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The Most Hated Christmas Songs of All Time

While most festive music brings holiday cheer, these Christmas songs bring headaches.

Let's face it, our reaction to any Christmas song probably depends on how often we hear it. It's true, even our favorite holiday music can become a little grating when it's overplayed, but for the most part, the classics never go out of style. And for those of us who love these tunes, both the standards and more recent additions to the canon, singing along is one of the most joyful holiday traditions. Nevertheless, there are certain songs that we just can't stand—hearing them even once is more than enough. Let's put these, the most hated Christmas songs of all time, to rest for good. And for more traditions to ditch in 2020, This Is the Most Hated Holiday Gift, Survey Shows.

Read the original article on Best Life.

"The Christmas Shoes," NewSong

the christmas shoes single cover

Lots of beloved Christmas songs tell stories of memorable characters like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but most of us wish we could forget the central figures of NewSong's "The Christmas Shoes," which recounts a little boy trying to scrounge up enough money to buy shoes for his terminally ill mother. Nothing kills the holiday mood quite like the lyric "Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time." And if you're in need of real Christmas cheer, check out The Best Christmas Movies of All Time, According to Critics.

"Wonderful Christmastime," Paul McCartney

wonderful christmastime single cover

Paul McCartney was simply having a wonderful time with his synthesizer on this unbelievably grating and consistently overplayed Christmas "classic." One of the key problems with "Wonderful Christmastime"—and oh, there are many—is that now that you're thinking about it, it will be stuck in your head all day. You're welcome.

"Do They Know It's Christmas?," Band Aid

do they know it's christmas single cover

Well, it was certainly well intentioned for Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to put together the supergroup Band Aid and record "Do They Know It's Christmas?" to raise money for the famine in Ethiopia. Nevertheless, the song itself is deeply condescending, with a stereotypical and archaic understanding of the Ethiopian people. Geldof himself called it one of the "worst songs in history." And if you love Christmas, try these Fun Christmas Facts to Get You in the Holiday Spirit.

"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)," Alvin and the Chipmunks

the chipmunk song single cover

Here's the thing: either you appreciate the sped-up chipmunk voices created by David Seville (AKA Ross Bagdasarian) or you don't. But even for those of us who grew up with Alvin and the Chipmunks, listening to Alvin's incessant high-pitched requests for a hula hoop in "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" gets old fast.

"Dominick the Donkey," Lou Monte

dominick the donkey single cover

You've heard of Rudolph, but what about the title character of "Dominick the Donkey"? That's right, the donkey who helps Santa bring presents made in Brooklyn to children in Italy. There's a reason why this song is more of a regional hit than a mainstream Christmas classic. And for more cultural distinctions, discover 20 Ways Christmas Is Celebrated Differently Across the U.S.

"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," The Jackson 5

jackson 5 christmas album cover

The thing is, as long as you're in on the joke here—that is, the truth behind Santa Claus that we'd certainly never reveal—"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" is pretty cute. But for kids who aren't in the know, there's something genuinely unsettling about lyrics like, "Then I saw mommy tickle Santa Claus / Underneath his beard so snowy white."

"Please, Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)," John Denver

john denver rocky mountain christmas album cover

Yikes. Years before Sufjan Stevens gave us endless Christmas songs about dysfunctional families, John Denver inflicted "Please, Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)" on his fans. The title pretty much says it all, but the song, about an 8-year-old who doesn't want to see his mamma cry, is unbearably bleak.

"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," Elmo & Patsy

grandma got run over by a reindeer single cover

Speaking of imbibing too much, in "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," the titular grandmother gets soused on eggnog and wanders outside where—well, you know the rest. As a novelty song for adults, it's a little funny, but somehow this tune has become something of a standard, and given the trauma on display here, that's rather upsetting. And for more holiday content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

"Christmas Tree," Lady Gaga

lady gaga christmas tree single cover

Provided they're played for the appropriate audience, there's no shame in a raunchy Christmas song—just look at almost any rendition of "Santa Baby." Lady Gaga took things to another level with "Christmas Tree," though, and the combination of mind-numbing repetition and deeply unsubtle innuendo makes this one controversial carol we'd rather not hear again.

