Christmas Song Ranking

If there’s one thing I love more than lists and rankings, it’s disagreeing with other people’s lists and rankings. So when the hilarious Alexandra Petri of the Washington Post released a ranking of the 100 Best Christmas Songs, I knew I’d have to prepare a rebuttal. Her list was ridiculous, amazing songs were far too low, and one of the worst Christmas songs of all time was ranked near the top. There were also some glaring omissions. It was begging for a re-do, so here I am, and here comes my ranking.

One very important thing about the list is that songs are being rated by their best performance, not the aggregate of all performances. That means we’re not talking about the Michael Buble Christmas album at all. When appropriate, I will let you know what version I am discussing.

This isn’t like my past rankings. There is no voting. There are no other opinions. There is only one correct opinion and it is mine. You are welcome, of course, to share your comments and disagreements, but unlike other times in my life, I will not listen with an open heart, I will not change my opinion, and your voice will not make a difference.

Now let every heart prepare room for my ranking.

100. The Christmas Shoes
Is there a worse song? Not just a worse Christmas song, I mean a worse song in the world? The Christmas Shoes is absolute trash. It’s a heavy-handed message of Christianity in the worst Republican way. That kid wouldn’t need to be saving his pennies for shoes if this country had affordable healthcare and caretaker benefits. This song is the official anthem for troops in the War on Christmas. Garbage, garbage all around. The only good thing to come out of it is the Patton Oswalt bit.

99. Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Everything you hate about culturally incompetent foreign aid all rolled into one song! It was released in the 1980s to raise…awareness, I guess…of the famine in Ethiopia. It must have been just awareness, because I can’t find out how much money the song raised, or where any money was given. Seems like a huge scam to me. It also contains the line “and the Christmas bells that ring there, are the clanging chimes of doom” which like, what the fuck guys. If you want to listen to an offensively stereotyped song this holiday season, I encourage you instead to listen to Heaters for Norway, and help those poor freezing Norwegians.

98. Dominick the Donkey (The Italian Christmas Song)
This song is a hate crime. I mean, I’m sure it was written by Italians but that doesn’t mean it’s not the most offensive thing I’ve ever heard. And don’t get any ideas, donkeys aren’t a thing in Italian Christmas. No self-respecting song has a chorus of “chingedy ching, hee haw, hee haw.” Also it’s a horrible tuba circus beat and it pronounces Brooklyn “Brook-a-lean” so I think someone needs to pay for this song.

97. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
I understand this is supposed to be funny, but it’s such a bummer. The grandma gets drunk, walks back for her medication and gets murdered by a reindeer, and it doesn’t sound like an accident, it straight up sounds a hit-and-run. This family should consult a lawyer, but they also don’t sound like they’re that upset about her death.

96. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
I get it, Santa is the dad, but it’s not a good premise either. Either this kid found out Santa isn’t real, or he found out his mother is having an affair. Both of those are bad options. The part where he sees his mom tickle Santa Claus is even worse. I’m just so glad the song doesn’t continue to escalate in what the mom did to Santa. And I feel weird as an adult singing or listening to any song with the world “mommy” repeated so often.

95. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
I have a low tolerance for songs about what people want for Christmas. They’re always very childish, grating, and they’re not really in the spirit of the season. Yes, I get that presents are a big part of the holiday, but let’s not encourage it. Also this one is specifically sung in the voice of a little kid and boy nothing’s made me reconsider my stance against child labor than this song.

94. The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)
Why’d we allow this? The only reason this is higher than the dumb hippo song is because at least this was intended to annoying. It knows what it is. People knew the chipmunks were annoying right? They weren’t like, created to be good or interesting?

93. Grown Up Christmas List
I do not like the sickly sweet songs about the meaning of Christmas. I know, I don’t like songs about gifts and I don’t like songs about hope and Jesus! But in my defense, this country crooner nothing of a song is like a beauty pageant contestant who just really wants world peace.

