8 Christmas Song Parodies to Sing This Holiday

iStock.com/Crosbygrisu
iStock.com/Crosbygrisu

You know "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," but do you recall the most famous "Rudolph" parody of all—that one featuring a cowpoke with a very shiny gun? There are many, many more song parodies that use the tunes of familiar Christmas songs. We’ve rounded up just a few others that you might not know, but should.  

1. JOHNNY THE REDSHIRT FRESHMAN

Johnny Manziel was a redshirt freshman for Texas A&M in the fall of 2012 when he blew past all competition and won the Heisman Trophy, the first freshman ever to win the award. Michael Cordova wrote a little song about it, set to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

You know Matthews and Michael and Joeckel and EZ
Stewart, DaMonster, and Harris and Nealy
But do you recall the most famous Aggie of all?
Johnny the redshirt freshman strikes a lovely Heisman pose
But if you ever saw him, you would even say OH NO... no no no... YES YES!

The song is short, but it was really popular with Aggies that year.

2. DECK US ALL WITH BOSTON CHARLIE

Walt Kelly drew the syndicated comic strip "Pogo" from 1948 to 1975. Pogo the possum and his animal friends in the Okefenokee Swamp talked a lot of nonsense that hid social and political satire among the laughs. For Christmas, the satire gave way to downright silliness, as the cast sang classic Christmas carols with nonsense lyrics. The best known was “Deck Us All with Boston Charlie,” a take on "Deck the Halls," which ran year after year.

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

Don't we know archaic barrel
Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou?
Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

There are actually six complete verses to this song; you can find all the lyrics at The Straight Dope and check out some of the relevant comics here.

3. BUZZFEED CHRISTMAS

Randall Munroe at xkcd put new lyrics to a few lines of the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” which is a list in itself, to parody the list makers at Buzzfeed.

4. AUSSIE JINGLE BELLS

“Jingle Bells” isn’t specifically about Christmas—it's really just about riding through the snow on a wintry day. But in Australia, Christmas occurs during the continent's summer season. So the Australian duo Bucko & Champs (Colin Buchanan and Greg Champion) recorded a new version with Australian lyrics in 1993 called "Aussie Jingle Bells.” It became so popular down under that they re-released it on their Christmas album Aussie Christmas with Bucko & Champs in 1996. The lyrics are here if you want to sing along.

5. THE FIRST HARD SELL

Want to express your displeasure about the overemphasis on the shopping part of Christmas? Try out this parody song, attributed to Christopher Hershey, that's sung to the tune of “The First Noel.”

The first hard sell comes sometime in June
When last season's Christmas cards take too much room,
So they put them out in an off-season bin,
For in June they are getting their new shipments in.

Hard sell, hard sell
Hard sell, hard sell
This is the Christmas we all know so well.

About midway in July the lay-away plans
Make their laying-away-in-a-manger demands,
And installment plans begin their attempt to entice
You end up paying twice the original price.

Then early in the fall there's a pre-season bluff
To sell gift wrappings, ribbons and other such stuff
Buy it now! the ads demand, if you don't buy it, you
Will discover we're out of it when you want to.

By the time October comes, every store's lined with snares
With Halowe'en, Christmas and Thanksgiving wares;
What once were festivals that were simple and plain
All have become mere excuses for capital gain

6. WARNER WONDERLAND

Musician Jim Keyes posted a video in which he played “Winter Wonderland” on YouTube several years ago. Warner Music Group had it removed on grounds of copyright infringement. Keyes knew that there’s a way around that: Parody songs are protected from charges of infringement. So he altered the lyrics of “Winter Wonderland” to tell the story of what happened.

7. HAMLET, THE DANISH PRINCELING

Mya Gosling runs the webcomic Good Tickle Brain, where she turns Shakespeare on his head for a laugh. Last year on Christmas Day, she gave us Hamlet, the Danish Princeling, with lyrics to be set to the tune of "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer." In the same post, she also has the parody songs "Good King Henry V" and "Hark the Herald Witches Sing."

8. THE CHEMISTRY TEACHER’S COMING TO TOWN

Here’s one that might bring a little smile to the face of students studying for finals, set to the tune of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

You better not weigh
You better not heat
You better not react
I'm telling you now
The Chemistry Teacher's coming to town.

He's collecting data
He's checking it twice
He's gonna find out
The heat of melting ice
The Chemistry Teacher's coming to town.

