40 Feel-Good Films To Watch This Holiday Season

by | Dec 1, 2023 | Entertainment

There’s a lot that can be said about feel-good holiday films, especially ones with a festive season theme. They don’t only leave us hopeful and remind us of the things that ultimately matter in life but signal the start of relaxation season! And of course, there are thousands to choose from and each streaming service, thankfully, goes all out to let you celebrate with an abundance of viewing options. We combed through scores of films to bring you a list that we reckon will be worth your downtime. From ‘Cheesy’ and ‘Ultimate Feel-Good Vibes’ to ‘The Classics’ and ‘Quirky And Romantic Films’, there’s bound to be a feel-good holiday film for everyone – even the most hard-to-please person in your household.

Category: Quirky And Romantic Films

Christmas with a view Feel-Good Holiday Films

Christmas With A View (Netflix)

What’s there not to love about a Hallmark romcom? Claire, a big-city chef, takes a job at a quaint mountain lodge in an effort to escape the busy holiday season. Upon arrival, the lodge is packed with an eclectic mix of people who’ve all come together to escape the hustle and bustle of the holidays. As she helps to prepare the lodge for Christmas, she finds herself falling for the charming lodge manager, Charlie. With the help of her new buddies, Claire discovers the true meaning of Christmas.

crazy rich asians film

Crazy Rich Asians (Disney +)

Crazy Rich Asians follows Rachel, an American-born Chinese economics professor, who travels to her boyfriend Nick’s hometown of Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. Totally unaware that Nick comes from an extremely wealthy family, and is one of the country’s most eligible bachelors, Rachel navigates the pressure of meeting Nick’s family as well as their secrets and subtle rivalries. Expect to laugh, roll your eyes and have your heart melted into complete goo.

Falling Inn Love Feel-Good Holiday Films

Falling Inn Love (Netflix)

A city-dweller named Gabriela enters a competition in which she wins a rundown inn located in the small town of Hamilton, New Zealand. With the help of handyman Jake, Gabriela works to restore the inn to its former glory. Along the way, Gabriela and Jake fall in love (something Gabriela had been fighting since her arrival) and discovers a newfound appreciation for small-town life.


Holidate (Netflix)

Take a gander through the entire calendar year of holidays in this wild ride. Romcom’s fave Emma Roberts stars as a woman sick of finding dates for holiday parties and pairs up with Luke Bracey for a year of shenanigans and yes – love! To be completely honest, this movie is great with its hair, make-up and wardrobe. Need ideas on what to wear to that Christmas office party? Let this be your guide.

READ MORE: Luxury Bathroom Gift Sets To Create The Perfect Self-Care Zone

Love Hard Feel-Good Holiday Films

Love Hard (Netflix)

Warning: You’ll find yourself watching this even when it’s not the festive season. Who doesn’t love a love story fuelled by an anguished writer trying to find love at Christmas? In a last-ditch effort to make her deadline, a writer surprises her new fling in far-flung Lake Placid. Little does she know that he is not what she expected. We love Jimmy O Yang in this film and how considered he is about portraying an intelligent man, who isn’t the best at putting his best foot forward when it comes to women. It’s touching, it’s bold and it teaches you to see beyond the dating profile to the real person underneath it all.

Last Christmas holiday film

Last Christmas (Apple TV)

Hand up if you can totally get behind Emilia Clark and Henry Goulding in one mushy, snow-filled film complete with antiques and elves. The premise is as simple as can be: Two people bump into each other repeatedly and form a bond. That’s all you need to know – other than the fact that there’s George Michael music, a touch with death and yes, luurve. A charming, touching film.

Dashing Through The Snow

Dashing Through The Snow (Disney +)

This one stands out as a different take on the holiday movie genre while still being heart-warming and family-focused. Eddie Garrick, a social worker, meets a mysterious and seemingly mentally ill character called Nick. All night long, he and his daughter follow him around in the hope of getting him professional help. But Nick is not who Garrick thinks he is… This film is genuinely funny and witty and is good for those in your fam who aren’t fans of Christmas movies.

12 dates of christmas

12 Dates Of Christmas (Disney +)

Released in 2011, this feel-good holiday film and romantic comedy tracks the story of Kate, a woman who finds herself on the receiving end of a dating game when she receives a series of 12 dates from a mysterious suitor. As she goes through each date, she begins to fall in love with her secret admirer, but is soon faced with a difficult decision when she discovers his true identity. Through the course of the movie, Kate learns that the real gift of Christmas is not the presents, but the people we share it with.

