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And the Whole Wide World Is Filled with Cheer: The Five Worst and Ten Best Christmas Holiday Songs

By Cindy Davis | Lists | December 20, 2012 |

By Cindy Davis | Lists | December 20, 2012 |

If you’re expecting to see Wham! on this list—surprise(!)—they’re not. Last Christmas falls distinctly into mediocrity. It’s the time of year when our ears are assaulted with ever increasingly bad sounds (sometimes accompanied by horrific videos). Even worse, we can’t just shut it off, because the sounds are everywhere we go. The grocery, the doctor’s office, the bakery…all the places pummel our poor eardrums with elevator-ified sounds of the season. And when it’s bad, it’s really really bad. But then again, if a well-done jingle of the bells can instantly transport you to some heart-warming moment, frozen in the snowy fog of your mind, I say, “Go there while you can.” Because chances are, we’ll all be dead tomorrow night.

Bitch while you can, people…bitch while you can.

The Worst:

5. Do They Know It’s Christmas?, Band Aid

Of course they know it’s Christmas—they’re being forced to listen to your crappy song. It’s sort of mind boggling that Pink could gather so much talent in one place, only to come up with this terrible song. Yeah, charity!

4. Santa Baby, Madonna

I warn you, if you’ve never heard this, don’t listen now. Remember Shirley Temple? Like both the drink and the kid, this is sickly sweet—and nobody has ever liked his Madonna sugarcoated.

3. The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late), The Chipmunks

Do I even need to say anything here? Fucking chipmunks, fucking singing! Drown them all.

2. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, Elmo and Patsy Trigg Shropshire

I don’t know who thinks this song is funny (if only it were sung by chipmunks?), but just wait until you have a sobbing five year old in the car with you.

1. Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time, Paul McCartney

Just how can a Beatle-y holiday tune be bad, you might wonder? (Ask John Lennon; he (and Yoko) wrote the nearly equally awful Happy Xmas [War Is Over]). Both songs are an exercise in monotony and make me want to pull out my hairs, one by one.


10. You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, Thurl Ravenscroft

It ain’t the holidays without the Grinch. Period.

9. Blue Christmas, Elvis Presley

Sometimes we forget how great Elvis really was—this is a great time to remember. Put a little (t)wang in your hot toddy. Tell it like it is, indeed.

8. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Darlene Love

U2 made a run at this and didn’t even come close. Revisit that great 60s sound just like Letterman does, and get a little Love into your Pandora rotation.

7. Jingle Bell Rock, The Brian Setzer Orchestra

If you feel the need to kitchen dance as you’re cooking up a storm, this former Stray Cat will have your ass jiggling like Jello at first jingle.

6. Christmas Time Is Here, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Choir

I hear this song, and my entire being goes peaceful, a useful trick this time of year.

5. Christmas in Hollis, Run-D.M.C.

Old school Christmas, people. I defy you to not grin from ear to ear or add your own sound effects while watching this video. Yeah, bad white girl dancing happens, SO WHAT?

4. Winter Wonderland, Johnny Mathis

I’ll listen to Johnny any day of the week, but Christmas day is Mathis day—and Winter Wonderland is my favorite holiday tune.

3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Frank Sinatra

These final three, kings of holiday-time are. Nothing beats the classics singing the classics…

2. White Christmas, Bing Crosby

1. The Christmas Song, Nat King Cole

Cindy Davis, (Twitter) wishes you all a lovely holiday season…if we live to see it through.