Survey says that these are the best Christmas movies of all time

5 min readDec 17, 2019


(Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash)

“A Christmas Story” is officially the best holiday movie of all time, according to new research.

The 1983 movie — based on author Jean Shepherd’s work — follows young Ralphie Parker’s Christmas mission to get a Red Ryder BB gun.

The survey of 2,000 Americans found “A Charlie Brown Christmas” secured the runner-up spot with its heartwarming story of America’s favorite blockhead directing the Christmas pageant and his scrappy little tree.

Following behind in third place was the iconic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The 1946 classic starred Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a man who thinks the world would be better off without him … until he meets his guardian angel, Clarence.

Stewart actually made it into the top 10 list twice with “The Shop Around the Corner” sneaking in at number nine.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Tubi, examined Americans’ most beloved Christmas films and jolly pop culture moments.

It also broke down the most memorable moments in Christmas movie history.

The children stepping in to decorate the Christmas tree for Charlie Brown warms hearts every year, so it’s no surprise that came in at the top of the list.

If there is ever an iconic moment from “A Christmas Story,” it has to be when Ralphie’s father wins “a major award” … a sultry leg lamp.

“A Christmas Story” shockingly won a spot on another holiday ranking — third on the best on-screen Santas list, even though the “A Christmas Story” Santa kicks Ralphie down the slide.

Tim Allen as “The Santa Clause” jingle-jangled his way into the number one slot with Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle in “Miracle on 34th Street” in second.

Over half of respondents (54 percent) have a specific movie that will kick their holiday spirit into high gear. Those special movies clearly call for repeat viewing since the average person has seen their favorite Christmas movie 10 times.

The films have the power to bring people together. Fifty-two percent have made it an annual tradition to watch a certain Christmas movie.

Of those that have an annual holiday watch party, snuggling close with loved ones is all a part of the joy. Sixty-seven percent screen the movie with their partner, while 63 percent have made it a tradition with their children and 53 percent like to watch with their parents.

“Christmas movies are a vital cultural touchstone of the holiday season,” said a spokesperson for Tubi. “Things change over the years, but the joy of the holiday season lives on in our traditions and movies.”

Respondents even have the annual Christmas watch party down to the same date. Christmas Eve is a popular night to watch their holiday classic, for the 61 percent who have a movie tradition.

Fifty-four percent can’t wait that long and have their Christmas movie gathering right after Thanksgiving.

To really make the screening extra jolly, there a few must-haves to make the movie-watching experience complete like Christmas cookies (66 percent), hot cocoa (54 percent) and gift-wrapping during the movie (51 percent).

“Movies like ‘A Christmas Story’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ bring audiences back year after year because of their heartwarming story-telling,” added the spokesperson for Tubi. “Part of the fun of the holiday season is embracing the food, family and films.”


  1. Kids decorate the Christmas tree for Charlie Brown (A Charlie Brown Christmas)
  2. The leg lamp, “It’s fra-gee-le!” (A Christmas Story)
  3. “You’ll shoot your eye out!” (A Christmas Story)
  4. Schwartz gets his tongue stuck to the flagpole (A Christmas Story)
  5. Dancing during rehearsal (A Charlie Brown Christmas)
  6. Cindy Lou Who sings “Where Are You Christmas?” (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
  7. “When Christmas Comes to Town” (The Polar Express)
  8. “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!” (Home Alone)
  9. “You’re a mean one, Mister Grinch” (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
  10. George Bailey running home and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas (It’s a Wonderful Life)
  11. Rudolph leads the reindeer (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)
  12. “I’ll be Home for Christmas” (Meet Me in St. Louis)
  13. Jamie Lee Curtis fights for the ham (Christmas With the Kranks)
  14. Buddy experiences New York City for the first time (Elf)
  15. George and Mary fall in the pool at the dance (It’s a Wonderful Life)
  16. Santa fight in the warehouse (Jingle All the Way)
  17. “I’m sorry I jammed 11 cookies into the VCR” (Elf)
  18. Ryan Reynolds gets hit in the face with a hockey puck (Just Friends)
  19. Fireworks set the house on fire (Deck the Halls)
  20. “Yippee-cay-ay” (Die Hard)


  1. The Santa Clause
  2. Miracle on 34th Street
  3. A Christmas Story
  4. Santa Clause is Coming to Town
  5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  6. Arthur Christmas
  7. The Polar Express
  8. Frosty the Snowman
  9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  10. Bad Santa


  1. A Christmas Story
  2. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  3. It’s a Wonderful Life
  4. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
  5. Home Alone
  6. The Polar Express
  7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  8. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
  9. The Shop Around the Corner
  10. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  11. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  12. A Christmas Carol (1938)
  13. A Christmas Carol (2009)
  14. Miracle on 34th Street
  15. A Christmas Carol (1999)
  16. A Christmas Carol (1951)
  17. White Christmas
  18. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1967)
  19. A Christmas Carol (1984)
  20. The Santa Clause
  21. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  22. Frosty the Snowman
  23. Jingle All the Way
  24. Four Christmases
  25. The Muppet Christmas Carol
  26. Christmas With the Kranks
  27. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  28. Eloise at Christmastime
  29. The Christmas Wish
  30. The Holiday
  31. Christmas in Connecticut
  32. Love Actually
  33. Just Friends
  34. The Preacher’s Wife
  35. The Best Man Holiday
  36. Scrooged (1988)
  37. Elf
  38. Arthur Christmas
  39. Bad Santa
  40. Nutcracker
  41. Babes in Toyland (1961)
  42. Holiday Inn
  43. The Bishop’s Wife
  44. Scrooge (1951)
  45. Scrooge (1970)
  46. Scrooge (1984)
  47. The Family Stone
  48. Meet Me in St. Louis
  49. Babes in Toyland (1986)
  50. Babes in Toyland (1934)

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

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