We love a Christmas movie or TV holiday special and there’s nothing like curling up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and a snuggly blanket while watching it with the family. As Christmas rolls around again, it’s time to dust off our favourites films and try some of the new releases to get us in the holiday spirit. The feel-good nature of these films and shows and the guaranteed happy ending is one of the things that makes them so special.

Holiday movies and shows often have a moral and show us through the story how to live better and enjoy more happiness all year round. Here are some of the most important life lessons to take away from a few old favourites and some other works that may be less well-known.

1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas:

Sing joyfully

Before he had his change of heart, singing was what the Grinch liked least of all. Surround yourself with the music of the season and enjoy the fun of singing along.

Resist commercial pressures

The Grinch learned that Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Focus on the true meaning of the holidays by sharing time with loved ones and looking for ways to make others happy.

Let your heart grow bigger

Seuss suspected that the Grinch suffered from a heart two sizes too small. As soon as it grew three sizes larger he brought back the toys he stole, put everything right and got to love his new friends in Whoville.

2. It’s a Wonderful Life:

Recognise that one person can make a difference

While the challenges around us can seem overwhelming sometimes, we all create our own environment. George Bailey leads a modest life, but he prevents good old Bedford Falls from turning into a sleazy Pottersville.

Celebrate the potential to create better outcomes

With all the talk about ‘toxic’ people, we may sometimes overlook the fact that we all possess a mix of constructive and destructive qualities. By appealing to the good in people, George helps them to succeed in every walk of life.

Welcome help from others

As powerful as George is, he still needs Clarence, the angel, to help him through a rough night. Regardless of whatever weaknesses you possess, you can still serve as somebody’s angel if you’re willing to reach out.

3. A Christmas Carol:

Teach old dogs new tricks

We may sometimes feel that our habits are too ingrained to change. Scrooge proves that a life of stinginess can give way to one of kindness even late in life.

Pay attention to your dreams

We spend about one-third of our life sleeping. Put that time to good use by listening to what your dreams may be trying to tell you.

Come to terms with your past

Recognize the unhealthy patterns that get between you and greater happiness. Scrooge’s greed cost him his first love. You may need to become more generous to transform your own relationships.

Become more resilient

The Cratchit family remains cheerful despite their poverty. Tiny Tim appreciates his blessings even though he’s poor and crippled. If we bear our hardships with patience, we can protect our peace of mind.

4. Other Holiday Programs and Movies:

Focus on others

Steven Spielberg’s cartoon, ‘Pinky and the Brain,’ is about more than a laboratory mouse trying to take over the world. The friendship between the two mice shines through when Pinky writes to Santa saying it’s okay to forget about him and just give Brain what he wants.

Work for world peace

The true story of the 1914 Christmas truce is captured in “Joyeux Noel.” If German, French and Scottish troops can call a ceasefire on one Christmas Eve, maybe we can all be more peaceful.

Believe in Santa Claus

‘Miracle on 34th Street’ looks like it was ahead of its time in questioning consumerism. It’s also timeless in affirming the importance of faith. Plus, it may offer the best legal argument for believing in Santa Claus.

Many of us look forward to our Christmas tradition of watching our favourite holiday movies and specials each year. It’s a great way to revisit their inspiring messages, share them with our children and enjoy the holiday spirit.