What Are Missouri's Favorite Christmas Movies?

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

With Christmas just weeks away, perhaps you’re looking for a reason to put off all that shopping you’ve got to get done. May we recommend a good holiday movie?

From time to time here at BetMissouri.com, we take a break from offering you the best Missouri sports betting updates to weigh in on arts and culture-related topics that may be of interest to Missouri residents. So now that it’s Christmas, we decided to find the state’s five favorite Christmas films.

First, we used AhRefs, a web analytics platform, to find the 40 most popular Christmas movies from around the world over the past year. Then we took to Google Trends to locate the five most searched-for titles over the past three Christmases in Missouri. Check out the top five below.

Favorite Christmas Movies for Missouri

RankChristmas MoviesInterest Over Time
1Home Alone10
2How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)9
T-3The Polar Express7
T-3National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation7


Home Alone Continues to Delight Missouri

It’s been over three decades since “Home Alone” was released in theatres, but clearly, Missouri residences haven’t forgotten Kevin McCallister.

Missouri readers have likely seen the movie a dozen times, and already know all about John Williams’ iconic Oscar-nominated score and the Rube Goldberg-esque booby traps laid by Kevin McCallister as he protects his house for a pair of dimwitted home invaders — but maybe you’re unaware of a major controversy surrounding the film. 

The year prior to “Home Alone,” a French film called “3615 Peré Noël” — or “Deadly Games,” as it is more commonly known today — appeared in theatres in Europe. That movie is also about a young boy who must fight off theft on Christmas Eve. In fact, the similarities are so blatant that the French filmmaking team threatened to sue. The lawsuit never went anywhere, but if you’re looking for an alternative to “Home Alone” this Christmas, “Deadly Games” was recently restored and re-released and is widely available on streaming.

The Grinch Steals Second Place

“How The Grinch Stole Christmas” rates out as the second favorite Christmas movie in Missouri.

In addition to being a canonical holiday film, it is also an incredible testament to the power of practical filmmaking — especially as it was released in 2000, just as films like “The Matrix” were re-defining special effects through the magic of CGI. 

Deservedly, the film’s art department scored a number of Oscar nominations for their work re-creating the fantastical world of Dr. Seuss’ Whoville; including, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, and Best Makeup. The team even won for the latter. This must have delighted lead actor Jim Carrey, who alleges he consulted with an expert in torture from the CIA to prepare for the marathon make-up sessions he had to endure to become The Grinch.

Other Top Christmas Movies in Missouri

In contrast to “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” the next film on our list, “The Polar Express,” was rendered entirely with CGI. The popular 2004 computer-animated tale about a group of kids on a train ride to the North Pole finds itself tied with “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” as the third most popular Christmas movie in Missouri.

For its part, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” which was released in 1989, shares a screenwriter with the number one film, “Home Alone.” That would be John Hughes, who by the late '80s was done with teenagers (Hughes is famously responsible for “The Breakfast Club” amongst other teen movies from that period) and had moved on to scripting films for the whole family. In addition to the two Christmas movies on our list, John Hughes can also be thanked for writing the classic films “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” and “Uncle Buck.” 

Finally, the fifth most popular Christmas movie in Missouri is “Elf,” starring Will Ferrell as a human mistakenly raised as one of Santa’s elves. Debuting in 2003, the film turns twenty years old this year.

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Jeff Parker is an entertainment writer for BetMissouri.com. A writer for film, television and the internet, Jeff is a life long movie buff, with a Masters Degree in Popular Culture. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he works full time as documentary filmmaker and producer.

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