Christmas holiday movies can make you feel sad! Here’s why

Holiday movies are supposed to get you all prepped up for the upcoming celebrations; but instead you end up feeling lonely and sad, here’s why!
A woman putting on the television.
Holiday movies can sometimes make you feel lonely and sad. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 22 Dec 2023, 11:04 am IST
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The weeks and days in the run-up to Christmas are best spent by movie aficionados by watching Christmas holiday movies. From sweet romance to children’s tales and family dramas – there’s something for everyone. Most of them have some common things: A happy family, sitting together on a dinner table full of delicious Christmas delicacies, laughing, talking, with a beautiful Christmas tree glowing in the background. But have you ever wondered why you don’t feel all warm and cosy after watching such holiday movies? Holiday movies often leave us feeling sad and alone. Come, find out why!

Can watching holiday movies make you sad?

Watching holiday movies can evoke a range of emotions, including nostalgia and joy for some, while for others it may trigger feelings of sadness or loneliness. “Certain films may depict sentimental or poignant moments that resonate with viewers on a personal level, triggering feelings of nostalgia, longing, or reflection. Additionally, holiday movies often explore themes of family dynamics, love, and togetherness, which can evoke a range of emotions, including sadness,” psychiatrist Dr Sanil Sinhasan Health Shots got in touch.

However, it is important to note that individual reactions to movies vary, and some people may find holiday films uplifting and joyous as well.

What is post movie depression syndrome?

Post-movie depression syndrome is not a formally recognised psychological or medical term. However, some people use it colloquially to describe feelings of sadness, emptiness, or dissatisfaction experienced after watching a particularly emotionally charged or impactful movie. “This reaction can occur when individuals become deeply invested in the characters or storyline and find it challenging to transition back to their own reality,” says Dr Sinhasan.

A family enjoying christmas
Holiday movies show perfect family celebrations and can make you compare their situation to yours. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It is important to note that these feelings are usually temporary and not considered a clinical condition. If such emotions persist or significantly impact daily functioning, it may be helpful to discuss them with a mental health professional.

Also Read: New Year: 8 tips to deal with stress and anxiety during the holiday season

Why do people like to watch holiday movies?

Well, if you have been also looking for Christmas movies on OTT platforms, know that you are not alone! “Holiday movies typically have feel-good and uplifting themes. They are supposed to provide a temporary escape from the stress and challenges of everyday life, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in a world of holiday magic and joy,” says Dr Sinhasan. Additionally, holiday movies often highlight the importance of community, connection and togetherness.

But then, why do you feel depressed after watching holiday movies?

Feeling depressed after watching a holiday movie can result from a variety of factors. Some people can even cry after watching holiday movies.

1. Holiday movies portray perfect celebrations

Sometimes, these films portray idealised celebrations that may contrast with one’s own experiences, leading to feelings of inadequacy or loneliness.

2. Makes us compare our personal situations

Holiday movies often emphasise themes of togetherness and familial bonds, which may evoke emotions related to personal relationships or past experiences.

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3. Set unrealistic expectations

Perfect holiday films can sometimes contribute to feelings of loneliness and dissatisfaction by creating unrealistic expectations. When movies depict flawless celebrations and harmonious family gatherings, they may inadvertently set standards that don’t align with the complexities of real-life experiences.

Also Read: Holiday season can be heavy for your heart, reveals study

How to enjoy holiday movies?

Just because the films make you feel sad, don’t stop watching them! “This contrast between cinematic perfection and the inherent imperfections of personal celebrations can lead to a sense of inadequacy or disappointment. It is important to approach holiday films with a realistic perspective and appreciate the uniqueness of individual experiences, fostering a more genuine and fulfilling connection with one’s own holiday celebrations,” explains Dr Sinhasan.

“It is essential to recognise that individual responses to media are subjective, and if these feelings persist, it could be helpful to explore them further with a mental health professional to understand and address any underlying concerns.”

Woman using oven as a kitchen gadget for baking
Baking and prepping up for the holidays can make you feel better. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the other ways to elevate your mood during the holidays?

There are various ways to enjoy yourself as you prep for the holidays. Dr Sinhasan lists out some things that you can do!

1. Connecting with loved ones

This is a crucial aspect of the festive season. Spending quality time with friends and family provides emotional support and a sense of belonging, fostering a deeper connection with those who matter most.

2. Engaging in festive activities

There are many things such as decorating, baking, or attending special events that add a layer of joy to the holiday season.

3. Relax and spend time with yourself

Well, taking time out for yourself is rewarding, especially during the holidays. Take time out for activities that bring relaxation and joy, such as reading a book, enjoying a bath, or practising mindfulness, contributing to overall emotional balance.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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