56 Facts You May Not Know About Your Favorite Holiday Films

Little known trivia items about White Christmas, Home Alone, Love Actually and more

By Jenna Mullins Dec 18, 2014 4:00 PMTags

Love Actually

1. Love Actually didn't start out as a holiday movie, but director Richard Curtis loves Christmas films and really wanted to make one of his own.

2. Laura Linney has said that she wishes her character never picked up the phone to talk to her brother when she was in her bedroom with Karl.

3. Love Actually came out of two different films, written separately for Hugh Grant and Colin Firth's characters.

4. Emma Thompson had to wear a fat suit during filming to appear fuller.

5. Hugh Grant was fiercely against his dancing scene in the film and had to be convinced to do it.

6. Kris Marshall had such a good time playing the scene where three American girls undress him that he returned his check for that day, saying he was willing to do it for free.

7. Olivia Olson's voice sounded so good while she sang "All I want for Christmas is You" at the end of the film that the director had to edit it so it sounded more like a child singing.

Home Alone

8. The ugly photo of Buzz's girlfriend is actually a boy because director Chris Columbus thought it would be too cruel to make fun of a real girl. The boy used in the picture is the art director's son.

9. Joe Pesci often forgot that he was in a family comedy and would drop the f-bomb during his character's outbursts.

10. Daniel Stern isn't actually screaming in the scene where a tarantula is put on his face. A noise like that would scare the spider, so he only mimed the reaction and his scream was dubbed in later. By the way, Daniel would only allow for one take with the spider on his face. We get it.

11. Robert De Niro and Jon Lovitz were both offered the part of Harry.

12. The ornaments that Marv steps all over are actually candy. 

The Holiday

13. Kate Winslet and Rufus Sewell dated in real life before this movie.

14. The website Amanda and Iris use to go on vacation is a real, functioning website for home exchange.

15. Cameron Diaz had said that this movie was one of her most physical roles because of all the running she had to do.

White Christmas

16. Fred Astaire declined the role of Phil.

17. Rosemary Clooney, who plays Betty, is George Clooney's aunt.

18. When Bob and Phil perform "Sisters," they are laughing pretty much through the entire thing. That's the best take they got.

19. Vera-Ellen, who plays Judy, did not sing any of her songs. They were sung by Rosemary Clooney or Trudy Stevens. She did, however, do her own incredible dancing.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) 

20. The prosthetics and makeup Jim Carrey wore to play the Grinch took three hours every day to put together. They were so miserable to apply and wear that Carrey consulted a Navy SEAL who taught him torture-resistance techniques.

21. The famous line "Six-thirty p.m., dinner with me. I can't cancel that again," was improvised by Carrey.

22. Eddie Murphy and Jack Nicholson were both considered for the role of The Grinch.

23. The film used 1,938 candy canes, 8,200 ornaments, 45 make up artists, 443 different outfits and 152,000 pounds of crushed marble that was used to imitate snow.

24. The Grinch suit is covered in yak hairs that were dyed green and sewed onto a spandex suit one by one.

25. Anthony Hopkins recorded his narration all in one day.

Christmas Vacation

26. Clark uses exactly 30 words to describe his boss.

27. The scene where the cat gets electrocuted was almost cut from the movie, because the studio was afraid it would offend people.

28. Even though this is a Christmas movie, we don't actually see the events of Christmas day in the film.

The Santa Clause

29. Tim Allen has a criminal record, and even though Disney has a no ex-con policy, an exception was made for him and this role.

30. For one week during The Santa Clause's box office run in 1994, Tim Allen had the number one movie, the number one TV show (Home Improvement) and the number one best-selling book (Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man).

31. The role of Scott Calvin was originally written for Bill Murray

32. Scheduling conflicts forced Chevy Chase to turn down the lead role.


33. Bill Murray later told critic Roger Ebert that he did not get along with director Richard Donner while filming and that there was "maybe one take in the final cut movie that is mine."

34. Jack McGee's "You can hardly see them nipples" line was ad-libbed.

35. When Carol Kane, the ghost of Christmas Present, grabbed Bill's lip, she did it too hard and tore his lip so badly they had to stop filming for several days.


36. The cotton balls Buddy eats were actually pieces of cotton candy that had not been dyed yet.

37. Will Ferrell caused several small car accidents in the Lincoln Tunnel while he walked around wearing his elf costume.

38. Will had headaches throughout filming because he actually ate all the sugary food.

39. Jim Carrey was first attached as the lead in this movie.

40. A sequel was scrapped after Will turned it down. He was reportedly offered 29 million dollars to reprise Buddy.

A Christmas Story

41. The infamous tongue stuck to pole scene was done using a hidden suction tube and some movie magic.

42. This film inspired the creation of The Wonder Years

43. Wil Wheaton auditioned for the part of Ralphie.

44. Even though Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) takes up most of the screen time, he only has about 95 lines of dialogue. 

Jingle All the Way

45. Producer Chris Columbus wanted Joe Pesci to play Myron, but that idea was scrapped because he would be too short next to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

46. The Christmas parade scene was filmed in Los Angeles in the middle of May.

47. The story is based on the shopping craze for Cabbage Patch Dolls in the ‘80s.

Miracle on 34th Street

48. Writer Valentine Davies got the idea after dealing with the crowds during Christmas shopping and wondering what the real Santa would make of all this commercialism.

49. When it was first written, the title of the movie was The Big Heart.

50. Natalie Wood thought that actor Edmund Gwenn was actually Santa Clause. It wasn't until she saw him out of costume on set that the young actress realized he wasn't really Santa.

51. The parade scene used actual footage of the real Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1946.

52. The cameras literally froze during shooting because the New York winter was brutally cold that year.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

53. This is the only Home Alone movie to feature real snow.

54. Macaulay Culkin made $4.5 million to star in the sequel.

55. All of the extras appearing in the toy store scene were allowed to keep a toy as part of their salary. Macaulay took the Talkboy.

56. According to his room service bill, this is what Kevin ordered: two chocolate cakes, 36 chocolate covered strawberries, six custard flans, six chocolate mousses with toppings, eight strawberry tarts and one pastry cart.