The Engineer’s Room: Christmas Favorites Across the US

By: Richard Kroon, Director of Engineering, EIDR

In years past, we’ve delved into the hotly-contested controversy of exactly what constitutes a “Christmas Movie”:

  • The movie is set during the Christmas holidays, even if that’s not the focus of the story: e.g., The Godfather (1972).
  • The movie is in theatrical released during the “Holiday Season,” which, in the US, runs from late November through early January, e.g., Creed II (2018).
  • The movie has a central Christmas theme, regardless of the time of year it was released, e.g., Miracle on 34th Street (1947), which was released in June.

Equally contentious is identifying the best Christmas movie of all time. A Christmas Story (1983) has torn families with people either loving it or hating it with almost no one inhabiting the neutral ground in between. (A Christmas Story haters should avoid staying at the Bumpus House – the home of Ralphie’s fictional neighbors in A Christmas Story, located next door to the actual house used for exteriors in the movie and now available for overnight stays. Ralphie’s house is a tourist attraction, replete with leg lamp and a museum across the street.)
The folks at Streaming Observer have taken a deeper dive into this holiday entertainment minefield and have determined the most popular Christmas movie in each of the 50 United States using a combination of data sources including Rotten Tomatoes and Google Trends.
Twenty-six unique movies made the list, from A Christmas Carol (1951) to White Christmas (1954) and 1942’s Holiday Inn to 2015’s The Night Before. Within the list, there are some expected entries (1990’s Home Alone is the most popular Christmas movie in Illinois, where most of the action takes place) and some unexpected ones (1945’s Christmas in Connecticut is most popular in Montana – Connecticut’s favorite Christmas movie is 1983’s Trading Places – and 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life did not make the list). Breaking the movies down by decade results in a near-perfect bell curve centering on the 1980s and 1990s with 6 each.


Favorite Christmas Movies by US State

State Favorite Movie Year EIDR ID
Alabama Home Alone 1990 10.5240/0E32-F462-4504-55F0-355B-B
Alaska The Apartment 1960 10.5240/87CC-BB70-F3E8-5E25-80DC-K
Arizona Edward Scissorhands 1990 10.5240/7418-A7AF-2A8A-E1AF-E469-C
Arkansas Gremlins 1984 10.5240/C205-A812-46FC-2B77-BD52-A
California Batman Returns 1992 10.5240/CDA3-6A33-E7D0-ED42-1509-Q
Colorado Gremlins 1984 10.5240/C205-A812-46FC-2B77-BD52-A
Connecticut Trading Places 1983 10.5240/3BF1-5500-DE89-33E8-EE72-S
Delaware A Christmas Story 1983 10.5240/639B-28F7-DE40-F323-66A8-U
Florida Batman Returns 1992 10.5240/CDA3-6A33-E7D0-ED42-1509-Q
Georgia Gremlins 1984 10.5240/C205-A812-46FC-2B77-BD52-A
Hawaii Trading Places 1983 10.5240/3BF1-5500-DE89-33E8-EE72-S
Idaho How the Grinch Stole Christmas 1966 10.5240/C89F-0FF3-A4A5-6EC5-2988-B
Illinois Home Alone 1990 10.5240/0E32-F462-4504-55F0-355B-B
Indiana Home Alone 1990 10.5240/0E32-F462-4504-55F0-355B-B
Iowa Home Alone 1990 10.5240/0E32-F462-4504-55F0-355B-B
Kansas Scrooged 1988 10.5240/BF97-53AC-42CA-2C06-B077-M
Kentucky Elf 2003 10.5240/E330-D7FA-B25E-65E5-665C-Q
Louisiana Batman Returns 1992 10.5240/CDA3-6A33-E7D0-ED42-1509-Q
Maine The Snowman 1982 10.5240/EFAA-75DE-A768-E705-BCA1-7
Maryland Miracle on 34th Street 1947 10.5240/89E2-FF30-502E-AEC3-2A2A-K
Massachusetts Love Actually 2003 10.5240/0A05-C9CF-A7CC-2985-3680-4
Michigan Holiday Inn 1942 10.5240/D11C-FCD8-9E2E-BC4D-05BF-G
Minnesota White Christmas 1954 10.5240/76CC-8329-5AFB-2183-25E5-1
Mississippi The Best Man Holiday 2013 10.5240/54B3-7CC1-AF18-929A-7DDC-J
Missouri Die Hard 1988 10.5240/08B0-F8C2-5525-BF22-BA07-4
Montana Christmas in Connecticut 1945 10.5240/4827-8C57-2312-841B-8DCF-C
Nebraska Bad Santa 2003 10.5240/C733-1656-F5E2-77E1-5738-K
Nevada Edward Scissorhands 1990 10.5240/7418-A7AF-2A8A-E1AF-E469-C
New Hampshire A Christmas Carol 1951 10.5240/E51F-F871-7AAF-2503-C254-8
New Jersey Trading Places 1983 10.5240/3BF1-5500-DE89-33E8-EE72-S
New Mexico The Nightmare Before Christmas 1993 10.5240/7F83-5D50-BC21-D072-CC4C-1
New York The Apartment 1960 10.5240/87CC-BB70-F3E8-5E25-80DC-K
North Carolina Gremlins 1984 10.5240/C205-A812-46FC-2B77-BD52-A
North Dakota Home Alone 1990 10.5240/0E32-F462-4504-55F0-355B-B
Ohio Home Alone 1990 10.5240/0E32-F462-4504-55F0-355B-B
Oklahoma Gremlins 1984 10.5240/C205-A812-46FC-2B77-BD52-A
Oregon Scrooged 1988 10.5240/BF97-53AC-42CA-2C06-B077-M
Pennsylvania Trading Places 1983 10.5240/3BF1-5500-DE89-33E8-EE72-S
Rhode Island The Night Before 2015 10.5240/E7E8-2F28-0AC3-F598-D4A5-A
South Carolina Gremlins 1984 10.5240/C205-A812-46FC-2B77-BD52-A
South Dakota Frosty the Snowman 1969 10.5240/6A39-7364-71B2-F455-41CA-O
Tennessee A Christmas Carol 1951 10.5240/E51F-F871-7AAF-2503-C254-8
Texas Gremlins 1984 10.5240/C205-A812-46FC-2B77-BD52-A
Utah While You Were Sleeping 1995 10.5240/0AC1-B6E9-F14A-C0EB-9986-H
Vermont Joyeux Noel 2005 10.5240/4829-E0F8-780F-40C5-338F-P
Virginia Die Hard 1988 10.5240/08B0-F8C2-5525-BF22-BA07-4
Washington Die Hard 1988 10.5240/08B0-F8C2-5525-BF22-BA07-4
West Virginia The Ref 1994 10.5240/E4BB-343B-1686-7754-AD37-Z
Wisconsin Die Hard 1988 10.5240/08B0-F8C2-5525-BF22-BA07-4
Wyoming Scrooged 1988 10.5240/BF97-53AC-42CA-2C06-B077-M