertainment has a list of suggested hotels here. If you are making plans and see that rooms are already booked up in the area, consider staying in Bridgewater, which is about  25 minutes away but it's an easy drive (and parking at Christmas Con is free)! Bridgewater Marriott and AC Hotel Bridgewater are both beautiful properties (AC Hotel has an awesome rooftop bar called The Bradford, too). These hotels are right near the Bridgewater Commons Mall, so you can shop during your stay! There are also many restaurant choices in this area, too. 

Jersey Momma Tips for Next Year's Christmas Con

-purchase your tickets early if you want to attend! The 2019 show sold out in record time. I told you I knew it would be something special from the beginning! If you can't get a ticket, consider volunteering if they have that option available.

-follow That's 4 Entertainment on social media for the latest info. You can find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also subscribe to their mailing list on their website (home page at the very bottom). And follow ME, The Jersey Momma, because I know what's good, I tell you!!

-I think Christmas Con could have used some more Christmas vendors, so if you're a holiday vendor, keep them in mind for next year and reach out to them! Then reach out to me when it's show time because I would love to give you a shout out here, too!

-keep in mind that this was That's 4 Entertainment's first Christmas Con. I know they have the potential to create an even bigger and better event next year, so get ready.

-be kind and spread that Christmas cheer! It really is contagious. There were some awesome 'Santa's Helpers' volunteers who really helped to make the event run smoothly (as well as the Make a Christmas folks who helped decorate and make sure things were looking Christmasy), so be kind to them, too. Shout out to volunteer Elaina, my fellow Hello Kitty lover from California!

-if you attended and didn't enjoy the show at all this year, please don't go next year. I know there are plenty of people who would be very excited to go in your place! Just sayin'.

My Suggestions for the Next Christmas Con

-we hope for more Christmas vendors because we all want to go home with Christmas goodies after experiencing so much Christmas cheer! Am I right?
-is it possible to have a hot beverage stand outside? How fun would that be? And live reindeer and an ice skating pond and a real snow machine....(okay, okay, just kidding on those last few).
-more free photo ops (not with celebs). I mean, celebrities are awesome, too, but I know people love their social media and they would appreciate showing off. Get some more giant Christmas Con props for people to pose with (Instagram worthy ops!) and people will LOVE it!
-for tree lighting, a raised area for the celebrities/announcers would be great (we could only hear them from the back)
-have a kids area with face painting (which I know you had!), crafts, fake tattoos, etc.
-I've been getting messages from people suggesting ideas (I like that, keep them coming, or feel free to comment below with ideas, too, so That's 4 Entertainment can see them). One idea I heard from a reader named Eileen was a horse and carriage ride outside the venue. That would be sweet, right?
-hire a roving reporter live on scene (HEY, I happen to know one named THE JERSEY MOMMA and I hear she will work for free if you just let her have the exposure! 😁 Great idea, right?)


  1. This sounded so much fun. We are hoping we can vend this year. We make decor and jewelry from fossils, crystals, and Upcycled materials such as antique sheet music. I make these beautiful glass ornaments with sheet music curls
    and ribbon bow. we also do natural body products like Christmas themed soaps.

    1. That sounds great! It was a fun event and I'm sure it will be even bigger and better this year.

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