It’s that time of year once again, the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is just around the corner, so if you haven’t done so already, it is time to break out the nostalgic Christmas movies and get comfy on the couch. Some of the best Christmas movies will always be the ones you grew up watching as a kid, but it has been awhile since then, so have you ever wondered about the children who were in those movies? What do they look like now? What have they done with their careers since then?
Wonder no more. This list is made up of 16 kids who were in the best Christmas movies from your childhood. Some of them, you probably forgot were ever in a Christmas movie to begin with, like Scarlett Johansson in Home Alone 3. Others, like Macaulay Culkin from the first two Home Alone movies, we couldn’t forget if we tried. Which other kiddos were in these movies that you may have forgotten about? Take a walk down memory lane and reminisce about your days drinking hot cocoa with your parents and siblings and watching the following 16 movies. If anything, it will invoke a sense of Christmas nostalgia and you will be reminded of one of the many reasons you loved Christmas so much as a kid (besides the presents) and that is that it just feels magical. The movies have a way of making it feel even more so.
Read on to see the photos of 16 kids from your favorite childhood Christmas movies, and what they look like now!
16. Scarlett Johansson: Home Alone 3
Compared to Home Alone and Home Alone 2, the third and fourth installments of the Home Alone movies were largely forgotten, and were nowhere near as successful. Also forgotten by many people is that Scarlett Johansson, who has become a huge star in Hollywood, was in Home Alone 3. She played Molly Pruitt, the older sister of Alex, who was for all intents and purposes the new Kevin McCallister. The movie was released in 1997 (20 years ago!) when ScarJo was 13 years old. Her success in Hollywood would go on to skyrocket, as she has been in numerous of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters over the years. Now 33, Scarlett is a hot commodity in the film industry, having most recently starred in the movies Ghost In The Shell and Rough Night. Next year, she will continue to build her repertoire in The Beautiful and the Damned, Isle of Dogs (voice), and Avengers: Infinity War, reprising her recurring role of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow.
15. Eric Lloyd: The Santa Clause
Eric Lloyd played Tim Allen’s son Charlie in The Santa Clause (1994), The Santa Clause 2 (2002), and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006). Tim Allen played Scott Calvin, also known as Santa Claus. Eric was 8 years old when the first movie came out, and now he is 31. He hasn’t done too much since the last Santa Clause movie was released over a decade ago, but he has been in a few things here and there, mostly smaller projects. Before he was in the Christmas movie trio, he was on the show The Wonder Years from the ages 2 to 5, and his feature film debut was playing Robert Downey Jr.’s son in the 1993 movie Heart and Souls. According to IMDB, he is now making a comeback to the world of acting, as he was in a television movie this year, and has a role in the 2018 film The Onyx of Wall Street. These are his first films since 2011.
14. Rebecca Harrell Tickell: Prancer
Prancer was a 1989 Christmas movie. It is the story of a little farm girl named Jessica who finds an injured reindeer and, thinking it must be Santa’s reindeer Prancer (since the display Prancer in town fell down), and nurses it back to health. She hides him in her barn and feeds him cookies, her goal being to make him all better in time for Christmas so he can help Santa deliver presents to all the kids. But she does more than fix the reindeer; her spirit is infectious, and it ends up helping her father, who is in a rough place. Jessica was played by 9-year-old Rebecca Harrell Tickell. If you do not recognize her name, don’t feel bad; she has not been in much Hollywood-wise, but her movie Prancer is definitely a classic Christmas must-see for kids, even almost 30 years later.
13. Jessica Biel: I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Remember way back when when Jessica Biel starred as J.T.T.’s love interest in I’ll Be Home For Christmas? It was 1998, and Jessica was 16, at the start of her career. It was every girl’s dream back then to date heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and she got pretty close to him. Now of course, she is married to another teen heartthrob from back in the day, Justin Timberlake, and the two have one son named Silas together. Jessica is now 35, and has known quite a bit of success in Hollywood. Some of her notable roles since I’ll Be Home For Christmas include 7th Heaven for 10 whole years, The A-Team, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Total Recall, Blade: Trinity, The Sinner, and she has lent her voice to Bojack Horseman since 2016.
