12 Worst Christmas Songs according to Spinner

Spinner.com compiled this list of the 12 Worst Christmas songs of all time. Some of these songs are obvious choices, while I count a few among my guilty Christmas pop song favorites. Commenters on Spinner say that notable songs that belong on the worst list are Christmas Shoes and Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.

1. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid (1984)

File this, charitably, under Good Intentions. The cream of the U.K. pop crop — including Bob Geldof and the guy from Spandau Ballet — banged this out in one 24-hour session. Unfortunately, despite the heroic tub-thumping of Phil Collins, it sounds like it. And — with lyrics like “Tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you” — you can’t exactly take it out caroling.

[From Spinner.com]

2. “Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)” – John Denver (1975)

3. “Oi To The World” – No Doubt (1997)

4. “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)” – The Ramones (1989)

5. “Merry Christmas with Love” – Clay Aiken (2004)
This is a user-created video

6. “Santa’s Beard” – The Beach Boys (1964)

7. “Christmas Conga” – Cyndi Lauper (1998)
This is a user-created video from the Star Wars Galaxies video game

8. “Santa Claus is Coming To Town – Bruce Springsteen (1981)
Starts at about 1:30 in.

Even though he’s darn near as sainted as St. Nick himself, Bruce is capable of laying the occasional lump of coal. We’ve got no beef with rollicking through this sloppy number live, but do radio stations really have to play it 5,000 times every December? And, yeah, we get it … Clarence wants a new sax.

[From Spinner]

9. “8 Days of Christmas” – Destiny’s Child (2001)

10. “Christmastime” – The Smashing Pumpkins (1997)

11. “Wonderful Christmastime” – Paul McCartney (1979)

12. “Santa Baby” – Madonna (1987)

The Best Christmas songs, according to Spinner, are:
1. “Christmas in Hollis” – Run-DMC (1987)
2. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” – John Lennon/Yoko Ono (1971)
3. “Blue Christmas” – Elvis Presley (1957)
4. “River” – Joni Mitchell (1971)
5. “Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto” – James Brown (1968)
6. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – Brenda Lee (1958)
7. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – U2 (1987)
8. “Someday at Christmas” – Stevie Wonder (1967)
9. “Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You” – Billy Squier (1981)
10. “Candy Cane Children” – White Stripes (2002)
11. “Pretty Paper” – Willie Nelson (1979)
12. “I Want an Alien for Christmas – Fountains of Wayne (1997)

One song Spinner forgot to add to the best Christmas songs is “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” with Bing Crosby and David Bowie. That should be near the top of the list. Hope you’re getting in the Christmas spirit this time of year.

Header image thanks to Cayusa on Flickr.

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41 Responses to “12 Worst Christmas Songs according to Spinner”

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  1. Mairead says:

    Thankfully I don’t remember most of either list πŸ˜†

    But I DO agree that the Bing Crosby/ David Bowie Little Drummer Boy should be in the top 10 good songs.

    My all time favourite Christmas song is The Pretenders – 2000 Miles. I always think that the first Xmas song you hear sets the tone for the rest of the festival, and thankfully that was my first this year πŸ˜€

    Apart from the first here is my current faves:

    1 – 2000 Miles, The Pretenders
    2 – Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt version.
    3 – Family Christmas, Lizzie West.
    4 – Merry Christmas Everyone, Shakin’ Stevens (WHAT? Shakey is the Man!)
    5 – Christmastime (Don’t let the bells end), The Darknes
    6 – Let it Snow, Dean Martin
    7 – One Christmas Wish, The Priscillas

    And sure we’ll throw in Lonely This Christmas by Mud and Last Christmas, Wham! πŸ˜†
    I also like – Pipes of Peace, Paul McCartney (The song is all right, but the video based on the Christmas Truce of 1914 is appropriate this year)

    Special shout to New Years Day, U2 :mrgreen:

  2. Mrs.Ezc says:

    I agree with most of the list except Bruce, Paul and Clay .. the rest are awful.

  3. Syko says:

    I haven’t heard many of these. I will admit to laughing my butt off over “Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas” back when it got some radio play. Am I overlooking “White Christmas” on their list of the top ones, though?

    Mairead, I agree on the Eartha Kitt version of “Santa Baby”. I don’t know why Madonna could possibly think she can compete with that.

    Personally my favorites are the old carols that we’ve sung forever. I still get misty eyed over several of those.

  4. what is ever. says:

    I work a little part-time retail, and last Christmas I heard PM’s Wonderful Christmastime eleventy-billion times.

    It’s actually stuck in my head right now.

  5. geronimo says:

    Mairead – love your list (barring Paul McC – never!), and 2000 miles is an incredibly beautiful song. But it’s missing one vital classic: Fairytale of New York.

  6. Geronimo,

    Good call of Fairytale of NY! I agree w/Christmas in Hollis as #1 but where is that Band-Aid song? Do They Know It’s Christmas? I LOVED that song when I was little.

  7. Mairead says:

    God! A very good point geronimo regarding The Pogues and the late-lamented Kirsty McColl. I keep forgetting it every year, and then I hear it so much I have to block it out. 😳 I think it gets played more often over here than in Britain though. πŸ˜•

    I’m surprised Mary’s Boy Child by Boney M or Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody didn’t make either list though πŸ˜†

  8. Anon says:

    I have a deep, deep hatred of Wham’s Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahst Chriiistmaaaaaaaaas and it’s a tossup between being homicidal and suicidal every time I hear it…

  9. Mr. T says:

    Ditto on the list and 2000 miles is a touching song by the Pretenders.

  10. Wendie says:

    The real miracle of Christmas? How Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses dodged that list.

