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Your State's Favorite Christmas Movie of 2022

With Christmas right around the corner, it's beginning to feel like the most wonderful time of the year. The winter mornings are bright and crisp, Christmas music fills the air, and decorated trees are everywhere you turn.

On top of all the other holiday cheer, there are so many festive films that people (including the team at BeautyAnswered!) wait all year long to watch during Christmas Time. But which Christmas movies are the best of the best? Find out which Christmas movie each state loves most in our map below!


Interesting Facts & Findings

  • “Elf” and “The Polar Express” topped the charts as the nation’s favorite Christmas movies, each being the favorite in 10 states
  • Peter Billingsley, who plays Ralphie in "A Christmas Story," makes a cameo in "Elf"
  • Though it is often considered to be a classic story and one of the most notable of the last century, “A Christmas Carol” wasn’t named the favorite Christmas movie in a single state
  • Years before Will Ferrell became an actor, he was hired to be a mall Santa
  • “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Love Actually” were the favorite in only one state each, making them the least-popular Christmas films out of those we analyzed
  • "White Christmas" made history as the first film released in Paramount's new widescreen format, VistaVision.

The Nation's Favorite Christmas Movies

Everyone loves a good Christmas movie! But which films are people watching? That's when things get a little more complicated. Whether it's "Home Alone" or "Love Actually," everyone has a soft spot for specific Christmas classics.

The Polar Express

"The Polar Express" was a book before it became one of the world's most famous Christmas movies. The award-winning picture book was created by the same author and illustrator of "Jumanji," which also spawned multiple film adaptations. After reading this picture book to his kids year after year, Tom Hanks was inspired to adapt this household staple for the big screen. When asked why he decided to purchase the film rights, Hanks expressed his love for the story and the illustrations, describing it as an "elegant, simple, but complicated, sophisticated story about what Christmas means to each and every one of us."

The movie was released in 2004 and made history by becoming the first feature-length movie to use performance capture for all its characters. Hanks ended up voicing multiple characters in the film, including Hero Boy, his father, Santa Claus, and the narrator. Hero boy is also voiced by two other actors, including "The Hunger Games" actor Josh Hutcherson. The film creator, Zemeckis, includes many Easter eggs from his life throughout the movie, including the address of his childhood home. 

Elf

Whether you are an adult or a young child, "Elf" is a modern holiday classic beloved by many. While the 2003 film is best known for Will Ferrell's iconic comedic performance, Buddy was almost played by a different actor: Jim Carrey. While the screenwriter had Carrey in mind when writing the script, Ferrell ultimately snatched up the titular role. The actor's delivery of the character was so laugh-out-loud hilarious that Ferrell even managed to make "The Godfather" star James Caan break on occasion. 

Even though "Elf" is famously set in New York City, the majority of the film was shot in Vancouver. That said, Favreau did try to shoot on location whenever possible, which included scenes shot at Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and Central Park West. Interestingly enough, some of the sets were also built in an abandoned mental hospital, a facility that hosted other film and television productions, including "Jennifer's Body" and "Final Destination 2."

Even though there have been many requests for an "Elf 2," Ferrell has refused to reprise this famous role. "I just think it would look slightly pathetic if I tried to squeeze back in the elf tights: Buddy the middle-aged elf," the actor joked to USA Today. Not even an offer of $29 million was enough to sway Ferrell. Maybe one day!

The Santa Clause

Directed by John Pasquin, "The Santa Clause" has been a massive holiday hit since it premiered in 1994. In the decades since its release, it has transformed from being a Disney comedy to a Christmas classic. Similar to "Elf," the creators behind "The Santa Clause" had a slightly different vision for the film from the get-go. For one, the original script was much darker than the final film turned out to be. In the actual movie, Santa dies because he slips and falls off Scott Calvin's roof after Scott startles him. But in earlier drafts, Santa falls off the roof because Scott shoots him with a shotgun. 