92. All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
Falls into the annoying children song. Grating, though less materialistic. There’s just not a lot there beyond desire for presents. This song did have a special place in my heart because it took around a year for my two front teeth to fully come in, so I can relate to the message of the song even if I hate the actual song.

91. Christmas Canon
This is that crappy song with all the kids that sounds like Pachelbel’s Canon. And it’s awful. Something about young voices, they creepy me out or annoy me. I guess I can’t let my future kids join a choir.

Which means my future kids will definitely join a choir.

90. I Wish Every Day Could Be Like Christmas
Come on Bon Jovi. I trusted you. You could’ve done a basic Christmas song, made it rock-and-roll and I would have loved it. But you came out with this swill. This song is awful. You doubt me? “I saw a child sit with old Mr. Claus / Looked him in the eye and he asked old Santa what peace on earth was.” First off, no child did that, and second that is a bad rhyme.

89. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
You’ll see in a couple of moments that I hate sad songs. I hate songs about people who are alone on Christmas. This song is clearly supposed to be that kind of sad song, but it’s actually not even sad. I don’t feel bad for Bono in this song, he seems annoying. I take major issues with the Washington Post Christmas ranking by Alexandra Petri, but her take on this song is very funny.

88. We Need a Little Christmas
You need to clam the fuck down is what you need. This is a Christmas song by someone who just did way too much speed and now they’ve burst into your room at 3am.

87. Where Are You Christmas?
No one living in America today can claim that they can’t find Christmas. It’s literally everywhere. Every store has been playing Christmas music since November 1st, if you can’t find Christmas, you are not looking very hard.

86. Santa Tell Me
You’re not Mariah Carey, Arianna Grande. You’ll never achieve her level of New Christmas Song Fame and you should relegate this to the trash pile where it belongs.

85. The Holly and The Ivy
This is a nothing song about nothing. I truly cannot remember what this sounds like, and I just listened to it.

84. The Lord’s Prayer
We’re starting a quick run of religious songs that aren’t about Christmas or Jesus but happen to come up around the holidays. This one doesn’t even do the 1990s version of the Lord’s Prayer, my preferred version, which replaces “sins” with “trespasses.” That’s the best because as a child, this version led me to believe that the only sin was trespassing, and I was like “all right, I’m crushing it, I’ve never trespassed.”

83. God Bless Us Everyone
The Andrea Bocelli version of this one is ok, but it’s not about Christmas. It’s just about God. And call me old-fashioned, but I don’t know if there’s room for God in Christmas.*

*I’m kidding, Dad.

82. Ave Maria
I now can’t hear this song without thinking of the Modern Family moment.

81. Christmas Wrapping
No one should try modern Christmas songs other than Mariah and Wham!. This one just…mediocre.

80. I Wish It Was Christmas Today
This song gave rise to a truly excellent Saturday Night Live skit. And my goodness I love that skit. Spiritually, I am Chris Kattan holding the piano and turning my head back and forth. But the song just isn’t that good.


79. Christmas Bells are Ringing
I think this is the one that goes “Christmas bells are RIIIIIIIIIINGING” and I hate it. Don’t need to hit the “ringing” that hard guys. Everyone calm down.

78. Carol of the Bells
This song is really good, I’m not saying that. It’s a well made song. And it’s the scariest song in the entire world. This song terrifies me. I will not play it at night when I’m driving around listening to Christmas music. This is a murder song.

77. Mary Did You Know?
I’ve only really heard the Kenny Rogers and it really feels like “Mansplaining: The Song.” Like it’s a dude comes into the manger and is like “well actually Mary, someday your baby boy will someday walk on water?” Also if you’re gonna give her life spoilers, like…you left out a pretty big one. Just let the woman recover from birth in peace.

76. Here Comes Santa Claus
This song commits one of the 12 Sins of Christmas which is combining Jesus and Santa. And it doesn’t just do it once. Basically every verse of this song makes the case that Santa only loves us because of God, implying that Santa is some vessel for God and Jesus, when we all know that Santa is most likely an alien.

