1. Elf . Will Ferrell is at his best in this laugh-out-loud family flick. Buddy the Elf finds out he is actually a human and goes to New York to find his long-lost father. While there, he trashes his dad’s Upper-East-Side apartment, spreads Christmas cheer among cynics and falls in love with Jovi (Zooey Deschanel), Santa’s elf at the mall. They eventually get together and split time between New York and the North Pole. The message: Love can transcend all barriers.
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2. It’s a Wonderful Life. In this heartwarming story, George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) is in dire straits, feeling he is worth more dead than alive. George’s guardian angel shows him what the lives of his loved ones would be like without him in it. In this alternate reality, George’s brother is dead, Uncle Billy is in an insane asylum, his friend is an exotic dancer and his wife is a librarian spinster. George realizes that he has the relationships that make a wonderful life. The message: Love is the main ingredient of happiness.
3. Love Actually. Ten love stories tell a number of tales. My favorite is that of Jamie and Aurélia. Jamie (Colin Firth), a British writer, is crushed when his girlfriend sleeps with his brother. He retires to his French cottage, where he meets housekeeper Aurélia (Lúcia Moniz). They are instantly attracted to one another, but Aurélia speaks only Portuguese. When Jamie returns to England, he realizes he is in love with Aurélia—so he learns Portuguese to propose to her. When they meet, Jamie learns that Aurélia has been learning English to communicate with him. Sigh. The message: Love means learning to speak your lover’s language.
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If you’re in a romantic relationship, grab some hot chocolate and curl up with your partner to watch these must-see holiday flicks. And remember: Love transcends barriers, brings happiness and inspires us to communicate better with our partners.