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What Is the Actual Worst Christmas Song?

By Vivian Kane | Miscellaneous | December 14, 2015 |

By Vivian Kane | Miscellaneous | December 14, 2015 |

This weekend I wrote about the Christmas tragedy that was Mariah Carey’s dethroning as #1 holiday song, and the worst Christmas song of all time being named her successor. Now, I firmly believe that “Wonderful Christmastime” IS the worst holiday song. Or at least I did. But no one on the internet throws around Best or Worst Ever titles without expecting to be told how wrong they are. And man, did you all not disappoint.

Everyone has songs they hate, and Christmas songs are no exception, especially since they’re played unrelentingly in public for at least a month straight. But whatever your least favorite song is— whether it’s the droning Wonderful Christmastime or those incessant chipmunk boys or whatever grates its fingernails on the chalkboard of your brain— there is a whole sublevel of terrible holiday music you may not be aware of. Or maybe you are, and then I’m sorry for your brain. But all of your suggestions sent me down a rabbit hole exploring the next level of awful Christmas music, and if I have to suffer, so do all of you.

Do They Know It’s Christmas?
The Band Aid musicians may have had good intentions with this song about how unfortunate Africans are because they’re not getting any presents or snow or anything, but it could be the theme song for any humanities-based college course on privilege and othering. In fact, the song actually includes the lyric “pray for the other ones.” It also describes an entire continent as a place “where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears.”

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer
The oldies station I listened to nonstop as a kid used to play this all the time, and as a child, I LOVED it. I’m not proud of that fact.

Walking Round In Women’s Underwear
Another one my favorite radio station as a kid used to play that I thought was just hilarious. Now it seems at worst, totally transphobic and possibly homophobic and also not really understanding or caring what those things are, and at best, a stupid extended joke.

I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas
It’s like someone heard “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” and thought, “yeah, I can create something more annoying than that.”

Christmas In the Northwest
I feel bad shitting on a woman who, according to the YouTube video description, submitted this song for a music project set up to benefit local Seattle hospitals, but I also don’t think we have much of a choice. Thanks a lot (DAMN YOU, LACK OF SARCASM FONT) sarah_jwh for alerting me to the earblood inducer that is local and regional holiday music.

Funky Funky Christmas
Did you know New Kids On the Block had a Christmas song? One that included an entire verse about Santa burning his butt coming down their chimney, ending with the life lesson “you’ve got to turn the fireplace down so Santa won’t get burned”? Also, this performance is a reminder that live singing wasn’t exactly this boy band’s strong suit.

The Christmas Shoes
I don’t know what I was thinking. This song, about a young impoverished boy who wants to buy his dying mother expensive shoes so that if she she dies that night, she’ll look good meeting Jesus, IS THE CLEAR WINNER. And by winner, I mean we all lose.

And thanks to commenter Too Much Cowbell for reminding me that this Patton Oswalt deconstruction/takedown exists.

I’m sorry for all of that. Here, by way of apology and palate cleanser, is my favorite Christmas song. Merry Merry, everyone.