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8 of our favorite holiday-themed ‘SNL’ sketches 

The comedy show’s most unforgettable holiday sketches range from skits about stressful relatives to the catchy song “I Wish It Was Christmas Today.”
Eddie Murphy stars in a 2019 "Saturday Night Live" sketch about being home with family for the holidays.
Eddie Murphy stars in a 2019 "Saturday Night Live" sketch about being home with family for the holidays.Saturday Night Live / NBC
/ Source: TODAY

“Saturday Night Live” truly makes the holiday season the most wonderful time of the year by delivering some of its best sketches.

Throughout the month of December, “SNL” typically features a wide variety of skits that both celebrate and mock the holiday season. 

The show is currently on a brief hiatus, but it will return Dec. 11 with first-time host Billie Eilish, who will also double as the musical guest. The singer will likely add to the show's long list of Christmas tunes. 

Before the final two episodes of the year, revisit some of the best holiday-themed skits throughout the last few decades. 

1. Eddie Murphy’s “Home for the Holidays”

“SNL” legend Eddie Murphy made his triumphant return to the show in 2019 and reprised some of his most hilarious characters like Gumby and Buckwheat. But, one of his best sketches was a skit about having family over for the holidays. In between Murphy delivering a heartwarming speech to his relatives, the scene cuts to different members of the family arguing and irritating each other during their stay. 

2. Matt Damon’s “Best Christmas Ever”

Any parent who has had their children wake them up early on Christmas morning can relate to this 2018 skit. Similar to Murphy’s sketch, host Matt Damon happily reminisces about spending Christmas with his family when he is interrupted by memories of frustrating moments he had with his children earlier. 

During the clip, Cecily Strong says their daughter loves her playhouse and asks Damon if he was up late building it. He grunts before a flashback shows him cursing and kicking the playhouse as he struggles to put it together. 

3. “The Christmas Candle”

Emma Stone hosted a 2016 “SNL” episode that featured a holiday song about candles. In the music video, Stone, Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon sing about coming up with the perfect last-minute gift during the holidays. 

“It’s a candle / That same peach candle / Regifted 'round the world in just one day / Thank you candle / The one true candle / The candle that we all get then give away,” the ladies harmonize during the chorus as they dance together in the snow.

4. “Santa Baby”

Ryan Gosling, who hosted the show in 2015, showed off his comedic acting skills in this funny sketch about a couple who confuse and scare everyone at their neighborhood holiday party when they insist Santa Claus is real. 

After former cast member Beck Bennett repeatedly says Santa is not coming, Gosling sits on his lap and intimidates him in a chilling tone.

 “I don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing David,” Gosling says while using a broken candy cane as a weapon. “Do you think me and my baby aren’t good enough to meet Santa?”

At one point, Gosling shouts “Go get Santa!” before Bennett hurries up the stairs and returns dressed as Saint Nick.  

5. “The Sparkle Players Christmas Show”

This 2009 Christmas sketch is by far the most underrated on the list, but it is definitely worth watching to see host Taylor Lautner pretend to be a member of a middle school show choir.

During one of the numbers, Lautner awkwardly dances and sings, “Santa Claus get down my chimney,” in an odd accent. A member of the audience then throws a basketball at his stomach before former cast member Will Forte steps in as the principal. 

Toward the end of the clip, Lautner moonwalks across the stage and shows off his best Michael Jackson impression. 

6. “I Wish It Was Christmas Today”

One of the most classic “SNL” holiday jingles, “I Wish It Was Christmas Today,” has been performed on the show multiple times. Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan first got together to sing the song back in 2000. 

Most recently, they sang the song on Dec. 17, 2011. Sanz strummed his guitar as the others bopped along to the lyrics that go, “I don’t care what your mama says / Christmas time is near / I don’t care what your daddy says / Christmas is full of cheer.”

As the song continues, Fallon presses random notes on a keyboard, Kattan repeats a strange neck dance and Morgan flails his arms repeatedly. 

7. “NPR’s Delicious Dish: Schweddy Balls”

Host Alec Baldwin and “SNL” alums Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon are all featured in this unforgettable 1998 sketch.

Gasteyer and Shannon play two NPR hosts who introduce a baker named Pete Schweddy. Baldwin portrays Schweddy, who makes a famous holiday dessert called "Schweddy balls."

The audience constantly gasps and laughs throughout the skit as Gasteyer and Shannon compliment the Schweddy balls. 

8. “D--- in a Box” 

While Andy Samberg was a “SNL” cast member, he was known for his digital short songs. In 2006, host Justin Timberlake joined Samberg for the absurd track titled “D--- in a Box.” 

The pair sings about giving their women a “special” gift. “Not gonna get you a house in the hills / A girl like you needs something real / Want to get you something from the heart,” they joke before revealing their present. 

The gift doesn’t just work for Christmas. Samberg and Timberlake let the audience know that the present is also appropriate for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and every other holiday.