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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Ho, Ho, Ho, Holiday Dating Tips from Classic Holiday Movies

‘Tis the season for holiday movies! That’s right– time to bring down those oldie-but-goodie classics you’ve stashed away with your lights and decorations in the attic. With Bing Crosby crooning over the radio, strings of lights brightening the snow-laden streets and the smell of oven-baked cookies filling the air, there’s probably no time better to get into the dating scene than the holiday season–holding hands while ice-skating, cuddling by the fire, “accidentally” meeting him under the mistletoe. In celebration of the holidays here at Her Campus, we’ve rounded up some of our all-time favorite holiday movies and taken their tips on dating during the holiday season. So snuggle up in your favorite cashmere sweater (or the arms of that cute guy) with a cup of hot cocoa, and pop in one of these holiday flicks.


When the silly, loveable, if a little sugar-crazed Buddy the Elf packed his bags and left the North Pole for the Big Apple in search of his origins, he unexpectedly fell in love with Jovie, a department store elf in need of some holiday cheer. She was definitely a little more than skeptical after their first encounter in the girls’ locker room (awkward…), but they bonded over a winter date of ice-skating, skipping through the snow, and window-shopping. What can you take away from Jovie and Buddy’s relationship for you and your winter break fling? Don’t be afraid to be yourself and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Their relationship is so innocent and naïve– there are no mind games, pretenses, or anything that drives us crazy to ruin the fun! There’s no better time than the holidays to get in touch with your inner child!

It’s a Wonderful Life

We all know It’s a Wonderful Lifeas the classic Christmas movie starring Jimmy Stewart who plays George Bailey, a down-on-his-luck family man. But when an angel named Clarence grants him the chance to see what the world would be like without him, he begins to learn what’s truly important in life. We get so caught up in the holiday theme, we sometimes forget about the sweet love story between George and his childhood sweetheart-turned-wife Mary Hatch Bailey. George is willing to do anything for Mary (“You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down!”) and in turn, Mary has her husband’s back even through their worst hardships. Especially in the season of giving, it’s so important to support your loved ones (from your boyfriend to your mom) and never forget the impact we have on each other. 

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

We’d like to think that spending the holidays with the family is always a picture-perfect Christmas card, but come on, collegiettesTM, we know that’s not true! That’s why National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacationstarring the Griswold family makes our list of holiday classics; this movie makes our families seem a little more normal by comparison. So what if Uncle Lewis just blew up the Christmas tree and Aunt Bethany wrapped up her cat in a box, all while your cousin Eddie is tramping around the front lawn in his underwear? They’re your family and isn’t thatwhat the holidays are really about? Loving, if not sometimes simply tolerating, the crazy side of the family?But take a word of caution from this kooky movie–family and romance don’t always mix, especiallyduring the holidays. You don’t want to scare off that holiday cutie with your gone-over-the-edge dad, since this can happen.

Miracle on 34th Street

Even as grown-up collegiettesTM, who doesn’t love Santa Clause?In this classic, a Macy’s Santa claims to be the real deal and tries to change the minds of a less-than believing events director and daughter who are both in need of some holiday magic. There are some things you never grow out of and no matter how old you are, you’re never too old for the holidays. Take a lesson from little Susie Walker: learning to trust. Sometimes it’s good to believe in people (Santa or not!).
Love Actually

Probably no list of holiday movies would be complete without Love Actually. This holiday-themed rom-com set in Christmastime London follows nine intertwining love stories including a guy who is in love with his best friend’s wife (Keira Knightley). Among some of the several lessons in dating and relationships we might take from this flick, probably the best comes from the famous scene between Mark and Juliet. Mark (Andrew Lincoln), who is desperately in love with his best friend’s new wife, Juliet (Keira Knightly), comes to her house on Christmas Eve with a cue card slideshow spelling out all the reasons he loves her. Even if it’s an unrequited love, it goes to show that a big gesture can go a long way. After that scene, guys, you have a lot to live up to.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

There will probably… no, there will definitelybe a Grinch in your life this holiday season. And I’m not just talking about the grumpy after-4 a.m.-Black-Friday-shopping kind of Grinch–maybe your boy just has a case of the holiday blues. December is stressful–all those weekends of gift wrapping, decorating, and traveling from house to house to visit grandparents and cousins in the weeks up until the big day. Maybe your boyfriend is stressed from finals or from all the festivities that come with the holiday season. Maybe you’veeven had a Grinch moment when you felt that way. Try to offer him a helping hand or just let him know you care. Don’t be too hard on the Grinch in your life. It’s this Dr. Seuss story of the Grinch and the Whos of Whoville that reminds us to love even the not-so-loveable people in our lives.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Move over, Charles Dickens. There’s a new scrooge in town (and he’s much more of a hunk)! It seems like women are constantly drooling over Matthew McConaughey, so why not make a holiday movie loosely based on that fact? In Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past,Matthew McConaughey is a playboy who gets haunted by the girlfriends of his past Scrooge-style, which in the end makes him realize the one true love of his life. It’s an old lesson from other takes on A Christmas Carol, but it still rings true, especially in this holiday rom-com– about appreciating the person you’ve got rather than constantly looking for something better (which may not actually exist).

The Holiday

While this rom-com isn’t all about the holidays, it follows two unlikely couples who just happen to fall in love over the winter season. It follows the lives of Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Iris (Kate Winslet) – two women who temporarily exchange homes across the Atlantic to escape heartbreak during the holiday season. To their surprise, Amanda falls for Iris’s brother (Jude Law) and Iris for Miles (Jack Black) who is Amanda’s ex-boyfriend’s friend. There are a lot of lessons in The Holiday(like, who knew Kate Winslet and Jack Black could make such a cute couple?), but one of the most important things to take away from this movie is to think about how you can better yourself this holiday season.Iris and Amanda both jet off intending to have intercontinental pity parties, dwelling on the ex-boyfriends who betrayed them, but both women realize their own power. Don’t spend the holidays holding a grudge over the people who wronged you. Instead, use opportunities (like devastating break-ups) to grow and improve your life.


Alexandra is a graduate from the University of New Hampshire and the current Assistant Digital Editor at Martha Stewart Living. As a journalism student, she worked as the Director of UNH’s Student Press Organization (SPO) and on staff for four student publications on her campus. In the summer of 2010, she studied abroad at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, in England, where she drank afternoon tea and rode the Tube (but sadly no, she did not meet Prince Harry). Since beginning her career, her written work has appeared in USA Today College, Huffington Post, Northshore, and MarthaStewart.com, among others. When not in the office, she can be found perusing travel magazines to plan her next trip, walking her two dogs (both named Rocky), or practicing ballet. Chat with her on Twitter @allie_churchill.