‘Miracle on 34th Street’ Tops Christmas Movie Poll

"Miracle on 34th Street"
"Miracle on 34th Street" (Courtesy photo)

“Silent Night” is the nation’s favorite Christmas carol, and “Miracle on 34th Street” lists as the favorite Christmas movie, according to a recent poll by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

In a vote where multiple responses were accepted, “Silent Night,” a religious song dating back to 1818, received 50.8 percent of the vote. Irving Berlin’s classic “White Christmas” came in second place with 48 percent, and “Jingle Bells,” with 44.4 percent, ranked third, PRNewswire reported.

From among 18 choices, 39.8 percent of respondents picked “Miracle on 34th Street” as their favorite Christmas movie. The classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring Jimmy Stewart, comes in at a close second with 36.8 percent of the vote. The film is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Close on its heels is “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with 34.9 percent.

“Does America like melodramatic sentimentality and corn? Absolutely, and that’s probably a very good thing,” said Kenny Embry, a Saint Leo University associate professor of communication management said.

“If you look at the responses, it shows Americans are both nostalgic and sentimental during this season,” Embry said. “There’s something inherently right about a people who embrace optimism and their history. It is interesting to note most of these movies were produced more than 30 years ago. Traditional values appear to continue to be touchstones for the American identity.”

Many of the Christmas movies and TV shows also celebrate family.

“In a season of cynicism and a brutal election season, it’s nice to know optimism and nostalgia are an indelible part of the American character,” Embry said.