  11. Codzilla says:

    I never considered “River” an actual “Christmas song”, in the caroling, only-played-during-December type of way, but it’s beautiful and deserves a spot on any best song list, imo.

  12. Celebitchy says:

    Oh yeah I hate that Wham song “Last Christmas”! They play it constantly here! Mairead good call on “2000 Miles,” and Geronimo for “Fairtale of NY,” both lovely songs.

  13. MSat says:

    Three words:
    Domenic the Donkey.

  14. Lore says:

    Willie’s “Pretty Paper” should head the best list. I love the nostalgia in that song.

  15. Ron says:

    Um, did someone forget “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”….wretched.
    And though I hate to publicly admit it..because I have deep loathing of Celine Dion…I do like the song “The Prayer” with Andrea Boccelli. I feel Cheese Whizzy just writing that!

  16. rbsesq says:

    Personally, I like The Muppets – Christmas is Coming

  17. Jeane says:

    I so agree on that Band Aid song! It’s a horrible song and incredibly racist!

    I couldn’t believe it was actually redone a few years ago. It should be banned, it’s so offensive.

  18. neelyo says:

    I am stunned that ‘Lohan Holiday’ didn’t make this list.

  19. KB says:

    um…Does anyone hate the “Christmas Shoes” song as much as I do???

  20. MSat says:

    KB: yes. A song about a kid buying some shoes for his dying mom so she can look all hot for Jesus? Creepy. Just what I wanna hear while trimming the tree.

  21. Some of those are very terrible. I just created my own top Christmas song list here:


    Actually the list of songs were from a CD I made many years ago, but I decided to post the playlist online for everyone to enjoy.

  22. brista says:

    All of them, except for the song from Charlie Brown’s Christmas.

    I love that song.

    But everything else — terrible!!

  23. peachfish says:

    None of these are as bad as the abomination I heard in a grocery store over the weekend. I have no idea who sung it, but it sounded like Ethel merman singing a techno Christmas medly, while on crack. All I can remember is J-J-J-J-Jingle Bells J-J-J-J-Jingle Bells being shouted along to the crazed background music. It didn’t seem to have a beginning or an end…I couldn’t even finish shopping, I had to just put down my cheese and crackers and leave!

  24. Codzilla says:

    peachfish: πŸ˜†

  25. whatevs says:

    Awww, I like that Wham song! I’d never buy it or put it on a cd or anything, but it’s one of the few I don’t mind hearing while shopping, though.

    My favorite by far is and will always be “O’ Holy Night” by Nat King Cole. It makes me tear up every time I hear it.

    Anyone ever hear “Donde Esta Santa Claus”? It’s sung by a little boy, mostly in spanish I think. Pretty cute and catchy.

  26. mollination says:

    peachfish, I know exactly what you’re talking about!

    So, I hate “Last Christmas”, Mariah Carey’s Christmas song, “Santa Baby” by anyone, “Feliz Naveda”, and this really horrible horrible song that only gets played up here in Seattle, Washington called “Christmas in the Northwest”. GAG ME!

    I love Charlie Brown, and Carol of the Bells (the orchestra version and the metal/rock version).

  27. mollination says:

    Peachfish- It’s Barbara Freakin’ Streisand singing that cracked-out jingle!

  28. Bobby the K says:

    Some years ago Bruce Cockburn put out a record of Christmas songs based on a hand made Christmas song book his father gave him as a child.

    There are probably a few songs that are old, yet you may never have heard such as ‘Huron Carol’ and his re working of some of the classics is great.

    It’s simply called ‘Christmas’ – If some of you check it out, I’d like your opinion.

  29. chalkdustgirl says:

    Christmas in Hollis is very good…but it is NOT NOT NOT better than JL’s War Is Over. Period. Nothing is, nothing ever will be.

  30. cally says:

    Best christmas song is….
    Christmas Is All Around by Billy Mack!!! (a.k.a Bill Nighy)

  31. KB says:


    “It’s Christmas in the Northwest, God’s gift wrapped in green”


    I HATE that song!

  32. Jeane says:

    “Some years ago Bruce Cockburn put out a record of Christmas songs based on a hand made Christmas song book his father gave him as a child.”

    His name is Bruce Cockburn?? Yikes.

  33. Jeane says:

    No one has mentioned the Carpenters’ Christmas Collection!

    It is by far the best, sounds exactly what christmas should sound like. I get all warm and fuzzy inside everytime I hear it…

  34. nymphomercial says:

    ‘The Christmas Shoes’ is the worst…song…ever. You MUST hear this parody called ‘The Christmas Thong’:

  35. suereu says:


    Christmas in the Northwest is by far the worst song EVER EVER EVER!!!!

    I have been blessed to not have heard that song until this year – and now I’m hearing it all.the.time 😯

    Almost makes me want to move πŸ˜€

  36. I was never a fan of The Pogues, but I loved Kirsty McColl, indeed still do. On a different note I really like her song In These Shoes.

  37. Edward says:

    I compelety disagree with you for the fact that the beach boys are on this list.
    I mean have you even listened to the song or what?

  38. Tom says:

    Haha @ Madonna. The White Stripes was a good choice for the top ten best songs.
    Lohan should had made the list of worst I agree.

  39. Wow, several of those have been taken down. Ramones, John Denver, Beach Boys…

    I vote for The Boss!

  40. maria says:

    Hi nobody mentioned TU SCENDI DALLE STELLE. It’s an Italian song!

  41. Muzik Dinle says:

    I compelety disagree with you for the fact that the beach boys are on this list.
    I mean have you even listened to the song or what?