If you check out some older Christmas movies this year, keep your eyes peeled - you just might spot some of the most successful actors and actresses of today playing kids eagerly awaiting Santa Claus' arrival. If these child stars asked jolly old St. Nick for successful Hollywood careers, they must have been on his "nice" list. Here's a look back at some of the biggest actors and actresses of today who starred in Christmas movies when they were kids:
Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"
It's pretty easy to recognize a teenage Juliette in this Christmas classic from 1989, but did you know that the youngest Griswold was played by Galecki? Now the chubby-cheeked kid has grown up to become one of everyone's favorite geeks on "The Big Bang Theory," and he recently got a Golden Globe nomination because he's so good at sounding smart. But in "Christmas Vacation," he has a not-so-smart dad -- Chevy Chase plays a Christmas lights-crazy father who enlists his son to help him create the most well-lit (and hazardous) house on the block. Interestingly enough, poor competitive Clark Griswold is currently losing a competition against his former son - Chevy's show "Community" is in the same time slot as "The Big Bang Theory," but it just can't pull in the same ratings in spite of its amazing Christmas specials.
Josh Hutcherson in "The Polar Express"
An eleven-year-old Josh did some motion capture work as the young hero in this 2004 animated movie about a magic train that goes to the North Pole. He's since made a name for himself in movies like "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and "The Kids Are All Right," but it's the now-19-year-old's role as Peeta in the upcoming movie "The Hunger Games" that could make him a superstar. And here's a fun fact about Josh's career: he also played Kristen Stewart's brother in the kid-oriented sci-fi movie "Zathura."
Kieran Culkin in "Home Alone"
Macaulay Culkin might be the star of this popular 1990 Christmas movie about outsmarting holiday thieves, but did you know that his brother Kieran played bed-wetting cousin Fuller? Since then Kieran has stepped out of his brother's shadow in movies like "Igby Goes Down" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," so he's definitely primed to become a more successful adult actor than Macaulay.
Michelle Trachtenberg in "Richie Rich's Christmas Wish"
Speaking of Macaulay, he didn't reprise his role as loaded kid Richie Rich in this 1998 direct-to-video sequel with the same plot as "It's a Wonderful Life" (Richie wishes he'd never been born), but another major star-in-the-making does make an appearance in it. Michelle had already made a name for herself in "Harriet the Spy" before starring in it, so she had to find some way to make audiences forget about this lump of coal. Going on to star in the popular TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Gossip Girl" might have done the trick, but she has one other bad Christmas movie on her resume - the silly sorority slasher flick "Black Christmas."
Taylor Momsen in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
It's hard to believe that Michelle's "Gossip Girl" costar once played cherub-cheeked Cindy Lou Who in this 2000 movie - now Taylor has transformed from an adorable child star into a goth grunge goddess who likes wearing lingerie, stripper heels, and way too much eyeliner. In fact, The Pretty Reckless singer looks like she belongs in a movie titled "Black Christmas."
Jessica Biel in "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
Back when she was a teen in 1998, plenty of girls probably thought Jess was the luckiest gal in the world - she got to star alongside heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas in "I'll Be Home for Christmas." It's a really bad movie that not many people can relate to - a guy has to overcome a lot of obstacles to get home by Christmas Eve so that his father will give him a Porsche (Jessica plays the girlfriend that he's got to win back). Jonathan might not be a hot commodity these days, but Jess has gone on to score another teen heartthrob in Justin Timberlake.
Shia LaBeouf in "The Christmas Path"
Before becoming a Disney star on "Even Stevens" and an unlikely action hero in "Transformers," Shia scored one of his earliest movie roles in this little-seen 1999 movie about an angel who gets cast out by Santa Claus and must restore a family's faith in Christmas.
So while these Christmas movies might not be some of the best, they might be worth checking out to see some of the biggest celebrities of today celebrating the holidays as child stars.
More From This Contributor:Celebrities Whose Kids Don't Believe in Santa Claus here to start publishing your own articles.
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