It’s December, so you know what that means! Holiday carols are hitting the radio airwaves, there’s not a single spot left in the mall parking lot, and it’s time to dig out that ugly Christmas sweater from the bottom drawer for the office party. But amongst the busyness of the season, make sure you find some time to relax too. Perhaps by throwing on one of Mississippi’s favorite Christmas movies?
While we love bringing you all the latest Mississippi sports betting updates, BetMississippi.com is also committed to covering arts and culture topics of interest to state residents. With that in mind, we’re counting down the top five Christmas movies according to Mississippians.
To come up with our list, we used the web analytics platform AhRefs to pinpoint the top 40 most searched-for Christmas movies from around the world last year. Then we found out how popular each of those 40 titles were in Mississippi over the past three Christmases by running them through Google Trends. Check out Mississippi’s top 5 Christmas Movies below.
Favorite Christmas Movies in Mississippi
Home Alone Is Mississippi's Favorite
Landing at number one on our list of Mississippi’s favorite Christmas movies is “Home Alone” starring a nine-year-old McCauley Culkin as a young boy accidentally abandoned by his family at Christmastime. The idea for “Home Alone” came to screenwriter John Hughes as he was making a list of things to remember to pack for an upcoming vacation, and it occurred to him that he better not forget his children.
Initially, Hughes, who is also a producer on the film, wanted a different director for “Home Alone,” but when they were unavailable he sought out Chris Columbus, who was initially tapped to direct “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (which Hughes also wrote). Columbus backed out of directing that film— which lands at four on our list, by the way — due to conflicts with the notoriously prickly Chevy Chase.
Meanwhile, the silver medal in our list of Mississippi’s favorite Christmas movies goes to that curmudgeonly green creature, The Grinch. Hitting theatres on November 17th, 2000, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” was a huge box office smash, but received mostly mixed reviews from critics, while also puzzling audiences who struggled to reconcile the dark tone with the whimsical Dr. Seuss book in which the movie is based. Nevertheless, the film would certainly earn a reputation of its own over time — in no small part thanks to the regular airings of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” on television each Christmas Eve.
Mississippi's Other Favorites
As mentioned, the Griswold family’s antics in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” rank fourth on our list of Mississippi’s favorite holiday films. Meanwhile, “A Christmas Story” rounds out our list at number five.
These two films are similar in the sense that they’re less plot-driven — but rather comprised of a series of relatable holiday scenes. Whether its pining for a present under the tree like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” or yearning to have the best Christmas lights on the street like Clark in “Christmas Vacation,” both movies are beloved for the way they exaggerate the everyday moments that make Christmas so special.
Jeff Parker is an entertainment writer for BetMississippi.com. A writer for film, television and the internet, Jeff is a life long movie buff, with a Masters Degree in Popular Culture. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he works full time as documentary filmmaker and producer.