The Best Christmas & Holiday Sketches for a Festive LOL


The Big Picture

  • Saturday Night Live has hilariously accurate Christmas and Hanukkah sketches that will help you survive the chaotic holiday season.
  • From Debbie Downer to John Malkovich’s reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” the sketches offer plenty of laughs.
  • The show captures the joys and terrors of being home for the holidays, and even includes a sarcastic Christmas dinner sketch with Hugh Laurie.

The holidays are hurtling toward us at break-neck speed. Brace for impact! And family drama. Within the next few weeks, you’ll find yourself knee-deep in gingerbread, frosting, latkes, presents, candy canes… you get the idea. One thing you absolutely need to make a priority this holiday season is Saturday Night Live. Now in Season 49 with a cast that includes Colin Jost, Bowen Yang, Heidi Gardner, Chloe Fineman, Sarah Sherman, and Kenan Thompson, Lorne Michaels’ iconic series has dozens of hilarious and eerily-accurate Christmas and Hanukkah sketches that will help you laugh through (and survive) the holidays. (Don’t worry, the unwrapped presents will get wrapped eventually.)

Saturday Night Live

A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.

Release Date
October 11, 1975

Main Genre



A Christmas Carol

Ah, Charles DickensA Christmas Carol. There’s nothing quite as wholesome as that. Well, until SNL gets a hold of it, that is. Comedy legends and frequent collaborators Steve Martin and Martin Short hosted the show together and put a bizarre and bloody twist on the Christmas classic. Short’s Scrooge seriously has the purest of intentions, but the orphans in town beg to differ. Cover your eyes!

Best Christmas Ever

At the risk of sounding a bit cliché, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. We decorate the tree, visit family and friends, and try to find the perfect gift for those we love. And best of all, calories don’t count! (Okay, that last part isn’t true, but one can dream.) Between assembling toys, welcoming relatives into your home, and waking up at the crack of dawn, Christmas also proves to be the busiest and most chaotic time of the year. This couple (Matt Damon and Cecily Strong) cozies up by their Christmas tree and reflects on their lovely holiday. Unfortunately, the more traumatizing moments from the day overshadow the rest.

Debbie Downer: Christmas Eve with Santa Claus

If Debbie Downer (Rachel Dratch) is lurking at one of your Christmas parties this year, then watch out! She is guaranteed to bring the jolly-o-meter to an all-time low. Debbie even manages to bum out Santa (Jack Black) on Christmas Eve when she spots him putting presents under the tree. According to her, Santa’s focus shouldn’t be on the milk and cookies, but rather the sad reality of carbon monoxide poisoning. Wah waaah.

John Malkovich Reads ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

John Malkovich is one intimidating fella and a mighty fine actor. Intimidating because he is just so darn good at yelling and making sure you know he is very angry with you. So the logical next step for him would be to read a classic Christmas tale, right? To little kids? (Yes. The answer is yes.) For his third time hosting SNL and his first time hosting a Christmas episode, Malkovich settles in by a fake fireplace to read Twas the Night Before Christmas to some children. He does it the only way he knows how: by interjecting his own disturbing musings and off-beat witticisms. “Itchy, itchy.”

Home for the Holidays

Don’t you just love being home for the holidays? Sort of? It might be the most wonderful time of year, but it’s also the most stressful. Eddie Murphy starred in this eerily accurate homage to the joys and terrors of being under one big roof with your loved ones who come from all different walks of life. Sure, it’s great to see your cousins and grandparents, but that just means the bathroom is endlessly occupied. Say goodbye to any alone time because Christmas is the season of entertaining, whether you want to or not. Oh what fun!

Santa’s My Boyfriend

Santa’s a pretty great guy, but maybe, a bit naughtier than we thought? In the last episode before the Christmas break, cast members Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Kristen Wiig get together to decorate a Christmas tree. All three of them are extra excited because they are each going to spend the holidays with their new man. Who might that be, you’re wondering? Santa. They’re all dating Santa. And they don’t just tell us about it, they sing it.


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The Christmas Candle

It happens to everyone at least once in their life. It’s insulting and it’s inevitable. It’s a candle. Specifically, a peach scented candle. Every Christmas, there’s at least one person that you sort of know, and really should get a gift for, yet have no idea what to buy them. Odds are, you have an innocent candle collecting dust in your closet. Slap a bow on it and wait patiently for it to be regifted to you in the years to come. Embrace the candle with Emma Stone.

Christmas Morning

What is better than Christmas morning? Nothing! Presents, a fancy breakfast, and more presents! Unless you are Mom, then, Christmas morning could be quite traumatizing. Who do you think is making the breakfast? Mom. There’s only so much fake excitement she can squeeze out about her very discounted robe you got her, and yet, she didn’t ask for. Nothing says “thinking of you” like a robe with the tag still on it. Kristen Wiig effortlessly channels a resentful mother’s holiday rage.

Weekend Update: Adam Sandler on Hanukkah

Christmas tends to dominate the holiday season, and Adam Sandler knows this all too well. Growing up, he felt pretty left out around this time of year because there were so many Christmas songs and only a handful of Hanukkah songs. Sandler is ready to introduce a Hanukkah song that isn’t “The Dreidel Song,” but one that highlights the best parts of Hanukkah and some of the famous Jewish people who celebrate it. Put on your yarmulke, it’s time to celebrate Hanukkah!

