Jake Gray put the Glovers in front prior to the interval with a precise shot into the bottom corner.
Francois Zoko net two minutes into the second half with a low effort that crept in off the woodwork. It was the veteran forward’s 30th goal for the club, moving him up to second on Yeovil’s all-time EFL goalscorers list.
Jayden Stockley scored late on to halve the deficit but Sam Surridge converted from the spot to confirm a festive three points.
Darren Way named an unchanged team following the hard-fought draw at Mansfield Town last weekend.
Olufela Olomola dropped out of the squad just before kick-off due to illness with Sid Nelson replacing him on the bench, having originally been left out for Connor Smith.
The players entered the pitch to excellent noise from the 4,800-strong crowd at Huish Park but it took a while for them to be rewarded with an attempt on goal, 17 minutes in fact.
Exeter caught Yeovil napping at a corner played quickly to Lloyd James. His cross found an unmarked Liam McAlinden whose header looked destined for the top corner; Artur Krysiak had other ideas, making a superb fingertip save before gathering Craig Woodman’s daisy-cutter from the resulting corner.
The hosts chance came via a Zoko nod. Matt Worthington won the ball back in midfield and released Otis Khan; his mazy run bamboozled Pierce Sweeney and his pinpoint delivery was flicked into the arms of Christy Pym by the Ivorian.
Next, a long throw from Tom James caused confusion in the visitors’ penalty area, leading to Worthington flashing a powerful left-footed drive just wide.
Otis Khan then had an attempt blocked by the double-barrelled defenders Troy Archibald-Henville and Jordan Moore-Taylor following a surging run from Surridge.
Town were winning most 50/50s and when James Bailey battled possession back 20 yards out, he tried to catch Pym out with an early curler but couldn’t find the target.
Then came the opener. Gray, a thorn in Exeter’s side with his tenacity and menacing dribbles, collected Lloyd James’ stray pass and swept home low into the corner.
Moments after, the Grecians thought they had equalised, however Jake Taylor’s close range effort was cleared off the line by the well-placed Tom James. Sweeney and Hiram Boateng saw follow ups blocked by Green and Whites shirts putting their bodies on the line to ensure a 1-0 lead at half-time.
The Glovers were quick of the blocks in the second period, racing into a two-goal advantage on 47 minutes.
Zoko gathered Khan’s flick and fired expertly in off the far post much to the delight of the noisy home support.
Ex-Glover Reuben Reid came off the bench and hit a tame shot into Krysiak’s hands via a deflection in a quiet middle part of the second 45.
With 13 minutes to go, Yeovil should have grabbed a third. Gray’s cute reverse pass was graciously received by Khan, who skipped past his man before seeing his mishit effort cleared inches from crossing the whitewash.
Pym’s legs kept the score at 2-0 when Surridge ran clear before Stockley pulled one back for Exeter.
Taylor’s rocket was beaten away by Krysiak, Reid miskicked but former Aberdeen striker Stockley pounced to set up a nervy finish.
However, Yeovil had their two-goal cushion shortly after. Referee Lee Swabey pointed to the spot when Pym sent Zoko tumbling and Surridge smashed the ball in to seal an impressive 3-1 victory.
Yeovil Town: Krysiak, T.James, Sowunmi, N.Smith, Dickson, Gray, Bailey, Worthington, Khan (Green 84), Surridge, Zoko.
Bookings: Zoko 34, Worthington 82, Gray 90
Not used: Maddison, Nelson, Davies, Mugabi, C.Smith, Santos.
Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, Moore-Taylor, Archibald-Henville, Woodman, Taylor, L.James (Holmes 70), Boateng, Harley (Edwards 60), McAlinden (Reid 55), Stockley.
Bookings: Woodman 54
Not used: Hamon, Tillson, Seaborne, Moxey.