Oh, how I love the Christmas season. One of the best things about it is getting to listen to all of the fabulous music (assuming you haven’t been a cheater-pants who plays it before Thanksgiving -- you know who you are). Unfortunately, not all Christmas songs (or versions of them) are created equal. There are, shall we say, a few lumps of coal amongst all the beautiful gifts, and you’re bound to run into a few of them. Here are some of my least favorite, which fall into one of three categories: Gross, I’m Missing Something, and Kid Chorus/Emotional Manufacturing.
1) Santa Baby
Ew. Just ew. Santa is a fat, old, already-married man. Why are you trying to seduce him? Okay, yes, he can get you stuff and lots of it, but seriously? And more importantly, why is seduction even part of a Christmas song at all?
2) Baby, It’s Cold Outside
It amazes me to no end that this song is still a thing. It’s a song about a creepy, manipulative man, at best, or date rape, at worst, and yet it still shows up all the time. I think the only reason why it’s still around is that it’s one of the few Christmas songs that’s a good duet. The solution, then, is for someone to write a different, really good Christmas duet so we’re not subjected to this ickiness anymore.
3) Christmas in the Sand by Colbie Caillat
Lest we forget: SANTA. IS. AN. OLD. FAT. MAN. I don’t want to picture him in a bathing suit. Or wet. Ever.
I’m Missing Something
4) Santa Claus Is Coming to Town by Bruce Springsteen
Maybe you just have to love The Boss to love this song. To me, it just sounds like a really mediocre live performance. And when he cracks himself up in the middle, I’m not in on the joke and I’m just annoyed.
5) Please Come Home for Christmas by the Eagles
This song is 1) super depressing and 2) super boring. It doesn’t really go anywhere or become more intense when it should. If you’re going to be bummed out about Christmas, commit to it, at least. And “I’ll be happy...happy once again” just sounds lame. Sorry (not sorry).
6) Any song where Frank Sinatra is joined by his family (See: I Wouldn’t Trade Christmas, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Bells of Christmas (Greensleeves))
Yes, Christmas is all about gathering with loved ones, but not on your album. Sorry, family, you’re just not as good as Frank. Stay out of his music.
Kid Chorus/Emotional Manufacturing
7) Happy Xmas (War is Over)
You should always skip the original version of this song, because let’s face it, Yoko Ono can’t sing and sounds insanely creepy with bunches of small children. But the real problem with this song, even on versions where the main singers are better (like Sarah McLachlan’s), is that it features a child chorus, and a badly written one at that. I’m never a fan of kid choruses because it seems like a cheap way to manipulate people’s emotions, but this one is so high that those poor children can’t hit the notes and sound like they’re in serious pain.
8) Christmas Shoes
Ugh. This song is THE WORST. It not only features a kid chorus but pretty much every other feature of an emotionally manipulative song: a poor boy, a sick mother, name-dropping Jesus. Also, I just realized that this song came out in 2000, which was a genuine surprise. I always assumed I could blame it on the 80s.
Now before someone accuses me of being a Christmas Cranky-pants, I only point these out because there are SO MANY good Christmas songs.
or this: I Celebrate the Day by Relient K
or this: Sleigh Ride by Andy Williams
With so many options, why subject yourself to anything less? The worst Christmas songs of all time don't deserve you. Respect yourselves, friends, and make your Christmas soundtrack better.