In one of our most popular reader polls, last year wresting the favorite holiday movie title away from It’s a Wonderful Life, and pushing aside Christmas Vacation – was A Christmas Story. This year we have a different reader favorite.
We’ve seen some shifts over the years in this poll. In 2016 it was It’s a Wonderful Life, Christmas Vacation and Elf, and in 2015, It was Miracle on 34th Street (traditional, with Natalie Wood), followed by It’s a Wonderful Life and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (with Yukon Cornelius, Hermey the elf who wanted to be a dentist, and… brrrr… the abominable!).
Before we get to favorites, we also asked readers which of the holiday movies on our list they had already seen this year. And yes, quite a few had already seen – quite a few.
There were only a few “sightings” of: Emmett Otter's JugBand Christmas (Muppets), The Christmas Shoes, The Toy That Saved Christmas, A Christmas Carol (Mr. Magoo version), A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott version), Three Godfathers, In the Good Old Summertime/The Shop Around the Corner, Band of Brothers, Four Christmas, Dan in Real Life, The Family Stone, The Bishop's Wife, and Fred Claus.
There had been somewhat more viewings of Jack Frost, Meet Me in St. Louis, Shrek the Halls, Christmas in Connecticut, Muppet's Christmas Carol, A Christmas Carol (Alistair Sim version), A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart version), and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
There had been more viewings of The Year Without a Santa Claus (8%), The Holiday (8%), Holiday Inn (9%), Jingle All the Way (10%), Bad Santa (11%), White Christmas (11%), The Santa Clause (12%), Scrooged (13%), Dodgeball (13%),
About 14% had seen Scrooged, Miracle on 34th Street (traditional, with Natalie Wood) (15%), 16% for It's a Wonderful Life, nearly 18% had seen The Polar Express, and 21% had already seen Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Die Hard, which is often overlooked in holiday movie had made it to the watch list for 22%, same as for the Jim Carrey version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Frost the Snowman had been seen by 23%, A Charlie Brown Christmas by 24%, as was Love, Actually.
More than one-in-four (27%) had seen A Christmas Story, 29% Home Alone, and 32% had seen Christmas Vacation, 37% had seen How the Grinch Stole Christmas (cartoon), and the most viewed - more than 4 in 10 had seen.… Elf.
Oh – and about one in eight – hadn’t seen any.
So – what about favorite holiday films? First let’s deal with a new reader-suggested category – favorite holiday songs. The top 10?
#1 - O Holy Night
#2 - The Little Drummer Boy
#3 - Silent Night
#4 - O Come All Ye Faithful
#5 - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
#6 - White Christmas
#7 - I'll Be Home For Christmas
#8 - You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
#9 - The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
#10 - Sleigh Ride
What about the favorite movies? Well, among the options that got some (but not much) notice were; Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Miracle on 34th Street (traditional, with Natalie Wood), Home Alone, A Christmas Carol (Alistair Sim version), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (cartoon), Holiday Inn, Scrooged, The Year Without a Santa Claus, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Family Stone, Christmas in Connecticut, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey version). Oh, and there were write-ins for The Bishop’s Wife (with Cary Grant), something called “Prep and Landing” and that new holiday classic, “Krampus.”
Oh, as for the top of the favorites list, #9 was White Christmas, #8 was Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and #7 was The Polar Express.
However, tumbling to #6 (from #1 a year ago) was A Christmas Story, while leaping to #5 was Die Hard. Love, Actually was at #4, and most-viewed Elf came in as #3.
It’s a Wonderful Life, which was #2 last year, held that position again – but this year’s top voted reader favorite holiday move marked a comeback for the Griswolds… Christmas Vacation!
We got a number of reader comments to go with those favorites – here’s a sampling:
“It was most endearing to have my 13 year old let me know he chooses to believe in Santa. I find it is both funny and disturbing that my 9 year old is afraid of the Elf on the Shelf. (Which has everything to do with the strategic placements by the 13 year old...).”
“At my prior job, December was so hectic that Christmas music actually stressed me out. I'm thankful that is no longer the case.”
“Nothing like seeing the Bing Crosby White Christmas remastered and shown in a movie theater.”
“Don't know if my movie selection actually qualifies as a movie, but the Heat/Snow Miser bit is funny every single time!”
“Saying Merry Christmas, watching Die Hard, and listening to Baby it's Cold Outside... ’Tis the season to make people mad.”
“How come Santa Clause is Coming to Town (the movie) was not an option? Kris Kringle overcomes the Burgermeister Meisterburger, although I never did understand the penguin...”
“In our house The Polar Express is Christmas Eve and It’s a Wonderful Life is on Christmas.”
“I'm prepared early this year, except for the holiday movies. Merry Christmas!”
“LEAST favorite song – All I want for Christmas is You (When forced to listen, I like to yell out Shoes to drown out You – what, I love shoes! Though my kids sing “poo”...) Heard it on the radio and too lazy to change the station the other day. The announcer said it was the most played Christmas song ever. And I said out loud to the radio, ‘But we could change that! Just stop playing it!’”
“If only the feeling this time of year could last the whole year through, that would be terrific!”
Wouldn’t it though? Have a great holiday weekend, folks! Thanks to everyone who participated in this week’s NAPA Net Reader Poll – and who have done so throughout 2018!