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Songs for a Not-So-Merry Christmas

Every December, you’ll hear some wonderful Christmas favorites on the radio, the TV, and in every store you enter. But there are some Christmas songs that really should be banished to the do-not-play list. From annoying melodies and questionable lyrics to earworms that permanently lodge themselves in your head, these are the Christmas songs we love to hate — including one inescapable tune that just made music history. 


Related: Awesomely Bad Holiday Movies Starring A-Listers

‘All I Want for Christmas is You
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‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ by Mariah Carey

This pop hit actually topped The Mirror’s poll of the most hated Christmas songs, yet you’re sure to hear it playing nearly everywhere this holiday season. In fact, it just hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart for a record-breaking three years in a row. Regardless of your feelings on Mariah Carey, who has always been polarizing, the song is always delivered at one volume — loud — and is gratingly repetitive. 


Related: Holiday Movies for People Who Hate Holiday Movies


‘The Chipmunk Song’
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‘The Chipmunk Song’

We’ve all heard this song many times. Many of us can recite the dialogue and sing the lyrics. But after hearing it a dozen times a season, the Chipmunks’ voices start to grate and this song becomes wholeheartedly annoying. 


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‘Last Christmas’ by Wham!
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‘Last Christmas’ by Wham!

Complete with its ‘80s synthesizer and smooth vocals, this song may have appealed at one point, but now it’s an overplayed addition to Christmas radio. Worse, artists like Carly Rae Jepsen have covered it, so there are even more versions out there to listen to — none an actual improvement on the original. 


‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’
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‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’

We didn’t list an artist for this song because no matter who sings it, in this day and age, the lyrics about a man’s coercing and manipulating a woman still sound creepy. While some artists have attempted to release more politically correct versions, this is one song that we should just stop playing.

‘Jingle Bells’ by David Hasselhoff
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‘Jingle Bells’ by David Hasselhoff

This isn’t to say that “Jingle Bells” is a bad song. We love “Jingle Bells” — just versions of it that aren’t this one. David Hasselhoff’s take doesn’t do this classic justice and feels overproduced. 


Related: Song Lyrics Everyone Gets Wrong

‘Santa Baby’ by Michael Buble
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‘Santa Baby’ by Michael Buble

Many of Michael Buble’s Christmas songs are great, but his reimagining of this classic flopped. Buble changes some key lyrics of the song — mainly, the title. Santa Baby is now Santa Buddy, and the whole song feels just a little off as a result. 

‘Dominick the Donkey’ by Lou Monte
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‘Dominick the Donkey’ by Lou Monte

There are few Christmas songs that are bigger earworms than Dominick the Donkey. If you hear this song, or even think of it, you’ll be singing it and humming it on repeat for days. The sheer annoyance factor makes it a song worthy of a hate list.

‘Funky, Funky Xmas’ by New Kids on the Block
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‘Funky, Funky Xmas’ by New Kids on the Block

New Kids on the Block released tons of hits. This isn’t one of them. The band couldn’t resist including a self-promotional shoutout right before the first verse, and the rest of the song feels flat, dull, and awkward. 

‘Mistletoe’ by Justin Bieber
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‘Mistletoe’ by Justin Bieber

Far from Bieber’s best work, “Mistletoe” is a failed take on Christmas romance. The repeated use of “shorty” makes it a song that’s hard to stomach. 


‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer’ by Elmo and Patsy
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‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer’ by Elmo and Patsy

Intended as a joke, this song is fun the first dozen or so times. Unfortunately, it’s also one of those Christmas songs that’s been so overplayed that it’s lost its appeal. It will easily get stuck in your head, so if you hear it once, you won’t be escaping its nasally melody anytime soon.


Related: Classic Cars That Have Inspired Memorable Songs

‘I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas’ by Gayle Peevey
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‘I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas’ by Gayle Peevey

This is another song that’s fun the first few times, but then it gets old. It’s a little too cutesy and can be hard to hear repeatedly during the season, so this is a song that should be played with caution. 


‘Christmas Conga’ by Cyndi Lauper
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‘Christmas Conga’ by Cyndi Lauper

This song has energy and rhythm, but it’s failed by the melody and lyrics. The chorus of “Bonga, bonga, bonga, do the Christmas conga” puts it solidly into the list of Christmas songs to hate. 

‘Happy Christmas (War Is Over)’ by Maroon 5
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‘Happy Christmas (War Is Over)’ by Maroon 5

Some songs should just be left untouched in their original form. When Maroon 5 took on this holiday classic, originally written and performed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the result was a song that largely felt empty. Unfortunately, not even Adam Levine’s falsetto could fill what was missing. 


Related: 12 Enduring Quotes From John Lennon

‘Christmas Tree’ by Lady Gaga
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‘Christmas Tree’ by Lady Gaga

This song changes into different Christmas melodies so many times it’s hard to keep up. The sexual Christmas tree references are also hard to stomach in a Christmas song. This is a song most people would be happy to never hear again. 

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‘A Walking Talking Christmas Tree’ by Gene London

If you haven’t heard this song, consider yourself lucky. It’s all of two minutes long, yet its syrupy sweet melody seems to repeat endlessly, making the song feel a whole lot longer than it is. It consists entirely of two melodic phrases, so you’ll never get this tune out of your head. 

‘The 12 Days of Christmas’
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‘The 12 Days of Christmas’

Songs don’t get much more repetitive than “The 12 Days of Christmas,” and it’s rare to find an artist who performs this song beautifully. By verse five, the song has become pretty dull, but it’s a long listen. We’d rather listen to another song with better entertainment value. 


Related: Classic Holiday Movies That Still Hold Up

‘Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)’ by John Denver
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‘Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)’ by John Denver

Yes, that’s a song — and yes, it’s about a father getting drunk on Christmas and falling down underneath the Christmas tree. The juxtaposition of such a sad subject with what’s supposed to be a happy season means this song lacks any hint of holiday cheer. 


‘Christmastime’ by Smashing Pumpkins
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‘Christmastime’ by Smashing Pumpkins

Smashing Pumpkins did dark, angry music well. The group didn’t do Christmas music well, and this song is a result. Somewhere between moody and celebratory, this song evokes a listening experience that’s best described as bizarre. 

‘Yule Shoot Your Eye Out’ by Fall Out Boy
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‘Yule Shoot Your Eye Out’ by Fall Out Boy

The combination of the song title and band name should give a sense of what this song is. Loudly sung in a straining voice, this song is everything that a Christmas song isn’t. The song basically tells off an ex and doesn’t make for enjoyable listening. 


‘The Christmas Shoes’ by NewSong
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‘The Christmas Shoes’ by NewSong

This song depicts the urban legend of a boy who wants to buy shoes for his mother who’s dying of cancer. He wants her to look beautiful when she meets Jesus. While the message is intended to be genuine, it’s hard to listen to the song without finding it tacky.