Top five Christmas comedies

Christmas comedies are a dime a dozen, but there are several that keep us laughing season after season. These top 5 comedies all have memorable characters, hilarious moments, and more holiday cheer than you can shake a candy cane at!

5. Ernest Saves Christmas

Ernest P. Worrell is one of my favorite movie characters of all time. His delightful costumes and over the top facial expressions wowed me as a child, and Ernest Saves Christmas was likely his best movie. Santa Claus is looking to retire, and to do so he must pass his Christmas-sized torch on. Only, his chosen replacement is a big shot movie star who has decided that Santa Claus isn’t real. You know who believes in Santa though? That’s right, Ernest. The film follows him as he tries to save Christmas with the help of Santa, a generic ‘80s teenage girl, and his usual cast of characters. It is a great and funny family film worth watching every single year.

4. Home Alone

Macaulay Culkin with his hands clasped on the side of his face, frozen in a comedic scream. That is an image that I will likely never forget, and it encapsulates the brilliance of the kid comedy Home Alone. It’s really every young boy’s fantasy — left alone in the house just like an adult, doing whatever you want. Unfortunately for Kevin McCallister, it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. He has to avoid a frightening furnace, and bungling burglars, all while realizing that he does indeed miss his family. It isn’t an overly Christmas-y movie, but it’s setting makes the movie all the more heartwarming and hilarious. “Keep the change, ya filthy animal!”


3. Elf

Buddy the Elf is a grown man — who was raised by Santa and his elves. Played hilariously by Will Ferrell, Buddy spreads joy and cheer with a huge dose of social awkwardness. His quest to find his real father, who naturally refuses to celebrate the holiday, is certainly one for the ages. As Buddy grows from an elf to a man, falling in love and learning to be with his family, he never loses his love of Christmas. In many ways, his character is a representation of how all of us should approach life — with wonder, joy, and extreme snowball throwing skills.

2. Christmas Vacation

“Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.” That’s right Cousin Eddie, Christmas Vacation is a movie that keeps on giving for the whole year. After all it gives us the Griswolds stuck in another miserable Clark Griswold created situation, but this time with even more of the family! After watching this movie, it is easy to see where the family gets their madness from, but the comedy doesn’t stop there! The movie is full of hilarious situations, touching moments, and of course, National Lampoons-level crude humor. It may not be for the entire family, but it is perfect for the adults to enjoy after the children have gone to bed.


1. A Christmas Story

“Ho ho hooo,” those immortal words of Santa Claus take on an entirely new meaning in this all too real reflection on a bizarrely normal childhood Christmas. Young Ralphie only wants a Red Rider BB Gun for Christmas, and he must go through a vengeful teacher, leg lamps, decoder rings, and even an evil Santa Claus to get to it. The story, told from a grown-up Ralphie’s perspective, is as dry and sarcastic as it is meaningful. It plays on repeat for 24 hours every single Christmas, standing the test of time with it’s relatable characters and witty dialogue.

Stephen Russ is a Beliefnet editor and an expert in holiday cheer.

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