12/21: No Consensus on Favorite Holiday Film

There’s a battle going on this holiday season – the battle for favorite holiday film.  Among Americans, It’s a Wonderful Life is preferred by 24% while Ralphie’s quest for his dream Christmas gift in A Christmas Story receives 23%, and the heartwarming Miracle on 34th Street takes top honors from 22%.  A Christmas Carol is the favorite of 13%, and White Christmas dances into the hearts of 12%.  Five percent are unsure.



In Marist’s 2009 holiday survey, It’s a Wonderful Life broke away from the pack.  26% called Capra’s classic their favorite holiday movie followed by 21% who thought the same about A Christmas StoryMiracle on 34th Street received 18% while White Christmas and A Christmas Carol each garnered 14%.  Seven percent were unsure.

Age does play a role here.  Americans 18 to 29 (38%) and those 30 to 44 (33%) rate A Christmas Story as their favorite.  However, It’s a Wonderful Life is the pick of 32% of residents 45 to 59.  Residents 60 and older divide.  24% favor It’s a Wonderful Life.  The same proportion — 24% — hold Miracle on 34th Street dear, and 22% in this age group give their vote to White Christmas.

A Christmas Story takes the top spot in the minds of 26% of men while 26% of women favor It’s a Wonderful Life.

Table: Favorite Holiday Movie

Rudolph and Charlie Brown Tie for Favorite Animated Holiday Movie

For the second year, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas tie for the top spot as Americans’ favorite animated holiday movie.  The film about Santa’s “co-pilot” is favored by 26% of Americans, and the same proportion — 26% — say it wouldn’t be Christmas time without A Charlie Brown ChristmasHow the Grinch Stole Christmas receives 25%.  Frosty the Snowman is the favorite for 9%, and Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town rounds out the list with 8%.  Just 5% are unsure.

What little difference a year makes!  In Marist’s 2009 holiday survey, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas also tied for top honors.  At that time, each received 26%.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas was preferred by 25% while Frosty the Snowman skated into fourth place with 11%.  Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town received 6%, and 6% percent were unsure.

Table: Favorite Animated Holiday Movie

Chill Pill Needed for Nearly Six in Ten

But, does the holiday season conjure warm and fuzzy feelings for Americans, or does stress keep them from enjoying the season?  59% say the holidays are more stressful while 38% consider the festivities more fun.  Only 3% are unsure.

Table: Holiday Season – Fun or Stressful?

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

When it comes to holiday greetings, about six in ten Americans want to throw political correctness out the window.  61% of adults nationally think people should be wished a “Merry Christmas” in December while 35% believe “Happy Holidays” is the appropriate salutation.  Just 5% are unsure.

Table: “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays”

Marist Poll Methodology