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These SNL Christmas Sketches Will Have You Laughing Through the Holiday Season

From "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" to "A Christmas Carol" with Steve Martin and Martin Short, watch the best SNL Christmas sketches here—including a few you might've never seen. 

By Jessica White & Samantha Vincenty

For many who celebrate the holiday, Christmas can be chaotic, stressful, and joyful all at once—a roller coaster ride perfectly captured in Saturday Night Live’s 2018 “Best Christmas Ever” starring Cecily Strong and Matt Damon as harried parents. No matter how you feel about December 25, SNL’s 49-seasons-deep archive has a Christmas sketch to match every mood, exploring every holiday situation imaginable.

Whether the show’s putting its own wild spin on “A Christmas Carol,” singing the praises of the perpetually-regifted Christmas candle, or introducing us to an unstable couple (Ryan Gosling and Vanessa Bayer) who still think Santa’s real, you could spend the entire month of December watching nearly 50 years’ worth of Saturday Night Live Christmas sketches.

For the sake of your packed holiday viewing schedule, we’ve rounded up the absolute best of the best below.

RELATED: How to Watch the SNL Christmas Special 2023

Maya Rudolph and Robert DeNiro dressed as an elf and Santa while Larry Macy stands next to them during Saturday Night Live.

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

In "Christmas Morning," a family (Kristen Wiig, Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, and Chloe Fineman) shows off what they received for Christmas this year. Most of the family got exactly what they want, but mom only manages to collect a lineup of...robes. 

Santa Baby

Forget his turn as Ken in the Barbie movie—Ryan Gosling should win a whole EGOT for this modern classic SNL Christmas sketch, in which he and Vanessa Bayer play a couple who demand to meet the real Santa. 

Weekend Update: Drunk Uncle on the Holidays

Weekend Update: Drunk Uncle on the Holidays

When Bobby Moynihan was on SNL, you could always count on his Drunk Uncle to make an appearance at the "Weekend Update" desk to complain about the holidays. 

RELATED: Adam Driver's Chocolate Santa Sketch Is an Instant SNL Christmas Classic

NPR's Delicious Dish: Schweddy Balls

NPR's Delicious Dish - Schweddy Balls

This list wouldn't be complete without one of the most iconic Christmas sketches ever created, Season 24's salacious "NPR's Delicious Dish: Shweddy balls" sketch. Two innocently-hushed NPR Hosts welcome a baker named Pete Shweddy, played by 17-time Host Alec Baldwin, to discuss his hit holiday dessert.

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

This gem from Steve Martin and Martin Short's December 10, 2022 episode stars Short as Ebenezer Scrooge and Martin as a Christmas spirit. All the two want to do is toss shiny gold coins to needy orphans and townsfolk—but whoops, they keep maiming them by accident. 

Steve Martin's Holiday Wish

Steve Martin's Holiday Wish

This Christmas sketch, in which Martin shares his unrepentantly selfish holiday wish list, remains an all-timer amid Steve Martin's long legacy on SNL as the second most-frequent host.

Weekend Update: Adam Sandler, "The Chanukah Song"

While there may be countless Christmas carols out there, SNL alum Adam Sandler noticed a distinct lack of Chanukah songs, so he decided to take the matter into his own hands with "The Chanukah Song."

I Wish It Was Christmas Today

Sometimes the simplest jokes land the hardest, as proved in the SNL ditty "I Wish It Was Christmas Today." Get in the holiday spirit with SNL alums Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, and Tracy Morgan as they sing about getting everyone pumped for the season.

Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood: Christmas

A great thing about rewatching SNL Christmas sketches every year: It's a chance to revisit some of the earliest standout moments from the show's history, like this 1984 edition of Eddie Murphy's Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood parodies.

Consumer Probe

...and the same can be said for this 1976 sketch, in which Dan Aykroyd's irresponsible toy manufacturer sits down with a talk show host (played by Five-Timer Candice Bergen). 

Best Christmas Ever

Two overwhelmed parents (Matt Damon and Cecily Strong) reflect on their not-so-smooth Christmas morning.

D*** in a Box

SNL Digital Short: D*** in a Box - Uncensored

In one of the most beloved SNL digital shorts of all time, Justin Timberlake and Andy Sandberg team up for a hilariously seductive song about holiday gift-giving.

