Christmas Movie Characters Ranked by Their Stress Levels

Christmas Movie Characters Ranked by Their Stress Levels

Christmas movies are a beloved holiday tradition. They're celebrating a time filled with heartwarming stories, festive cheer, and of course, a healthy dose of stress. Yes, even in the world of make-believe, our favorite Christmas movie characters can't escape the pressures of the holiday season. But which characters take the cake when it comes to cortisol-pumping? Let's dive into the world of tinsel and turmoil to rank some of the most iconic Christmas movie characters by their stress levels.
John Cusack portraying Charlie Arglist in The Ice Harvest, sitting at a bar with his hand on his chin holding a pensive expression.

7. Charlie Arglist from "The Ice Harvest"

Charlie is constantly looking over his shoulder, convinced that someone is out to get him - and honestly, who can blame him? He's stolen money from the mob, and is caught in a blizzard, after all. But his stress level reaches new heights when he starts suspecting his partner Vic of plotting against him. Talk about a difficult Christmas Eve.
Jimmy Stewart portraying George Bailey in Its A Wonderful Life, seen with a tense expression while standing in the snow.

6. George Bailey from "It's a Wonderful Life"

George Bailey may not seem like the most stressed-out character on this list, but his journey of self-discovery and redemption is no walk in the park. From financial troubles to contemplating a world where he's un-alive, George's story is a rollercoaster of emotions. But in the end, he learns the true meaning of Christmas and the impact he has on those around him - a bit of relief for this list, thankfully.
Ralphie Parker from A Christmas Story holding up a pink bunny suit while standing beside a christmas tree.

5. Ralphie Parker from "A Christmas Story"

Ralphie just wants one thing for Christmas: a Red Ryder BB gun. But between his overbearing mother, school bullies, and the sexual awakening presence of the new leg lamp, his quest for the perfect gift is filled with stress and unexpected obstacles. Plus, he has to navigate the treacherous world of imagination and daydreams - something any anxiety-ridden person can relate to. Poor Ralphie!
Scott Calvin in The Santa Clause holding a shocked expression while wearing a santa outfit.

4. Scott Calvin from "The Santa Clause"

Imagine waking up one morning and discovering you're Santa Claus. That's exactly what happens to Scott. As he tries to balance his new responsibilities as Santa with his regular Dad-life, Scott faces a mountain of stress. From gaining weight and turning gray, to dealing with a suspicious ex-wife, Scott's journey to becoming Santa is no easy feat.
C.C. Baxter in The Apartment, sitting on a couch holding a half-eaten chicken wing.

3. C.C. Baxter from "The Apartment"

C.C. works in a big office building, but his work seems to be spilling into his personal time - as he's got a tiny apartment that he lets his colleagues use for their extramarital affairs. So of course, when a Christmas Office Party happens, his apartment is all filled up - leaving him to be the one place he doesn't want to be - WORK. If  having to deal with his demanding boss and the constant stream of people coming in and out of his apartment wasn't stressful enough, he's got his eyes on someone who has their heart set on another, which puts him on a rollercoaster throughout the film's runtime. Thankfully the tension breaks for him - cookie-wise -  by the time the credits roll.
Kevin McCallister from Home Alone wearing a winter cap and jacket with a screaming expression on his face.

2. Kevin McCallister from "Home Alone"

Being left home alone during Christmas might sound like a dream come true for some kids, but Kevin McCallister learns quickly that it's no walk in the park. This resourceful little troublemaker has to defend his home from two bumbling burglars while navigating the general challenges of being on his own (getting groceries can be stressful at any age). Kevin, your tension - WOOF! But hey, at least he gets to eat all the ice cream he wants.
The Griswolds from Christmas Vacation sitting in a car with a large tree on the roof.

1. Clark Griswold from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"

It's no surprise that Clark Griswold takes the top spot on this list. His face is that of a man who has worked far too hard for far too little - and around the Holidays, that's extra difficult to deal with when you're also not receiving the bonus you anticipated. On top of that, naviagating dysfunctional family members to battling malfunctioning Christmas lights, poor Clark can't catch a break. His quest for the perfect Christmas (not even for himself, but for his nearest and dearest) is a rollercoaster of stress, mishaps, and hilarious moments that make us grateful for our own imperfect holiday celebrations.
So there you have it, a list of Classic Christmas Movie Characters ranked by their stress levels. Whether you relate to Clark Griswold's holiday mishaps or Scott Calvin's big shoes to fill, these characters remind us that even in the film world, the holiday season can be a stressful time. Thankfully for us, we can laugh at their misadventures and find comfort in knowing we're not alone in our own holiday stress.

Speaking of stress - picking out presents can be a hard feat! Check out our Holiday Stocking Stuffer Guide for some inspiration, and join to our Mailing List at the bottom of this page for an additional 15% Off code that can help you save a little extra money (and stress) this season. 
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