75. Frosty the Snowman
Any chorus that relies on an onomatopoeia is suspect. It’s even more suspect when said onomatopoeia is “thumpity thump thump.” For one, snow doesn’t really make a “thump” sound and two, I can believe a lot of Christmas magic but a living snowman is just too much for me. And his nose is a button. You’re picturing a snowman with a carrot nose, but the song specifically says a button nose. Makes it so much worse.

74. Deck the Halls
You’d think I’d love a song with “gay apparel!” It’s repetitive though. Too repetitive. It’s a repetitive song. Just repeats itself. Lots of repetition. La, la, la, la.

73. Christmas Eve/Sarajevo
You don’t think you know this song but you do. It’s the intense one by Trans Siberian Orchestra everyone sets their lights too. Another song that is good, but so very scary. This song is the musical personification of anxiety, I feel like I’m being chased while I listen to it. If someone blasted this as a surprise, I think I’d pass out from fear.

72. I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Continuation of sad Christmas songs. This one is particularly depressing because around the holidays in my hometown Christmas radio station they splice in messages from soldiers abroad and it’s hard to drive when you’re crying.

71. Merry Christmas Darling
Unlike the far better “Merry Christmas Baby,” this song bites. It’s the musical equivalent of the lace tablecloth and china figurines your grandmother has. Reminds you of mortality. And mothballs.

70. Little Drummer Boy
A drum solo is a bad gift for a baby! Why did the little drummer boy even show up in the manger? No one asked him to be there. Plus this requires me to sing “pa-rum-pum-pum” with a straight face, and that’s a lot to ask when I’m 3 margaritas deep at the Christmas Eve party.

69. This Christmas
I think this song wants to have sex with me. It opens with “Hang all the mistletoe / I'm gonna get to know you better” which is certainly A Move but I don’t think it’s something I’d ever want to sing while caroling. That’s a good way to get snatched.

68. Buon Natale
We have a couple songs in different languages on this list, but this is the weakest of the bunch. One of those new Christmas songs that just didn’t quite hit the mark.

67. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Please do not doubt that I love the religious Christmas songs. I really do, and there are some real bangers out there. We will get to them. This is not one. Also the “it” is a song and that doesn’t really make sense with the rest of the song.

66. Christmas Island
It’s a little odd there are two songs about spending Christmas in the tropics. I guess they’re nice for people who live in the tropics, but it certainly doesn’t conjure up the traditional Christmas images I’m looking for in the classic Christmas song.

65. Meli Kalikimaka
Wait, didn’t I just talk about this? This one gets points because at least the translation is accurate, so I learned something!

64. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Creepy tune (it’s fitting it shows up in the terrifying Trans Siberian Orchestra song) and includes the line “to save us all from Satan's power,” which, let’s take it down a notch guys. The Jethro Tull version is pretty great though, because there are no lyrics.

63. Wonderful Christmastime
With apologies to some people near and dear to me, this song blows. You can use synth in a Christmas song but…not like this.

63. Back Door Santa
What a delightful song with a deeply unfortunate lyrical implication.

62. Christmas Ain’t Christmas (Without the One I Love)
This is such a great bait and switch, it’s almost funny. You’re grooving along with Aretha, thinking about the one you love and then you find yourself singing (and I’m quoting directly here) “Jesus! Anybody know Jesus! He’s the reason! Reason for the season!” All of a sudden, you’re a pastor extolling the virtues of the Lord. It’s fun, but I don’t like being tricked like this.

61. Please Come Home for Christmas
Also known as “Bells Will Be Ringing” a song the Eagles totally crushed on the Very Special Christmas album. But it’s a total bummer of a song with a fun beat. Another trick! I do not like to be tricked! These songs aren’t smarter than me!

60. Jingle Bell Rock
Yep. Mean Girls ruined it for me. I can’t decouple them in my mind, and I don’t like the Mean Girls version. In fact, I don’t really like Mean Girls that much. I had to bury that revelation deep in the list, I’m actively worried I’ll get eaten to death Suddenly Last Summer style if the other millennial girls find out I don’t like Mean Girls.