Christmas Miracle

Can you imagine meeting Santa Claus? It would surely be an unforgettable experience and you would probably have some difficulty convincing people it actually happened. These three people, however, are certain that they met good ol’ Saint Nick and detail their interactions to a Yale professor (Aidy Bryant) and a Cardinal (Bobby Moynihan) who are eager to learn more about what exactly occurred. It turns out that Sharon (Cecily Strong) and Doug’s (Casey Affleck) experiences were much jollier than Ms. Rafferty’s (Kate McKinnon) real-life encounter. Sharon and Doug were welcomed to the North Pole with hot cocoa while Ms. Rafferty had to fight for her life while being dragged on a dogsled and bossed around by a creature named Krinklemouse.

Two A-Holes in a Live Nativity Scene

Hey, babe. All this event planner (Annette Bening) wants to do is put on a wholesome Live Nativity Scene, but she’s missing some key people. Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis play (as the title suggests) a couple of self-obsessed a-holes who (shockingly) volunteered to play Mary and Joseph in this year’s Live Nativity Scene. Of course they arrive late and have no clue what is expected of them. (And they aren’t the least bit phased.) Aside from proving to be the best gum chewers to exist, Wiig and Sudeikis absolutely nail their deadpan delivery. Don’t forget the myrrh.

Santa Song

Ever met someone you really wanted to meet and ended up just making things super weird for no reason? Well imagine how these three (Billie Eilish, Kate McKinnon, Ego Nwodim) felt when that person was Santa (Kenan Thompson). Not only did Leslie Dee (Eilish) ask him very random personal questions, but she also gave him finger guns. And made sound effects. She’s not proud of it, but she’s ready to sing about it.

NPR’s Delicious Dish: Schweddy Balls

It’s Margaret Jo McCullin (Ana Gasteyer) and Terry Rialto’s (Molly Shannon) favorite time of year: Christmas! That means it is a particularly festive and energetic episode of their NPR radio show Delicious Dish (though, you probably won’t be able to tell). They are very pleased to welcome Pete Schweddy (Alec Baldwin) into the studio because they are desperate to taste his different flavored balls. Specifically, cheese, popcorn, and rum. Oh, whoa, wait. What were you thinking? Get your mind out of the gutter, it’s Christmas! Just don’t ask Terry to bring any Christmas treats to a party because she has “an excessive rat problem.”

Michael Bublé Christmas Duets

No one knows how to ring in the holiday season quite like Michael Bublé, whose soothing voice will fill your head with visions of gumdrops and sugar plums. For his latest album, Bublé teamed up with an eclectic bunch of singers to put their own spin on some Christmas classics. But, things go off the rails fast when some of the people he invited to the recording studio, including Ke$ha (Abby Elliot), Russell Brand (Jimmy Fallon), and Sting (also Jimmy Fallon), take over the recording session.

Weekend Update: Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy on the Story of Hanukkah

Are you a little fuzzy about the story of Hanukkah? Don’t worry, Seth Meyers’ podiatrist’s son, Jacob (Vanessa Bayer) is fresh off of his bar mitzvah and ready to tell you everything you need to know. Despite his best efforts to weave in some jokes, he stays pretty focused on his pre-written material and struggles with any form of off-the-cuff banter with Seth. But don’t tell his parents I said that! Bayer has played Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy on Weekend Update numerous times. She even did a deep-dive into the character and its origins in an episode of Good One: A Podcast About Jokes.

St. Joseph’s Christmas Mass Spectacular

When you think of church, what word comes to mind? Is it “epic”? Because that’s what St. Joseph’s wants you to think when you come their way for the holidays. Christmas mass is notoriously filled with all the people who don’t typically attend church, but feel obligated to this one time a year. What can you expect from this festive mass? That woman who really loves doing the readings (Cecily Strong) and Pastor Pat (Bobby Moynihan), who likes to sing at inconsistent speeds. Epic!

(Do It On My) Twin Bed

There’s a good chance you will be heading back to your hometown this holiday season, which means that you will come face to face with your untouched childhood bedroom. All the posters, the trophies, the juvenile bedspread, and, of course, the VHS tapes. Stacks and stacks of VHS tapes. So what happens if you’re home with your partner and you want to…do it? In this hilarious music video, the women of SNL, which includes Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Nasim Pedrad, Cecily Strong, Noël Wells, and Vanessa Bayer, explain the awkwardness and the many obstacles that come with having sex in your twin bed. Jimmy Fallon also rocks a gold chain and flat-brimmed hat to share his point of view.

Sarcastic Christmas Dinner

Sarcastic Christmas Dinner

Oh, wow, it’s Christmas dinner, and everyone is just so happy to be together. Hopefully you read that in a sarcastic tone, as this is a sketch about one very sarcastic and passive-aggressive (and at times unapologetically aggressive) family. Host Hugh Laurie fits right into this hilariously tense sketch with Casey Wilson, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, and Jason Sudeikis. Don’t you dare try to make small talk. “Judith! Sit. Down!”

Likely due to music rights, this isn’t available on YouTube. But, if you have Hulu, you’re able to watch it there (Season 34 Episode 11). Another couple of tragically unavailable Christmas sketches are Will Ferrell singing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” on a spinning platform, which causes him to barf everywhere and Jimmy Fallon’s musical Christmas monologue. These two sketches are well worth the extra digging and will hopefully be included in a Saturday Night Live Christmas special sometime soon.

Saturday Night Live is available to stream on Peacock in the U.S. New episodes air Saturdays at 11:30pm EST on NBC.

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