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10 Funny Christmas Movies For The Holiday Season

 Will Ferrell as Buddy in Elf.
Will Ferrell as Buddy in Elf.

The holiday season is upon us, and on top of seeing loves ones and doing wintery activities, for many, now is the time to re-watch our favorite festive content. While there are a ton of Christmas movies out there, some of them stand out among the rest thanks to their comedic chops. And the following are the most funny Christmas movies out there, in my opinion.

This isn't to say that there aren't other Christmas titles that I re-watch every year that didn't happen to make it on the list. I'm a sucker for the claymation movies like Santa Clause is Coming to Town, as well as animated Christmas movies like Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. Still, these are the Yuletide flicks that annually give me the most chuckles.

chevy chase beverly d'angelo national lampoon's christmas vacation
chevy chase beverly d'angelo national lampoon's christmas vacation

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

I mean, how could this not be the first entry on this list? Christmas Vacation is widely considered one of the best Christmas movies of all time, and that's because of its absolutely hilarious script and killer performances by the cast. What's more, it's something that lots of families could relate to; sometimes things just go awry during the holidays. Luckily, most of us don't end up with squirrels in our house or cutting off a bannister with a chainsaw.

National Lampoon's Vacation movies span a number of different settings, but I personally think the holiday outing is the best. And watching Chevy Chase's Sparky lose his sanity as his family seemingly tries to ruin the holiday never gets old. Christmas Vacation's behind-the-scenes facts are fascinating, and the movie remains endlessly quotable to this day.

peter billingsley a christmas story
peter billingsley a christmas story

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story might have become the quintessential Christmas movie thanks to being played on 24 hour loop on the titular holiday ever year. And it's so popular that a long-awaited sequel finally arrived on Max last year. Still, there's no comparing it to the 1983 original.

A Christmas Story is set in 1940, and offers a nostalgic look at the holiday in years gone by. All protagonist Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants for Christmas is a Red Rider BB Gun, and we watch as he drops hints and tries to survive Kid-dom. This movie changed the pop culture landscape as we know it, and it's chock full of hilarious scenes involving the leg lamp, a frozen pole and one seriously cranky department store Santa.

michael caine and the muppets in the muppet christmas carol
michael caine and the muppets in the muppet christmas carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol

This one is my personal favorite Christmas movie of all time. The Muppet Christmas Carol is a delightful musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel. The movie is full of gorgeous music, and stars Michael Caine opposite everyone's favorite group of talented puppets.

The Muppets are known for being funny, and there are so many moment in this take on the Christmas Carol that still make me chuckle to this day. The movie is available to stream with a Disney+ subscription, and longtime fans will be delighted to know that The Muppet Christmas Carol's extended version is also available, including Belle's deleted song.

Tim Allen as Santa Claus with his on-screen son in The Santa Clause.
Tim Allen as Santa Claus with his on-screen son in The Santa Clause.

The Santa Clause

1994's The Santa Clause was a critical and box office hit when it arrives in theaters. That popularity led it to becoming a bonafide franchise, with multiple movie sequels as well as the new series The Santa Clauses on Disney+, which just returned for Season 2.

Tim Allen stars in The Santa Clause as Scott Calvin, a marketing director who accidentally becomes the new Santa after his predecessor fell off his roof. The movie is a delightful fish out of water story where we watch him gradually become Saint Nick. The movie's comedy has aged rather well, and it also has that Christmas magic that moviegoers of all age are looking for. Seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing!

Buddy the Elf in the classroom
Buddy the Elf in the classroom

Elf

Jon Favreau's Elf is probably the most recent bonafide movie Christmas classic. While plenty of other movies have been released, including countless Hallmark Christmas movies, they haven't necessarily had the staying power and iconography of Will Ferrel's holiday movie.

