The 10 Worst (But Still Popular) Christmas Songs

Courtesy of PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay

They’re awful. They’re popular. They’re back.

Behold my list of the worst Christmas music we’re all forced to endure every December. But what makes my list of worst Christmas songs unique?

The songs on my list are one’s you know. Songs you grew up listening to and can’t avoid hearing between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Most of the worst Christmas song lists you find on the Internet include songs you will never hear in the mall — songs so incredibly obscure you’ve likely never even heard them before. Songs like the Cheeky Girls’ Have a Cheeky Christmas, John Denver’s Please Daddy, Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas, and Tiny Tim’s Santa Clause Got The AIDS This Year.

Besides excluding these (and other) outlandish songs, my list also doesn’t contain wanna-be Christmas songs like Wham’s Last Christmas that’s more about a broken relationship than Christmas, or the song Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses that’s about a year-long inability to coordinate a date until the two run into each other at a grocery store buying cranberries. Seriously.

Instead, I’ve chosen to stick to the worst of popular Christmas songs — the one’s that are played on the radio (over and over and over) every year at this time.

And my list is no joke. So bad are these songs, Paul McCartney’s universally hated Wonderful Christmastime didn’t even make the cut. That’s right. There’s at least ten songs worse than Wonderful Christmastime. (By the way, as bad as that song is, you have to admit, once you hear it you can’t get that tune out of your head.)

So, without further ado, here is my personal list of the 10 Worst (But Still Popular) Christmas Songs.

Dishonorable Mention: GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER

A favorite of all kids in the 80s . . . where it should have stayed . . . like heavy metal, the Rubik’s Cube, and parachute pants.

10. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT TEETH

A cute one for kids, but if you’re reading this, chances are you’re not a kid and you’re tired of hearing it, too. Just like that time many years ago when you retired your GI Joes or Barbies, it’s time to retire this one

09. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU

The staple of easy listening pop found on the higher end of FM stations on your radio dial, this song by Mariah Carey is simply played out and annoying. Whenever it comes on I can’t turn it off — or run out of the store — fast enough.

08. BLUE CHRISTMAS

Sorry Elvis fans, but when a better rendition of this song is the one performed by Porky Pig, you know you have a loser on your hands.

07. MERRY CHRISTMAS, BABY

Originally performed by Otis Redding, this bad song found its ultimate demise when someone, somewhere suggested this piece of music couldn’t get any worse. That’s when Bruce Springsteen stood up and said, “Hold my egg nog.”

But Mr. Springsteen wasn’t finished turning just one Christmas song from bad to worse. He also holds the number two spot on this list (below).

06. I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS

Intended to be cute, this song is just plain annoying. Maximum amount of times the average human can endure listening to it in their lifetime before wanting to jump off a cliff: 5. I exceeded that limit over thirty years ago.

05. SANTA BABY

This song has cost me a lot of money in shirts because whenever I hear it, blood immediately begins pouring from my ears, getting all over my clothes. Conclusion: this quasi-seductive tripe masquerading as a Christmas song needs to go away. Far away.

04. LITTLE SAINT NICK

Maybe it’s because the whole Beach Boys motif — with its sand, surfboards, and sunburns — is the antithesis of the Christmas motif — with its snow, fireplaces, and hot chocolate. Or maybe it’s because the Beach Boys sound just gives me flu-like symptoms. Either way, listening to this song makes me nauseous.

03. SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN (Springsteen version)

Only Bruce Springsteen could take an innocuous song like this, and make you actually feel like you’ve stumbled into karaoke night at a trailer park laundromat on the outskirts of the bad part of town where the only requirement to sing is you have to be so drunk you’re at least twice the legal limit to drive.

02. JINGLE BELL ROCK

Clearly the lowest point in Hall and Oates’ musical career (and everyone else who’s performed this dumpster fire). From the opening riff to the final pluck of the guitar string, this song compels me to drive icepicks deep into my ears to numb the pain.

01. ROCKIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE

This musical train wreck takes the crown as my most hated Christmas song. Actually, hate is too kind of a word to describe how I feel about it.

I loathe this steaming pile of hot garbage so much, I’ve devoted the rest of my life to building a time machine so I can travel back to 1958 to stop Brenda Lee from recording it (kind of like that Terminator and Sarah Connor thing).


J.L. Pattison is the author of The Island and Saving Kennedy. When not writing, he can be found in his garage working on his time machine.