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Who Sang George Strait's 'Christmas Cookies' Better: Lainey Wilson or The Oak Ridge Boys?

Jason Kempin/Getty Images and Beth Gwinn/Getty Images

San Antonio native and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Aaron Barker Sr. shaped George Strait's catalog over the years as the writer of "Love Without End, Amen" and other sentimental chart hits. In another case of Barker and Strait teaming up to dial in on down-home nostalgia, they unveiled one of country music's most recent additions to the holiday songbook, "Christmas Cookies."

Strait's recording on 1999 compilation album A Country Christmas introduced us to Barker's whimsical story about having a Texas-sized hunger for holiday baking (and an ulterior motive for wanting the kitchen timer set for 15 minutes).

Fast-forward to 2021, and "Christmas Cookies" sounded as fresh as ever when performed by Lainey Wilson for a digital single and the annual CMA Country Christmas television special.

Barker's chorus suits harmony-driven groups and collaborations, as heard when Strait revisited the song with the cast of Duck Dynasty. While Americana ensemble Loose Cattle best captured the song's sense of levity with its version, few multi-person acts were better suited to dial in on its retro appeal than The Oak Ridge Boys.

"Christmas Cookies" served as the title track of The Oaks' 2005 holiday album. Nowadays, the quartet's swinging rendition highlights its Christmas in Tennessee dinner show at Nashville's Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Or at least that was the case on Dec. 1 when not even a visit by Santa himself upstaged what's become the most charming treatment of a Barker original.

To hear Wilson's version, check out Wide Open Country's playlist of the best country Christmas songs of 2021.

"Christmas Cookies" Lyrics

I sure do like those Christmas cookies, sugar
I sure do like those Christmas cookies, babe
The ones that look like Santa Claus
Christmas trees and bells and stars
I sure do like those Christmas cookies, babe

Now Christmas cookies are a special treat
The more she bakes, the more I eat
And sometimes I can't get myself to stop
Sometimes she'll wait 'til I'm asleep
And she'll take the ones that I didn't eat
And put those little sprinkly things on top

I sure do like those Christmas cookies, sugar
I sure do like those Christmas cookies, babe
The ones that look like Santa Claus
Christmas trees and bells and stars
I sure do like those Christmas cookies, babe

Now those sprinkly things just make things worse
'Cause it makes 'em taste better than they did at first
And they're absolutely impossible to resist
Some disappear to who knows where
But I make sure that I get my share
And those kids just stand there waiting for the ones I miss

I sure do like those Christmas cookies, sugar
Sure do like those Christmas cookies, babe
She gets mad that they're all gone
Before she gets the icing put on
Sure do like those Christmas cookies, babe

Now there's a benefit to all of this
That you might have overlooked or missed
So now let me tell you the best part of it all
Every time she sticks another batch in the oven
There's 15 minutes for some kissin' and a huggin'
That's why I eat Christmas cookies all year long!

I sure do like those Christmas cookies, sugar
I sure do like those Christmas cookies, babe
The ones that look like Santa Claus
Christmas trees and bells and stars
I sure do like those Christmas cookies, babe

I sure do like those Christmas cookies, babe
Yeah

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Who Sang George Strait's 'Christmas Cookies' Better: Lainey Wilson or The Oak Ridge Boys?