It’s time to curl up by the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa and of course your favorite Christmas movie. But the decision on which Christmas movie truly captures the essence of the holiday is a point of contention across the country.
Using data from Rotten Tomatoes and Google Trends, Wealthy Nickel analyzed the numbers to determine the most popular Christmas movie in each state. There were plenty of holiday classics on the list, but a few states surprised us with their non-traditional choices. So sit back on your couch amidst the twinkling glow of Christmas lights and find out if your idea of the best time of year in your state involves the North Pole or Nakatomi Plaza.
Top rated Christmas movies by state
Something about Christmas movies really captures the spirit of the season and can evoke a sense of nostalgia that transports viewers back into the Christmas past.
One of these holiday classics is The Polar Express, which ranked #1 in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Carolina. These states love the mystery train going to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Who doesn’t love dancing waiters and chefs serving hot chocolate to all the kids?
Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas and West Virginia loved The Grinch, the story of a cynical grump trying to ruin Christmas for all of Whoville. While there are several theatrical versions of the story, the most popular is the 2018 animated rendition featuring the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch as the Grinch.
With a flair for romance, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Virginia and the District of Columbia chose Love Actually, which follows ten Brits as they lead their love lives as they count down to Christmas. This romantic comedy has become a modern Christmas staple for many.
Other favorite Christmas movies include Home Alone, The Elf and The Wonderful Life.
The Midwest – Illinois, Ohio and North Dakota – support Chicago’s Home Alone, which stars Macaulay Culkin as a resourceful eight-year-old who fends off two hapless robbers from his childhood home. Nebraska, Nevada and Utah gobble up as much sugar as they can as they watch Will Ferrell run around New York City in this endearing tale of Buddy the elf. And Connecticut, Missouri, New Hampshire and Wisconsin stand behind the old but good, It’s a wonderful life.
Some of the newer movies are even starting to make their mark and become part of the Christmas tradition. The 2019 Netflix animated film Klaus is popular in states like Colorado and Washington.
Elf or Edward Scissorhands?
What counts as a Christmas movie? Does anything set for the holiday season fit, or does Santa have to show up? This debate undoubtedly started a lot of arguments at family gatherings. However, the cold, hard facts don’t lie. A study by Wealthy Nickel found that searches surged in December for a handful of movies that don’t usually come to mind as heartwarming Christmas classics.
One of the most surprising Christmas movies, voted a favorite by six states, is Trading Places. Year after year, the 80s comedy draws audiences in Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The film is about an upper-class CFO and a street hustler who change their lifestyle to win a bet. Philadelphia has plenty of opportunities for holiday madness during Christmas, including Dan Akroyd in a Santa suit.
Edward Scissorhands shockingly connects four states – Arizona, California, Florida and New Mexico – and everyone agrees that this film is a must-see during the holidays. While it doesn’t fit the definition of a “cheerful and bright” standard Christmas movie, it takes place around Christmas time and is loved by many.
Perhaps the most famous Christmas movie that is perhaps not a Christmas movie is Die Hard. Both Montana and Idaho rejoice to see John McClane fight to save Christmas from a group of rogue terrorists.
Which states have the most and least holiday spirit?
Utah is ranked as the most festive state, always looking for a dose of festive cheer. Of the twenty films reviewed, Utahns was in the top five of those who searched for twelve of them. West Virginia and New Hampshire ranked second and third as states that can’t say no to a good Christmas movie. West Virginia ranked in the top five search engines for eleven films, and New Hampshire for seven.
The least festive states, at least in terms of Christmas movie searches, were Hawaii, Florida, Mississippi, New York, and Louisiana. While most of these states will never have a white Christmas, New York should be a bit embarrassed to have made it onto this list.
What connects Nevada and Nebraska? Their love for the Elf movie, of course! Here’s the complete list of the most popular Christmas movies in each state.
- Alabama – The Polar Express
- Alaska – Jack Frost
- Arizona – Edward Scissorhands
- California – Edward Scissorhands
- Colorado – Klaus
- Connecticut – It’s a great life
- Delaware – places of exchange
- District of Columbia – Love Actually
- Florida – Edward Scissorhands
- Georgia – Trading places
- Hawaii – Trading Places
- Idaho – Die Hard
- Illinois – home alone
- Indiana – A Christmas Story
- Iowa – Christmas
- Kansas – Miracle on 34th Street
- Louisiana – The Grinch
- Maine – Jingle all the way
- Maryland – That’s Love
- Massachusetts – Just love
- Minnesota – Jingle all the way
- Mississippi – The Polar Express
- Missouri – It’s a great life
- Montana – Die Hard
- Nebraska – elf
- Nevada – elf
- New Hampshire – It’s a wonderful life
- New Jersey Exchange Seats
- New Mexico – Edward Scissorhands
- New York – Trading Places
- North Carolina – Polar Express
- North Dakota – home alone
- Ohio – home alone
- Oklahoma – Polar Express
- Oregon – That’s Love
- Pennsylvania – places of exchange
- Rhode Island – Jack Frost
- South Carolina – Polar Express
- South Dakota – Christmas
- Tennessee – Santa Claus
- Texas – The Grinch
- Utah – elf
- Vermont – Miracle on 34th Street
- Virginia – Actually love
- Washington – Klaus
- West Virginia – The Grinch
- Wisconsin – It’s a great life
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This article was produced and shared by Wealth of Geeks.