Top 5 Worst (and Best) Christmas Songs Of All Time

What's the most annoying Christmas song? Here are the top 5 according to our readers, plus 5 of the very best songs to make your season merry and bright. Take a listen and weigh in!

Christmas music started playing early this year. It seems that around November 1st, stores and radios were playing those holiday tunes designed to get us in the “Christmas spirit.” But sometimes it backfires and it just ends up making people on edge. Recently we asked our readers, “what’s the most annoying Christmas song?” Here were their top 5 picks with their comments. To be fair, we’ve included 5 of the very best Christmas songs as well, to make your season merry and bright. Enjoy!

Top 5 Most Annoying Christmas Songs (according to our readers)

5. Santa Baby (Madonna version)

Annoys me – not sure why, I have never liked it. – Jeanne
The song promotes traits I do not care for, like greed. – Mary

4. Dominic The Christmas Donkey

Come on, man! – Kelly N.

3.  Barking Dogs – Jingle Bells

– This is just annoying, and I LOVE dogs! – Lee H.
– I’ve got to turn the radio down when that comes on. Nothing against dogs, I just find it annoying. – Jessica D.
– I scream at the radio when it comes on. – Peter T.

2. I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas

– I love Christmas music, but I really can’t stand this song! – Paula S.

1. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

– I had 4 kids in less than 5 years, I can ignore darn near everything. But….. that song is worse than dragging a shovel down the sidewalk! – Darla G.
– Make it stop! – Beverly J.

Honorable Mention:

Christmas Shoes

5 Best Christmas Songs of All Time (based on public opinion)

1.  The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole

2. White Christmas – Bing Crosby

3. O Holy Night – Josh Groban

4. Little Drummer Boy – Harry Simeone Chorale

5. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer – Gene Autry

Honorable Mention:

All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

Take our Christmas quiz!

This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Do you have a question or an idea for an article? Contact us!

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JACK MCELWEE

If you think Grandma/Reindeer is pathetic and silly tryGrandpa got run over by a beer truck (Driven by Grandma). Bob Rivers way back in the of the last Century took 12 of the most popular Xmas songs and carols and made his own versions. Deck the Halls becomes Wreck the Malls and Restroom door said gentlemen came from God resy ye merry gentlemen which is idiotic to begin with. ABobby’s stuff is on YouTube!

MariaRose

Hey if you worked in retail during Christmas time or have had negative experiences during this Christmas holidays, you would prefer the worst-rated songs over the top-rated songs which you have to endure non-stop hours of hearing while trying to keep a fake smile on your face while the customers scream like toddlers at you. I rated the Grandma song top in keeping me sane during the season. Thanks for the songs

Vic Walker

I read many of the comments and to some I say, “RIGHT ON”! You can’t beat the “Classics” ever, especially the “REAL Classics) — no matter what kind of music you might be thinking about or hearing. And by Real, I mean those like Beethoven, Bach, etc. In fact, I love music all the way from Country (old not the new so much) to “the” Classics! And that includes Chirstian Hymns, carols, etc. especially since that is really why we have “CHRISTMAS”, isn’t it? — “Because unto us a child is born” — Jesus Christ is one of His many names given to us in the Bible. My favorite name is “Savior” since He was born and then died so that my sins can be forgiven!

Vic Walker

Thanks to ya’ll at Farmer’s Almanac for sharing this. It’s great. I actually like some of the “Worst” and even enjoyed a couple “Barking Dogs” & “Grandmom got run over”. Since some of the folks didn’t care for that last one, they probably wouldn’t like a new one just put out my John Rich & Mike Rowe — “Santa’s Got a Dirty Job”. I found that absolutely enjoyable. As for the “Best” I can agree on them alright. Too bad you only have 5 – some of them )and many others) are all in the #1 bracket and hard to pick the mostest favorite in my opinion.

Bill

Reading some of these comments really drives home the old adage “There’s no accounting for taste or the lack of it.”

madeline smith

i love pentatonix

madeline smith

how about all the songs from the cast of South Park? oh they are annoying and offensive. Oh you just want annoying! my bad

Ann

Seriously? I think The Little Drummer Boy is the most annoying song and STUPID to boot! And Madonna never annoys me – think the song is amusing and sung well.

Ruby

Every year I have to sing (I’m not a great singer) a certain song to the grandbabies and I get so tired of it!!!
It’s called Randolph the Bow-legged Cowboy! Very annoying song!

madeline smith

Bow legged cowboy? Is that the one with the gun and you would turn around and run?

Mike

Worst song ever is Happy Xmas by John Lennon.

Greg Roye

Merry Christmas Darling by the Carpenter’s should be amoung the top 5!

Max the Black Lab

The first time I heard the singing dogs was when I was in college, the campus radio station had it as part of their Christmas lineup. It was funny then and it’s still a hoot.

