Hark! It’s that time of year when Christmas songs haunt every grocery aisle, all department store racks, and every last media outlet. You can’t escape it. But luckily, not every jolly melody is ho-ho-horrendous. There are some classic tunes that will never go out of style (unlike the scarf you just bought your sister-in-law). So, in case you couldn’t make up your mind about which songs will help you deck the halls and which will have you running from the malls, here’s a shortlist of the top 5 best and worst holiday tunes:
Best Christmas Songs
White Christmas – Bing Crosby
This classic song sung by Bing Crosby goes down in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling single of all time – and that’s saying something. The tune reminisces of old-fashioned, idealistic Christmases, and Crosby easily transports us to such snow-capped settings with his deep melodic voice.
The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
First subtitled “Merry Christmas to You,” this 1946 classic has become the most-performed Christmas song of all time. (In 1974, Cole’s original version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame – so it’s good. Really, really, really good.)
Let It Snow – Frank Sinatra
Ironically, this uplifting holiday ditty was written in July of 1945 during the hottest days on record in Hollywood, CA. Today, it’s one of the most beloved Christmas songs, spreading holiday cheer wherever Frank’s crooning is heard.
Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
Ah, 1957, the year Bobby Helms gave us an updated version of Jingle Bells that doesn’t make us cringe. While it lacks the depth that some of the other “best” Christmas songs encompass, it’s no less classic.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Judy Garland
This song was introduced in the 1944 film, Meet Me in St. Louis and became really popular (especially during the war years). But even today, nearly 70 years later, Garland’s mellow, intoxicating voice fills us with irresistible holiday hope.
Worst Christmas Songs
Santa Baby – Madonna
Taylor Swift, The Pussycat Dolls, Everclear, Shakira – you name it, they’ve sang it. But somehow, no version was so awfully terrible as the one by Madonna. Why does she try to sound like Cindy Lauper while looking like Marilyn Monroe? It’s a mystery best left unsolved.
Dominick the Donkey – Lou Monte
A song about a donkey that brings presents to Italian children sounds harmless enough, except for the chorus of “jing-a-di-jing hee haw hee haw.” (If you don’t already know this song, don’t bother looking it up. It will get stuck in your head guaranteed).
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer – Elmo and Patsy
Though it’s been rerecorded more times than anyone cares to count, the original of this song is still probably the worst. And, as if it wasn’t already clearing checkout lines, Dr. Elmo came out with a sequel: “Grandpa’s Gonna Sue the Pants off Santa.” No joke.
Funky, Funky Christmas – New Kids On the Block
Throw wholesome values to the wind and have a funky, FUNKY Christmas! Not only does this song offer some of the worst lyrics ever, such as (but not limited to) “It’s snowing outside but we ho-ho-ho-ing,” it’s also nearly 5 minutes long.
Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
While it may be blasphemous to knock an ex-Beatle’s song, this holiday tune had to make an appearance on the list. It’s not like I’m taking Paul down a peg for it – we all know he’s a musical genius – but the world would probably be a better place without this song of annoying, trance-like music paired with flat-lining lyrics.
Best-Selling Christmas Song
All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
Since its release in 1994, All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff has been met with critical acclaim. And has been described by the New Yorker magazine and others as “one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon.” This song has been declared one of the best-selling Christmas singles of all time.
Best Christmas Host & Hostess Gifts
Attending a holiday party this holiday season? Don’t forget to bring a gift for your party host or hostess. We have you covered with the very best Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s host gifts, all found here!