15 of the Funniest Christmas and New Year's Eve Movies

Celebrate the holidays with a few good laughs!

Happy couple watching TV at home
valentinrussanov / Getty Images

Season's greetings! We've made a list and checked it twice to come up with the 15 funniest Christmas and New Year's-themed movies. So grab some (preferably spiked) eggnog and get in the holiday spirit with these excellent comedies.

of 15

"Elf" (2003)

Elf movie
Photo from Amazon

This loopy movie is the sweet and silly tale of a human baby raised by elves at Santa's North Pole home. Jump ahead to adulthood and our boy (Will Ferrell) heads to New York City to find his biological father (James Caan). Along the way, he picks up some elf work and a little romance. It's a bright modern day fairytale filled with charm and daffy slapstick, enough to delight kids and even grumpy ol' middle-aged guys. Also starring are Mary Steenburgen, Zooey Deschanel, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, and Andy Richter.

of 15

"A Christmas Story" (1983)

A Christmas Story cover

"You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) dreams and schemes to be gifted with a glorious Red Ryder air rifle—at the risk of shooting his eye out! Based on narrator Jean Shepherd's "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash," it is a loving remembrance of life in the 1940s. The challenges Ralphie faces were just as pertinent, compelling, and hilarious then as they are today. Who could forget the frozen pole and tongue scene?

This movie now plays on a constant rotation for 24 hours starting on Christmas Eve—perfect for memorizing some of the many excellent lines contained in this holiday staple.

of 15

"Scrooged" (1988)

Scrooged cover

"Scrooged" is a modern-day remake of Charles Dickens' classic, "A Christmas Carol." In this version, our Ebenezer Scrooge is Frank Cross (Bill Murray), a heartless and lovelorn television executive. When Frank fires an employee (played by comedian Bobcat Goldthwait) on Christmas Eve, a series of freaky but funny ghosts turn up to give him a tour of his past, present, and future.

of 15

"Miracle on 34th Street"

Miracle on 34th Street cover
Photo from Amazon

This movie is a classic in every sense of the word!

A department store Santa claims to be the real deal. To prove it, he lands in court, converting a skeptical six-year-old (Natalie Wood) into a believer. The comic fantasy won three Oscars, including best supporting actor Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, original story, and screenplay. Then it became a quintessential holiday classic. Maureen O'Hara and John Payne co-star. It was remade in 1994.

of 15

"Home Alone" (1990)

Home Alone cover
Photo from Amazon

This classic movie tells the story of how 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) gets accidentally left behind when his family go to Paris for Christmas. Using only his wits, a cunning Kevin must protect his home from two bumbling criminals who are hell-bent on pulling a Grinch and stealing everything in sight. Pratfalls and sight gags galore!

of 15

"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (1989)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation cover
Photo from Amazon

Everybody's favorite globe-trotting goofballs, the Griswolds, stay home for the traditional American family Christmas. Experience the tree, the outdoor lights, the dinner, the uninvited relatives (including Cousin Eddie!)—all the recognizable hells of the season. Well-done slapstick and trademark tastelessness stuff the package, starring Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid. 

of 15

"Bridget Jones's Diary" (2001)

Bridget Jones's Diary cover

"Bridget Jones's Diary" begins and ends on New Year's day. In the course of one year, we ride along with the incorrigible Bridget as she finds love, loses love, makes blue soup, and finally finds love again.

This movie is filled with laughs and irresistible characters. Oh, and ugly Christmas sweaters, too.

of 15

"When Harry Met Sally" (1989)

When Harry Met Sally cove
Photo from Amazon

As college students, Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) meet by chance when they share a ride home for the holidays. When they meet again ten years later, they find out whether or not women and men can ever really "just be friends."

The final scene in this movie takes place on New Year's Eve, a night full of new beginnings for even the oldest of friends.

of 15

"The Santa Clause" (1994)

The Santa Clause cover

Tim Allen plays a divorced dad who accidentally kills a man in a Santa suit on Christmas Eve. He's then magically transported to the North Pole, where he finds out that he has killed the REAL Santa and he must now take over Santa's duties.

When he gains a "bowl full of jelly" belly overnight and grows that iconic white beard, he finally realizes that this was no dream!

of 15

"Jingle All the Way" (1996)

Jingle All The Way cover

It's "The Terminator" for tots, as Arnold Schwarzenegger goes to any extreme to score an unobtainable toy for his kid's Christmas commandment. Big and splashy, the production will suit youngsters—and parents who've been there, done that. Sinbad becomes a villain, of sorts, competing in the chase, while smarmy neighbor Phil Hartman chases Arnold's wife (Rita Wilson).

of 15

"It's a Wonderful Life" (1946)

It's a Wonderful Life cover

This favorite Christmas movie of many is largely a drama, but since it's such a classic and iconic holiday film, it must be included on this list. Laced with homespun humor and the promise of post-WWII Americana, Frank Capra's brilliant film (based on a Christmas card) is often warm, fuzzy, and funny. Could anything possibly be more satisfying than the romance of George (James Stewart) and Mary (Donna Reed)? The black-and-white photography is beautiful, too.

of 15

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000)

The Grinch cover

The famous ugly schmuckling charges onto the screen in full blustery weirdness—a film to recommend for intentionally laughable art direction. So, who in Whoville has been a good little boy? That wouldn't be greeny meany Jim Carrey, a sour ball of holiday-loathing. Watch his body language, sharply considered and executed, creating an impressive physical comedy performance.

of 15

"Trapped in Paradise" (1994)

Trapped in Paradise cover

Inept criminals (Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey) sting their disapproving brother (Nicolas Cage) into becoming an accomplice on a Paradise, Pennsylvania, bank robbery. Unfortunately, the icy weather delays the trio's getaway, forcing them to experience the gracious Christmastime hospitality of their victims. An easygoing surprise, which meshes chuckles with golden era Hollywood inspiration.

of 15

"Bad Santa" (2003)

Bad Santa cover

Fair warning: This comedy is dark, folks! Every year, two con men (played by Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Cox) team up to pose as a mall Santa and his elf in order to steal from the shops in the mall. Yet when one of them shows up drunk and depressed, security guard (the late, great Bernie Mac) catches on to their schemes. When they befriend a young boy, things start to turn around for this "Bad Santa" and they discover the true meaning of Christmas.


of 15

"Trading Places" (1983)

Trading Places cover

Filthy rich, elitist investment broker brothers Mortimer (Don Ameche) and Randolph Duke (Ralph Bellamy) make a bet: Can down-and-out criminal Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) become a successful banker if given the chance? And what happens when pampered snob Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) has his fortune taken away in the blink of an eye and given to Valentine?

After the Dukes frame Winthorpe for a crime he didn't commit and give Valentine his house, butler and job, Winthorpe and Valentine must work together to take down the scheming Dukes.