Ora gooch

Run Rudolph by chuck berry greatness!!!!!!!

Ann

Absolutely – love that song!

Chris Apel

I hate White Christmas by Bing Crosby. He sounds like he is moaning, like he is in pain.

Penny Haulman

I love #FelizNavidad by José Feliciano

Ann

Yes – another great one.

Christina

Yesterday when my 11-year-old niece and I were baking Christmas cookies that song came on and we agreed that it is definitely the most cheerful of all of the Christmas songs! Love it love it!

Donna

I like Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. It’s a novelty song not to be taken seriously. I would say that my least favorite is one performed by Jeff Foxworthy. It’s called Redneck 12 Days of Christmas. My favorite song is Silver Bells. I’ve always liked the song even as a child.

Jackie Harrison

Christmas shoes definitely. I can’t stand it. Have to tune to another channel when I hear it.

Flint

Grandma Got Run Over and Dominic are the WORST Christmas songs ever. There are a few others that are just plain annoying. Little Drummer Boy sets my teeth on edge.
O Holy Night and what Child Is This are beautiful. Silent Night always reminds me of
my Mom, it was her favorite.
Oh yeah, also very annoying is the one with where he sings Eskimos as S key mows. ? Brain cramp for that title.

Jack Landrum

Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time by Paul McCartney and Wings, and This Christmas by Donnie Hathaway are two of my families favorites.

Max the Black Lab

It’s not bad, Jack. It wears a little thin in the playlist rotation by many radio stations.

Carol

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. What a vile song

linda sutton

Oh holy night by Andrew Lloyd Weber !!!

Kerin Rivera

I HATE HATE HATE Last Christmas. The song has nothing to do with Christmas, other than the word Christmas thrown in. I do realize there are plenty of other songs that suffer from the same horrible affliction, but that one takes the cake.

Debi

I think the song itself is sweet but I agree that it is NOT a Christmas song.

Brenda McCallister

I agree Madonna’s Santa Baby is really bad she makes it sound like a child trying to seduce Santa. On the other hand Eartha Kit did Santa Baby first and then followed it up the next year with a song called This years Santa Baby. Both are really cute.

Brenda McCallister

My favorite is Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth by Bing Crosby and David Bowie.

Denise Sheff

Anything by Trans Siberian Orchestra is great about anything else you can have.

Char

Most annoying are all you picked plus, Snoopy Vs.Red Barron. I hate that song! I love Kenny Loggins, Celebrate Me Home

Lisa Wallace

I agree with you, Bonnadee. Right on! “Angels we have heard on high”, “Lulaylula Thou tiny little child (don’t know the title), *Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella”, and so many more that have been pushed out by the Christmas songs – many of which have nothing to do with Christmas.

Joe

That hymn is “Coventry Carol”. It’s about the Holy Innocents.

eddie

What? No one mentioned Felice Navidad by Jose Feliciano? I know I probably misspelled the title, but that song just makes me happy,,,and for the record, I cannot stand Christmas music as a rule. I even stopped watching Hallmark Channel Mysteries and Movies year round ever again because of the endless October to January Christmas movies.

John Pyles

Hallmark has gone to he’ll, the movies are all about the same someone goes back home save the farm or the family business or whatever

June Bugg

The is a good song. People today don’t have a good heart. And they weren’t poor either. I god bless . The shoe song

kodster

I’ll take “The Christmas Shoes” song over Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas is You’. One promotes generosity towards others, while the other is self-centered, greedy… totally opposites, and totally against God’s desires for us.

Bonnadee

The only good Christmas songs are the traditional carols. The only contemporary exception is ‘Mary, Did You Know?’

David Loy

Pretty much burned out on them all, having heard them so much working retail. Found some on YouTube from Enya I never heard before: One Tin Soldier, Christmas Secrets. My Favorite Time of Year by Florin St.
Barbara Streisand singing Jingle Bells – fingers on a chalkboard.

carrie

Not that I totally don’t like Christmas, but judas priest all the music is horrible!!! Too jolly sometimes…

Max the Black Lab

carrie…nothing has been written or produced that stands up as real classics since the ’40s.

cindy heiselman

I have seen several comments about Mary did you know, So, did you know Mark Lowry is the writer of this song, music by Buddy Green. Mark does the best rendition of this song, as intended. Marry Christmas all!

Kimberly

I like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” the versions by Bobby Caldwell/Vanessa Williams and by Zooey Deschanel/Leon Redbone. If you don’t want lyrics the Trans Siberian Orchestra is good. “My Favorite Things” by Julie Andrews or Andy Williams wasn’t mentioned. That’s a fun, upbeat song.