He sees you when you're decanting
He knows when you titrate
He knows when you are safe or not
So wear goggles for goodness sake.

Oh, you better not filter
And drink your filtrate
You better not be careless and spill your precipitate.
The Chemistry Teacher's coming to town.

This and 13 other Christmas songs converted to chemistry jokes can be found at Wesleyan University’s Physics department.

This Innovative Cutting Board Takes the Mess Out of Meal Prep

There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
TidyBoard, Kickstarter

Transferring food from the cutting board to the bowl—or scraps to the compost bin—can get a little messy, especially if you’re dealing with something that has a tendency to roll off the board, spill juice everywhere, or both (looking at you, cherry tomatoes).

The TidyBoard, available on Kickstarter, is a cutting board with attached containers that you can sweep your ingredients right into, taking the mess out of meal prep and saving you some counter space in the process. The board itself is 15 inches by 20 inches, and the container that fits in its empty slot is 14 inches long, 5.75 inches wide, and more than 4 inches deep. Two smaller containers fit inside the large one, making it easy to separate your ingredients.

Though the 4-pound board hangs off the edge of your counter, good old-fashioned physics will keep it from tipping off—as long as whatever you’re piling into the containers doesn’t exceed 9 pounds. It also comes with a second set of containers that work as strainers, so you can position the TidyBoard over the edge of your sink and drain excess water or juice from your ingredients as you go.

You can store food in the smaller containers, which have matching lids; and since they’re all made of BPA-free silicone, feel free to pop them in the microwave. (Remove the small stopper on top of the lid first for a built-in steaming hole.)

tidyboard storage containers
They also come in gray, if teal isn't your thing.
TidyBoard

Not only does the bamboo-made TidyBoard repel bacteria, it also won’t dull your knives or let strong odors seep into it. In short, it’s an opportunity to make cutting, cleaning, storing, and eating all easier, neater, and more efficient. Prices start at $79, and it’s expected to ship by October 2020—you can find out more details and order yours on Kickstarter.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Calm on the Fourth of July

iStock/Getty Images Plus/melissabrock1
iStock/Getty Images Plus/melissabrock1

The Fourth of July can be rough for dogs. Fireworks displays light up their senses with unfamiliar noises, flashes, and smells, and parties flood their homes with strange guests who may invade the rooms they usually have as private retreats. And when distressed dogs escape, howl, or thrash around the house, Independence Day can quickly become a nightmare for their owners, too. To minimize Fido's stress this holiday, we spoke to some dog experts to discover the best ways to keep your canine calm on the Fourth of July.

1. Exercise Your Dog

Anthony Newman, the dog whisperer who runs New York City's Calm Energy Dog Training, says that exercise is a great way to help your dog let off some nervous energy. "Whenever Fido is going to be neglected for an extended period of time, or around any stressful stimuli, it always helps to tire him out just before—and even during the night if you can," Newman says. "As the saying goes, a tired dog is a good dog! He'll be calmer, happier, and more peaceful."

2. Keep Your Dog Indoors

Dr. Stephanie Liff, head veterinarian at Pure Paws Veterinary Care, says the best place to keep your pet during a fireworks show is inside and away from the windows. "If the pet is very scared, an escape-proof crate or a sound-insulated room, such as an internal bathroom, may help the pet to feel more secure," Liff tells Mental Floss. "If you cannot keep your pet inside, make sure that the pet is prevented from escape (monitor all exits and tell guests to monitor your pet)."

3. Socialize Your Dog

While your dog may feel more secure in a room away from all the noise, Newman points out that keeping your dog isolated in another room for too long can be stressful for your pet. "Release his curiosity and let him in on the fun, to run around and play with both two-legged as well as four-legged guests," Newman says. "Then back to his obedient room, bed, car, crate, or spot. Rinse and repeat as needed throughout the night."

4. Take Control of Your Dog

According to Newman, the best way to keep your dog calm during the chaos of July 4th is to stay in charge. "If your dog winces, shivers, and runs away at loud noises, the last thing he wants is to feel like nobody else is looking out for him," Newman says. Don't let your dog run rampant around the house or follow him around trying to soothe him. Instead, Newman says it's important to "take control by attaching a super-light leash that you can grab and lead him whenever you need."

5. Explore Medicating Your Dog

In extreme cases of nervousness, Liff says that you should talk to your vet about medication to sedate your dog.