12. Jonathan Taylor Thomas: I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Jessica Biel’s handsome costar in I’ll Be Home For Christmas was, of course, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, also known as just J.T.T. He was famous for playing Tim Allen’s middle son Randy on the ’90s sitcom Home Improvement. He was on the show starting at the age of 10 until he was 17, and then worked with Tim Allen again on Last Man Standing from 2013 to 2015. In between, he kept busy with a ton of work in showbiz. The height of his career was in the 1990s and early 2000s, and depending on your age, you may remember him in some of the following: Man of the House, Tom and Huck, Wild America, and Walking Across Egypt. But we think the coolest thing he did was voice Simba in Disney’s The Lion King!
11. Mara Wilson: Miracle On 34th Street
The original Miracle on 34th Street was released in 1947, and it was such a timeless Christmas story that they remade it almost 50 years later in 1994. It starred Mara Wilson of Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda fame. She was just 7 years old when she played little Susan Walker, a girl who has been told that Santa is not real, and yet she wonders if he somehow could be. Together with a lawyer (who of course falls in love with her mother), she proves that Santa Claus really is real. It is a heartwarming movie perfect to watch during the holidays, and even though it has been 23 years since the remake came out, it will probably always give us that cozy, holiday feeling. Mara Wilson, now 30 years old, was more famous as a child than she is as an adult, although she has not left film and television completely. But Miracle on 34th Street will always be one of her best titles.
10. Jake Lloyd: Jingle All The Way
Remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger played a dad hellbent on getting his kid the must-have toy of the season (Turbo Man) for Christmas? The movie was Jingle All The Way, and it is from 1996. It also stars Sinbad, and a little boy named Jake Lloyd as Arnold’s son, Jamie. Jamie just has to have the action figure Turbo Man. The problem is, so does every other kid. His poor dad goes all over town on Christmas Eve, desperate to not disappoint his son yet again, since he normally does. Jake Lloyd is 28 years old now, and he was seven when the movie was made. Like many of the other child actors on this list, he did not wind up wildly successful in Hollywood. After Jingle All The Way, he made two television movies, was on the show The Pretender for three years, then played Anakin Skywalker in the 1999 movie Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. And that’s about it.
9. Mika Boorem: Jack Frost
Jack Frost was a 1998 movie about a father who tragically loses his life in a car accident, but returns as a snowman at Christmas to make things right with his son. In it, Mika Boorem plays Natalie, a friend of the little boy who lost his dad. Mika has a very unique face, and you may recognize her from all of her other movies. She has been in Mighty Joe Young, The Patriot, Blue Crush, Hearts In Atlantis, Riding In Cars With Boys, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, and numerous other movies and television shows. Her last film was in 2016, but coming up in 2018, she will be in the movie Tale of the Wet Dog as a character named Justine. Having just turned 30, Mika was 11 years old when Jack Frost was made.
8. Joseph Cross: Jack Frost
The bigger star of Jack Frost was Joseph Cross, who played Charlie Frost, the son of the man who died and came back as a snowman. The same year that he starred in Jack Frost, 1998, he made his motion picture debut in M. Night Shyamalan’s Wide Awake, and then another movie, Desperate Measures. Joseph Cross has remained active in Hollywood post Jack Frost, having been in countless movies and television shows. In 2017 alone, he was in Big Little Lies, Tilt, Everything Beautiful Is Far Away, and Mindhunter. Besides being an actor, Joseph Cross is also a guitarist. He once had a band called Cock, named for the first letters of the band members’ names, but school officials would not allow the name, so they changed it to Roostir in order to be allowed to play at school functions.
7. Macaulay Culkin: Home Alone 1 & 2
Home Alone is probably the first movie most people think of when they think of Christmas movies. Home Alone and Home Alone 2 remain just as loved now as they were when they came out in the 1990s. And the resourceful, humorous Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin, will go down in history as one of Christmas’ best characters. This was arguably Macaulay Culkin’s most famous role, although he was in plenty of other movies as a cute kiddo, like Getting Even With Dad, My Girl, Richie Rich, and Saved! If you were a ’90s kid, you definitely watched some Macaulay Culkin movies. Now he is 37, and through the grunge, we can totally still see that baby-faced little boy we all knew and loved two decades ago. While he still acts, his current work is nowhere near as famous as it was when he was a kid.