Classic artists such as Gene Autry, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, etc. are always great. I was just saying last week that all the best Christmas songs were made before I was born and they just can’t top the classics. They certainly can/do mangle them though 🙁

For fun I’m partial to “The Twelve Pains of Christmas” by Bob RIvers esp as it gets closer to Christmas (I can relate to the lights & crying kid!). “Santa Claus is Watching You” by Ray Stevens is fun; although the Santa is vindictive lol 😉
Being a made, born & raised Southerner I like the Grandma/reindeer song & “The Redneck 12 days of Christmas” by Jeff Foxworthy.

As I type this I’m listening to Christmas music and a song I’ve never heard just came on: Santa Claus is Back in Town by Elvis. I’m not a fan although it’s WORLDS better than Blue Christmas!!

Vic Walker

Right on! You can’t beat the “Classics” ever, especially the “REAL Classics) — no matter what kind of music you might be thinking about or hearing. And by Real, I mean those like Beethoven, Bach, etc. In fact, love music all the way from Country to “the” Classics! And that includes Chirstian Hymns, carols, etc. especially that is really why we have “CHRISTMAS”, isn’t it — “Because unto us a child is born” — Jesus Christ is one of His many names given to us in the Bible.

Johnny

Last Christmas by Wham! is probably the worst “Christmas” song ever. It makes me cringe. It has nothing to do with Christmas, only the whining of someone who who evidently had a relationship that lasted a day and then was dumped. The remake (why, oh why was there a remake?) could even be worse.

D. Smith

I love the song Mary Did You Know by Kenny Rogers on his Christmas album of songs which came out in about 2000 or so.

I detest the song Little Drummer boy and so did my twin brothers – they covered their ears whenever it came on the radio back in the 50’s and 60’s. Still don’t like it to this day.

I agree with some of the songs on both lists (that Madonna song is sickening) and I loved the Nat King Cole versions of several Christmas tunes. I also really like the Christmas songs put out by Johnny Mathis and he wasn’t on the list at all.

Greg Roye

Ave Maria by the lovely Karen Carpenter! A true angel!

Max the Black Lab

Truly a gifted performer, Greg.

CarolAnn

The Christmas song is in my top five. I also like Sleigh Ride, Rockin Around the Christmas Tree , I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Let It Snow and Santa Baby (Ertha Kit version ) But t.o each his own. Differences are what makes the world go round. ” )

Louis

As a retired USPO letter carrier I can remember a couple of hundred clerks and carriers bursting into song at FDR station in midtown Manhattan when they would hear the song Grandma got run over by a reindeer on the radio. It was hilarious and fun . Til this day , 13 years after retiring, when I hear that song its Christmas again! I MISS YOU ALL,

Darrell L Cole

I agree with your 5 best list except The Little Drummer Boy….dislike the music not the words.

Terri Slezia

I love the hippo song, sing it to my granddaughter! I agree, Mary Did You Know is one of my favorites. I heard it first by Kathy Mattea but Pentatonix does it well too. Fun song choices!

Louis J Apa

Christmas Shoes, I always loved this song. It makes me cry!

Ruose

Did you know that Neil Diamond did “Drummer Boy”? Everything he does is great. Also, Cher was wonderful on “O, Holy Night”!

cara w

I do like Grandma got run over. Thanks for having it here so I can listen to it . I will save this. All a matter of opinion

Chris Apel

I don’t like White Christmas by Bing Crosby. He sounds like he is in pain.I do love Merry Christmas Darling by Karen Carpenter.

Max the Black Lab

KC’s Merry Christmas Darling is one of the solid contemporary (’70s) songs that stand out as timeless, Chris

Ed

I agree with most of the list, but I can’t believe “Merry Christmas Darling” by the Carpenters didn’t make the favorites. Karen’s voice just makes me melt, and I end up being an old man with tears in his eyes.

Suzie

I always liked Nat King Cole’s Merry Christmas song. Wonderful slow dance.

Jalene

May not be popular by most, but I adore the soulful sounds of ‘Silent Night’ by the Temptations. Touches me everytime I’d hear it when I was young❣

alexa penn

hi – thanks so much for this list. it’s amazing what other people don’t like / or do like in music. i love the dog song. the hippo song is so cute- and can that kid sing. i’m playing the Grandma song for my friends – it’s hilarious!

i happen to like Burl Ives’ song; it’s from my childhood. and no one can sing White Christmas like Bing unless it’s he and Rosemary Clooney. the rest of the best are much too schmaltzi for me. you guys forgot the Christmas song by Slade which plays everywhere in Britain and i love it. Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt should definitely be on the best list!!!!!!! fun to listen to these. Thanks sooo much! ✨ ✨

Laura Gibson

My favorites: O Holy Night by Whitney Houston, Please Come Home for Christmas by The Eagles, Little Drummer Boy by Lonestar, Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon, and Step Into Christmas by Elton John.

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