Each year when the holidays roll around, families across the country have those Christmas movies they can’t wait to watch. Watching classic holiday movies has become a time honored tradition, and, apparently, each state has their own personal favorite.
Home Alone, Elf, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation take the top spots across large parts of the country, followed by other classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Nightmare Before Christmas. While some of your favorites may not have made the list, it’s still a pretty good representation that can help us understand what our neighbors cherish during the holidays.
“Home Alone” (1990)
District of Columbia
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989)
“It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)
“Miracle on 34th Street” (1947)
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965)
“A Christmas Carol” (1984)
“A Christmas Story” (1983)
“Bad Santa” (2003)
“Christmas in Connecticut” (1945)
Connecticut (No surprise there, huh?)
“Frosty the Snowman” (1969)
“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” (1966)
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964)
“The Santa Clause” (1994)
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000)
“White Christmas” (1954)
As found with most of the entertainment trend data, viewers gravitate toward films that have an element of the familiar.
All across the sunny regions of the South, states prefer Christmas comedies and cartoons. Perhaps the slapstick seasonal fare appeals to those who don’t need nostalgia to keep them warm.
– National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989): Alabama, Tennessee
– Home Alone (1990): Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia
– A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965): South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky
– How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (2000): Mississippi
Way up north in the ice and snow, New Englanders like to warm up with the classics. There’s a marked preference for older festive fare that captures Christmases of long, long ago. Interestingly, science has something to say on the subject. A study in 2012 confirmed that nostalgic feelings actually raise your body temperature and that humans may be hard-wired to rely on comforting memories when they feel physically cold.
– Christmas in Connecticut (1945): Connecticut
– Miracle on 34th Street (1947): Delaware, Alaska, Maryland
– Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1948): Maine
– White Christmas (1954): Vermont
– It’s a Wonderful Life (1946): New York
Along the eastern shores and across the snowy Great Lakes region, two titles in particular dominate the winter wonder landscape — and both celebrate the importance of family and giving as hallmarks of the season. Interestingly, immigrant populations (which tend to have much larger and closer extended families) cluster in these metro areas along the Atlantic seaboard. Another reason for the correlation? Several of the states listed as having these two movies for favorites top the most charitable in the United States.
– Home Alone (1990): D.C., Minnesota
– Elf (2003): Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin
Pockets of the Midwest identify with the hijinks and humor of a local Christmas classic with an All-American family down home in Illinois. Known for traditional values and a reputation for small-town hospitality, folks in the Midwest likely appreciate the difficulties of accommodating unruly out-of-town guests without losing their cool.
– National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989): Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa
And last but not least, along the Pacific and into the desert regions of the West, states favor more unique films like Tim Burton’s stop-motion animation classic Nightmare Before Christmas. Perhaps the warmer temperatures and the lack of snow put a little more spook into the West’s seasonal preferences, or maybe a more open culture and a larger population of minorities leans their holiday viewing toward embracing the weird and different.
What is your favorite Christmas movie? Let us know in the comments section!
Source: The Federalist Papers
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