20 years later Elf is the ultimate Christmas movie chock full of laugh-out-loud moments. This is all because of Will Ferrell's outstanding performance as Buddy the Elf, who brings a manic naivety as someone raised on the North Pole and experiencing the real world for the first time. Seeing him scream out of excitement to see Santa never gets old, nor does his montage exploring New York City and eating gum off of the street. And while Elf 2 won't happen, it's gotten more life thanks to a Broadway musical.

Jim Carrey as The Grinch
Jim Carrey as The Grinch

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

This one was a bit of a mixed bag when it first arrived in theaters back in 2000. The live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas had some big shoes to fill given how beloved the original animated special is, but I personally have found that Ron Howard's movie has actually held up super well, especially related to its non-stop jokes. And yes, we have to give credit where credit is due regarding Jim Carrey, who gives an endlessly energetic performance as the green title character.

Just like the original animated Grinch movie, we follow Dr. Seuss' green villain as he loathes the Whos and the entire holiday season. While Taylor Momsen's Cindy Lou Who tries to include him on the fun as she goes through her on existential crisis about the holiday, things soon go awry.

Jim Carrey is firing at 100 the entire runtime of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and I've only grown more appreciate of his work as the years have gone by. He was already an acclaimed comedic genius at that point, and it's impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. While we'd get an Illumination Grinch movie years later, the 2000 live-action flick will always be my favorite of the three.

Kristen Stewart blonde in Happiest Season
Kristen Stewart blonde in Happiest Season

Happiest Season

For a few years now, the entertainment industry and its consumers have been speaking about the power of representation in the media. As a result, we've seen much more stories about women, people of color and LGBTQ+ folks. That includes holiday projects like Happiest Season, which is centered around a lesbian couple.

Happiest Season focuses on Abby and Harper (played by Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis), with the latter going home for the holidays. But her parents don't know she's queer, so she and Abby are forced back into the closet during the festivities, and all sorts of contemporary shenanigans begin. The Happiest Season cast list is rounded out with great performances by Aubrey Plaza, Dan Levy, Victor Garber and Mary Steenburgen.

Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister in Home Alone
Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister in Home Alone

Home Alone

While there's long been debate about whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie, the same discourse isn't possible for Home Alone. The 1990 classic comedy is one of the most popular Christmas movies of all time, thanks to its steady supply of family friendly laughs.

Despite the decades that have gone by, Home Aone and its sequel Lost in New York have aged pretty damn well. The various pratfalls are effective, but the biggest credit should go to Macaulay Culkin, who was endlessly charismatic as a young performer in this pair of movies.

A kid stands ready to fight the Krampus in Krampus.
A kid stands ready to fight the Krampus in Krampus.

Krampus

Krampus is perhaps the least traditional Christmas movie on this list, as it's a horror comedy set during the holiday season. But if you're someone who can handle suspense and some cartoon violence, it's actually a hilarious commentary on the way the holidays can sometimes be toxic-- especially related to family dysfunction.

In Krampus, we follow the Engal family, who are basically at each other's throats during the holiday season. The titular demon comes from the North Pole to punish them, serving as a dark shadow to Santa's yuletide cheer. The family drama is consistently funny, and even the kills are bonkers and comedic. So if you're looking for a different type of funny Christmas movie, this one's for you.

Jamie Lee Curtis in Christmas with the Kranks
Jamie Lee Curtis in Christmas with the Kranks

Christmas with the Kranks

Christmas with the Kranks is a movie adaptation of the John Grisham book Skipping Christmas. And while Tim Allen is known for playing The Santa Clause's title character, he's also the leading man of this 2004 comedy opposite scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis.

While I was first introduced to Christmas with the Kranks against my will, it's actually grown on me. Some of the funniest moments come from JLC herself, who shows that she's an effective comedian as well as a horror icon. And if this one is on TV during the holiday season, I'm probably leaving it on for all the Curtis-related comedy. And I'll never look at a Honey Ham the same way.

With new holiday movies being released every year, only time will tell if another hilarious Christmas movie is released, and is able to join this list of elite titles. In the meantime, check out the 2024 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.