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The Nutcracker And The Four Realms Feel-Good Holiday Films

The Nutcracker And The Four Realms (Disney +)

A fantasy film reimagines The Nutcracker, everyone’s favourite seasonal ballet. An all-star cast helms the film about a magical egg that unlocks and holds secrets for our main character, Twilight’s Mackenzie Foy. Adventure ensues! A film about the magic of Christmas that’ll transport you to a new world. What’s not to love?

Brown Sugar feel-good film

Brown Sugar (Disney +)

A fan of old-school hip-hop? This 2002 American rom-com/drama film follows the story of two childhood besties Sidney (played by Sanaa Lathan) and Dre (played by Taye Diggs) will tug at your heartstrings. Still bound by their love for hip-hop, Sidney and Dre reconnect after many years apart and are forced to confront their past and present feelings for one another. As they embark on a journey to find out if they’re meant to be together, they navigate hip-hop music industry woes, family pressures — couples with their own personal doubts. The film also features some of the biggest names in hip hop Queen Latifah and Mos Def (now Yasiin Bey).

Office Christmas Party

Office Christmas Party (Showmax)

If you can resist Jason Bateman, this movie is likely not for you. He is an anxious king in this movie, throwing caution to the wind at the same time by throwing a huge blow-out office party that makes Project X look like a kiddie party. There are hijinks, hot people (refer to Jason Bateman) and of course, hot outfits galore. A fun watch when you can’t commit to the shmooze in a traditional holiday film. 

How To Ruin Christmas feel-good holiday films

How To Ruin Christmas (Netflix)

Christmas in sunny SA means zero snow, and it’s such a relief to see that reflected in this proudly South African series about Tumi, who must find a missing best man before the big day and get back in her family’s good graces. It’s run through three seasons already, so there’s plenty to feast your eyes on before Christmas itself.

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Category: The Classics

The Family Stone

The Family Stone (Disney+, Apple TV)

The Family Stone is that cringe-worthy yet lovable holiday movie you can’t help but revisit each year. It captures the essence of a typical festive holiday, complete with chaos and awkward moments. Sarah Jessica Parker’s performance as the endearingly awkward Meredith is a highlight. The film reminds us that family gatherings are never perfect but are always filled with love. It’s a heartwarming and relatable addition to your holiday movie marathon.

The Holiday feel-good holiday films

The Holiday (Showmax, Amazon Prime, Apple TV)

This movie is that delightful escape we all yearn for during the festive season. It’s a story that resonates with anyone who’s had a tough year at the office and could use a break. When two women swap homes for the holidays, they find themselves on unexpected journeys of the heart. The vulnerability and complexity of falling in love are beautifully portrayed, reminding us that love isn’t always ‘that easy.’ Plus, who can resist Jude Law knocking on your doorstep? It’s a cosy, heartwarming choice for your holiday movie list!

Love, Actually

Love, Actually (Apple TV, Google Play)

This movie truly never gets old. Hugh Grant remains the king of gravitas as he navigates life as the president of the UK; we learn that British men need to head to America to find love (apparently), and there’s even the classic Mariah Carey song to get you in the mood. A must-watch.

Scrooge A Christmas Carol

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (Netflix)

The classic film gets an animated update with heart and soul. Scrooge is a grumpy old man who hates Christmas but gets three visitors at night who can turn it all around. This is a film for the entire family and even your sceptical cousin who thinks Christmas is lame.

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Home Alone Feel-Good Holiday Films

Home Alone (Disney Plus)

If you can overlook the fact that Kevin McCallister has terrible parents who left him home alone to fly over international waters, then this can still stand up as a wonderful film, I think?  Home alone and mad at his parents, Kevin must protect the house and himself against thieves. That’s the plot! A must-watch if you’re ticking Christmas films off your list. If not, a fun one to show the kids, at any rate.

Planes, Trains And Automobiles

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (Apple TV)

A 1987 American comedy film written, produced, and directed by John Hughes. The film stars Steve Martin as Neal Page, a high-strung marketing executive and John Candy as Del Griffith, an enthusiastic shower curtain ring salesman. The two men are thrown together on a three-day journey from New York City to Chicago, trying to get Neal home for Thanksgiving. Along the way, they encounter a series of mishaps and obstacles that test their patience and friendship and ultimately bring them closer together. The film is a classic comedy, with an endearing story of two very different men who learn to appreciate and accept each other.

