How to have yourself a very metal Christmas

Want to celebrate Christmas this year but stuck for how to make it more metal? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our step-by-step guide to having the heaviest Christmas ever.


Traditionally the Christmas tree is a Norway spruce, and what better way to commemorate the early ‘90s wave of true Norwegian black metal than to sever a living organism and keep it in your home until razor-sharp blackened needles fall off creating a health hazard and revealing a depressing skeletal conifer draped with cryptic ornaments. Ideally the full metal Christmas tree will feature black tinsel, red lights, an array of Kiss baubles and inverted crosses, a smattering of goat entrails (if you’re a metal vegetarian, substitute goat with human) and, on top, a replica of Eddie from the Killers sleeve.


Under the tree, of course, and under a mound of vicious needles, is where Father Christmas empties his sack, and also where he puts the pressies. On the ideal heavy metal Christmas Day, all of these should be flat, twelve-inch square and packaged in that most heavy metal of all wrapping papers: tinfoil. A few soft parcels here and there betoken that Santa (that anagram’s fooling no-one, Satan) may have got his magic elves to weave you that Voivod t-shirt (opens in new tab) you really wanted, or a seasonal Slayer jumper (opens in new tab).


Obviously Christmas carols aren’t very heavy metal (unless you’ve got the We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year (opens in new tab) CD, where Dio and Iommi do God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Girlschool do Auld Lang Syne and Lemmy, Billy Gibbons and Dave Grohl do Run Rudolph Run – for real, no messing), but the determined metalhead can still manage to enjoy a wholesome festive carol-singing event with their families by doctoring the words slightly and singing along to such timeless classics as Hark! The Morbid Angels Sing, Once In Royal David Vincent, We Three Kings Of Metal Are, Silent Nightwish, O Scum All Ye Faithful, Good King Xentrixlas, Ding Dong Merrily On High On Fire, Araya In A Manger and Godflesh Ye Merry Gentlemen.


Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Slayer’s Mince Pies Of The Insane, Metallica’s Walnut Whiplash and a Plum Duff McKagan, washed down with a pint of Advocaarcass – and that’s just for breakfast. Metal up your trad roast by ritually sacrificing your own turkey and stuffing the corpse with weed.


The true meaning of Christmas is, of course, telly. Like the rest of the year, there’s generally not much on to interest metalheads, although older readers might remember the delirious experience of watching Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark, introduce Ozzy, Slayer and Napalm Death concert footage on BBC Two for Christmas 1989 (in the ‘Heavy Metal Heaven’ strand, which it’s about time they revived).

Apart from that mind-blowing anomaly though, the festive TV schedules are slim pickings for headbangers; The Two Ronnies featured Messrs Barker and Corbett, not Ronnie James Dio and the ex-Gehennah/Vomitory guitarist Ronnie Ripper (alas). If you’re lucky there might be a film on that Iron Maiden named a song or an album after – scour your Radio Times to see if you can find Where Eagles Dare (1968), Aces High (1976), The Longest Day (1962), Phantom Of The Opera (1925, 1943, 1962, 1989 or 2004), A Matter Of Life And Death (1946), From Here To Eternity (1953), Children Of The Damned (1964), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Quest For Fire (1981) or The Wicker Man (1973). None of these are guaranteed, mind, so we better hope Iron Maiden write a song called The Guns Of Navarone, The Snowman or Bedknobs And Broomsticks.


Instead of pinning up shitty bits of paper and card, why not try decking the halls with a few bulletbelts? These are not only more heavy and more metal, but more shiny as well, so everyone’s happy. Also, why not update the twee ritual of kissing people you fancy under the mistletoe by replacing the mistletoe with a bag of dope and having full sex under it instead.

However, when it comes to lighting up your house in the most metal style, you’ll have to go a long way to outdo this bloke:

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.