5 Surprising Facts About Your Favorite Christmas Movies

Today is Christmas Eve, and many people will be watching Christmas movies in anticipation of the big day. Here are five fascinating facts which reveal some secrets behind some of your favorite festive films...

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Donald Trump Insisted On Appearing In Home Alone 2 Ever since Donald Trump has become President of the United States, some of his old cameos have circulated around social media. And there’s a really famous one in Home Alone 2, when young Kevin asks Trump for directions to the lobby. Apparently Trump would only allow filming permission in the Plaza Hotel (which he owned at the time) in exchange for a part in the movie. Trump made the same requirement for 1992's Scent of a Woman, but the scene filmed with him at the Plaza Hotel ended up on the cutting room floor. Macaulay Culkin has reportedly stated that the first Home Alone movie is by far his favorite because it has "100% less Donald Trump" in it. Ouch!

Peter Billingsley Has Appeared in Several Christmas Movies Remember adorable young Peter Billingsley as Ralphie in A Christmas Story? Actor Peter Billingsley has since appeared in two other surprising holiday movies. He was the ticket agent in Four Christmases (he's also one of the executive producers), and he also appeared in Elf in the role of Ming Ming, even though the part is uncredited.

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"Christmas Vacation" Has A Connection To "It’s a Wonderful Life" You might have noticed a scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, where Rusty is watching the classic Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life. This was a deliberate inclusion on the part of filmmakers. Frank Capra directed and wrote It’s A Wonderful Life, and Capra’s grandson was the second assistant director of "Christmas Vacation".  Frank Capra III would later go on to find fame in Roseanne and How I Met Your Mother.

The Parade in Miracle on 34th Street Could Had To Be Shot All In One Day The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade makes a prominent appearance in Miracle on 34th Street. The movie’s producers decided to shoot the scenes during the actual 1946 Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York – which put some time constraints on the filming schedule. The actors and crew only had one chance to film all of the necessary scenes. Lead actress Maureen O’Hara revealed in her autobiography that Edmund Gwenn – who later won an Oscar for his portrayal of Kris Kringle – actually arranged to play Santa in the parade so the film could capture the necessary shots it needed. Luckily all of the actors and crew managed to nail their scenes and the Thanksgiving Day parade became an excellent backdrop for the film.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Could Have Looked Very Diffeent Jim Carrey brought Dr Seuss’ story of the Grinch who stole Christmas to life with his appearance in the 2003 movie of the same name. But the Ace Ventura star wasn’t always first choice to play the grumpy green monster. Jack Nicholson and Eddie Murphy were both considered for the role of the Grinch before Carrey got the part. The film nearly never got made at all though. Before his death in 1991, Dr Seuss refused to sell the rights to the movie. However, his widow Audrey Geisel had always seen the potential of a live-action version of the story and auctioned off the rights in 1998.