12/21: “A Christmas Story” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” Top List of Favorite Holiday Films

December 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Entertainment, Entertainment Center, Featured, Living

It’s becoming a holiday tradition of its very own.  Once again, A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life battle it out as Americans’ favorite holiday movie.  But, could little Ralphie be on his way to outdistancing himself from Capra’s classic?

Click Here for Complete USA Marist Poll Release and Tables

According to this Marist Poll, 26% of adults nationally cite A Christmas Story as their favorite holiday movie.  It’s a Wonderful Life is preferred by 24%.  Miracle on 34th Street warms the hearts of 16% while 13% enjoy watching Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney croon in White Christmas.  An additional 13% say A Christmas Carol is their favorite holiday flick, and 9% are unsure.

When Marist last asked this question in 2010, 24% of U.S. residents said It’s a Wonderful Life was their choice for classic holiday movie compared with 23% for A Christmas StoryMiracle on 34th Street received 22% while 13% said A Christmas Carol was their holiday staple.  12% most enjoyed White Christmas, and 5% were unsure.

There is an age gap.  Nearly four in ten adults under 45 years old — 39% — currently prefer A Christmas Story while 31% of Americans 45 and older say It’s a Wonderful Life is their favorite holiday film.

While 29% of men choose A Christmas Story, there is less of a consensus among women.  24% of women most fondly think of It’s a Wonderful Life compared with 22% who feel the same about A Christmas Story.

Table: Favorite Holiday Movie

Table: Favorite Holiday Movie (Over Time)








Two Holiday Classics Tie for Favorite Animated Holiday Flick

Despite a new addition to the list, two traditional movies take top honors as Americans’ favorite animated holiday movie.  Once again, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer – 24% — and A Charlie Brown Christmas — 24% — tie for first place.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas – 19% — retains third place while a new addition this year, The Polar Express, follows with 11%.  Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town is the favorite animated holiday movie of 8% compared with Frosty the Snowman which is the pick of 6% of adults nationally.  Seven percent are unsure.

When Marist last reported this question in December of 2010, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer – 26% — and A Charlie Brown Christmas – 26% — also vied for holiday ‘toon supremacy.  One in four adults — 25% — chose How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Frosty the Snowman was picked by 9% while Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town sledded into the hearts of 8%.  Five percent were unsure.

While more than four in ten residents under the age of 30 — 42% — view How the Grinch Stole Christmas as their favorite animated holiday movie, there is little agreement among the older generations.  Among those 30 to 44, A Charlie Brown Christmas — 27% — and Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer — 25% — are the top selections.  However, Rudolph — 28% — dashes to the head of the pack among those 45 to 59.  A Charlie Brown Christmas — 27% — kicks a holiday field goal with those 60 and older.

Table: Favorite Animated Holiday Movie

Table: Favorite Animated Holiday Movie (Over Time)

How the Survey was Conducted

Nature of the Sample



3 Responses to “12/21: “A Christmas Story” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” Top List of Favorite Holiday Films”

  1. ROSALIE JONAS on December 22nd, 2012 8:22 am


  2. Denise on June 12th, 2013 5:34 pm

    Christmas story is really one of my most loved films.. I cant believe these guys fordt to put it on this list of the top 100 movies of all time! http://www.lifed.com/top-100-best-movies-of-all-time What do you think? I think it should be there.


  3. Brian on November 22nd, 2013 10:07 am

    It’s a Wonderful Life is a fantastic film and one of the few good excuses for a grown man caught crying.

    Have to say the US have missed out on an animated classic from the UK – The Snowman.

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