The role of Scott Calvin/Santa Claus was originally written for Bill Murray but eventually went to Tim Allen. Allen scored two MTV Movie Award nods for his role, including nominations for Best Breakthrough Performance and Best Comedic Performance. The success behind "The Santa Claus" ultimately led to two sequels, "The Santa Claus 2" and "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause," which premiered in 2002 and 2006, respectively.

The Holiday

If you are a fan of romantic comedies, then you most likely hold a special place in your heart for "The Holiday." Directed and written by Nancy Meyers, the same creator behind "The Parent Trap," Meyers knew that she wanted to cast Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, and Jack Black in the 2006 film after she finished writing the script. Meyers fell in love with Black's character after seeing his performance in "School of Rock." While Black was hesitant about being in a romantic comedy, he was sold on the part when he knew his on-screen love interest would be Winslet. When the "Titanic" star spoke about acting beside Black she said, "Trust me, it was not difficult to fall in love with Jack Black. At all."

Due to her connections in Hollywood, Meyers convinced many people to make cameos in "The Holiday," including Dustin Hoffman. Originally, Hoffman was never supposed to make a cameo in the Blockbuster scene, but he was coincidentally having lunch near the film shop's set and stopped by when he saw the cameras. On the spot, Meyers asked if he wanted to make a small appearance, and he said yes. 

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White Christmas

Even though "White Christmas" might not have been a huge box office hit, it is still one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time. The 1964 musical film features a star-studded cast including Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, and Dean Jagger, and is one of the reasons that the song "White Christmas" is still so popular to this day. Funnily enough, this movie was inspired by the song, not the other way around. Irving Berlin composed the song in 1940, a decade earlier, and the next year, Crosby sang it on his Christmas radio show. 

The song made its first film appearance in "Holiday Inn" starring Crosby and Fred Astaire, which helped the record earn the Oscar for Best Song in 1943. The Vermont inn in "White Christmas" is actually the same establishment as the "Holiday Inn." Hollywood wanted to capitalize on the song's enduring popularity, particularly during World War II, which ultimately caused the movie to take shape. When the movie was released in 1954, it ended up being the biggest film of the year, raking in $12 million at the box office.

Methodology

We analyzed organic search trends in each state surrounding popular Christmas movies to find out which is the favorite in every state. For states that had a tie between two or more Christmas movies, we used the one with the highest search volume according to Ahrefs.



State

Favorite Christmas Movie

Alabama

The Polar Express

Alaska

Miracle on 34th Street

Arizona

The Polar Express

Arkansas

The Santa Clause

California

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Colorado

Elf

Connecticut

The Polar Express

Delaware

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

District of Columbia

Love Actually

Florida

The Holiday

Georgia

The Polar Express

Hawaii

The Holiday

Idaho

White Christmas

Illinois

Home Alone

Indiana

The Santa Clause

Iowa

Elf

Kansas

The Santa Clause

Kentucky

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Louisiana

The Polar Express

Maine

The Holiday

Maryland

It's a Wonderful Life

Massachusetts

Elf

Michigan

Elf

Minnesota

Elf

Mississippi

The Polar Express

Missouri

The Polar Express

Montana

The Holiday

Nebraska

Elf

Nevada

The Nightmare Before Christmas

New Hampshire

It's a Wonderful Life

New Jersey

It's a Wonderful Life

New Mexico

The Nightmare Before Christmas

New York

Home Alone

North Carolina

The Polar Express

North Dakota

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Ohio

Elf

Oklahoma

The Polar Express

Oregon

White Christmas

Pennsylvania

White Christmas

Rhode Island

Elf

South Carolina

The Polar Express

South Dakota

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Texas

The Santa Clause

Tennessee

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Utah

Elf

Vermont

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Virginia

The Holiday

Washington

White Christmas

West Virginia

The Santa Clause

Wisconsin

White Christmas

Wyoming

Elf

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