RELATED: A History of SNL's D*** in a Box Sketch and Its Sequels

December to Remember Car Commercial

In this faux ad, a dad (Beck Bennett) surprises his family (Timothée Chalamet, Heidi Gardner) on Christmas morning with a new car! Sadly for dad, the reception isn't quite what he expected.

Debbie Downer: Christmas Eve w/ Santa Claus

Rachel Dratch's recurring Debbie Downer was comedy gold, as seen in the 2005 holiday episode when Debbie meets Santa Claus (Jack Black) on Christmas Eve. Debbie proves that even the merriest of men on the planet can be depressed by her never-ending criticism. 

RELATED: Rachel Dratch on the Conversation That Inspired Debbie Downer

Christmas Miracle

As part of SNL's "Strange Encounters" sketches, Ms. Rafferty (Kate McKinnon), Sharon (Cecily Strong), and Doug (Casey Affleck) share their experiences meeting Santa Claus. While Sharon and Doug recount a typical Christmas tale, as always, Rafferty's experience is vastly different.

Glengarry Glen Christmas: Elf Motivation

Glengarry Christmas - Elf Motivation

In another terrific performance from Baldwin, SNL parodied Glengarry Glen Ross, following a group of elves (Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, and Seth Meyers) as they receive a motivational speech from the ruthless elf Winter's Breath (Baldwin). Remember the ABCs: Always Be Cobbling.

Bring It on Down to Wrappinville

Two singing and rapping Christmas wrapping vendors (Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake) tangle with a street vendor (Aidy Bryant) in this festive edition of their recurring sketch.

TV Funhouse: Christmastime For the Jews

This holiday installment from SNL writer Robert Smigel's "TV Funhouse" series was a gorgeous tribute to the classic Rankin/Bass claymation specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town. Here, an animated Darlene Love sings a celebratory tune about how Jewish New Yorkers spend the days surrounding December 25.

Mall Santa

Starring Robert DeNiro as a mall Santa Claus, and Maya Rudolph as an extremely over-it scorned elf. 

The Grinch

The Who family (Chloe Fineman, Kyle Mooney, Mikey Day, and Kristen Wiig) have an encounter with the famous green Christmas-hater (played by Pete Davidson). As it turns out, the Who parents already enjoyed an encounter with The Grinch the night before. Bonus points to SNL's costume and set departments for this one. 

Will Forte dressed as Santa and Justin Timberlake dressed in a large cup suit during Saturday Night Live.


Come for Davidson's spot-on Eminem impression, and stay for Bowen Yang's surprise cameo as Sir Elton John. 

Jennifer Coolidge Is Impressed by Christmas Stuff

Jennifer Coolidge Is Impressed by Christmas Stuff

Chloe Fineman's Jennifer Coolidge gives her take on Christmas lights, stockings ("a big sock full of gifts! You know, the ultimate stocking stuffer is...a foot"), eggnog, and much more. The sketch earned a call-out from Coolidge herself, who described Fineman as an "exceptionally brilliant impressionist." 

How can I watch classic Saturday Night Live sketches? 

Chris Kattan, Will Ferrell, Chris Parnell, Horatio Sanz, and Christopher Walken during the Behind the Music skit.

Watch more classic Saturday Night Live sketches

Can't get enough Saturday Night Live? NBC.com has so many classic moments ready for you to watch whenever you want. Here's how:

You'll find vintage sketches—and the history of iconic SNL characters—on NBC Insider. 

The origin of Rachel Dratch's Debbie Downer: Watch every sketch

Bill Hader' Stefon First Appeared in a Non-"Weekend Update" Sketch

Will Ferrell's Most Memorable Sketches

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's Best Moments Together on SNL

17 Kate McKinnon Moments That Belong in the SNL History Books

Pete Davidson dressed as the Grinch with two people sitting in the background on the set of Saturday Night Live.

And check out these classic clips on NBC.com:

Best of Bill Hader on SNL

Best of Kristen Wiig on SNL

Commercials on SNL

Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and Peacock, and stream the next day on Peacock

Originally published Dec 22, 2022.