What are Illinois’ Favorite Christmas Movies?

What are Illinois’ Favorite Christmas Movies?
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

As we approach the holidays, many Illinois residents will kick back, relax, and fire up whatever Christmas film suits their fancy.

Whether it be a timeless classic, like “A Charlie Brown Christmas” or a newer mainstay, such as “The Polar Express,” everyone seems to have a favorite movie come the home stretch of the year.

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Although IllinoisBet.com usually covers Illinois sports betting, this week we decided to get into the holiday spirit. Utilizing Google Trends, we determined the most popular Christmas movies of state residents by looking at search results over the past five Christmases. The movies used in the analysis are the 40 most popular Christmas films over the past year based on global traffic from AhRefs.

In the Land of Lincoln, it seems the overwhelming No. 1 choice takes place in the Windy City itself.

Chris Columbus’ 1990 classic, “Home Alone,” received more than double the number of search results as the next closest flick, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

Clark Griswold and company garnered 18% of all search results over the past five years, finishing ahead of a trio of new-and-old school Christmas favorites.


Favorite Christmas Movies of Illinois Residents

Rank Christmas Movies % of Interest
1Home Alone38%
2National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation18%
3The Polar Express17%
4A Christmas Story14%

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What to Know About Illinois’ Favorite Christmas Films

Macaulay Culkin’s breakout role as Kevin McAllister in the 1990 original film of the “Home Alone” series did more than just torch Joe Pesci’s hairline, as it ran away with the title of No. 1.

If you could bet on such things as favorite Christmas movie, it’s no surprise Home Alone would be a huge favorite on Illinois betting apps given the movie was set in the Chicago suburbs, filmed in the state and had its premiere in Chicago on Nov. 10, 1990.

The next three films on the top-five, in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “The Polar Express,” and “A Christmas Story” brought in a combined search percentage of 49%, showing how dominant the tale of the youngest member of the McAllister family is in Illinois lore.

Rounding out the top 5 were “The Polar Express,” which rode a smashing performance by a CGI Tom Hanks to 17% of all searches in the state, along with “A Christmas Story” (14% of searches), and “Elf” (13% of searches).

Of the five Illinois Christmas classics, only “A Christmas Story” was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, though the other four may wind up there in the future.

As we approach another hectic holiday season, it seems certain a host of Illinois residents will return to that stately mansion in the Chicago suburbs to rewatch McAllister’s series of hijinks in thwarting Pesci and Daniel Stern’s dynamic “Wet Bandits” duo time and time again.



Christopher Boan is a lead writer at IllinoisBet.com specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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