25 Romantic Christmas Movies for a Cozy Holiday
Dreaming of a romance-filled Christmas? If so, add these romantic Christmas movies to your list for a lovely night in.
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Add these romantic Christmas movies to your streaming list ASAP
Ahh, Christmas—the holiday that’s filled with cheer, magic, and love. There are plenty of Christmas activities to keep us busy around the holidays, but let’s be real: There’s nothing like snuggling on the couch with a warm blanket and watching romantic Christmas movies.
Maybe we’re struck with Cupid’s Christmas arrow this time of the year, but there’s just something about the holidays that makes us want to fall in love and root for others falling in love, too. If you’re looking for romantic and festive flicks, check out this list of the best Christmas movies to watch. From classic films to Hallmark Christmas movies, these stories are bound to fill your heart with romantic holiday cheer. Here’s to love—and Christmas!
Director: Nancy Meyers
Swapping houses with a stranger during Christmas sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t for Iris and Amanda, who want nothing more than a change of scenery after they each face setbacks in their love lives around the holidays. As one heads to America and the other heads to England to get away, they soon find that love has a funny way of finding you—even if you swap continents.
Director: Richard Curtis
This is one of the staple romantic Christmas movies to watch. Love Actually tells the story of several English couples, whose lives are loosely connected, as they navigate complex love woes during the holidays. With an all-star cast including Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, and Kiera Knightly, this film is bound to make you laugh (and maybe even shed a tear) in the name of love.
Director: Paul Feig
If you’ve ever been down on your luck, you’ll relate to the main character in this movie. Kate is an aspiring singer who works as an elf at a Christmas shop, and it seems as though bad decisions follow her constantly. One day, Kate meets a handsome man named Tom, and things begin to turn around for her and her love life. Is it too good to be true, or has Kate really found something real during the holidays? Start streaming now to see what fate has in store for Kate and Tom.
Director: John Whitesell
You’ll find this Christmas-themed movie on Netflix. Two young, single people decide to be one another’s date for each holiday throughout the year, thinking they’ll just remain friends and avoid any drama…but we know how that goes. Soon, they start to develop feelings for one another, but will their pact to strictly be holidates get in the way of their budding romance? Watch to find out—you’re bound to let out some laughs and “awww”s along the way.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Director: Frank Capra
It’s a Wonderful Life is a classic Christmas movie that has a bit of romance in it. It’s about a man named George Bailey who, after wishing he never existed, is met by a guardian angel who shows him what life would have been without him. Part of the movie shows us how he met his wife, Mary, and what would have happened to her had they not met. There are a lot of lessons to learn in It’s a Wonderful Life about love and life, so sit back and get comfy while streaming this festive film staple.
Christmas at the Plaza
Director: Ron Oliver
Hallmark Christmas movies are notorious for being incredibly romantic, and Christmas at the Plaza definitely brings the romance and kicks it up a notch. It features Christmas in the Big Apple, two strangers coming together around the holidays, and a budding romance that’ll warm your heart.
Want to feel like you’re in a romantic Hallmark movie? The Hallmark holidays suites make anyone feel like they’re inside a classic Hallmark rom-com.
A Christmas Prince
Director: Alex Zamm
This is another Netflix Christmas movie that’ll tug at your heartstrings. A Christmas Prince is about a young journalist who’s sent to another country to get the scoop on an elusive prince. While she’s digging for information, she gets closer to the prince and realizes there’s more than meets the eye, and soon, they develop feelings for one another. But can they survive a couple hiccups along the way and get their happily ever after?
The Best Man Holiday
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
This Christmas-themed sequel to 1999’s The Best Man tells the story of a group of friends who reunite for the holidays. It doesn’t take long for things like old rivalries and romances to bubble to the surface, making the holiday celebrations a little complicated. Start streaming now to see how this tight-knit group of friends makes it through.
While You Were Sleeping
Director: Jon Turteltaub
This classic romantic comedy takes place during the holidays, so we’re counting it as a romantic Christmas movie. Sandra Bullock plays Lucy, a fare token collector in Chicago who dreams of big romance and falls in love with a stranger named Peter. On Christmas Day, Peter falls onto the train tracks and Lucy saves him—but he falls into a coma. Due to some miscommunications, people (including Peter’s family) think Lucy is his fiancée. Peter’s family soon welcomes her into their home, and things get even more complicated when she starts to fall for Peter’s brother, Jack. What’s a girl to do?
Director: Todd Haynes
Carol starts during the Christmas season of 1952, when a photographer named Therese (Rooney Mara) meets an older woman named Carol (Cate Blanchett) while working at a Manhattan department store. Soon, the two women form a bond and begin a passionate affair. Start streaming now to see how their secret romance pans out and how it impacts their lives.
Director: Wayne Wang
This is a movie that reminds us to never take life for granted. Last Holiday is about a woman who’s told she only has three weeks left to live. Naturally, she decides to live a little and spend her remaining time living lavishly in a European hotel. She takes off during the holidays and does things she’s only dreamt about, but there is someone back home who’s on her mind as her time winds down. Will she get to see him before it’s too late?
Director: Peter Chelsom
This has to be one of the most underrated romantic Christmas movies. Serendipity stars John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale as two people who, after meeting by chance, fall head over heels for one another. After a seemingly random incident is interpreted as an act of destiny, they lose touch. A decade later, both are engaged to other people but can’t shake the feeling that they missed out on their shot at love all those years ago. Start streaming now to see what fate has in store for these two (and get ready to feel all those warm, fuzzy love feelings.)
The Family Man
Director: Brett Ratner
What if you got a second chance at a life that could have been? Would you take it? That’s what Nicolas Cage must decide in The Family Man. Cage plays Jack, a successful career man who’s on his own. That all changes one day when he wakes up in an alternate universe where he’s married to his college sweetheart and has children. Soon, he must choose between the life he has and the life that could have been. It’s available on Hulu (it’s one of many great Christmas movies on Hulu), and you can also stream it on Amazon Prime.
Director: Clea DuVall
This is a romantic Christmas movie that reminds us how important it is to be true to ourselves. Happiest Season is about a woman who spends Christmas with her girlfriend’s family, but there’s a hiccup: Her girlfriend hasn’t come out to her family yet. As you can expect, things get a little complicated as they try to define their future together during this trip.
The Knight Before Christmas
Director: Monika Mitchell
A medieval knight, time travel, a hopeless romantic, and Christmastime—put it all together and you’ve got The Knight Before Christmas. When a knight is transported to modern times, he meets a high school teacher who, wouldn’t you know it, dreams about finding her knight in shining armor. They work together to help the knight complete his quest and get back to his time, but as they grow closer, he realizes that modern living (and modern love) may not be so bad after all.
Let It Snow
Director: Luke Snellin
Combine Christmas with a group of small-town high school seniors navigating through life and you have Let It Snow. Based on a best-selling novel, this movie follows a group of midwestern teens trying to figure out life—and love—as a snowstorm hits their town on Christmas Eve. Will the Christmas magic work its wonders on this group?
The Family Stone
Director: Thomas Bezucha
Meeting your significant other’s family is nerve-wracking enough, but meeting them around the holidays? That’s another level of nerves. In The Family Stone, a woman travels with her boyfriend to celebrate Christmas with his free-spirited family. Personalities hilariously clash, though, and the couple starts to doubt if they’re truly meant for one another. Start streaming now on Amazon Prime to see if they make it to New Year’s.
The Flight Before Christmas
Director: Peter Sullivan
Who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas with a total stranger? The Flight Before Christmas is about two strangers forced to share a room at a cozy Montana bed and breakfast after their flight gets stranded on Christmas Eve. Soon, they become more than just strangers while celebrating the most wonderful time of the year.
Christmas With Holly
Rating: Not Rated
Director: Allan Arkush
This is one of those romantic Christmas movies that’ll stick with you long after the credits roll. It’s about a young girl who stops talking after her mother’s death and is being raised by her three uncles. One of her uncles meets a toy shop owner and soon falls in love, but he must decide if this new love can flourish in his life. Will he get the love of his life for Christmas?
Sleepless in Seattle
Director: Nora Ephron
Yep, we’re also counting this classic romantic comedy as a romantic Christmas movie. It’s about a widowed man who moves to Seattle with his young son. One Christmas Eve, his son calls a talk radio show in hopes of finding his dad a new wife. His father gets on the line and starts talking about his late wife, and a reporter from Baltimore (along with many other people across the country) hears him. She’s so enamored by his words that she falls for him without even laying eyes on him. She’ll do anything to meet him, like planning a romantic meeting on the Empire State Building…but will he show?
A December Bride
Director: David Winning
Lesson learned: A fake fiancé + the Christmas season = a recipe for love. (Don’t quote us on this, though.) Layla must attend her cousin’s wedding (her cousin is marrying her ex-fiancé, by the way) and is desperate to find a date. So she enlists the help of a man named Seth, who actually introduced her cousin and ex-fiancé. At the wedding, things go a little haywire when it’s announced that Seth and Layla are engaged. They must keep the charade up, but acting like they’re in love gets a whole lot easier as time goes on.
The Spirit of Christmas
Director: David Jackson
Mystery, ghosts, Christmas, and love—what more could you want from a romantic Christmas movie? A woman tries to sell a historic inn around Christmas, but there’s one small problem: It’s haunted by its former owner. She must work with his ghost to figure out what happened to him in order to lift a curse and finally sell the inn. They uncover a lot of shocking information along the way, but perhaps the most shocking is the love they find while trying to solve this mystery.
12 Dates of Christmas
Director: James Hayman
Do you ever wish you could get a redo on a first date? Well, one woman gets multiple redos in 12 Dates of Christmas. A woman goes on a blind date on Christmas Eve to get over her ex-boyfriend, but it goes less than perfect since she can’t seem to let go of the past. So, she must relive the date over and over until she opens up her heart to the Christmas spirit—and love, of course. Start watching now on Disney Plus to see how this one ends!
The Shop Around the Corner
Rating: Not Rated
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
The enemies-to-lovers trope has been around for a long time, and it can be found in this romantic Christmas movie. The Shop Around the Corner is about two co-workers who cannot stand one another. However, they both have pen pals they simply adore. The twist? They’re actually pen pals with one another and have fallen in love through letters. Can they look past their differences and nurture the love that’s grown between them on paper?
Rating: Not Rated
Director: Don Hartman
Holiday Affair tells the story of a Christmastime love triangle. A widowed woman must decide who she’ll be with: a romantic seasonal store clerk, or a nice lawyer. Start streaming this classic now to see whom her heart will lead her to.
Next, check out the top Christmas movies for kids you should add to your holiday streaming list this year. Bonus: for lovers of the Parent Trap, Lindsay Lohan stars in a new Netflix film—Falling For Christmas—that the whole family will love.