Music

16 Funny Christmas Songs That Will Add Some Cheer to This Dreadful Year

For all the beautiful jazz standards and Motown gems, there’s a catalogue of Christmas cuts that lean into something a bit more … unhinged. From the slightly sinister Santa conspiracy theories to the kid-friendly fantasy gift list requests, we’ve rounded up the best goofy, weird, and untraditional holiday tunes.

“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy

https://www.youtube.com/watch

The absolute chaos that is the concept of Santa’s sleigh being pulled by wild antlered animals is finally addressed on “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”—the unexpectedly popular macabre take on the traditional holiday fable.

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“Dominic the Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey)” by Lou Monte

https://www.youtube.com/watch

Santa’s status as the official Christmas mascot is pretty solidified at this point, but there’s a fairly dense cast of other seasonal characters too. There are the elves, Mrs. Claus, and the reindeer, but it seems Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey never quite made the official roster, despite Lou Monte’s crusade.

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“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Tyler, the Creator

https://www.youtube.com/watch

“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” gets a cool, snappy face-lift as Tyler the Creator puts his signature gruff spin on the Grinch classic, making for the perfect pairing of Christmas’s most notorious naysayer and music’s favorite troll.

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“All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)” by Melissa Lynn

https://www.youtube.com/watch

An incredibly niche take on a holiday gift list, “All I Want for Christmas” is an ode to a little one’s impending canines—a great dual-marketing track for Santa’s distant cousin, the tooth fairy.

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“Father Christmas” by The Kinks

https://www.youtube.com/watch

The Kinks decide to address the elephant in the room: Santa is nonexistent. Through a first-person tale of working as a mock Santa at a department store—and being subsequently robbed by rowdy kids—The Kinks somehow find time to also address capitalism and wealth disparity: “Give all the toys to the little rich boys,” they sneer on the track’s closing line.

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“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by Gayla Peevey

https://www.youtube.com/watch

“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” belongs in its own subcategory of goofy holiday music. Godspeed to the kids whose wish lists are inspired by this tune—and their parents.

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“Chanukah Song” by Adam Sandler

https://www.youtube.com/watch

For all the incessant Catholicism surrounding the holiday season, Adam Sandler evens the playing field. The “Chanukah Song” is a run-down of famous Jewish people and traditions, made “for all those nice little Jewish kids who don’t get to hear any Chanukah songs,” the comedian explains.

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“Hey Sis, It’s Christmas” by RuPaul featuring Markaholic

https://www.youtube.com/watch

“Hey Sis, It’s Christmas” is the cut to play at an increasingly loud volume every time conservative Aunt Carol starts to talk. A simple “Come on over, bish, you can’t miss this” from RuPaul is sure to drown out the sound of any political discussions at the holiday table.

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“The Chipmunks Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” by Alvin and the Chipmunks

https://www.youtube.com/watch

Somehow, an insufferable group of chipmunks singing shrilly about being amped for Christmas has become a timeless favorite.

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“Don’t Shoot Me Santa” by The Killers and Ryan Pardey

https://www.youtube.com/watch

Coal works for most bad kids, but in the alternate universe of “Don’t Shoot Me Santa Claus,” The Killers front man Brandon Flowers pleads for mercy from a blood-hungry Santa who’s seeking vengeance on the suspected teen murderer. It’s an incredibly dark take on the usual, off-the-rails alternative holiday cuts.

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“Christmas Tree” by Lady Gaga featuring Space Cowboy

https://www.youtube.com/watch

Cut from the earliest corners of Lady Gaga’s quirky queendom is “Christmas Tree,” which is brimming with a myriad of sexually forward holiday puns.

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“Secret Santa” by Ana Gasteyer and Maya Rudolph

https://www.youtube.com/watch

The seasoned SNL veterans put a tropical twist on the typically brisk atmosphere of the season with “Secret Santa,” a Christmas story that features a banana peel as a path to enlightenment.

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“Santa! Bring My Girlfriend Back!” by The High Plains Drifters

https://www.youtube.com/watch

The High Plains Drifters craft their own Christmas standard with “Santa! Bring My Girlfriend Back!”—painting the man in red as a girlfriend-snatching bachelor. In 2020, it seems fitting that Santa might be taking more than he’s giving, and who can blame The High Plains Drifters for asking for a bit more whiskey this year.

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“Raggamuffin Christmas” by Shaggy featuring Junior Reid and Bounty Killer

https://www.youtube.com/watch

Featuring air horns and a trap-adjacent dancehall beat, “Raggamuffin Christmas” is an increasingly modern take on the usual holiday cheer that begs for a family dance party.

“Santa’s Lament” by Father Guido Sarducci

https://www.youtube.com/watch

On “Santa’s Lament,” Father Guido Sarducci plays the part of a Santa Claus who is finally asking for a bit of something in return. Swapping out the usual overplayed selflessness, Sarducci’s big guy wants a sunny vacation and relief from the army of elves who are “a bunch of yes elves,” overeager to please.

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“Funky Christmas” by Snoop Dogg featuring October London

https://www.youtube.com/watch

“I don’t want no Christmas, so don’t bring me no damn trees,” Snoop Dogg begs on “Funky Christmas.” Calling on a Kurtis Blow flow, Snoop and October London opt for the smoking kind of green instead, urging family and friends to simply leave them alone so they can rest. It’s a taboo take that seems to feel only more relatable each year.

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Listen to all our picks below and follow Harper’s BAZAAR on Spotify.

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