Each State’s Favorite Christmas Movie... and Should ‘Die Hard’ be Included?

By David Cusick
Couple in love at Christmas eve enjoy with popcorn while watching tv

When you think about your favorite Christmas movie what comes to mind? “A Christmas Story” or “Elf?” Whatever it may be, we all have our holiday favorite. Whether you start watching as soon as the calendar hits November or if you wait until after Thanksgiving, Christmas movies are a wonderful way to get in the holiday spirit.

Usually we stick to our mission of helping homeowners save time with in-depth reviews on things like the best home warranty companies, but with the spirit of the holidays in mind, we decided to do a deep dive into Christmas movies to find out what is the most popular Christmas movie in every state. To do this, we surveyed over 4,500 Americans asking them their favorite Christmas movie. Additionally, we asked the debate-sparking question, “Is ‘Die Hard’ a Christmas movie?”

Keep reading to see the results for your state.

When looking at the top choice in each state, it was a little surprising to see that the good folks of Indiana chose “Elf” over “A Christmas Story,” given that “A Christmas Story” takes place in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana.

It doesn’t seem that “A Christmas Story” is lacking in its number of fans though, because it is the most popular Christmas movie in America with 24 states choosing the movie as their favorite. 

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Not falling too far behind “A Christmas Story” was “Elf” with 11 states. The Christmas spirit of Buddy the Elf is hard to resist — and a great lesson everyone can learn from that movie? The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!  

Another Christmas classic on the list is “Home Alone” winning the favorite movie in four states, followed by “It’s a Wonderful Life” in three states. “Die Hard” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” tied with two each.

While “A Christmas Story” dominated by count of state, the results were much closer when looking at overall percentage. “Elf” was just 1.6 points behind and “Home Alone” was less than four percent from the top spot, despite only winning four states.

If cartoons are more your thing, you aren’t alone. 4.1% of respondents chose “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” as their favorite Christmas movie. And if you like a little romance in films like “Love Actually,” 2% of respondents are hopeless romantics as well. 

Note that the “Other” category is the compilation of all movies that did not receive >1%.

Now we will answer the question you have all been wondering… is “Die Hard” a Christmas movie? We asked America and it turns out that the majority of Americans say it is not and should not be considered a Christmas movie. However, the results vary significantly by state with some below a 20% “yes” rate and others with a 65% rate. The great debate will surely continue.

Whether you’re dreaming of a white Christmas or waiting for Santa to stop by, there’s nothing like a good Christmas movie. So pull out the matching Christmas jammies, bake your favorite Christmas cookies, turn on the fireplace, and start binging your favorites. Happy Holidays!


We surveyed 4,580 Americans in mid-November, 2019, asking them to select their favorite Christmas movie from the Rotten Tomatoes’ List of Top 50 Christmas Movies. The survey respondents were not limited to specific demographics. We estimate the margin of error at 1%. 

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