The holiday season is officially in full swing, which means it’s time to start decking those halls and getting those festive playlists in order. (Because, honestly, if you haven’t listened to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” on a loop at least 100 times by now, is it really even Christmas?) But while everyone has their own unique traditions during this special time of year, one activity that’s beloved by all is gathering the family together to watch funny Christmas movies. From classic animated specials to romantic comedy hijinks, there’s no shortage of holiday content at your disposal — all of which are sure to leave you and your loved ones rolling on the floor with laughter. Hey, it’s not called a holly, jolly Christmas for nothing!
So, set aside those true crime podcasts and cozy up to some high-quality Christmas movies that have proven time and time again to be magical experiences for kids and adults of all ages. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry (from all the laughing). You’ll laugh again. Whether you watch just a handful or all of the festive selections on this list, it should make your holiday season merry and bright indeed. In fact, some of these films are so funny they’d make even the Grinch himself turn that frown upside-down.
A Few Favorites to Get You Started
1. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Based on the works of Charles Dickens, this film — which stars all of your favorite muppets as the titular characters — is pure joy. Michael Caine makes for the perfect Ebenezer Scrooge, who unwillingly embarks on a journey of self-discovery he won’t soon forget. There’s singing. There’s dancing. There’s heckling. All-in-all, it’s guaranteed to warm your heart and put a huge smile on your face.
2. Last Holiday (2006)
Are you even doing the holidays right if you haven’t laughed your way through this Queen Latifah classic? The premise sounds depressing: Georgia Byrd (Latifah) discovers she has a terminal illness and has three weeks left to live. But it’s actually full of hilarious hijinks and heartwarming messages as she literally lives like she is dying.
3. Elf (2003)
Will Ferrell has played a lot of great characters throughout his career, but nothing has produced pure comedy gold quite like his portrayal of Buddy the Elf. Determined to find his place in the world, Buddy leaves the North Pole and ventures to the Big Apple in search of his biological father, whose lack of holiday spirit has put him on the naughty list (gasp). Luckily, good ole Buddy has plenty to spare. Seriously, though, you’d have to be a cotton-headed ninny muggins not to enjoy this family-fun film.
4. The Santa Clause (1994)
You wouldn’t think that a movie about Santa falling off some guy’s roof would be all that funny (in fact, some might say it sounds more like a horror movie). However, Scott Calvin’s journey to becoming the new Santa is a must-see event. It also just serves as a good reminder to be careful about reading clauses in a contract — and maybe staying off of roofs, too.
5. Four Christmases (2008)
Spending the holiday with one family can be difficult enough, so just imagine what could happen if you were forced to spend it with four. That’s precisely the predicament Brad and Kate find themselves in after their secret vacation plans (sans family) for the holidays fall through at the last minute. Between the all-star cast and palpable chemistry between Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn, trust us when we say this film is the gift that keeps on giving.
6. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
When it comes to comedic hijinks, no family does it quite like the Griswolds. Clark goes into the holiday with the best of intentions, but as more and more members of the family arrive, the more things seem to go wrong at every turn. This is just one of those movies you can watch again and again and not get sick of it. And, if nothing else, it leaves you thankful that your own family isn’t quite as dysfunctional as theirs.
7. Love Hard (2021)
When the grownups need a good new holiday rom-com to watch, cue up Love Hard. Nina Dobrev stars as Natalie Bauer, an LA-based dating column writer who documents her disastrously bad dating app matches. But when she matches with a man who seems perfect, she decides to take a leap of faith and fly out to Lake Placid, New York, to meet him. What she finds is... not what she expected, in more ways than one.
8. Noelle (2019)
This cute 2019 holiday caper sees Noelle Kringle, the daughter of — you guessed it — ol’ Kris Kringle himself. Full of Christmas spirit, she must help her far-less Christmas-spirited brother Nick Kringle prepare to become the 23rd Santa. And, c’mon, with Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader as the iconic sibling duo, how could it not be hilarious?
9. Spirited (2022)
Speaking of wildly funny pairs, this list wouldn’t be complete without Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell in Apple TV+’s new spin on A Christmas Carol. A musical version of the Charles Dickens tale, Spirited sees Clint Biggs (Reynolds) turn the tables on his ghostly host, Ebenezer Scrooge (Ferrell).
10. Holiday Rush (2019)
Romany Malco and Sonequa Martin-Green are good in everything they do, and they both star in Holiday Rush. So, that should give you enough incentive to watch. Malco plays a widowed radio DJ who, after unexpectedly getting fired, leaves behind a life of luxury to move his family of four kids in with his aunt just before Christmas. Martin-Green stars as Malco’s producer, who helps hatch a plan to get him back on the airwaves.
More Kid-Friendly Funny Christmas Movies
- Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
- Home Alone (1990)
- Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
- The Santa Clause 2 (2002)
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)
- A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
- Fred Claus (2007)
- Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
- Christmas With You (2022)
- Deck the Halls (2006)
- The Grinch (2018)
- A Christmas Story (1983)
- Jingle All the Way (1996)
- Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
- The Princess Switch (2018)
- The Princess Switch: Switched Again (2020)
- The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (2021)
- The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
- The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020)
- Klaus (2019)
- Arthur Christmas (2011)
- Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)
- Unaccompanied Minors (2006)
More Mature Funny Christmas Movies
- Love Hard (2021)
- The Holiday (2006)
- Falling for Christmas (2022)
- Holiday in the Wild (2019)
- The Family Stone (2005)
- The Best Man Holiday (2013)
- Holidate (2020)
- Office Christmas Party (2016)
- Let It Snow (2019)
- A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)
- Bad Santa (2003)
- The Night Before (2015)
- A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)
- Almost Christmas (2016)
- Happiest Season (2020)
- Love Actually (2003)
- Scrooged (1988)
- Christmas Inheritance (2017)
- Last Christmas (2019)
- Single All the Way (2021)
- Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (2013)
- Daddy’s Home 2 (2017)