Best & Worst Christmas Songs

It’s officially After Thanksgiving. That means that people (ahem, me) won’t judge you for blaring your Christmas music or putting up your lights and hanging your wreaths.

from homedit

But Christmas songs get old quick, people, and I’m already tired of most of them. It’s hard to find one now that I don’t mind listening to.

There are, after all, only 12 Christmas songs.

And there are some bad ones out there.

from moldychum

It all comes down to who sings it and how. Which leads me to the following 2 lists.

Best Christmas Songs

Sleigh Ride by The Ronettes

The Ronnettes (Phil Spector's album)

Upbeat and my favorite version of this song. I’m a sucker for 60s girl groups.

Mis Deseos/Feliz Navidad by Michael Buble with Thalia

Michael Buble

El Guapo thinks that Michael Buble is to jazz what Michael Bolton was to rhythm and blues. I happen to love Michael Buble’s voice and could listen to him all the livelong day. Maybe I have no taste.
That aside, this is a great song. The harmonies are terrific and Feliz Navidad went from being an irritating jingle in my head to being a beautiful ballad. Not sold? Listen to the song.

Jingle Bells by Diana Krall and The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra

Diana Krall

Jazzy and classy, just the way I like it.

Jingle Bells by Bing Crosby with the Andrews Sisters

Bing Crosby

Yes, I realize I listed the same song twice, but they are radically different versions.

I grew up dancing in the living room to this song, pretending I was Maxine Andrews (my favorite of the trio).

Yes, I used a hairbrush as a mic.

Oh Come Emmanuel by Aliqua


I love how haunting this song is, no matter who sings it (except for Doug Munro and La Pompe Attack–then it sounds like a New Orleans street song and all the haunting is gone). But this version makes me feel like I’m in a monastery in 12th century England.

Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto by James Brown

James Brown

This was one of El Guapo’s contributions to this list. I don’t mind it at all. But I probably couldn’t listen to it repeatedly.

Another Lonely Christmas by Prince


Another El Guapo contribution. Personally I don’t think it has enough synth.

This Christmas by Donny Hathaway

Donny Hathaway

Yet another El Guapo suggestion. And again he has good taste. Give it a listen. It’s definitely one of the most heartfelt Christmas songs.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by The Temptations

The Temptations

When El Guapo first suggested this song, I didn’t like it. I’m not really sure why. But then he made me listen to it again and I can now appreciate the complexity and layers within the song. Overall it’s not my favorite, but I think that with repeated listens it possibly could make the Top 5.

A Charlie Brown Christmas by The Vince Guaraldi Trio

Vince Guaraldi Trio

There is no standout song here–the whole album is fantastic. It’s one of those Christmas albums I can listen to in May and think “what a great album.”

Scratch that.

It’s the only one I can do that with.

Utterly Rubbish Christmas Songs

Where do I even start? There are so many.

Oh Holy Night by Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson

The first time I heard this, I thought she was having an orgasm. Badly.

It was gruesome.

Under the Mistletoe by Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

Yes, the whole album.

Yes, it’s as bad as you thought it would be. It sounded alternately Disney and country-rock with boy band all over. Gah, it was awful.

And yes, it could drain the Christmas cheer from Kris Kringle himself.

The Little Drummer Boy by Anyone

Little Drummer Boy

I don’t care who sings this song. It’s terrible. What kind of lyrics are “pa rum pa pum pum” anyway? It sounds more like gunfire than anything remotely Christmassy.

21 times. That’s how many “pa rum pa pum pums” there are. Unless you sing it twice. Then there’s 42.

This song punishes Christmas lovers.

Christmas Shoes by Newsong


One big con.


You fell for that?

Walk This Sleigh by Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams

If the pun wasn’t bad enough, the “manamanamana” hook from the Muppets and the terrible rapping pushed me over the edge.

And to top it all off, it sounds like a plagiarized version of the 3rd place winner of a 1st grade poetry contest.

The Happy Elf by Harry Connick, Jr.

Harry Connick, Jr.

How many words rhyme with spill? Harry knows. Because he sung every one of them in terrible syncopation and endless repetition.

Last Christmas by Wham!


As irritating that synth line is, you need to watch the video. Endlessly amusing and almost makes up for the awful song you have to endure to truly appreciate the video.

Celebrate Me Home by Kenny Loggins

Kenny Loggins

The first time I heard this, I thought it was sung by a large black woman.

Wonderful Christmas Time by Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney

1. it sounds like a video game soundtrack

2. or Christmas in space.

Either way, it’s so repetitive you begin to wonder if there are other lyrics besides “simply having a wonderful Christmas time.”

Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas) by John Denver

John Denver

I don’t think I have to say anything about this one. The title says it all.

Back Door Santa by Clarence Carter

Clarence Carter

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, there’s a Christmas carol about anal sex.

Think I’m kidding?

“I make all the little girls happy while the boys are out to play.”

Actual line.

Oi to the World by No Doubt

No Doubt

If possible, this is worst than the original one by The Vandals.

Plus most of it sounds like Wayne Brady made up the lyrics on Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Well, that’s my list thus far. If you have any addition to the Best or the Worst–let me know!

suck it, martha.

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6 Comments on “Best & Worst Christmas Songs”

  1. November 28, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    On the Little Drummer Boy – I think Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s version is beautiful. It’s one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time.

    • November 28, 2011 at 11:09 am #

      Although I’m sure Bing and Bowie did the song as well as it could be done– I can’t stand the song. 🙂

  2. Roger Riddle
    November 28, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Is Kenny Loggins under water on that album cover?

    • November 28, 2011 at 11:08 am #

      It sure looks like it. Or like he did the graphics editing himself.

  3. Steve Bice
    December 4, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    There is a wonderful song that sums up the spirit of the season : “Here Comes Santa With His Bag Of Shit”. It’s on John Water’s Christmas album…what did you expect?
    My FAVORITE Christmas song of all time that I can listen to overandover is “Baby Please Come Home” from the Phil Spector Christmas album.
    the tailor

    • December 5, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

      That certainly sounds like a Christmas song I want on my playlist! Both, actually. The Phil Spector Christmas album is just spectacular (see what I did there?)!

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