Christmas 2011: Best holiday movie homes

Ralphie's house in "A Christmas Story"

One of the best things about the Christmas season is the movies. "It's a Wonderful Life," "Miracle on 34th Street" and "A Christmas Story" are some of the most popular and well-loved movies of all time. It's not just the compelling story lines and likeable characters that make these films classics -- the locations are always the perfect holiday setting. Each home has snow in the front yard, a fire in the fireplace and a tree in the living room.

Holiday decorations on a budget

Even though there's staging to thank for the holiday cheer these homes radiate in the movies, anyone who celebrates Christmas strives to replicate it each and every year. Here's a list of some well-known Christmas houses, courtesy of Zillow and Hooked on Houses.

"A Christmas Story"

Ralphie's house is one of the most well-known Christmas houses of all time. The iconic front porch, the leg lamp shining through the window and the living room where Ralphie finally received his BB gun from Santa bring back Christmas memories for lots of people year after year. The home has been turned into "A Christmas Story" house and museum, so you can visit and purchase your very own leg lamp.

"It's a Wonderful Life"

The story of George Bailey and Bedford Falls has touched hearts since the 1970's, when it first began airing around the holidays. It was originally released in the 1940's, but according to the Classic Film Freak blog, critics panned it for being "too old fashioned" even then. One of the main characters of "It's a Wonderful Life" is George Bailey's drafty old house, which is the scene of many happy Christmas memories after George returns from his trip back in time with his guardian angel, Clarence. The home was part of the 4-acre Bedford Falls set, but was demolished in the 1950's.

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"Home Alone"

Christmas 2011: Holiday movie homes
The "Home Alone" house

It's not your typical Christmas movie, but "Home Alone" is certainly a classic. This Winnetka, Ill. house -- which is currently on the market for $1.8 million -- was prominently featured in the film. Eight-year-old Kevin McAllister (played by Macaulay Culkin) set booby-traps throughout the home to protect himself from burglars, giving viewers a peek into a real-life mansion. You can see how the rooms have changed since the house appeared in the movie on the Hooked on Houses blog.

"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"

Christmas 2011: Holiday movie homes
The Griswold house from "Christmas Vacation"

This house is certainly easy to remember: Decorated with "250 strands of lights, 100 individual bulbs per strand, for a grand total of 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights," it nearly knocked out power to the whole town. In addition to its ridiculous lights display, this home is the scene of many hysterical holiday moments, including a squirrel chase and an attempted SWAT team rescue.


This movie is more recent than the others on this list but is destined to become a classic. Buddy, played by Will Ferrell, is desperate to reconnect with his birth father. He learns his father is living in this building in New York City, located at 55 Central Park West on the Upper West Side. Buddy gets to enjoy the finer things the home has to offer, including a breakfast of spaghetti and maple syrup in the modern kitchen. "Elf" isn't the first film to be shot here -- the 1984 hit "Ghostbusters" shot some scenes here, too.

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.