The 11 Most Annoying Christmas Songs

What holiday songs make you want to tear your ears off?

Let me start by saying this: there are a lot of Christmas songs I love. I mean, really love. Nat King Cole’s “Christmas Song”? Awesome. Andy Williams’s totally swinging “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?” Absolutely gets me in the holiday mood.

But then there are … the others. The ones that amount to fingernails on a blackboard, particularly given that for six weeks every year they are inescapable. Tops on my list: Bobby Helms’s incredibly cloying “Jingle Bell Rock.” Credit to the Bobster for latching on to that rock’n’roll craze back in 1957. But 54 years later do we still have to be subjected to it (and the corny videos from cover artists like Hall and freaking Oates)? Can’t I just die of a heroin overdose instead?

So that’s mine. I asked the rest of the Philly Mag staff for the holiday songs they would ban for life if they had the power. Below: Our unofficial bottom 11. Feel free to weigh in with your own choices.

(Oh, and Merry Christmas, from all of us to all of you.)

11. “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

“Needlessly tedious, unless you’re drunk on eggnog and screaming it by the fire with your loved ones.”

10. “Christmas Wrapping”

“Stupid lyrics, even worse chorus, all half-sung in the Waitresses weird half-rapping, half-singing style.”

9. “The Grinch”

“Great to listen to more than once … if you’re five.”

8. “Last Christmas”

“Actually has nothing to do with Christmas.”

“I honestly thought this song was a joke the first time I heard it. My grandmother could write better lyrics.”

7. “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas”

“I know, I know, it’s Burl Ives. But must we hear it 10,000 times on B101?”

6. “Here Comes Santa Claus”

“It grates like the tiny hammers of a million elves.”

5. “Jingle Bells”

“Next time I hear it I will strangle someone.”

“It’s just fucking dumb.”

4“Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey”

“Still haven’t figured out what a donkey has to do with Christmas.”

“I mean, really? HOW has the Italian anti-defamation league not gotten this banned?”

3. “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”

“Perhaps not only the worst Christmas song ever recorded, but the worst song, period.”

“Gross age-ism, sexism and reflects a cruel streak toward animals, too. I mean, does anyone think the reindeer just walks away from an incident like that? There are huge potential injuries to a deer in that circumstance, not to mention the emotional trauma.”

“I would only ever hear this on the school bus in the mornings around Christmas, but the other kids would always sing aloud drowning out my walkman playing Def Leopard’s ‘Hysteria’ on cassette at the time.”

2“Wonderful Christmas Time”

“Not only is there not much of a tune, it gets stuck in my head for hours on end. Also? Synth. Gross.”

“The worst use of synthesizers. Ever. (This from the guy who wrote ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Hey Jude’? Really?) The video is awesomely bad, too.”

“A Beatle should not be making Christmas songs. What’s next “By The Christmas Fire With Roger Waters”?”

1. “The Christmas Shoes”

“Mostly I don’t like it because it makes me want to kill myself. I get that it’s about remembering what Christmas is all about, but Jesus H., there are other ways to deliver that message.”

“That fucking song about the little boy who wants to buy the red shoes for his dying mother. It’s emotional porn designed to make sentimental old white ladies weep in public when the children’s choir chimes in to sing about how mama is on her deathbed on Christmas Eve. Cuz what I really want to think about during the holidays is fictional dead people and their overly earnest soon-to-be orphaned fictional children.”