Home Consumer The most beloved holiday movies to watch this season (Video & Infographic)

The most beloved holiday movies to watch this season (Video & Infographic)


By Joseph Staples // SWNS

Nothing says ‘happy holidays’ like a healthy dose of nostalgia — It’s a Wonderful Life is still the most beloved holiday movie to watch during the holiday season (43%).

A new poll of 2,000 Americans who celebrate winter holidays found the top holiday traditions are watching holiday movies (72%), decorating the tree (66%) and baking cookies (55%).

Among the top-watched movies during the season are A Charlie Brown Christmas (42%), Home Alone (42%), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (35%), The Polar Express (32%), A Christmas Story (31%), and White Christmas (30%).

Faith Based Events

Respondents also shared their favorite movies they consider holiday films, without explicitly being so — Die Hard (25%), Frozen (23%), The Sound of Music (21%), Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (12%), Gremlins (12%), Lethal Weapon (11%) and even Batman Returns (8%).

Respondents also named their favorite holiday character, Kevin McCallister from Home Alone (30%), and on-screen Santa, Tim Allen from The Santa Clause (29%).

Commissioned by global streaming media platform Plex and conducted by OnePoll, the results found 53% say holiday-themed TV episodes and specials are a guilty pleasure they look forward to.

Among those viewed from the comfort of the couch, the top TV favorites are Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (60%), Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (37%), Friends “The One With the Holiday Armadillo” (19%), and South Park “Christmas Snow” (14%).

Four in 10 (39%) binge-watch movies during the holiday season more than any other time of year. Over half (53%) of women surveyed said they go out of their way to make sure they can watch their favorite holiday movies and shows each and every holiday season.

A third of respondents overall (34%) said they would even download and/or subscribe to a new streaming service that has their favorite holiday movie just to scratch their festive watching itch.

Sixty-three percent say the holidays are stressful, but the nostalgia of holiday movies and content is comforting and makes them feel joyful (56%). Over half (52%) believe the holidays would feel “incomplete” if they weren’t able to watch their favorite movies.

“There’s a certain sense of charm in holiday movies — especially the older classics,” said Jason Williams, Product Director at Plex. “Seeing these top choices all grouped together is a reminder of how timeless some of these movies are and how long-lasting their impact is on how we celebrate the holiday season.”

The results also showed that 52% of respondents feel watching holiday movies during the festive season helps them bond with their family.

Over half (58%) are more likely to watch a new movie or show if a friend has recommended it to them and nearly as many (56%) believe movies and shows are a great way to connect with others during the holidays.

In addition to the abundance of holiday-themed content, 29% said they go further to create a cozy ambiance during the holiday season by streaming virtual Yule Logs.

“The nostalgia of holiday movies is part of what makes them so enjoyable,” continued Williams. “Gathering close together on the couch, pouring yourself a mug of hot chocolate and streaming your favorite content can truly bring out the magic of the holidays.”


  • It’s a Wonderful Life – 43%
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas – 42%
  • Home Alone – 42%
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas – 35%
  • The Polar Express – 32%
  • A Christmas Story – 31%
  • White Christmas – 30%
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – 29%
  • The Santa Clause – 27%
  • Elf – 27%


  • Die Hard – 25%
  • Frozen – 23%
  • The Sound of Music – 21%
  • Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone – 12%
  • Gremlins – 12%
  • Lethal Weapon – 11%
  • Batman Returns – 8%

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who celebrate a winter holiday was commissioned by Plex between November 22 and November 29, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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