-The 12 Pains of Christmas – Bob Rivers
Chances are, you’ve been hearing this on your radio station for years, but it never fails to make me smile. It’s a 12 Days of Christmas parody. My favorites? “Rigging up the lights,” “5 months of bills,” and a dead-on Archie Bunker impression with “Hangovehs.”
-Green Christmas – Stan Freberg
More of a skit than a song, Green Christmas paints Ebenezer Scrooge as president of a Mad Men-era ad agency. Every product must have a Christmas tie-in. Naturally, Bob Cratchitt objects. Many cute brief carol parodies ensue, including, “We wish you a merry Christmas, and please buy our beer!”
-Christmas Carol – Tom Lehrer
“On Christmas day, you can’t get sore. Your fellow man you must adore. There’s time to rob him all the more, the other three hundred and sixty-four!”
“Angels we have heard on high, tell us to go out and buy!”
Ingenious satire. Also, give a listen to his delightful “I’m Spending Hanukkah In Santa Monica.”
-Seventy-Seven Santas – Gayla Peevey (youtube)
Yes, THAT Gayla Peevey–the girl who wanted a hippo for Christmas. She counted 77 Santas around her town yesterday, and dreams of what it would be like if they ALL came down her chimney and each brought what she asked for. How sad for her parents that they only had one Santa Claus growing up! It’s the same sort of good-natured childhood innocence that made “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” a success.
Of course, the best-known cynical Christmas classic is “(No Place Like) Home For The Holidays” (From Atlantic to Pacific, Gee the traffic is terrific!)
Not quite so vintage, but a few new favorites:
-Christmas Griping – R.E.M.
Apparently, R.E.M. used to release special Christmas cuts for their fan club members. This is one of them. Thudding tribal-esque drums back members of the band waxing cynical about their least-favorite features of the holyday season. Most memorable is the “Boom-shaka-laka-laka, Ho-ho-ho” chant, which I have as my ringtone presently.
-Toy Packaging – Sara Groves
Gasp! A Christian singer with a cynical Christmas song. Pretty funny, actually, about a frustrated mom trying to get toys extracted from all the plastic, wire and zip-ties that packages most of them nowadays. "Nothing makes me lose my cool like toy packaging!"