Holiday Favorites By The Decade Infographic - Dissected Part 2

December 18, 2013 Jon Hazell

Part 1 of this two part blog installment focused on the process that was undertaken in creating our Holiday Favorites by The Decade infographic as well as some of the favorites that didn’t make the cut. But those favorites weren’t the only information left off of our infographic.

There was other information that we would have liked to include about some of the holiday favorites but due to space restrictions had to keep off.

One way we could have included this information is through adding some interactive elements to the page. Dashboard infographics don’t have to be static, though in our case we wanted to keep the infographic as simple as possible, at least for this year, so we opted to keep ours static. Interactive elements, such as hover overs or drill through, provide viewers with more context, giving them a better understanding of data, or in our infographic’s case, some extra tidbits of information.

Check out some of the additional information, and let us know what you would have liked us to include if the dashboard had been interactive.


•1934: The song Santa Claus is Coming to Town is first sung on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in November, becoming an instant hit with more than 400,000 copies of the sheet music sold by Christmas.
•1938: The film A Christmas Carol is released (though the first film adaptation of the story was Scrooge, 1935). A Christmas Carol would have several film adaptations (1935, 1938, 1951, 1970, 1988, 1992, and 2009)


•1942: Freddy Martin, Bing Crosby, and in 1945 Frank Sinatra, all release their versions of the holiday classic White Christmas. Each of their singles would reach gold status and secure spots in the top 30 holiday singles.
•1945: The single Let It Snow is released by Vaughn Monroe reaching No. 1 on the Billboard music chart the following year. It was later covered countless times. Amusingly it was written in California during one of the hottest days on record.
•1946: Hollywood and holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life is released. Nominated for five Academy Awards, the film is considered one of the most critically acclaimed films ever made. The American Film Institute placed it in the 100 best American movies ever made.
•1947: The film Miracle on 34th Street is released. The film won 3 Academy Awards, including Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and was nominated for Best Picture. The film would later be remade for television in 1955, 1959 and 1973, into a musical in 1963, and another feature film in 1994.

•1954: Holiday classic film White Christmas is released becoming the top moneymaking film that year. Overall, the film would gross $30 million at the domestic box office (over $250 million when adjusted for inflation).
•1957: Both Jingle Bell Rock and Blue Christmas are released this year. The former by Bobby Helms went gold, one of the top 10 holiday digital download sales (2003-2010) and has been covered over 80 times. The latter, a cover by Elvis Priestley, went platinum and would become the highest certified holiday single of all time (RIAA).
•1959: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree is released by Brenda Lee who was 13 at the time. Holding the number 5 spot for holiday digital download sales (2003-2010).

•1963: It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams hits the airwaves and becomes one of the top 30 holiday digital downloads (2003-2010)
•1964: A Holly Jolly Christmas released by Burl Ives, also a top 30 holiday digital download (2003-2010)
•1965: Christmas special A Charlie Brown Christmas debuts on CBS sponsored by Coca-Cola. The special has run every Christmas since. Only Ruldolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer released one year earlier has had a longer continuous run.
•1966: The holiday Kwanzaa is first celebrated. Created by Maulana Karenga as the first specifically African-American holiday it was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage.
•1969: Animated Christmas special Frosty the Snowman debuts, also on CBS. The special has also spurred two sequels, Frosty’s Winter Wonderland and Frosty Returns.

•1970: Feliz Navidad is released. It has been recognized by ASCAP as one of the top 25 most played and recorded Christmas songs around the world, holding the #8 spot for digital downloads in the USA (2003-2010).
•1974: Black Christmas is released. The film would go on to help define the slasher movie genre, from Wes Craven’s films to the Halloween franchise.
•1975: The Pet Rock is released with a cardboard box and a training manual for care and training. The “Pet Rock Fad” lasted for roughly six months, and over 1.5 million Pet Rocks were sold.

•1983: A Christmas Story is released; while it didn’t receive much box office success, A Christmas Story has become a holiday classic over the years through TV airings, and video sales/rentals. In 2007 AOL raked the film their #1 Christmas movie of all time and IGN raked the film the top holiday-themed movie of all time.
•1989: Saturday Night Live introduces Hanukkah Harry, played by Jon Lotitz, in a sketch titled “The Night Hanukkah Harry Saved Christmas”. Hanukkah Harry is portrayed on the show as a variation upon the modern-day image of Santa Claus, with a beard characteristic of a male adherent of Haredi Judaism.

•1990: Home Alone is released and becomes the top grossing holiday themed movie of all time bringing in a worldwide gross of $476,684,675. Not too shabby for a production budget of $18,000,000.
•1996: Tickle Me Elmo is released and quickly becomes the top selling toy, causing what was coined as “Elmo-mania”. Employees and shoppers were injured during stampedes to get the toy and people were reselling the $28.99 toy in classifieds for upwards of $1500.
•1997: “Festivus” is introduced in an episode of Seinfeld. While it might have been meant simply as a gag for the show, the concept has caught on and is now celebrated by some as a secular holiday on the 23rd of December, serving as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas and holiday season.
•1998: Furby is released and, like Tickle Me Elmo, catapults into top spot for the “must have” holiday gift. Resellers were able to make up to ten times what they paid for the toy in stores.

•During the course of this decade the term “Chrismukkah”, a term for those whose families celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, becomes popularized, in part because of the use of the term on the television show The O.C.
•This decade also sees a surge in the number of electronic devices securing the top gift items. Six of ten years witnessed an electronic device as the top gift.
•2000: How the Grinch Stole Christmas is released as a live action film, and becomes one of the top grossing holiday films of all time, earning a worldwide box office gross of $345,141,403.

You can view the full version of our Holiday Favorites by the Decade infographic here.

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