Lori Loughlin, Cameron Mathison Thankful at Hallmark Soireee

Hallmark Channel's screening for

Hallmark Channel’s screening for “Northpole: Open For Christmas,” premiering Saturday, November 21 on Hallmark Channel, part of the network’s widely popular Countdown to Christmas programming event. This year the network rolls out 17 original movie premieres in November and December. Photo: Bailee Madison, Lori Loughlin, Dermot Mulroney Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: jeremy lee/Alexx Henry Studios, LLC

Lori Loughlin is feeling immense gratitude as this Thanksgiving rolls around. The actress has the Hallmark Channel’s simply delightful “Northpole: Open for Christmas” original movie, which debuted Nov. 21. She has more of her “Garage Sale Mystery” movies in the pipeline for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. And, of course, she’ll be seen again as Aunt Becky in Netflix’s “Fuller House” redux next year.

We caught up with Loughlin at the Hallmark Channel unveiling of the “Northpole” sequel at Hollywood’s The Grove the other night. “I feel so lucky, I feel so blessed. I’ve been working a lot in really wonderful projects with really wonderful people and I’m so fortunate,” she said. “I can’t even believe, actually, that at my age I’m working as much as I am right now.”

Loughlin, who has been married to designer Mossimo Giannulli for 16 years and has two also-gorgeous teenage daughters, looked smokin’ hot in a red lace Elie Saab jumpsuit at the magical holiday event. How does she manage to stay so slim and fit? “I work out. I do a lot of yoga. I do a workout called Body by Simone,” she said. “It’s like a dance cardio class with some free weights. The combination of those now is mostly what I’ve been doing.”

loughlin jumpsuitShe stars along with Dermot Mulroney and adorable 16-year-old Bailee Madison (reprising her elf role) in the tale of a high-end valuation appraiser who inherits her aunt’s run-down New England Inn — of course not knowing that the place is a secret power station for Santa Claus.

The mood was certainly celebratory, as Hallmark Channel President & CEO Bill Abbott announced that more than 75 million viewers tuned Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas fare last year.
Even Santa couldn’t have come up with a better gift.

A young bakeshop owner’s holiday season takes a surprising turn when she finds a body at a local Christmas tree lot and winds up involved in a dangerous murder investigation. With colorful characters popping up as suspects, shady business practices uncovered at the tree lot and holiday romance in the air, the young baker-turned-sleuth must race against time to track down the killer and save the Christmas season. Photo: Alison Sweeney, Cameron Mathison Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

MEANWHILE: Cameron Mathison was also on hand for the “Northpole: Open for Christmas” event — with his and Alison Sweeney’s “Murder, She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery” set to debut Sunday, Nov. 22, on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. “It’s such a treat for me to walk away from the madness of everyday life and make a movie with Alison Sweeney,” notes the “Entertainment Tonight” anchor. “I can hardly wait for the next one to start.”

In fact, the third “Murder, She Baked” movie is already a wrap, and a fourth one is likely to go into production next year. Mathison says that when he went full-time on “E.T.,” it was with the understanding that he would occasionally take on acting assignments.

“It was something we brought in that didn’t take much convincing; it wasn’t make or break,” he recalls. “I think a lot of the ‘E.T.’ audience fits in nicely with Hallmark Channel. It’s a nice supplement.

“All of us on ‘E.T.’ have other things we do,” adds Mathison.

The real juggling challenge is between his peripatetic professional life and his life as a dad to his and wife Vanessa’s 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter. “I try to be as hands-on as humanly possible,” he says. “When I’m away, we Skype and FaceTime. I am literally on in the background all the time.”

Not at Thanksgiving, though. Mathison and his family will be spending part of the holiday week on SoCal slopes. They’re also planning a ski getaway to Colorado at Christmas.

“It’s a full and fun time,” he says.

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