"Santa Baby," Michael Bublé

michael buble christmas album cover

Speaking of "Santa Baby," the song has its share of fans and detractors. But Michael Bublé's version is particularly irritating. That's because he changes the lyrics to make sure everyone knows he is not attracted to Santa, which just leads to unbelievably awkward phrases like "Santa buddy," "Santa pally," and the truly awful "I'll wait up for you, dude." And for more Christmas cringe, These Are the Worst Christmas Movies of All Time, According to Critics.

"All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)," Spike Jones and His City Slickers

all I want for christmas is my two front teeth vinyl
RCA Victor

Sure, it's cute when kids are between baby teeth and adult teeth and speak with a little whistle. The problem with "All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)" is that no one wants to hear an entire song sung with that whistle. This is one of the few Christmas songs where the Alvin and the Chipmunks cover is actually not the most annoying version.

"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," The Plastic Ono Band

happy xmas war is over single cover

As much as we love John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and as much as we appreciate the protest song origins of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," this track probably never needed to become a Christmas standard. The repetition is a bit much, and sadly, the message has gotten more bitterly ironic over the past couple decades.

"I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," Gayla Peevey

I want a hippopotamus for christmas single cover

Listen, we all want things. But despite 10-year-old Gayla Peevey's impressive pipes, there is no reason why we should have to be subjected to her truly unreasonable request in "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." It's never all that fun to hear kids sing, especially when they're brattily declaring they won't settle for crocodiles or rhinoceroses.

"Mistletoe," Justin Bieber

under the misletoe album cover

Thankfully, Justin Bieber's "Mistletoe" has largely fallen out of rotation since its 2011 release, a single from his Christmas album, Under the Mistletoe. He may have been hoping for a modern-day pop classic like Mariah Carey's enduring "All I Want for Christmas Is You," but the chorus ("Shawty, with you / Shawty, with you / Under the mistletoe") just didn't carry the same punch.

"Puppies Are Forever," Sia

everyday is christmas album cover

In terms of messaging, "Puppies Are Forever" has a point: You should probably not get someone a puppy for Christmas, because they're gonna have to take care of that dog long past the holiday. But oof, hearing "puppies are forever, not just for Christmas" over and over again is actually more laborious than cleaning up after an unruly pooch.

"Funky, Funky Xmas," New Kids on the Block

new kids on the block merry merry christmas album cover

It's not New Kids on the Block's fault that "Funky, Funky Xmas" hasn't exactly aged well. Like many cultural artifacts from the '80s, it was probably best left in that decade. Nevertheless, no list of bad Christmas songs would be complete without this grating dud. We're still not sure what a "funky Christmas" is, but we'd rather avoid having one. And if you were into NKOTB, check out The Biggest '80s Teen Idols, Then and Now.

"Merry Christmas With Love," Clay Aiken

merry christmas with love album cover

"Merry Christmas With Love" has always been a maudlin, cloying Christmas song, so in many ways, it's not Clay Aiken's fault. But he did breathe new life into this hated tune, even using it to title his Christmas album, so yes, if you've heard this song over the last 16 years, it's absolutely on him.

"The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot," Nat King Cole

the little boy that santa claus forgot vinyl

The best Christmas songs are sad, it's true, but there is a limit. And the classic "The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot," memorably performed by Nat King Cole (among others), walks right over that line. Just reading the lyrics can send you into an emotional tailspin: "In the street he envies all those lucky boys / Then wanders home to last year's broken toys / I'm so sorry for that laddie / He hasn't got a daddy." Oof.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside," She & Him

a very she and him christmas album cover

We can debate "Baby, It's Cold Outside" the way we do every year, or we can simply acknowledge that this controversial song is hated by a sufficient number of people to merit inclusion on this list. Interestingly enough, the She & Him rendition flips the genders, making it somewhat less problematic, but the performance is so overwhelmingly twee that it's plenty annoying in its own right. And for covers you probably remember for the right seasons, check out The 50 Best Cover Songs of All Time.

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