Christmas Classics: The Real Life Stories Behind These Famous Homes

by Allison Hambrick
BURNHAM-ON-SEA, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 06: Christmas lights are displayed on houses in Trinity Close in Burnham-on-Sea on December 6, 2018 in Somerset, England. For over eleven years, the residents of Trinity Close, dubbed 'Britains most festive street have decorated their homes and gardens with more than a 100,000 colourful Christmas lights. Last year, the residents raised a record sum of £13,329 for local charities and since starting the festive display have raised over £85,000 for charitable causes. The display will be lit every night until early January. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Many of the Christmas films that we know and love focus on time spent at home with family over the holiday season. As a result, it comes as no surprise that most of them were filmed in actual homes.

From Kevin McCallister’s staycation to Clark Griswold’s light display, these houses served as the backdrop for many iconic Christmas movie moments.

Home Alone

Have you ever turned on Home Alone and found yourself wondering how Peter McCallister can afford such a nice home with so many children? Unlike Kevin, you’re not alone.

The real-life home featured in the 1990 film is located in Winnetka, Illinois. With five bedrooms and four bathrooms, the odds are against Kevin sleeping in the attic during his relatives’ Christmas visits. Interestingly, the production used the facade of the house in the film. But they filmed the interior shot inside of a high school gymnasium.

The majority of filming completed in New Trier Township High School, also in Winnetka. This location was also used in Uncle Buck and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Jingle All the Way

Arnold Schwarzenegger races to buy his son the hottest present of the season in this Christmas classic. Jingle All the Way‘s setting is in Minneapolis. The house used in the film is located in nearby Edina.

Like the house used in Home Alone, this home is rather large, with four bedrooms and five bathrooms. Its worth is estimated at over $2.5 million.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation follows well-intentioned patriarch Clark Griswold in his mission of providing his family with the best Christmas season. While Griswolds live in Chicago, filming occurred in Burbank, California.

The Griswold family home is located on the Warner Brothers’ backlot. Instead of filming in residential neighborhoods, the studio constructed their own for movie and television productions.

A Christmas Story

The Christmas cult classic A Christmas Story follows young Ralphie Parker on his quest to get the ultimate gift: a Red Ryder air rifle. The film’s setting is in 1940s Indiana; however, the house where the movie was filmed is in Cleveland, Ohio. Since the film, it has become a tourist destination.

The owners restored the house to its condition during filming. A museum dedicated to the film opened across the street. Fans of the film can tour the house or even book an overnight stay.

Home for the Holidays

While they may only serve as backgrounds, the homes featured throughout these Christmas films are memorable in their own ways. They create the atmosphere and warmth that can make the difference between a movie and a classic.