What is your favorite Christmas movie? Just thinking about that question probably brings up fond memories of Christmas. But deciding which Christmas movie truly captures the essence of the holidays is a point of contention across the nation.
There are hundreds of Christmas movies, and at least as many opinions. But we decided to analyze the data to determine what was the most popular Christmas movie in every state.
We started with the Rotten Tomatoes list of the 100 best Christmas movies of all time, then used Moz to filter down to the top 20 by search volume. From there we used Google Trends data to determine which states were searching the most relative to others for certain Christmas films.
- Surprisingly, some non-traditional Christmas movies stole the show. Trading Places was the favorite in six states.
- More traditional favorites like The Polar Express and Love Actually came in next, each with five states voting them as a must-watch during the holidays.
- Utah is the state with the most holiday spirit, with the highest average search volume across all 20 movies compared to other states.
- Some newer movies are becoming a part of Christmas tradition, with the 2019 Netflix animated movie Klaus being the most popular in Colorado and Washington.
Most Popular Christmas Movies
While there were many holiday classics such as Elf, The Polar Express, and Home Alone, that made the list, there were some non-traditional picks too. Whether or not you believe that movies like Die Hard, Edward Scissorhands, or Trading Places should be considered a Christmas movie, there’s no denying from the data that Google searches for these movies spike during November and December each year.
The movies that were favorites in the most states include:
- Trading Places – Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
- The Polar Express – Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina
- The Grinch – Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas, West Virginia
- Love Actually – Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Virginia, District of Columbia
Here is the full list of the top 20 movies by search volume in the U.S.:
- Edward Scissorhands
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Die Hard
- Home Alone
- The Grinch
- Miracle on 34th Street
- Love Actually
- Jack Frost
- It’s a Wonderful Life
- Trading Places
- A Christmas Story
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- The Polar Express
- Frosty the Snowman
- The Santa Clause
- Jingle All the Way
- White Christmas
Which States Have the Most Christmas Spirit?
As measured by how many times a state came up in the top five searchers for the twenty movies in the list, Utah came out on top with a whopping twelve spots in the top five. Not to be left behind, West Virginia came in second as a top five searcher for eleven movies and New Hampshire came in third with seven.
The states with the least Christmas spirit include Hawaii, Florida, Mississippi, New York, and Louisiana. These states were not ranked in the top five searchers for any of the movies on the list.
Most Popular Christmas Movies By State
- Alabama – The Polar Express
- Alaska – Jack Frost
- Arizona – Edward Scissorhands
- Arkansas – The Grinch
- California – Edward Scissorhands
- Colorado – Klaus
- Connecticut – It’s a Wonderful Life
- Delaware – Trading Places
- 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 Vacation
- Kansas – Miracle on 34th Street
- Kentucky – The Grinch
- Louisiana – The Grinch
- Maine – Jingle All the Way
- Maryland – Love Actually
- Massachusetts – Love Actually
- Michigan – Krampus
- Minnesota – Jingle All the Way
- Mississippi – The Polar Express
- Missouri – It’s a Wonderful Life
- Montana – Die Hard
- Nebraska – Elf
- Nevada – Elf
- New Hampshire – It’s a Wonderful Life
- New Jersey – Trading Places
- New Mexico – Edward Scissorhands
- New York – Trading Places
- North Carolina – The Polar Express
- North Dakota – Home Alone
- Ohio – Home Alone
- Oklahoma – The Polar Express
- Oregon – Love Actually
- Pennsylvania – Trading Places
- Rhode Island – Jack Frost
- South Carolina – The Polar Express
- South Dakota – Christmas Vacation
- Tennessee – The Santa Clause
- Texas – The Grinch
- Utah – Elf
- Vermont – Miracle on 34th Street
- Virginia – Love Actually
- Washington – Klaus
- West Virginia – The Grinch
- Wisconsin – It’s a Wonderful Life
- Wyoming – Krampus
We pulled the top 100 Christmas movies as ranked by Rotten Tomatoes, then used Moz to determine the search volume for each of the 100 movies. We then took the top 20 movies by search volume and used Google Trends to pull rankings individually for each movie to determine the relative search volume by state of each movie. The data was pulled between 11/12/2022 and 11/13/2022 using Google trend data over the past twelve months.
To determine the most popular movie for a given state, we looked at where it ranked the highest on Google Trends. If there was a tie, the movie with the highest overall search volume was chosen.
Andrew Herrig is a finance expert and money nerd and the founder of Wealthy Nickel, where he writes about personal finance, side hustles, and entrepreneurship. As an avid real estate investor and owner of multiple businesses, he has a passion for helping others build wealth and shares his own family’s journey on his blog.
Andrew holds a Masters of Science in Economics from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University. He has worked as a financial analyst and accountant in many aspects of the financial world.
Andrew’s expert financial advice has been featured on CNBC, Entrepreneur, Fox News, GOBankingRates, MSN, and more.