Emma Stone, Kate McKinnon, and Aidy Bryant sing about the "Christmas Candle" on SNL.

Best Musical Christmas Sketches From ‘Saturday Night Live’

No show does Christmas like Saturday Night Live. The long-running sketch comedy series always goes for broke with its Christmas episodes, delivering some of the strongest sketches of the season. And while we love seasonal classics like Schweddy Balls and John Malkovich’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, SNL really shines with their holiday musical sketches. Here are some of our favorite numbers that are perfect for your Christmas playlist.

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Christmas Morning

Kristen Wiig hosted SNL‘s 2020 Christmas episode, where she appeared in “Christmas Morning” as a harried mom gifted a robe and nothing else. As the rest of the family (including the dog) unwraps an endless series of awesome presents, Wiig only has her robe as she struggles to make breakfast for everyone. It’s a hilarious reminder of all the thankless work moms put into making holiday magic for the family. So go out and buy your mom more than just a robe!

(Do It On My) Twin Bed

The very first “Ya Girls” sketch features the ladies of SNL trying to seduce their boyfriends in their childhood bedrooms. It’s a hilarious and instantly relatable number for anyone traveling home for the holidays with their honey. The song really slaps and is guaranteed to be stuck in your head for days. Because nothing says sexy like monkey sheets and VHS copies of The X-Files.

Santa’s My Boyfriend

Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, and Maya Rudolph sing a ’50s girl group number about dating Santa. The harmonies are killer, the banter is perfect, and it’s a great kickoff to the episode. Rudolph and Wiig always have terrific chemistry together, which is on full display in our next pick.

ABBA Christmas

This Christmas brought us a brilliant episode hosted by returning cast member Kate McKinnon. Joined by Wiig, Rudolph, and Bowen Yang, “ABBA Christmas” is a goofy romp that saw all four players cracking up during the sketch. I will never be tired of Rudolph singing directly into Wiig’s mouth.

The Christmas Candle

The best sketches in SNL history touch on those universal truths we’ve all experienced. And who hasn’t been caught last minute without a gift to give? Enter the peach candle, a.k.a. “the gift you give away.” Taking an ’80s power ballad approach, host Emma Stone (candle) waxes poetic about the truest Christmas savior. The “We Are the World” chorus ending is just icing on the cake. Don’t overthink the candle.

Christmastime for the Jews

Outside of Adam Sandler’s iconic Hanukkah song, there’s not a lot of holiday content for Jewish folk. Luckily for us, there’s “Christmastime for the Jews”, a Rankin-Bass-inspired animated short sung by holiday icon Darlene Love. Inspired by Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, the song is ridiculously catchy. It’s one of the best TV Funhouse bits ever and is instantly relatable for Jewish people of all ages.

Sump’n Claus

If you’ve been naughty this year, a visit from Santa may not be in the cards. But at least there’s Kenan Thompson’s wily Sump’n Claus, bringing the grooves and some cold hard cash to make the holidays bearable. Sump’n also calls out Santa for being a creep (“He see you when you sleep? That’s weird!”) while also macking on Aidy Bryant’s Mrs. Claus.

What Up With That?: Samuel L. Jackson & Carrie Brownstein

The Christmas Spectacular sketch of Kenan Thompson’s “What’s Up With That” saw Kenan at his absolute best as BET host Diondre Cole. With an F-bomb slip by Samuel L. Jackson and the always fantastic Bill Hader as the endlessly put-upon Lindsey Buckingham, this sketch just hits. While not strictly a musical, you have to hand it to Kenan for his high-energy performance.

Singing Sisters

Amy Adams stars in this weird little sketch about the Dundee Sisters who aren’t quite right and all too obsessed with chewing on garbage. As they sing about “zooming down the fire tube” we discover the secret behind these strange ladies: they’re a trio of raccoons who wished to be human for Christmas.

Dick in a Box

Are you ready to feel old? SNL’s Christmas classic “Dick in a Box” is 17 YEARS OLD. This Lonely Island classic sees Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake singing about, well, you know. One of the most popular digital shorts of all time, Samberg and Timberlake would reprise their characters for two more musical sketches.

What’s your favorite SNL holiday sketch? Let us know in the comments!

(featured image: Alex Schaefer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.