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It’s Time to Talk About the Hot Holiday Daddies

david harbour as santa claus in violent night

In the words of Pedro Pascal, “Daddy is a state of mind” so when thinking of Holiday daddies I wanted to pay tribute to, a lot of different people came to mind. Daddy does not have to mean someone with kids and it doesn’t have to be a man either. It is someone who has embodied the idea of a daddy and run with it. And so in ranking the hottest of holiday daddies, I had to open my mind and my heart to the options.

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Here are the hottest holiday daddies ranked and why we love them.

15. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell in The Christmas Chronicles 2

Kurt Russell and goldie hawn looking hot as santa and mrs. claus

One of the draws for fans to The Christmas Chronicles movies is that Kurt Russell is incredibly hot as Santa. Add in Goldie Hawn as Mrs. Claus in The Christmas Chronicles 2 and suddenly the level of daddy in the movie went up times 2 because there is something about these two together that just works (probably helps that they’ve been together IRL for years but whatever). The two give off the daddy energy and we love it.

14. Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3

Tony Stark in Iron Man 3
(Marvel Entertainment)

I will fight to the ends of the earth that Iron Man 3 should be labeled a Christmas movie. It is. And that means that the MCU daddy himself Tony Stark gets to be labeled as a holiday daddy. Look, it’s just because it is Robert Downey Jr. and he has an energy about him that works but hey, if it means Tony Stark has that same vibe then we’re running with it.

13. Kermit in The Muppet Christmas Carol

Kermit the Frog at a table in the Muppet Christmas Carol

I don’t want to explain to you all why Kermit the Frog has daddy energy but know that he does and there’s a reason why so many of us are in love with him. If I could, I would marry him. And so obviously seeing Kermit as Bob Cratchit didn’t help this matter. He’s hot! And a literal father! What can I say, I love it. Long live Kermit the Frog’s daddy energy.

12. Andrew Lincoln in Love Actually

Juliet and Mark in 'Love Actually'
(Studio Canal)

Okay people can and will fight me on this but I think my love of Rick Grimes comes from my love of Andrew Lincoln in Love Actually. As an adult woman, I recognize that this guy sucks. He’s a mean bully because he likes a woman he cannot have and it’s not great. But as a teenager, I was in love with him and this character because teenagers are stupid. Anyway. Hello, happy twelfth place daddy Mark with your weird signs.

11. The cast of Carol

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in Carol
(Studio canal)

Carol gave us the iconic “Harold, they’re lesbians” meme and also Cate Blanchett exuding daddy energy. The 2015 movie starred Blanchett and Rooney Mara as lovers and truly if you want to see something break Tumblr in the best of ways, just look through all the posts about Carol.

10. Chiwetel Ejiofor in Love Actually

Keira Knightley and Chiwetel Ejiofor in love actually
(Studio Canal)

Before he was everywhere (and for good reason), Chiwetel Ejiorfor played Peter, the character betrayed by his best friend Mark. But Ejiofor is truly so charming and handsome and wonderful in this movie? He’s barely in it and yet you care about him so much because of the energy he’s giving off. And thus I have labeled him one of the daddies of Love Actually because there are at minimum three but there are others and I just had to cut it off somewhere.

9. Hugh Grant in Love Actually

Hugh Grant dancing in 'Love Actually'
(Studio Canal)

And okay here’s the third pick from Love Actually. As someone who grew up watching Hugh Grant movies, this is probably the most daddy he ever is. He’s so hot in this movie that it is ridiculous and he has this way about him, especially when he’s yelling at the president (Billy Bob Thorton) that screams “Father Figure” by George Michael and we have to respect it.

8. Adam Scott in Krampus

Adam Scott in a cozy sweater in Krampus
(Universal Pictures)

Scroll through the Adam Scott tag here at The Mary Sue and you’ll know why this was included. It’s a holiday movie, it is Adam Scott, he’s daddy. Also Krampus does happen to be a pretty fun horror movie for the holidays that also just happens to include daddy Adam Scott. Thank you for your time and understanding.

7. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Night Before

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Night Before
(Sony Pictures Releasing)

Don’t worry, the entire cast from this movie is ranked in this list because come on this movie is good and wonderful and hot. It has Michael Shannon as an angel? What’s not to love. Anyway, daddy Gordon-Levitt. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of those rare breeds of awkward guys who is so hot and charming and would be a good father that you consider him a daddy. He is a millennial love and I’m not ashamed of it.

6. Seth Rogen in The Night Before

Seth Rogen in the Night Before
(Sony Pictures Releasing)

When is Seth Rogen not a daddy? Actually, don’t answer that because you can’t! In The Night Before, he’s doing the thing that Rogen does best: Be funny and also a mess at the same time. But Rogen himself has an energy that just bleeds into his characters and thus his rank as 6 on this list is for both his character as well as him as a person.

5. Henry Golding in Last Christmas

Henry Golding in Last Christmas
(Universal Pictures)

Hot damn Henry Golding. This movie is maybe bad? But I would not know because he’s so hot and has daddy energy for someone who is … well, I’m not going to spoil it for you but it is strange for him to have this must of the daddy vibe in it. But still, it’s Golding and he’s beautiful and thus we love him and whatever energy he’s bringing to a role.

4. Aubrey Plaza in Happiest Season

Aubrey Plaza in the Happiest Season

Aubrey Plaza is, hands down, the woman with the biggest daddy energy and I love her for it. Plaza has such a way about her in everything that she does that makes you just go “yes, whatever you say” and it’s so perfect in Happiest Season that you will think about her long after the movie has ended.

3. Anthony Mackie in The Night Before

Anthony Mackie in the Night Before
(Sony Pictures Releasing)

Have you seen Anthony Mackie? Or watched one of his movies? This is not a surprising placement. In fact, he’d probably be number one for me if the first two men didn’t swoop in and change my life but that’s just a personal me problem. Mackie is the definition of daddy energy but also straight-up just a dad. He’s perfect. And he’s so much fun in The Night Before that he makes it so incredibly easy to watch.

2. George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life

Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life
(RKO Radio Pictures)

I love Jimmy Stewart so much that this was an easy place to put him. There’s something about him that truly just still speaks to me despite being dead and also a Republican. But George Bailey, our socialist king, is a hot dad trying to figure out his life and he’s a mess but also so good with his kids that it melts you.

1. David Harbour as Santa in Violent Night

David Harbour as the hottest of santas
(Universal Pictures)

David Harbour showed up in this movie with a little man bun and I lost my mind. Harbour always has a daddy energy so dress him up like Santa and you’re done for. Here is to the number one daddy of the holidays: David Harbour. Thank you for your service as Santa because my god, is it hot.


Who is your favorite Christmas daddy? Let us know in the comments below!

(image: Universal Pictures)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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