The New Classics: Millennials & Teens’ 10 Favorite Holiday Movies

It's official: Christmas is Millennials' favorite holiday. But Boomers and Xers might not quite understand their favorite holiday movies, which aren't the classics they have long known...

When we asked Millennials and teens what their favorite holiday is in our most recent monthly survey, over half of respondents told us that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. 

It makes sense for a generation of eternally optimistic, group-oriented consumers. Their responses included many mentions of family, friends, giving and getting gifts, and, of course, traditions. But what are they watching to put them in the holiday spirit? We also asked 1000 13-33-year-olds to tell us their favorite holiday movie to find out what they're most likely to tune in for...and the kind of holiday traditions that they're creating. Here are their top 10 favorites: 


Elf, starring Will Farrell, came out in 2003—and it was the most mentioned favorite holiday movie by a significant amount. Clearly, Millennials and teens have an affinity for new holiday "classics" that are close to their own age. Home Alone was released in 1990, The Nightmare Before Christmas (which was also on their favorite Halloween movie list) is a 1993 film, and The Santa Clause sledded into Millennials' lives in 1994. Both the animated and live action Grinch were mentioned by respondents, and the Jim Carrey version came out in 2000. Meanwhile, rounding out the top 10 is a tie, and Boomers may cringe to see the sacred It's a Wonderful Life sharing a spot with Love Actually, a rated R Christmas film. 

The holidays are of course a time for nostalgia, but if you're looking for Christmas content to reference (or buy ad time in) it's important to remember that Millennials and teens' nostalgia has a slightly different context.…


Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?

The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Supernatural is a guilty pleasure show.  While it isn't very consistent in terms of plotline, it’s a fun show with a lovable cast, and it’s ludicrous story keeps you wondering what is next.”—Female, 26, GA

Millennial women are taking over proposing, and looking up ways to pop the question. On Pinterest, “women propose to men ideas” is being searched more than ever, with popularity of the term rising 336% year-over-year. And women aren’t just getting down on one knee to propose to men: the term with the greatest growth from 2017 is “unique lesbian proposals,” which saw a 1,352% rise. Pinterest also found that emerald engagement rings are trending, demonstrating Millennials’ growing interest in non-diamond options. (The Cut)

Dave & Buster’s is positioned to win over experience-loving Millennials. Despite disappointing earnings of late, investors are buying up the experiential restaurant’s stock during its dip because (as one analyst explains) they “believe [Dave & Buster's] can outperform other full-service concepts and drive multiple expansion as it proves itself as a differentiated growth concept.”  Our Experiencification trend backs up their bet, finding that 74% of Gen Z & Millennials would rather spend money on experiences than products. (TheStreet)

Airlines made for Millennials are failing. Air France is thinking about shuttering Joon, their trendy airline, just one year after it took flight. As it turns out, Generation Wanderlust values one thing above amenities like stylish steward outfits and smart tech: value itself. The airlines that are seeing success are budget-friendly first and foremost, like Norwegian Air. ICF Aviation’s SVP sums it up, “What does a [M]illennial want in an airline? A low fare and a good schedule…They don’t want more purple lighting.” (Vox)

Fortnite isn’t just “the most important game of 2018"—it’s “a cultural tsunami.” Nearly 80 million people played the battle royale-style game that’s taking over the internet this year, and over 65% of Fortnite’s players are under-24-years-old. If that’s not enough evidence that brands should cashing in on the craze, celebrities like Drake are playing the game and sports stars like Antoine Griezmann are doing Fortnite’s signature emote dances on the field. (CNET)

Media companies could be under-estimating Nickelodeon’s young fandom. Nielsen reports that two-11-year-olds spent 23 hours each week watching TV in the second quarter of 2018, with almost 15 of those hours taken up by live TV or DVR-recorded content. While Nickelodeon ratings may be down, they’re still the leader of kids’ networks, accounting for 67% of all ad-supported kids’ TV viewing. However, 74% of Millennial parents tell Ypulse that their children watch more content on streaming services than cable. (Bloomberg)

Quote of the Day: “I like playing and talking about [Animal Crossing] with other people. It's nostalgic for me since I've been playing games from the series from a young age.”—Female, 22, PA

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies