Which Christmas song do you hate the most?

The kids have begun bugging me because I change the channel whenever a Christmas song comes on. They think I hate Christmas music, and I don’t. I just don’t like it too soon. There are now two radio stations I can no longer listen to until late December. In a week or two, I’ll be ready to start listening, but I just don’t feel Christmassy yet, and I don’t want a radio station telling me how I’m supposed to feel.

So let’s have some fun. I’ve learned there are two things you can post in order to garner a lot of comments, the first of which is “I may have a baby someday, and if it’s a boy, I’m not sure if I should circumcise him.”  Your child may graduate college before that discussion goes dormant.

The second is this: “Which Christmas song do you hate?”

I’m not consistent. I don’t dislike secular songs, for example, but I do dislike the religious Christmas songs when performed by someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus. Except for Sting’s “The Angel Gabriel,” which I would listen to a thousand times. I’m a little irritated when someone takes a love song and turns it into a Christmas song by sticking it at Christmas time — except for “All I Want For Christmas Is YOOOOOOOOOOOOU.”  (Thank you to someone on my parenting forum, who first spelled it that way and has made me smile ever since.)

I detest “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.”

I cannot stand “Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart” even though I love(d) WHAM! and would be happy to hear just about anything else by them. (Er, except for the WHAM! rap, which I will be happy never to hear again.)  “Last Christmas” didn’t need to be recorded at all, and it certainly didn’t need to be covered again, and yet both versions are playing on local stations. *click*

“Santa Baby” annoys me in any version.

“So This Is Christmas” gives me a headache, but then I heard Sarah McLachlan’s version, and that was okay.

And just so you don’t think I’m being unfair to the secular songs: I dislike “The First Noel” in every single incarnation I’ve ever heard. Ever. I dislike the rhyme scheme. I dislike the pacing. I just cannot find anything redeeming in the song. (Feel free to educate me as to its merits so I don’t have to clench my teeth every time I have to hear it.)

Let’s have a gripe-fest in the comments box. Tell me which Christmas song you hate the most.


  1. iGrrrl

    Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is my least favorite, not for the annoying quality, but for the message. “If you’re different, just expect to be bullied until someone with power decides you’re noteworthy.” Because the other reindeer didn’t love poor Rudolph until the authority figure singled him out.

    What do you mean I over think these things?

    1. philangelus

      I agree! Although I feel more as if the message is “Be normal or be useful, or else.”

      In the Rankin-Bass Rudolph show, even Santa gangs up on Rudolph for being shamefully different.

  2. Jen

    I despise the recent trend of Christmas songs to make you cry: Christmas Shoes and the one about the town putting up lights in October because the little boy was going to die before Christmas. Incidentally, that second one is a true story and took place 30 miles from me. My aunt and uncle were among the first to put up lights that year. I still don’t like the song.

    1. philangelus

      Wow, I hadn’t heard that song! What… I’m speechless.

      1. Jen

        I looked it up, it’s called One Last Christmas by Matthew West.

    2. cricketB

      One of the school choirs did Christmas Shoes one year. Powerful song, but very bad timing. I suspect the timing makes it more powerful than it would be otherwise.

  3. Pat

    I am blessed to be completely unaware of most of the songs you mention; not listening to the radio, like not watching TV, obviously has great benefits. But I have been subjected to “Grandma,” which is definitely the all-time worst.

    “The First Noel” is boring for all the reasons you mention. My new least-liked religious Christmas song, though, is “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” because I actually paid attention to the lyrics. Big mistake. Nothing about Jesus, nothing about God, even. Lots of angels, but angels are not supposed to be a separate phenomenon from God. “Midnight” is peace and joy and that good stuff, but totally unconnected to, you know, the One who brings it.

    1. philangelus

      Ooh. Good point. I’d never thought of that.

    2. wyldkat

      I respectfully disagree.

      It speaks of the song the angels sang, the same song that is mentioned in “Do You Hear what I hear?” The song that told the shepherds about the birth. Without the song, they might not have understood the light.

      1. Pat

        Yes, it does, but it doesn’t mention the Child in any way . . . and when you look at all the verses, it seems pretty clear that the angels’ song at the nativity is mostly a jumping-off point. It’s about a longed-for earthly paradise.