Die Hard

Die Hard (Disney Plus)

Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? Google certainly thinks so. If action, car explosions and punching people is your idea of a good festive, why the heck not? Take a trip to the 80s with John McLane, who has just hours to save his wife when she’s kidnapped on Christmas Eve. It’s probably the toughest Christmas movie you’ll find but it delivers in buckets. Watch with the fam and let them debate the merits of this as a holiday movie.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas Feel-Good Holiday Films

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Showmax)

It’s just not a holiday film list without this film. Grumpy Grinch learns to warm his ice-cold heart when a young girl befriends him. Of course, there’s singing, but you’re guaranteed to know the words and of course, the entire town is decked out to the nines – a visual feast. And who can resist that adorable dog?

Jack Frost

Jack Frost (Amazon Prime)

A 1998 American Christmas fantasy adventure comedy film about a father, Jack, who’s transformed into the title character after being put into a cryogenic sleep chamber. The film follows Jack as he discovers the joys of winter and embarks on a mission to save Christmas for a small town. Along the way, he learns the importance of family and friendship.

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Category: As Cheesy As They Come

Christmas Inheritance

Christmas Inheritance (Netflix)

If you’re a certified sucker for festive flicks, ‘Christmas Inheritance’ will be your jam! We all know the drill – city girl heads to a small town with a struggling business, meets the dreamy guy and saves the day with her unconventional ideas. But you know what? Predictability is part of the holiday movie charm. This film is packed with light-hearted, funny and cute moments that’ll have you swooning with seasonal cheer. So, whether you’re a holiday romantic or just looking for a fun escape, this one’s for you!

The Christmas Wedding Planner Feel-Good Holiday Films

The Christmas Wedding Planner (Netflix)

While planning her cousin’s Christmas-themed lavish wedding, planner Kelsey Wilson meets troublemaker and PI Connor McClane. She reluctantly teams up with him to solve a mystery that just might ruin the wedding. All in all, this mushy film has all the trimmings of a Christmas movie – red, white and green costuming, Christmas paraphernalia and activities abound and it’s a bit of a slow burn. If you don’t mind all the above, indulge in this cheese fest that’ll make your heart sing.

The Princess Switch

The Princess Switch (Netflix)

If you haven’t feasted your eyes on The Princess Switch series of films, then what are you doing with your life? Vanessa Hudgens stars as a baker who crosses paths with a duchess (also Vanessa Hudgens). Hijinks ensue as they decide to swap roles and inevitably, fall in love with their new lives. It’s fluffy, it’s festive and it’s glorious. You couldn’t possibly want more.

Falling For Christmas

Falling For Christmas (Netflix)

Please give the warmest of welcomes to Lindsay Lohan, who returns to the screen in this charming film. Lohan plays Sierra Belmont, a wealthy heiress who suffers a serious fall and now can’t remember who she is. A conveniently handsome man takes her in at his erm, inn and she learns about life and how to separate eggs. And yes, love factors into the equation in a very cute, heart-warming way.

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A Christmas Prince

A Christmas Prince (Netflix)

If you excuse the lack of diversity in its casting, this film can be fun to watch. A young journalist falls in love with a handsome prince – hello, teenage fever dream – and trouble ensues. If you’re having a truly slow day, indulge in the entire series, in which you can imagine yourself so lucky.

Jingle Bell Bride

Jingle Bell Bride (Showmax)

You’ll find the lead’s face familiar, and that’s because she played the Mean Girl in Hilary Duff’s A Cinderella Story. But villain no more, she now plays a wedding planner who needs to collect a rare flower before the big day. Of course, there’s no leaving the tiny town she gets stuck in, and of course, what blossoms instead is love. It’s cheesy, sure, but heart-warming and lovely to get stuck into.

Christmas Under Wraps Feel-Good Holiday Films

Christmas Under Wraps (Netflix)

A made-for-TV movie about a successful doctor, Lauren, whose plans for a big-city Christmas are dashed when she is forced to take a job in the small town of Garland. In the small town, Lauren meets a quirky cast of characters, including the mayor, the sheriff, and the local veterinarian. After she is accepted by the townspeople, Lauren discovers the true meaning of the holiday season and learns to appreciate the town’s unique charm. Through her new friendships and experiences, Lauren is able to find a joy that she never expected.

Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You (Amazon Prime)

The queen of Christmas music lent three songs and some narration to this animated film. A young version of Mariah goes to great lengths to finally be gifted a puppy. When her peers invite her to walk with her dog in a charity fashion show, she accepts without owning a pet. Mariah takes a job dog-sitting for her uncle and ends up falling in love with the raucous pup.

A Bad Moms Christmas

A Bad Moms Christmas (Netflix)

Kathryn Hahn! Kristen Bell! Susan Sarandon! If this doesn’t get your juices flowing, we don’t know what will, honestly. Three moms – whose own moms visit for Christmas, revel against their ideals and expectations in this rip-roaring comedy. That’s it. That’s the plot. And we love it.

Best. Christmas. Ever Feel-good holiday films

Best. Christmas. Ever! (Netflix)

Every year, Jackie sends a cocky newsletter to her friend Charlotte. But this year, fate brings them together and hijinks ensue when one tries to prove themselves better than the other. A hilarious comedy and a reminder that you don’t need to go all out to have a great holiday. Plus, who can resist Brandy?

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Category: For All The Feels In The World

The Best Man Holiday feel-good holiday films

The Best Man Holiday (Showmax, Amazon Prime)

A sequel to the 1999 film The Best Man. The film follows the lives of a group of college friends who reunite after 15 years for the Christmas holiday. As they reconnect and rekindle old relationships, they also confront long-held secrets, jealousies, and unresolved issues that threaten to ruin the holiday. 

Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas

Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas
(Disney +)

A short film about a young girl named Abigail who has been struggling with depression and loneliness during the holiday season. After being visited by a mysterious spirit called Ghosting, she discovers that the spirit has the power to bring joy to those around her. As Abigail helps Ghosting, she learns to find joy and hope in the holiday season. Along the way, she also learns the importance of friendship and family. In the end, Abigail finds the courage to face her fears and accept the help of those around her.

The Noel Diary

The Noel Diary, Netflix

The Noel Diary tells the story of a young woman named Noel who, after being abandoned by her father at a young age, embarks on a journey of discovery. Along the way, she connects with family members both living and dead, discovers her own identity, and finds a way to forgive her father. Through her diary entries, Noel learns to trust and love again, ultimately finding the strength to move on and create a new life for herself.

Swan Song

Swan Song (Apple TV)

In the near future, a terminally ill man explores a heart-wrenching, emotionally complex solution to save his wife and son from grief by duplicating himself without them knowing. A tear-jerking film that details the distance love is willing to go. An apt lesson for the holiday season if you ask us!

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Posbus 1

Posbus 1 (Showmax)

A charming film that gives us Scrooge vibes – in the best way. Ben and his wife received hundreds of Christmas wishes from hopeful children across the country. They never opened the letters, as opening one meant opening all. Until now – 30 years later.

Christmas on Mistletoe farm

Christmas On Mistletoe Farm (Netflix)

Christmas on Mistletoe Farm is a holiday story about a family of five who are trying to make the best of Christmas despite their financial struggles. After their father loses his job, the family decides to move to Mistletoe Farm to start a new life. After a rocky start, the family soon learns to appreciate the beauty of the farm and the close-knit community. With the help of their new friends, they make Christmas special with homemade decorations, traditional recipes and a festive atmosphere. In the end, the family learns the true meaning of Christmas: that it is about love, family, and giving.

A Christmas Miracle For Daisy

A Christmas Miracle For Daisy (Netflix, Apple TV)

Interior designer Whitney Adler agrees to work for her ex-boyfriend Cormac, who has adopted his orphaned niece, Daisy. Daisy’s Christmas wish is for Whitney and Cormac to get together so she can have the mother she always wanted.

Love At First Sight feel-good holiday films

Love At First Sight (Netflix)

On their flight from New York to London, Hadley and Oliver fall in love with each other. However, they lose each other at customs and the possibility of ever meeting each other again seems improbable, but destiny may have a way of changing the odds.

The Last Holiday (Amazon Prime)

Georgia Byrd played by Queen Latifah has put her dreams on hold her entire life – until a diagnosis prompts her to live her last days to the fullest and sends her packing on a snowy European holiday. A sad but and necessary reminder to always prioritise the things that matter in life.

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