Are these the most hated Christmas songs of all time?

We’re in the thick of Christmas music season, something that seems to have started sometime in October. It’s also time to make a list of the Christmas songs that grate on the nerves. This comes from CNN which offers more analysis here.

1. The Christmas Shoes, NewSong (2000)

If there’s a more depressing Christmas song than this, I haven’t heard it. If you’ve managed to avoid it, the song tells a cringey-sad story about a little boy show dreams of buying some new shoes for his terminally ill mother just in time for Christmas because…well, there’s something about the true meaning of Christmas buried in here somewhere.

2. Wondeful Christmastime, Paul McCartney (1979)

The man who wrote “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude” is responsible for this one. Let that sink in.

3. Do They Know It’s Christmas, Band Aid (1985)

Ask co-writers Bob Geldof and Midge Ure what they think of the song now and they’ll reply “It’s shite, mate.” Geldof also says that it’s one of the worst songs ever written. The other, he maintains, is “We Are the World.”

4. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, Elmo and Patsy (1979)

Yes, it’s a novelty Christmas song, but novelty songs are supposed to have a very limited lifespan. This one will not go away.

5. The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late), The Chipmunks (1958)

This song won three–THREE!–Grammy awards. Anyone still think that the 1950s were the good old days?

6. Santa Baby, Earth Kitt (1953)

CNN describes this song as “weirdly suggestive.” I quote: “I’ll wait up for you, dude / Santa buddy, and hurry down the chimney tonight!” In 2021, a poll declared this to be the most hated Christmas song of all time.

7. Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Various covers (1944)

The best social media post about this question how this song–which some insist is features sexual harrassment while others hear it as mild flirting–asked “How can this song be canceled while Caribi B can sing about her WAP?” Good point.

8. The Little Drummer Boy, Various covers (1941)

Sweet sentiment, but ask any parent about how their newborn will react to a drum solo.

9. Dominick the Donkey, Lou Monte (1960)

A charming story about how a donkey helps Santa deliver presents. Rudolph was apparently unavailable that year, probably because he was fed up with the passive-aggressive actions of the other eight reindeer.

10. Last Christmas, Wham! (1986)

Actually, this is a fine holiday song, even though it deals with wrenching heartache. It’s just that we’ve heard it SO DAMN MUCH.

BONUS: All I Want for Christmas is You, Mariah Carey (1994)

Do I really have to justify this?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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2 thoughts on “Are these the most hated Christmas songs of all time?

  • For me, the worst is Christmas Time Is Here by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

    I’m just not a fan of the kids’ choir on this one.

    Paul McCartney’s isn’t a favourite either, but dammit, it’s catchy and I can’t help but sing along to it.

    At the end of the day though, who cares. If a song puts a smile on someone’s face, then it’s all good.

  • Glad to see that AIWFCIY is only an honourable mention. Aside from hearing it entirely too much, I truly don’t understand the hate – it’s absolutely one of the best pop songs of the 90s. The writing is good, the production is good, the singing is great. If its playtime was spread over a year instead of, say, 2 months, I really don’t think it would het the hate it gets.


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