Christmas Movie Child Stars: Here's What They Look Like Now

Christmas movies have been struggling in finding a balance between full-on corniness and the saccharinely sweet moral lessons we learn from those movies that we take into everyday life. Someone may dislike them at some points, but after all, watching Christmas movies is regarded as one of the most common things to do on Christmas Eve. Year after year, we return to the same old Christmas movies. They might be a dose of comfort, nostalgia, and Christmas cheer.
It turns out that watching Christmas films is not simply an entertaining activity, it evolves into something like a tradition. And sometimes, we did not notice that those movies were released decades ago and our beloved child actors are actually getting old that we can recognize them anymore. Charlie Chaplin introduced the world to one of the first child stars in the film industry - Jackie Coogan. He was only 7 when he appeared in the silent film named The Kid (1921). Since then, so many gifted kids have starred in movie history.
Now, let’s take a look at how 9 child stars have changed since starring in our favorite Christmas movies. Without a doubt, they will bring us a lot of nostalgia. Keep scrolling down and check them out!

#1 Peter Billingsley from A Christmas Story (1983)

Christmas Movie Child StarsSource: © A Christmas Story / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer© A Christmas Story Christmas / Legendary Pictures

Billingsley's portrayal of aspiring BB-gun owner Ralphie - a work he made at 12 years old - was so endearing that it's always played on TV for 24 hours every Christmas. He's stuck with acting over years but has more credit as a producer. We can same some projects, including Iron Man, F Is for Family and The Break-Up, and his directorial debut

#2 Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone (1990)

Christmas Movie Child StarsSource: © Home Alone / Hughes Entertainment© The Righteous Gemstones / HBO Entertainment

Roles in favorite holiday classics Uncle Buck and Rickie Rich helped shape Culkin into an iconic '90s child actor. After almost a decade-long hiatus from acting, he appeared in Party Monster and Saved. "I don't just turn my back [on the spotlight]; I actively don't want it," Culkin said to The Guardian of fame in 2016.

#3 Kieran Culkin from Home Alone (1990)

Source: © Home Alone / Hughes EntertainmentLISA O'CONNOR/AFP/East News

One memorable thing about Christmas Classic Home Alone is the sheer amount of children included in the overall cast. We'll excuse you if amongst the hustle and bustle, just like Kevin's parents, you might have overlooked Kieran Culkin, who helped round off the cast

#4 Mara Wilson from Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

Christmas Movie Child StarsSource: © Miracle on 34th Street / Hughes Entertainment© marawilson / Instagram

In Miracle on 34th Street, Mara Wilson portrayed Susan Walker, a little girl who decided to show that a man claiming to be Santa Claus is genuine.
In 2018, she said to Entertainment Weekly, “My role [in Miracle on 34th Street] happened very quickly: Mrs. Doubtfire came out at the end of 1993, and then we started filming Miracle in early spring of 1994. And I remember finding out that I got the part for Matilda while I was in Chicago filming Miracle. So as you can see, it just kind of snowballed. Everything was on top of each other. It was ridiculous and crazy, but fun — I like meeting people and traveling to places.”

#5 Karolyn Grimes from It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Christmas Movie Child StarsSource: © It's a Wonderful Life / Liberty Films© Dave Allocca / StarPix /

Karolyn Grimes was only six-years-old when she starred as Zuzu Bailey in the 1946 classic It's a Wonderful Life. She was sitting in an office with other parents and their children as one of the mothers "accidentally
spilled coffee on Grimes' dress moments prior to her interview. 'It might have intimidated some little girls, but it gave me something to talk about,' Grimes told the Independent.

#6 Eric Lloyd from The Santa Clause (1994)

Source: © The Santa Clause / Walt Disney Pictures, © Jean_Nelson /

In The Santa Clause trilogy, Lloyd starred alongside Tim Allen as Charlie, the son of a divorced dad who becomes the actual St. Nick. He kept acting in the eight-year gap between the first and second movies in the series before enrolling at Chapman University to study movie production. He now plays in a band, runs a production studio and occasionally acts.

#7 Thomas Brodie-Sangster from Love Actually (2003)

Christmas Movie Child StarsSource: © Love Actually / StudioCanal© Ana Maria Wiggins / Alamy Stock Photo

The angel-faced child star has continued to work steadily into adulthood. He attended Nowhere Boy, nanny McPhee, The Maze Runner franchise, episodes of Game of Thrones, and even had a small role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In 2017, Brodie-Sangster reprised his Live Actually role for the charity mini-sequel Red Nose Day Actually.

#8 Johnny Galecki from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Christmas Movie Child StarsSource: © National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation / Hughes Entertainment© Matt Baron /

Johnny Galecki was 14 years old when he portrayed the part of Rusty Griswold in Jeremiah S. Checknik's Christmas comedy National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2014, the director remembered, "Galecki was just an odd kid. He was very young and so dry […] He made me laugh because he has this wack of a sense of humor and that’s what made me really want him.”
“He wasn’t a Hollywood kid who was going for laughs, but he had a nervousness to him that in many ways shows beautifully now as an adult,” he went on. “His comic gifts are absolutely incredible."

#9 Taylor Momsen from How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Christmas Movie Child StarsSource: © How the Grinch Stole Christmas / Imagine EntertainmentInvision/Invision/East News

Taylor's Momsen was only 7 when filming How the Grinch Stole Christmas but the angelic performance of Cindy Lou never stops being an absolute treat. Her rendition of ‘Where are you Christmas?’ is one of the cutest parts of the whole movie, and she's a complete hero for managing to recite all her lines with that hairstyle.
In an interview in 2020, Taylor reflected on the movie, calling it, “an impactful moment in [her] life.”
She continued, "I think that people love The Grinch just simply because the core of the story is so sweet and it's so heartwarming and it has such a good message. That no matter what age touches your heart, I think that that’s an amazing thing to be a part of. "
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