Are the stresses of Christmas making you weep? Are your tears turning into frozen little icicles of despair? Log out of that Amazon account, delete the email about Secret Santa, and get thee to one of these cracking Christmas comedy shows.
The Showstoppers' Christmas Kids Show, Leicester Square Spiegeltent
While the rest of the shows on this list are strictly for older kids, Showstoppers is appropriate for all the family's ears. The name of the game: young 'uns shout out random scenarios (with a Christmas twist, of course), and the Showstoppers bring them to hilarious life. Maybe Peppa Pig and Spiderman build a snowman. Perhaps Shaun the Sheep meets Dora at the North Pole. Just one rule: adults DON'T get to shout out — the kids are in charge of this one.
The Showstoppers' Christmas Kids Show, Leicester Square Spiegeltent, 23 November-1 December, from £14.50 (for ages 6+)
Scrummy Mummies Christmas Show, Broadway Theatre, Catford and The Ivy House, Nunhead
Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson bring the Xmassy stage show version of their lauded podcast to Catford (a big show at Broadway Theatre) and Nunhead (a few smaller shows at wonderful community pub The Ivy House). Expect scummy carols, yuletide sketches, and Santa stories. Oh, and catsuits.
Slipped, Royal Vauxhall Tavern
If Little Timmy wants to see a panto this festive season, DO NOT take him to this one (unless Little Timmy is over 18). The RVT is infamous for its filthy, overblown pantos (one year it was called Prince Bendover in Boots), and this year's is a reboot of the age-old Cinderella tale, featuring a fixated prince, a pair of evil anti-geniuses and a fairy godmother with anger management issues.
Slipped, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 28 November-8 January, £18 plus booking fee
BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon: All I Want For Christmas is Attention, Soho Theatre
A festive extravaganza is promised from these two queens, as they storm Kentish Town for one night only. One's all sugar, the other's all spice, but they both have their issues when it comes to coping with the pressures of the season. Copious amounts of eggnog is one of them.
BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon: All I Want For Christmas is Attention, O2 Forum Kentish Town, 2 December, from £16.50
Tim Key: Chrimbo Bimbo, Arcola Theatre
Not a Christmas goes by when poet extraordinaire Tim Key doesn't slip on his festive knitwear, and ladle his warm, weird brand of humour over the audience. 'Poems of course, stinkin' sprouts, probably mulled wine, cloves, and other yule garbage' are promised. Alongside an 'all-new title, poster, venue and jumper'. We take that to mean he'll be treating us to classic material from past shows.
Tim Key: Chrimbo Bimbo, Arcola Theatre, 12-20 December, from £12
Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis, Park Theatre
A kinky and camp festive comedy at the Park Theatre, that's strictly adults-only. Not a musical even though it features music, this is the first time the 1998 play that's about trying to fit in, has been performed in London.
Martha Josie and the Chinese Elvis, Park Theatre, 11 December-4 January, £18
Christmas LOLs, Southbank Centre
Glittery seasonal zingers are on the (Christmas) cards from The LOL Word this December. The LGBTQIA+ women and non-binary comedy collective recently sold out at Soho Theatre, but their Christmas present to you is this absolutely free show of stand-up, sketch and gay carols.
Christmas LOLs, Southbank Centre, 20 December, free
Benefits of Laughter Christmas Special, Proud Embankment
This festive special — featuring Rudi Lickwood, Axel Blake and Funmbi among others — aims to undo all the blood-pressure-raising stresses and strains of the season by making you laugh your head off. Why not level up with the three-course Caribbean feast on offer.
Benefits of Laughter Christmas Special, Proud Embankment, 22 December, £17.84-£35.08