Which Christmas Songs Should You Listen to this Holiday Season?


Alexandra Risi

With the Christmas season in full swing, Christmas songs have begun to overtake most radio stations. Luckily, most of these songs bring us cheer and fond memories of our holiday traditions! However, some, unfortunately, are not very good and don’t have the same unforgettable nature that the classics have. On the other hand, some Christmas songs are above all others and bring a depth you wouldn’t normally associate with music about hot cocoa and unwrapping presents. So, today I’m going to break down for you what I believe are the top five best, and top five worst Christmas songs (in no particular order). 

The Best Songs

1. “Last Christmas” – Wham!

This song is a personal favorite of mine, so I had to include it on the list. “Last Christmas” is the epitome of 80s music, and George Michael does a great job at creating an unforgettable tune. Besides that, the song is actually much deeper than it may seem, as the band reflects on a failed relationship and the vulnerability associated with seeing someone who previously betrayed you. It’s the kind of song you love to sing at the top of your lungs with your friends, and it will always be #1 on my list.

2. “All I Want for Christmas is You” – Mariah Carey

Now I know we may be tired of hearing this song over and over again, but it’s hard to deny the impact that this song has had on pop culture. Simply hearing it on the radio is a sign that Christmas is coming, and the song has an incredibly catchy beat. Its nostalgia is unbeatable, and it continues to excite people year after year, making it a top-five contender for the best Christmas song!

3. “Feliz Navidad” – Jose Feliciano

Feliz Navidad is a fun, intoxicating song that people can’t help but sing along to at Christmas parties. Its simplicity is what makes it so easy to keep listening to, and it will always be a crowd favorite on occasions because of its lighthearted, wonderful nature. 

4. “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” – John Lennon and Yoko Ono

While many Christmas songs have a light, airy sort of message to it, Happy Xmas is a different song entirely. Although it maintains a message of positivity and unity, its themes go much deeper than that. Lennon and Ono wrote this song as a way to unite the world and instill the idea of peace during the time of the Vietnam War. To this day, the song is still as powerful as ever, reminding us all to remain peaceful and together to make our world a better place. 

5. “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Andy Williams

As soon as you hear this song, you are transported to your living room, hanging up ornaments on your Christmas tree while you sip delicious hot cocoa and feel the warmth of a crackling fire. This song reminds us of what Christmas is all about, with its lyrics calling back on happy memories and encapsulating the true feeling of Christmas cheer. 

The Worst Songs

1. “Santa Baby” – Eartha Kitt

Although Eartha Kitt does create a memorable tune with “Santa Baby”, the meaning of the song itself isn’t as memorable. The song is essentially a woman asking for expensive gifts, and flirting with Santa in order to get them. I’m not opposed to asking for some pricey things for the holidays, but the flirty nature of it makes the song feel pretty dated. 

2. “Wonderful Christmas Time” – Paul McCartney 

With John Lennon having one of the best Christmas songs, it hurts me to say that his bandmate, Paul McCartney, created what I believe is one of the worst. The song is painfully repetitive and just sounds like McCartney discovered new features on his piano and is testing them all out in one song. It’s crowded and doesn’t have the depth that some Christmas songs have, earning it its place on this list. 

3. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” – The Jackson 5

Now I actually don’t believe this song is all that bad, but there are some factors that make it less of a favorite for me. I am a big fan of Michael Jackson’s voice, but the whiny tone that he takes in this song gets annoying very quickly and makes the song difficult to listen to. I like the playful nature of this song and the idea that a young Jackson doesn’t realize that his dad is dressed as Santa Clause. Nevertheless, it’s definitely not a favorite of mine.

4. “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas” – Gayla Peevey

Similarly to #3, although this song is a classic, I can’t get over the actual singing aspect of the song. The original has a very unique singing style, but it seems a bit too childish to actually enjoy multiple times during the Christmas season, so I would have to put it on this list. 

5. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” – Dean Martin

This song is a Christmas classic, and ultimately a very catchy tune. Nevertheless, it’s hard to ignore the feeling that the female character is being forced into staying with the male character. Throughout the song, she repeatedly makes up excuses for having to leave, and her suitor shuts them all down, essentially forcing her to spend the night with him. As we grow older, and we focus more on the meaning of songs, this song’s meaning just doesn’t seem like something we should be perpetuating during a season of holiday cheer. 

Ultimately, my list of the best and worst Christmas songs is definitely not objective. Everyone has their own opinions, and opinions are even subject to change with each passing Christmas season! No matter what songs you listen to during Christmas Time, as long as you listen to them with the people you love, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time!