It may not be high-brow, and Culkin's performance wasn't as brilliant as some other child performers in the history of cinema, but the film had many merits that still carry over today, including solid performances by the supporting cast: Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Catherine O'Hara, and even a nice cameo appearance by John Candy. It proved that audiences were hungry for simple comedies with pratfalls and innocent underdogs winning against bumbling bad guys.
The sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, may not have been as much fun as the original, but it was still a success, thanks in large part to the return of Columbus and Hughes as the creative force, and the return of most of the cast. Additional follow-ups did not fare as well -- Home Alone 3 starred Alex D. Linz as a new character in a reboot of the series and it flopped, and the TV/DVD version Home Alone: Taking Back the House starred a new young actor, Mike Weinberg, in the role that Culkin made famous, little Kevin McCallister, but it failed as well.
Although Culkin's acting career fizzled as he grew older, he brought undeniable charm to the original film, even if his acting skills may not have been as polished as his brother Kieran's. The chemistry among all the actors was great, and viewers could tell that they all had a lot of fun making the movie -- or at least it came across that way on screen.
It may not be one of the all time holiday greats, but Home Alone is still a lot of fun to watch all these years later.