More than any other holiday, it seems, Christmas songs are just as important as other traditions, such as Santa Claus, presents, and low budget TV movies where it always snows in Florida. After Halloween passes, and we’ve had our fill of Elvira and the Monster Mash, the never ending playlist of Christmas music begins. Even though there have been millions of holiday albums recorded over the years, it can seem like we hear the same Christmas song list everywhere we go. The last thing you want to do when planning an epic party is shuffle wore out, overplayed tunes that your guests have been listening to since November 1st, 1998. If you throw parties like we throw parties, then cocktails are an essential part of the menu, so we decided a great way to bring some holiday cheer to your festivities would be to mix it up with some hilarious Christmas drinking songs! From jazz standards to unforgettable Christmas song parodies, here are the booziest holiday jams this side of the Arctic Circle.
1. One More Christmas Beer – Sunny Sweeney
Even if you’ve never heard of Sunny Sweeney, you’ve probably heard her music. Releasing music since 2007, she’s known for songs with titles like, “Drink Myself Single” and “You Don’t Know Your Husband.” So of course, she’s responsible for the first of the funny Christmas songs on our list, “One More Christmas Beer.”
2. Christmas In Hollis – Run-DMC
Sampling tracks like “Frosty the Snowman”, “Jingle Bells”, and “Joy to the World”, and Clarence Carter’s “Back Door Santa”, this lively rap song only briefly mentions drinking eggnog, but you can tell from the rest of the lyrics that there’s definitely a party going on. Run-DMC also namechecks some favorite party food like macaroni and cheese, and Mom’s home cooked chicken, both of which pair incredibly well with a box of wine.
3. Merry Christmas from the Family – Jill Sobule
One of the all-time greatest, and most well known Christmas drinking songs, “Merry Christmas from the Family” has been recorded by several artists like Montgomery Gentry and even Rosie O’Donnell, but the original was from Robert Earl Keen. One of my favorite versions is a cover by folk rock singer Jill Sobule. She even made a music video that oddly pictures a hot and sunny December, especially for the 90s.
4. Merry Christmas Baby – Charles Brown
This is one of those fun Christmas songs that, sure, you might hear it over the loudspeaker at Walgreens, but it still makes you want to sing & dance every time. Although I’m still not mad at the Hanson version, there’s nothing like the original Charles Brown classic. It’s also not a drinking song, perse, but it has one of those sneaky, naughty lyrics that’s been getting past uptight grandmas for years: “I haven’t had a drink this morning, But I’m all lit up like a Christmas tree,” which is code for “I drank so much last night that I’m still feelin’ it.”
5. Silver Bells – Steve Martin & Paul Simon
Christmas song parodies are a genre in and of themselves, and this incredibly weird version of Silver Bells is a little-known entry. Legend has it that Steve Martin and Paul Simon were drunk when they recorded it, and that’s a rumor I find 100% plausible. The narration even mentions drinking eggnog martinis, which you’d have to be intoxicated to enjoy. I mean, buttermilk and olives? I guess if you use top shelf whiskey… Also, that’s Billy Joel playing the piano!
6. The Chanukah Song – Adam Sandler
This novelty number is not my favorite Christmas drinking song by any stretch, and yes, I realize it’s not actually about Christmas. But it mentions Christmas and drinking, and it’s a sure-fire way to get drunk guys singing at a holiday party. Many Adam Sandler fans will claim they know the words, even though they just scream, “Put on your yarmulke, It’s time for Chanukah,” every time the chorus rolls around. My favorite line? “So drink your gin and tonicah.”
7. Drunk on Christmas – Big & Rich
There’s no denying the value of this tune when it comes to Christmas party songs. It touches on some themes associated with holiday indulging, such as boring dinners and crazy families. I especially love the list of types of alcohol they plan to consume, although I can’t image surviving a shot of Rumple Minze, a Black & Tan, Jägermeister, and a Stella.
I also don’t understand why anyone would drink a Stella when there’s Guinness around, but, hey, to each his own.
8. 12 Days of Christmas – Fay McKay
Tipsy grandmas always crack me up, but the best part about this song is that the drunk old lady KNOWS it’s funny that she’s a drunk old lady, and uses it to her advantage. She lives for the applause. Plus the 12 Days of Christmas has the perfect list-of-objects structure for song parodies, and the best drinking songs always contain counting. Two turtle doves with one stone!
9. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer – Elmo & Patsy
The childhood favorite that refuses to go away, “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” is bothy catchy and short. It raises many questions, like, “Why is grandma walking alone at night? Why isn’t she in the kitchen making cookies and breakfast casserole?” Who’s to say? From the jingle bells in the background to the Santa-like chuckle in Elmo’s voice, you should always raise your glass when this ditty starts to play. Bonus Tip: Stick to the song; don’t play that lame movie version at a party unless you want everyone to leave.
10. All I Want for Christmas is Whiskey – Dan Rodriguez
I like the idea of getting whiskey under the tree, but can’t I get some pretzels and beef jerky for sustenance while I drink? Luckily, this is just a silly Christmas song, and we don’t have to limit ourselves to only one category of stocking stuffer. If you want to get the party going fire up this pub-worthy tune, pour some Jameson, and turn it into an Irish drinking song for a cross-over celebration.
11. Here We Come A-wassailing – Lots & Lots of People
When I was a kid, my friends at church would tell me that “wassailing” was another word for drinking and that’s why we now say “caroling” instead. The internet later straightened me out and explained that caroling itself is steeped in a tradition of going from house to house, singing and getting free booze from your neighbors. So why did we ever stop caroling? For a fun party game, teach this song to all your guests, then go across the street to that jerk who always parks his Hyundai Elantra in front of your place, then put on a show at his curb. That’ll show him.
12. The Night Santa Went Crazy – Weird Al Yankovic
Somehow this violent little gem has been left out of everyone’s all-time best holiday songs list, but not ours! Aside from the fact that it looks like Weird Al animated the video himself, it has a lot in common with bigger Christmas hits. Tender moments followed by a rousing chorus; a storybook narrative that brings you back by stating the title from time to time; stuff about Santa. Definitely a forgotten classic.
13. Baby It’s Cold Outside – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan
The holiday season has always been a good time for duets, but nothing can top the standard, “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Even in early November, it warms your cockles with banter about staying inside longer than you really should because it’s too damn frigid to walk to the car. Even though the reference to drinking is brief, the two people in the song have apparently tipped a few back. It’s probably best that she stayed. It’s always smart to drive defensively around the holidays.