        The author was a Unitarian, and I think that view is reflected in the lyrics.

  4. Sara

    I also have an unshakeable reputation as a Christmas song hater, because I don’t want to listen to Christmas songs in November- and am with you all the way with the love songs turned into Christmas songs.
    I can’t stand the Little Drummer Boy. Just can’t. In my head he is one of those kids who needs constant attention- “look at me jump! look at me jump on one foot! look at me do it again!”

    1. philangelus

      LOL — I actually love that song in some versions because the LDB gives Jesus the only special thing he has, and Jesus smiles at him.

  5. Heather R

    I hate “Christmas Shoes.” Syrupy sweet, annoying chorus with whiny kid voices. Actually, I hate any song that tries to pull heartstrings with a story like that. They don’t feel sincere to me.

    1. philangelus

      I hear you on that. There should be enough emotion attached to Christmas that we don’t need to yank people around.

  6. wyldkat

    All time dislikes .. whee that could be a long list, assuming I could remember all the titles.

    I agree about “Santa Baby”. Greedy much.
    “Frosty the snowman”. Erm, this is a Christmas song?
    “Grandma go run over…” Didn’t like the first time I heard it, still don’t like it.
    “We Three Kings”, grates on my nerves at times. The full reasoning behind it gets into a long standing argument I have about the so called Wise Men behind shown *in* the Nativity Scene.

    1. cricketB

      Sure, make me look up the words:

      For Frosty the snow man
      Had to hurry on his way,
      But he waved goodbye saying,
      “Don’t you cry,
      I’ll be back again some day.”

      Some (not me) might say it’s a parallel to Christ’s final days and his promise to return, but I think that’s carrying it too far. Following that argument, one could argue any SF story about life after death is Christian.

      It’s a winter song, not a Christmas song.

  7. Larissa Halsell

    “Christmas Shoes”- Ugh agree with all other comments. I can’t stand to hear that song ever ever again.

    Also dislike:
    “Let It Snow” – probably just jealousy in that i will never ever get a snowy Christmas so long as I live in coastal California.
    “Christmas All Over Again”- Tom Pettey. I just think the whole tune sounds completely depressing. Like “ugh its Christmas”
    “Wonderful Christmas Time”- Also sounds depressing. Weird background instruments and it sounds very syntehtic. The whole thing makes me anxious.

    But I don’t know, I still think Christmas Shoes wins for WORST EVER.

    1. Pat

      May I speak in defense of “Let It Snow”? It’s actually not a Christmas song. Like “Jingle Bells,” “Sleigh Ride” and “Winter Wonderland,” it’s associated with Christmas because it gets played in December and included on Christmas albums, but these songs are about winter, not about Christmas.

      I sing them in February.

  8. cricketB

    I’ve been lucky this year. The only songs I’ve heard enough to care about are from my daughter’s choir, and they’re good enough to survive a season’s worth of rehearsal. Fingers crossed the director will choose different songs next year.

    Most of the Christmas songs I start out liking get ruined by over-play. I still love Little Drummer Boy and Do You Hear What I Hear. Ask me again at the end of the season. Maybe not. If I don’t think about it, I might be able to forget I got sick of them. (Sort of like labour.)

    My ideal Christmas is “must do” shopping and outside decorations up (but not turned on) by December 1, and Christmas songs start December 10.

  9. Elizabeth D.

    Ugh, I agree with everyone else on “Christmas Shoes.” Anytime that song comes on I glare at the radio and switch the station. And I hear you on the radio stations! One of my favorite contemporary Christian stations has made a tradition out of playing only Christmas music from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day!! I have to stop listening or I will be going bonkers by December 15th. We’re not talking about especially worshipful music, either. We’re talking Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree-type music. People rave about how great it is, but I can’t stand it. Especially AFTER Christmas.

    Ooh, another pet peeve: classics that are re-recorded to be extra stylized and crooning. Just, why?

    This is fun. I need to repost this on Facebook!

    1. k8e308

      I like Christmas music after Christmas. The Church celebrates Christmas all the way to Epiphany; why shouldn’t we?