6. Thora Birch: All I Want For Christmas
Thora Birch is another child actor, like Macaulay Culkin, who made a ton of movies when she was younger, but is not as famous today. As a kid, Thora was a part of (and usually the star of) so many great kids movies, like Hocus Pocus, Monkey Trouble, Now and Then, and Alaska. Little girls especially loved her movies. Her success continued into her teen years when she made slightly more grown-up films, like American Beauty, The Hole, and Ghost World. Now 35, she is still making movies, but does not seem to be as much in the spotlight as she once was. This year, she made four movies that are post-production, but have yet to be released. One of her first movies was the 1991 movie All I Want For Christmas, in which she played the little sister, Hallie O’Fallon.
5. Ethan Embry: All I Want For Christmas
Thora Birch’s big brother in All I Want For Christmas was played by Ethan Embry. His character shared a first name with him, Ethan. The premise of the movie is simple; it is about a brother and sister who try to get their divorced parents back together for Christmas. In 1991, when All I Want For Christmas came out, Ethan Embry was 13 years old. It was one of his very first movies, and following it would be a string of films and television shows. He was in Can’t Hardly Wait, Sweet Home Alabama, Vacancy, Eagle Eye, Once Upon a Time, and Grace and Frankie. He continues to act, and his next film in 2018 is Blindspotting. From the time he made All I Want For Christmas until 1999, Ethan made on average two movies per year, and in 1999, he made five. After that, his career continued to take off.
4. Daniel Tay: Elf
While the 2003 Christmas movie Elf was about a man-child who was raised by elves (Will Ferrell), it did not have a lot of real children in it. The one child it did have was Buddy the Elf’s younger half-brother Michael, played by Daniel Tay. Daniel was 12 years old back then, and even though it has been 14 years since Elf came out, it remains one of Daniel’s only acting credits. He was in a few other things sporadically, but the last we saw of him was in 2009 when he lent his voice to a video game called Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony. Before that, it had been 2007 since he was last seen in a movie, Brooklyn Rules. It seems as though he will not continue on to become an actor, but we will always recognize his face (which looks exactly the same today as it did 14 years ago) as the kiddo from Elf.
3. Alia Shawkat: Deck The Halls
Alia Shawkat has had a career that has seen her in countless different movies and television shows throughout the years, so many that people are likely to forget that as a kid, she was in the Christmas movie Deck the Halls, as Madison Finch. Deck the Halls was a 2006 movie about two neighbors who feud over one of them decorating their house for Christmas so brightly it can be seen from outer space. Alia played the daughter of the Christmas enthusiast whose decorations were offensive to the neighbors. Her other movies and television shows include Whip It, The Runaways, Drunk History, Transparent, and of course, Arrested Development, on which she played Maeby Funke for several years. Alia was 17 when she was in Deck the Halls.
2. Taylor Momsen: How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Most people remember Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey from Gossip Girl. For six seasons, Taylor played the Upper East Sider, blossoming from a mousy little schoolgirl to an edgy, goth teenager right before our eyes. But long before the days of Gossip Girl, Taylor played little Cindy Lou Who in the 2000 Christmas movie How The Grinch Stole Christmas. She was just 7 years old at the time, working alongside a big Hollywood name like Jim Carrey. It was her first significant role and she got it even though she had never even read the book or seen the cartoon! After How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Taylor was in lots of movies. We Were Soldiers, Hansel and Gretel, Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams, and Underdog were a few of them. She no longer acts, as Gossip Girl was her last project.
1. Mary-Kate And Ashley Olsen: To Grandmother’s House We Go
If you were a kid growing up in the ’90s (especially if you were a little girl), there is a good chance you were obsessed with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who were everywhere. From Full House to their mystery-party movies to Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble, these two ruled the small screen back then. To Grandmother’s House We Go was a 1992 Christmas movie about twin girls who run away to their grandmother’s house. Mary-Kate and Ashley were six years old when they played the adventurous twins Julie and Sarah Thompson. They have been out of the spotlight now for quite awhile, but they will never be forgotten for all of the movies they made when they were kids. Funny enough, To Grandmother’s House We Go is one of the only Christmas movies they made.