For many people, the holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year,” with families of all kinds coming together to celebrate camaraderie and love. Drag queens may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Christmas, but make no mistake: just because they own Halloween doesn’t mean they aren’t one of the best parts of the holiday season, too.
Many RuPaul’s Drag Race queens often spend the month of December touring in various Christmas and holiday shows; BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon tour together every year for example, while the A Drag Queen Christmas tour features a rotating cast of Drag Race alums traveling around the country to spread holiday cheer.
To help get us in the holiday spirit, we’re taking a look at some of our favorite Christmas tunes from some of our favorite drag queens.
“Merry Christmas, Mary” – RuPaul
The best Christmas pop music succeeds because of its ability to blend conventional pop sensibilities while tapping into the variety of emotions that people feel around the holidays. With production that combines both, “Merry Christmas, Mary” is a personal invitation from Mama Ru to have fun during the holiday season — and one that’s impossible to resist at that.
“We Three Queens” – Manila Luzon, Alaska & Peppermint
Who needs gold, frankincense and myrrh? Manila Luzon, Alaska, and Peppermint team up for this hilarious take on “We Three Kings,” complete with the strong vocals we expect from all three, along with Alaska’s trademark vocal fry.
“All I Want for Christmas is Nudes” – Trixie Mattel
Being cooped up with family during the holidays can be frustrating in more ways than one. Trixie Mattel knows how hot and bothered some of us can get as cuffing season transitions into the holiday season, which makes “All I Want For Christmas is Nudes” feel that much more relatable.
“Last Christmas” – Blair St. Clair
Blair St. Clair has made quite a name for herself as a singer following her stint on Drag Race. That shouldn’t come as a surprise: the young queen has the singing ability to match her gorgeous looks, making her rendition of Wham!’s “Last Christmas” that much more fun to listen to.
“12 Days of Christmas” – Katya
Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova has always been known for bringing her unique ‘Russian’ humor to every song (who could forget “Read U Wrote U?”), and her version of “The 12 Days of Christmas” is no different. In her thick Muscovite accent, the beloved fan favorite sings about all the gifts that her true love gave her throughout the Christmas season: swollen kidneys, NuvaRings and herpes, to name a few. Truly Katya at her most infectious.
“Christmas Sweater” – Alaska, Courtney Act & Willam
Willam, Courtney Act and Alaska — collectively as the AAA Girls — come together for this tune that is as funny as it is true. Wearing an ugly Christmas sweater is a holiday tradition for many people, and it’d be hard to believe that three fashionable drag queens would ever dare to wear such a thing, but they turn a hideous holiday get-up into something that brings them comfort throughout the whole season.
“O Come, All Ye Faithful” – Phi Phi O’Hara
It’s hard to think that anyone would be able to pull off an upbeat version of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” that doesn’t sound disrespectful to the 18th century Christmas carol. But Phi Phi O’Hara does that (and does it well), paying homage to the original while delivering a fun and fresh rendition that stands strong on its own.
“Jingle Juice” – Nina West
Nina West is in charge of hosting duties for this year’s Drag Queen Christmas tour, and with good reason: the congenial queen embodies everything Christmas is all about, from her cheerful demeanor to her Santa-esque personality. “Jingle Juice” is an ode to a less talked about part of holiday celebrations — the wide availability of alcohol — and manages to keep something that could easily be irreverent relatively PG. That’s Nina West for you.
“The Nativity Twist” – BenDeLaCreme
“The Nativity Twist” is classic BenDeLaCreme, with the perfect balance of camp, theatricality and goofy dancing that we’ve all grown to love from DeLa. The song has a Beach Boys-esque spirit, albeit with the signature DeLa style that always manages to keep our attention through whatever the superstar queen does and says.
“Homemade for the Holidays” – Detox & Mamatox
The holidays are all about family, and sometimes caroling with your loved ones can be some of the most fun you’ll have throughout the season. “Homemade for the Holidays” gives us two things in one: a mother-and-child Christmastime duet, and a delicious sweet potato casserole recipe. What could easily be a pure comedy song is actually one of Detox’s most endearing moments, as she sings about the comfort that her mom’s cooking during the holidays brings her while her mom details each step in her lengthy casserole recipe.
“Red & Green” – Jinkx Monsoon
Despite being “Seattle’s premier Jewish narcoleptic drag queen,” Jinkx Monsoon still knows how to get into the Christmas spirit. “Red & Green” trades in camp for candor as Jinkx sings from the heart about feeling pulled in different directions by her loving partner, and is a refreshing change of pace from the comedic tendencies of music made by drag queens.