      1. Elizabeth D.

        I can take *some* Christmas music after Christmas. I really do like most of the classic hymns pretty much any time of the year. It’s the jingle-belling, “ho-ho-ho”ing, reindeer-flying type songs that have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus that start to grate after a certain point. And I find even the classic hymns start to feel less powerful if I hear them too often.

        Just me. 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  10. Jeanne G.

    I hate Christmas Shoes and Last Christmas, but my least favorite (secular) Christmas song is Frosty the Snowman. I don’t know why, I just don’t like it.

    I have to disagree about It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. It says “Peace on the earth, goodwill to men, from Heaven’s all-gracious King.” That is a mention of God, and the rest of the song is about the angels singing at Christ’s birth!

    I can’t think of a religious Christmas song that I don’t like 🙂

    1. philangelus

      Frosty the Snowman is about death. That’s the most baffling of the holiday songs to me because in essence the song says, “Life is mysterious and we don’t know how it comes to you, and you need to enjoy it now before it goes away.”

      I’m looking at the Midnight Clear lyrics, and I can see both sides. It’s not explicit but I think because it fits in the larger genre of Christmas hymns, it’s borrowing meaning from its surroundings. It’s too early in the morning for me to think of a technical term for that, but imagine if you saw a story in an anthology of ghost stories — it might be creepy and the ghost may never show up, but you’re going to assume the creepy happenings are due to a ghost just like the other ten stories in the anthology, even if on its own the story just appeared to be someone being paranoid and a little psychotic.

      1. Pat

        I like your analogy, and I think you are right. There probably is a technical term for that, but I don’t know it, either!

        1. k8e308

          “Context” maybe?

          1. philangelus

            Contextuality has something to do with it, absolutely. I’m thinking more “positioning,” though.

          2. k8e308


  11. k8e308

    I despise “Santa Baby” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (which is techincally a “Winter song” – but it’s played along with all the other Christmas and Winter songs).

    1. iGrrrl

      Baby it’s Cold Outside always seems like a borderline date rape song. “Hey what’s in this drink?”

    2. Pat

      “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is played with Christmas songs? Lucky me, I’ve never heard it done that way. My favorite version of that is a duet between Miss Piggy and Rudolf Nureyev. I defy anyone to top that one!

  12. Laura

    Within two days of turning on the Christmas station, I heard the DARN shoes song twice. I hate the Christmas shoes song. HATEHATEHATE.

    My husband threatens to buy me the DVD for Christmas.

  13. Lorraine E. Castro

    The Little Drummer Boy makes me gnash my teeth, as do several others you can count on hearing replayed hundreds of times until New Year’s arrives to save you until the folowwing year. I agree with your sentiments on playing the songs exclusively on some radio stations the from the moment they can manage. To me, that indicates poor programming and folks taking it easy with a full month of non-creative airtime.

  14. crescentgaia

    Agreeing with Santa Baby, Christmas Shoes (Unless I need a really good cry), and Baby It’s Cold Outside.

    The Killers “The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball” is silly. It just came on the music station I’m listening to.

  15. cricketB

    Another thing I hate, which I remembered thanks to a story playing what my daughter assures me was NOT Justin Bieber singing Silent Night. Emoting rather than emotion. In love with their own voice and trying to make us feel the emotion, whatever it is, rather than feeling the emotion in the song and not being embarrassed to let us see. My voice teacher makes me pick a different emotion or scene for every phrase. For my last exam, I picked people from the season finale of a favourite TV show, talking with their best friends. Only marginally related to the actual song, but it worked. Forget projection and dynamics and pacing and vibrato and tone (well, work in them very hard until the last week) — just feel, and trust the audience to follow. It works with storytelling, too.

  16. Tal

    I didn’t have anything to contribute to this conversation until I was at the mall today and heard “I’m not getting anything for Christmas, because somebody snitched on me,” and the chorus was “Somebody snitched on me” which I can only assume was the title. It was horrible, just horrible.

    1. philangelus

      Oh, I know that one! The kid goes through a list of horrendous things he did to other people, like making his friend eat a bug. I think it’s called “Nothing For Christmas.”

Comments are closed.