We’ve written a lot about Enneagrams on The Everymom and The Everygirl because understanding your Enneagram type as it relates to others can help increase your self-awareness, strengthen your relationships, and even help guide your parenting.
Since the holidays are so relationship-oriented, we thought it’d be fun (and useful) to align some of our favorite Christmas movie parent characters with your Enneagram types and offer some holiday-focused insight to help you through the season, however it looks for your family this year.
Don’t know your Enneagram type? Start here.
Type 1: Reformer—Doris Walker in Miracle on 34th Street
Reformers are well-organized, orderly, and purposeful. They have high standards but can move towards the critical when others don’t meet their standards, as we see in Mrs. Walker as she grows frustrated when Mr. Kringle won’t tell her daughter, Susan, the “truth about Santa Claus.”
Ones can also fall into the trap of seeing their way as the only right way, which can create conflict in young and growing families as you navigate the season. Try to stay open to creating new traditions, especially this year.
Type 2: Helper—Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Helpers are warm-hearted, generous, and sentimental, which is so apparent in Clark’s desire to give everyone a “big old fashion family Christmas.” Twos can be a little self-sacrificing as evidenced by Clark risking safety (the Christmas lights on the roof) and financial security (writing the check for that pool) to increase the Christmas magic for his family. Even though you probably can’t have a big family Christmas this year, you can still embrace your inner Clark by finding new ways to celebrate and feel connected to those you love.
Type 3: Achiever—Jack Campbell in The Family Man
Achievers flourish when accomplishing things. They can be charming while still being extremely goal-oriented and competitive. Like Jack, this often leads threes to career successes. Yet during Jack’s glimpse into life as a “family man,” he uncovers a new meaning of success that isn’t always found at the top of the corporate ladder. Threes can take the holidays as a moment to pause from pulling up to the next rung. Try to notice the little successes surrounding you right at home.
Type 4: Individualist—Julie Biggs in The Preacher’s Wife
Fours are the Individualists, meaning they are often artistic, sensitive, and reserved. They seek out personal fulfillment in expressing themselves creatively and showcasing their individuality. We learn Julie used to be a singer before she became head of the church choir, and we watch her light up again on stage at the club with angel Dudley’s (AKA Denzel’s) encouragement singing in signature Whitney Houston-style.
As a four, you’ll want to seek out opportunities to add your special, creative touch to the holidays—maybe by creating an Insta-worthy holiday decor display, doing door-to-door (masked) caroling, or finding the perfect unique gift from a small business.
Type 5: Investigator—George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life
Investigators are always seeking a deeper connection with the world. They are independent, innovative, and inventive, as George demonstrates in his desire to “see the world” and his strategies to help Bedford Falls through his family building and loan.
Because a lot goes on inside their heads that they may not share with family and friends (including any struggles), fives can become detached, as we see in George as he descends into despair before he meets his guardian angel, Clarence. Remember what’s inside your mind isn’t necessarily what others see. Try to open up and connect with who and what is most important to you this holiday season.
Type 6: Loyalist—Lisa Whitfield in This Christmas
Loyalists value security and protection and are often seen as steady and level-headed. In This Christmas, Lisa feels she needs to be responsible for managing her entire extended family’s welfare as wife, mother, and sister at the sacrifice of her own needs and wants.
As a six, you may be known as the dependable one in your family, which can also lead to extra pressure to put other people’s wishes ahead of your own. With your tendency towards caring, you might feel more connected to the season by giving back to your favorite charity over buying gifts for everyone on your list. Try to prioritize and delegate so you can carve out time for what is most meaningful to you around the holidays.
Type 7: Enthusiast—Buddy in Elf
Buddy is the seven-est of sevens, with unmatched enthusiasm and optimism for the world, which is why he’s on this list although he technically doesn’t become a parent until the very end of the movie.
Like Buddy, as an Enthusiast, your magnanimous, fun-loving nature is contagious. But being known as the “life of the party” in a year when gatherings are small and more low-key, may leave you feeling restless. Try to reimagine holiday parties as fun, festive nights in with your family or find a reason to get dressed up like an after-bedtime date night—maybe even make it a double date by Facetiming some of your best friends? Above all, try not to let your special holiday light snuff out this year.
Type 8: Challenger—Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit in The Muppet Christmas Carol
Eights are powerful protectors who want to be in control and care deeply for those they love. Decisive and confident, eights won’t back down from a confrontation, as evidenced by Emily as she gives Mr. Scrooge a piece of her mind on two occasions.
As an eight, you probably want to make the holidays extra special with carefully laid plans. But because this year is so full of surprises, the holidays too may seem extra stressful for eights. Try to remember it’s not always the perfect plan that makes the holidays special, it’s moments with the people closest to you.
Type 9: Peacemaker—Ralphie’s Mom in A Christmas Story
Nines are the Peacemakers, and they want to create harmony and avoid conflicts or tension at all costs. Ralphie’s mom strives to keep everyone happy at home, including Ralphie’s dad as things go awry after Ralphie gets in a fight at school, after the “accident” with the lamp, and the dog-destroyed Christmas feast.
This year of tough conversations and uncomfortable boundary-setting may have been hard if you’re a nine. But since you’re naturally able to find silver linings, you can help focus your family on gratitude this season. Embrace your natural ability to find the positive in just being together with who you can around the holidays.
The article was originally published on December 10, 2019, and has been updated for timeliness.