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7 best funny Christmas movies you should watch this holiday season

Although they may not be the best comedies ever made, there have been plenty of genuinely funny Christmas movies released over the long history of the genre. Every streaming channel has plenty of great options to peruse, but if you’re looking for the best of the best, then we’ve got you covered.

These Christmas movies will make you laugh plenty, but they’ll also remind you of the unique joy that only Christmas can bring with it. Without further ado, these are the seven best funny Christmas movies.

Elf (2003)

Elf (2003) Official Trailer #1 - Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel Christmas Movie HD

Some have argued that Elf is the best Christmas movie ever made, but whether you think that or not, it would be impossible to write any list of funny Christmas movies without it. Telling the story of a human who is raised with elves as he sets off to return to the world of mankind, Elf is funny, charming, and filled to the brim with the Christmas spirit.

Will Ferrell is perfectly cast as Buddy, an elf so buoyant and joyful that he makes everyone around him want to gag. It’s that very joy that is the movie’s ultimate point, though, and the reason that Elf has endured as a holiday classic.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Theatrical Trailer

The genius of Chrismas Vacation is that it builds almost all of its jokes around what it’s actually like to prepare for Thanksgiving. There’s the impossibility of getting a tree and hanging lights, as well as plenty of great jokes about how impossible it is to deal with family.

Chevy Chase is at the center of the movie’s chaos, but Christmas Vacation benefits from a broad ensemble cast. While the movie certainly has a fair bit of cynicism about the holidays and what they represent, even Christmas Vacation can’t help but get caught up in some of the season’s splendor.

The Holiday (2006)

The Holiday (2006) Official Trailer 1 - Kate Winslet Movie

One of the more original holiday movies ever made, The Holiday follows two women who meet online and agree to switch lives for the holiday season, with one coming to Los Angeles, and the other going to stay in a cottage in England.

Thanks to incredible performances from Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, as well as supporting turns from Jack Black and Jude Law, The Holiday is a charming romantic comedy about what it’s like to be going through it in the midst of the holiday season.

Scrooged (1988)

Scrooged - Trailer

An adaptation of A Christmas Carol with even more bitterness laced in, Scrooged tells the story of a successful TV executive who is visited by three ghosts after he fires an employee on Christmas Eve.

Scrooged is fairly faithful to the Dickens story it’s adapted from, but with Bill Murray in the central role, it lets its star have fun with some improvisation, making this version a good deal funnier than your average adaptation of the story. A Christmas Carol is one of the most powerful stories ever told about Christmas, and Scrooged gets at what makes it so powerful.

Happiest Season (2020)

Happiest Season - Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original

A holiday rom-com, Happiest Season takes a distinct approach to the formula by telling the story of a relationship between two women, one of whom hasn’t come out to her parents yet. When the two go to visit her parents, they pose as friends, straining their relationship almost to its breaking point.

While there are plenty of genuinely funny moments in Happiest Season, which features stellar supporting turns from Aubrey Plaza and Dan Levy, Happiest Season is propelled by the chemistry between its two leads, Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis, who combine to make this one of the best Christmas movies on Hulu.

Trading Places (1983)

Trading Places (1983) Teaser Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

It may seem like Trading Places is the kind of comedy that could take place at any time during the year, but there’s an added resonance to the fact that it’s a holiday tale. Telling the story of a rich investor and a homeless man who are made to switch places by a pair of wealthy brothers placing a bet on the outcome, Trading Places is an incisive satire about the way class divides people.

It’s filled with great jokes, and most of it holds up perfectly 40 years later (there is some regrettable blackface near the end). In this story, though, the main point is about giving more than you receive, and it’s a lesson we should all take to heart.

Spirited (2022)

SPIRITED Trailer (2022) Ryan Reynolds

There simply aren’t enough holiday musicals, and Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds seem to agree with that position. Telling a twisted version of A Christmas CarolSpirited follows the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future as they attempt to redeem the soul of a ruthless media consultant.

Ferrell and Reynolds make for a remarkably solid duo, but what makes Spirited really sing is its emphasis on songs. The Apple TV+ original may not have become a Christmas classic just yet, but Spirited is certainly enough fun to check out if you missed it in 2022.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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