When it comes to Christmas movies, they usually fall into one of two categories: the family-friendly Christmas movie or the romantic comedy movie. While both have their own unique qualities, there are a handful of tropes that arise in both of these two categories. The most popular being a big romantic gesture of some kind.
What makes romantic gestures in Christmas movies so great is that they’re all unique. From showing love through grand speeches to using actual Santa magic, the possibilities are endless when it comes to Christmas movies. Even those who are anti-romantic gestures can find one in a Christmas movie that’ll make them swoon.
A Christmas Prince (2017) – Richard’s Proposal To Amber
Netflix’s A Christmas Prince was the first in the Christmas-themed trilogy. The movie follows Amber, a rising journalist, who is sent to Aldovia to write a story about Prince Richard, the playboy prince who is allegedly going to abdicate the throne after his father’s death.
Amber and Richard face hurdles at every turn but that doesn’t stop Richard from pulling off one of the greatest romantic gestures of all: a proposal. Realizing Amber is the only one for him, he flies to her hometown to propose in front of her dad’s diner. As if flying across the country wasn’t enough, his proposal speech will definitely have everyone swooning.
Elf (2003) – Buddy And Jovi’s First Date
Elf isn’t really thought of as a romantic Christmas movie but there’s definitely romance hiding out in the iconic 2000’s Christmas movie. And while first dates usually aren’t ripe for romantic gestures, Buddy’s first date with Jovi is.
Buddy pulls out all the stops taking Jovi to see all the sights that have thrilled him which is adorable since he wants to share his happiness with her. In return, Jovi pulls off a romantic gesture of her own by taking Buddy to see the iconic Rockefeller Christmas tree. What’s not to love about a double romantic gesture?
Four Christmases (2008) – Brad’s Marriage Realization
Four Christmases is a largely underrated Christmas movie that is more timely than ever with the rise of divorce rates. The movie centers on Brad and Kate whose holidays plans fall apart forcing them to shuttle between both of their divorced parents’ households for Christmas.
The high-stress stakes of family Christmases cause Brad and Kate to argue quite a bit but all is forgiven when Brad realizes that he does want a family of kids if it means he gets to do it all with Kate. He makes the grand gesture at her parent’s house after racing over there to admit his mistakes.
Holidate (2020) – Sloane Professing Her Love For Jackson
In 2020 Netflix kicked off the holiday season with the release of Holidate. The movie follows perpetually single Sloane and bit of a playboy Jackson as they decide to become each other’s platonic”holidates” so neither has to spend the holidays alone for an entire year.
While grand gestures tend to be reserved for the male love interest, Holidate subverted that idea by making Sloane the one to grand gesture in public which is what makes it so great. After spotting Jackson in the mall, she crashes a choir performance and gives him an epic and swoon-worthy speech about how much she loves him.
Holiday In Handcuffs (2007) – David Buying Trudie’s Art Piece
When it comes to TV Christmas movies Holiday In Handcuffs is as underrated as they come because it aired on the former ABC Family network. After being dumped by her boyfriend, Trudie decides to kidnap a cute diner patron and have him pretend to be her boyfriend so she won’t disappoint her parents.
While the premise might not be totally romantic, there are tons of romantic moments in it including one great grand gesture, that’s a bit of a two for one. After David makes Trudie ice skate for him, she uses it as inspiration for an art piece. At the end of the movie, David surprised Trudie by buying the piece for his new art study. Nothing says love like supporting each other’s wild dreams.
Last Christmas (2019) – Tom Telling Kate His Heart Belongs To Her
Inspired by the song of the same name, Last Christmas centers on Kate, a struggling young woman whose life takes a turn for the better after she gets a heart transplant and meets the man of her dreams. Of course, not everything is as it seems and Last Christmas pulls off one of the best plot twists of all time.
Last Christmas also has tons of sweet moments including a swoon-worthy romantic gesture that sees Kate and Tom reconnect after the truth of their relationship is revealed. While sitting on their special bench, Tom tells Kate that his heart will always belong to her, no matter what, but that she has to protect it. It’s heartbreaking and adorable all at the same time given their circumstances.
Love Actually (2003) – Jamie’s Proposal To Aurélia
While Love Actually has plenty of romantic gestures, including one that hasn’t aged as well as the others. Most fans of the iconic Christmas rom-com can agree that Jamie’s romantic gesture towards the end of the movie is the real winner.
Jamie and Aurélia fell in love despite the language barrier between them, but it’s the fact that they both tried to learn each other’s languages that makes things so great. In a crowded airport, Jamie begins shouting his proposal in broken Portuguese to Aurélia, and everyone can’t help but cheer them on.
Love The Coopers (2015) – Eleanor Chasing Joe Through The Hospital
Love the Coopers is an underrated dysfunctional family Christmas movie that has an amazing cast. While there are tons of love stories going on, the one that has the best romantic gesture is Eleanor and Joe’s, two strangers who met at the airport.
Though their relationship originally starts out as a blatant lie so Eleanor doesn’t have to tell her parents who she’s really dating. They end up falling for each other which leaves Eleanor racing through a crowded hospital on Christmas Eve to stop Joe from leaving her. Nothing says romantic gesture like a chase scene.
Single All The Way (2021) – Nick Buying Peter A Store For His Plants
Single All The Way is Netflix’s first gay Christmas movie and it did not disappoint. The movie centers on Peter who has brought his best friend Nick home for the holidays with him. After his plans to fake date Nick falls through, Peter ends up dating the only other gay man in town while Peter’s family rallies around Nick to get him to profess his love to Peter.
In the end, true love wins and Nick buys an entire storefront to show Peter just how in love with him he is. The two share a passionate kiss in what will soon be Peter’s dream plant store.
The Santa Clause 2 (2002) – Scott And Carol’s Sleigh Ride
While Disney’s The Santa Clause franchise isn’t thought of as the most romantic, the second movie in the series is a bit of a rom-com. After Scott learns he must get married to remain Santa, he ends up falling for Charlie’s principal Carol and spends the entire movie trying to woo her.
It’s a little easier to pull off romantic gestures with magic which is why Scott and Carol’s sleigh ride is so epic. Not only are they being pulled by a reindeer but Scott makes it snow on just them making the whole experience Christmas card worthy.
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