12 Studies of Christmas: Festive Songs & Films

Continuing our 12 Studies of Christmas series, we wanted to find out the nation's favourite Christmas song and film. So we surveyed 100 people from across the UK and these were our results. Spoiler alert: Paul McCartney's duet with The Frog Chorus is not the much-loved festive hit we thought it might be...

For the songs, our methodology was simple (if not particularly rigorous!) - make a list of the first ten Christmas tunes that came into our heads, put them into a survey and ask participants to select their favourite. The options were:

  • John Lennon - Happy Xmas (War is Over)
  • Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas
  • Wham - Last Christmas
  • The Pogues - Fairytale of New York
  • Slade - Merry Xmas Everyone
  • Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
  • East 17 - Stay Another Day
  • The Pretenders - 2000 Miles
  • Bing Crosby - White Christmas
  • Shakin Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone
  • Paul McCartney & The Frog Chorus - We All Stand Together

According to the survey, the song that gets our bells jingling, our halls decked, our holly boughed (?), is Fairytale of New York by The Pogues! With a massive 25%, Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan's rum-soaked ode to regrets, lost love and broken broadway dreams just about pipped Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas, which won 23% of the vote. There was a significant age divide here - The Pogues received significantly more votes than Mariah with over-40s, whilst Mariah dominated amongst Millenials.


Coming up next were Wham and Wizzard with a whopping 15% and 12% of the vote respectively. In a rerun of their competition for the 1973 Christmas number one, Wizzard got their revenge on Noddy Holder's Slade, who ended up 5 votes down against their glam-rock rivals.

Up the rear were East 17 with one vote, whilst Paul McCartney and his amphibian collaborators received zero votes. Honourable mentions from outside our list included Jona Lewie's Stop the Cavalry, Boney M.'s Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord and Kylie Minogue's Every Day's Like Christmas (which we had never heard of before - sorry Kylie!)

We also wanted to know the earliest acceptable date to hear a Christmas song. The vast majority of people were fine with hearing their first Christmas song of the year, and going through the terrible realisation that yet another year is nearly over, on December 1st.

Next we asked participants to name their all-time favourite Christmas movie, but this time we didn't give them options to choose from. In total we received 26 different answers to this question, with some familiar favourites and some that pushed the boundaries of what constitutes a Christmas film!


Home Alone, the heartwarming story of a neglected 8 year old boy critically injuring two hapless burglars, was the most popular Christmas movie, with a whopping 23 votes. It's a Wonderful Life came in second with 12 votes. Die Hard (yes, Die Hard) was third with 10 - apparently it is a Christmas film after all!

We also had a few honourable mentions. Where Eagles Dare received a vote, as did Carry on Camping and The Great Escape. Maybe Die Hard isn't the only controversial 'Christmas' movie.

Come discuss this blog post with our community!

Show Comments