Why Watching Christmas Movies Makes You Feel Less Alone Even If You’re Single

I’ve been single for a while now, and do enjoy being single, though it took me time to grapple with what that means and to come to terms with it. Despite being constantly surrounded by friends in long-term relationships, engaged or married, I’ve enjoyed all this time being by myself. Throughout the year I’m perfectly fine with this life, but it when the sun settles in on the 1st of December, something changes. It’s almost like air brings with it a feeling of loneliness and despair. Most of you will agree with me when I say that December is the happiest month of the year. There’s something about this month and Christmas that always sparks joy and puts you in the jolliest of moods. I mean, even the Grinch couldn’t resist.

While the buoyancy in feelings is always nice, the creeping sense of loneliness can get intense. The holiday season makes me want to be all boo’d and snuggled up with someone while we sip on hot chocolate. On most days I try to cheer myself up by stepping out and spending some time with my friends, but when that doesn’t help— Christmas movies come to the rescue!

I watched The Holiday as a 10-year-old and fell in love with Graham (Jude Law). The sparkling chemistry between him and Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and his attempts at wooing her with his charm, had me falling hard. Even the watching Diaz and Iris (Kate Winslet) swap their houses was heartwarming. From an intense love between Diaz and Law at first sight, to a slow-burn romance between Miles (Jack Black) and Winslet, everything fills you up with happiness. And then, of course, there’s the charming Arthur (Eli Wallach) who strikes a chord in your heart in more ways than one. Fortunately for those with melting hearts like me, this isn’t the only Christmas movie that will leave you feeling warm and happy, there are many more.

The Nostalgia

Like me, millions of people across the world, mostly single enjoy the cathartic experience of watching a romantic Christmas movie when love is nowhere to be found in our lives. I will always remember the very first time I watched classic Christmas romcoms like Love Actually, The Holiday and even Holiday Affair. It gave a sense of hope, possibility and excitement for the kid in me and watching them years later as a single woman fills me with the same joy.

Lajya Nayak, a consulting psychologist believes that nostalgia plays a huge part in Christmas movies having a feel-good factor. “When we think of anything nostalgic, movies are a vehicle that immediately transports you back to an older time. They often make us yearn for an idealised past, no matter how great our present is,” she explains. Christmas movies always have a predictable narrative, they always use the same formula of the protagonists falling in love against a festive backdrop. Even with this predictable plot, these movies are always comforting to watch. Nayak believes that single people struggle with loneliness and depression the most during the holiday season. “Holidays are a time when you’re reminded of community, of spending time with your loved ones, so it’s only natural for these negative feelings to creep in, she says.

The Comfort Watch


For someone who has been trying to find her way around the dating pool in this generation, I can say that I’m drowning most of the time. Dating is unpredictable because there are so many factors that you can’t control. For instance, I can’t predict whether the man I met last Sunday still has unresolved feelings for a previous partner or just isn’t looking for the same thing that I am. But when I watch Love Actually for the millionth time, I know that Natalie is going to declare her feelings for David in a Christmas card following which they will have one of the mushiest onscreen kisses.

Christmas movies can provide a sense of safety and security by distracting the viewer from an unpleasant feeling. Nayak further elaborates that these movies are comfort films that are always there for us when we need happiness during the holiday season. The set-in-stone tropes of these movies provide romantic sentimentality even when you’re single, making you feel fulfilled–there’s always a Christmas miracle that gives hope to a grumpy protagonist making them believe in love all over again. And I yearn for this Christmas miracle year after year, in the hope that one day, like Amanda, Iris and Natalie, I’ll have my moment of love too.

- Beauty Writer


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