For some, it’s that endless rerun of “A Christmas Story” on TBS; for others it’s the spirited debate of whether “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie or not. While the season is chock full of traditions – from what’s on the dinner table to what’s on the tree – the Christmas movie tradition is something that unites many of us each year.
Whether it’s the black-and-white classics to the more modern entries, however, Americans tend to fall into specific groups based on age when it comes to our favorite Christmas movies. A survey from Christmas Lights Etc. broke down the holiday favorites by age group—those go-to Christmas films watched every year as part of a holiday tradition. So, while “Elf” might be a new tradition for many families, older adults tend to favor the classics. The top three movies for those 65 and over include:
Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye have all the right moves – along with a few romantic mix-ups – as they team up with a sister act to save a failing Vermont inn in this 1954 classic.
Jimmy Stewart had many seminal roles in his career, but his starring turn as George Bailey – a frustrated father and businessman who gets the opportunity to see what the world would be like if he’d never been born – is probably his most beloved.
Forget the remake. It’s the original 1947 classic tale of a Macy’s Santa – and his trial to prove he’s in fact the true Kris Kringle – that makes this touching Christmas story – and the power of a little girl’s belief – a classic in every sense of the word.
A wide variety of Christmas movie traditions
Of course, many holiday classics have become part of annual Christmas traditions, no matter the age. The classic TV special, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” claimed the top spot for all adults in a recent Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter survey. The 1964 special was “most closely linked with tradition among the general population, with 68% of respondents saying that the animated classic is associated with their holiday traditions.”
And don’t forget those long shots that have somehow found their way into our hearts and home each year. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” made the list in the 18-29 age group, and “Die Hard” continues to hold strong, especially among 30 to 44-year-olds. Check out the full breakdown in this chart from the survey: