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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. Interested in becoming a guest author? Contact us to let us know!

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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.

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.

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

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…

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!!

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!

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.

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.

Jan moon

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer is my favorite non-sacred holiday song! Don’t know why but it cracks me up. People leave the room when I sing it. Don’t know why. Thank you, Mr. Brooks. And I love eggnog.

Donna

I happen to like Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. Is it my absolute favorite? Probably not; but, I’d put it in the top five.

C Morse

The Supremes “White Christmas” is my favorite. But, it has to be the mono version, not stereo, right from the original mono album. I agree with Grandma Got Run Over as the worst.

ILONA CRISP

The original “Little Drummer Boy”. I watched and heard it on T.V. when I was a young girl, I am 75 now. It has stayed with me all these years. I wish I could hear it more now. It is absolutely the most beautiful song.

MaryJo Harbert

Love all I want for Christmas is you. Vince Vance and the valiants.

Janet Story

Mary Did You Know by Kathy Mattea is my favorite Christmas song. Good job on your choices.

Randy Brooks

And here I’ve always spoken well of the Farmers Almanac.
Randy Brooks, songwriter
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

Susan Higgins

Hi Mr. Brooks, thank you so much for commenting! We’ve just sent you a personal email but we want to thank you for taking the time to visit our site!

Lisa

Worst: Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Bruce Springsteen! UGH!!!! ????????
Best: Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney!!! ❤????

Mikki

cant stand “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives and one I cant remember that Andy Williams sang drives me bonkers when they come on TV ads

Betty Lou Barket

Anything by Elvis. Brings back so many memories.

Betty Lou Barket

Best is anything by Elvis. Brings back so many memories.

Ed Groves

Worst to me is Jose Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad and Burl Ives’ Holly, Jolly Christmas. The best is Blue Christmas by Elvis (and Porky Pig). And Santa Claus is Back in Town by Elvis.

Ted

Worst: All I want for Christmas is You!
Typical annoying performance by Mariah

NParsons

It hasn’t had quite enough time to become a classic yet, and I wouldn’t equate it with “O Holy Night,” but “Believe” sung by Josh Groban has fast become a favorite in our family.

Martha Fuller

Annoying Blue Christmas by Elvis. Love Elvis but the background on this is like fingernails on blackboard. You did well on best until the honorable mention. Every thing about her grates on my nerves. Good job all in all though.

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