59. Rocking Around the Christmas Tree
If you’re going to promise rocking in the title, you better deliver rocking! This song is maybe the least rocking thing possible.

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 9.54.20 PM.png

58. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
This isn’t particularly a sad song, but it makes me very sad. It’s the melancholy of a Christmas alone but with the lyrics and images of your standard Christmas song. It’s an emotional whiplash and I don’t like it.

57. Run Rudolph Run
I want to love this song. I’ve tried to love this song. I want to be supportive of Chuck Berry’s Christmas endeavors but it just does not fill me with joy.

56. Good King Wenceslas
I have to say, this song isn’t that bad! Once you actually take the time to listen to the lyrics, it’s a lovely little message, and I really like that it’s a duet but you don’t have to know how to do harmonies. Thank God for those types of duets. It’s just that the name is so dumb. I can’t seriously suggest someone play this and still keep my cool-guy persona.

55. Up On the Housetop
Solidly singable chorus, clever yet basic rhymes, it’s a fun song for the whole family! But I just looked up the lyrics though, and the second and third verses are kind of weird. Had I know how weird they were I may have rated this lower. But it’s too late now, let’s forge ahead.

54. Christmas All Over Again
Let’s give it up for Tom Petty, he wrote a heck of a song here. A meditation on the passage of time, how you can still find delight in something that happens every year. It’s all about finding your own joy and Tom Petty knew that.

53. Dick In a Box
I kind of ran out of songs, so this is the short SNL portion of the list. Hilarious songs, love to listen to them, but they’re not, strictly speaking, “Christmas Songs.” I mean, I listen to them every Christmas, but I understand my experiences are not universal. For example, I know all the words to this song, and performed it at Senior Night for my high school drama program.

52. 5 Christmas Wishes
This “song” is more of a Steve Martin monologue, but it’s truly hilarious, and it just gets funnier as it goes along.

51. Christmastime for the Jews
The song is not only incredibly catchy and funny, I’m pretty sure it’s sung by Darlene Love, and she kills it. On a watch this year, I realized it may be a little anti-Semitic, at least when it comes to relying on tired stereotypes but I do still find it funny. It’s also in claymation, and the nativity goes in the short goes from this


to this:


50. Jingle Bells
This song is so mediocre and yet it’s the only song literally everyone in the country knows. I’ve ranked it in the direct middle because it’s one of the few songs I don’t have an opinion on. I don’t have an opinion on air. Or the sky. Jingle Bells is the same way.

49. (There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays
Al Stillman (writer of this song) was sitting next to a guy on a plane and turned that man’s pleasantries into a song. This song tells the very specific story of a man who lives in Tennessee who’s headed for Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie. This leaves more questions than it does answers. Why’d he move to Tennessee? Is the singer in Tennessee or are they meeting along the way? Is the pumpkin pie a second destination? This song raises, but does not answer, those questions.

48. Happy Holidays
Probably as multi-cultural and inclusive as a Christmas song can be. Just about wishing everyone a happy holidays. We’re winning people. We’re winning the War on Christmas.

47. Caroling, Caroling
Also contains the phrase “Christmas bells are ringing” but not in the annoying way the other song called “Christmas Bells Are Ringing” does. I love the idea of caroling, simply love it, and this is a song that celebrates the carol.

46. A Cradle in Bethlehem
This is one of those songs that I guess is a religious song, but I’ve never actually heard it in any church I’ve been to. So it’s just vaguely religious, but I have to assume Nat King Cole wrote it? Which makes it a little weird.

45. Mistletoe and Holly
This song creates a world where “oh by gosh, by jingle” is a totally normal expression and I want to live in that world forever.

44. We Three Kings
Not technically a Christmas song, in fact a song for Three Kings Day which happens on January 6th, but it’s on the list anyway. But this jam walks a lovely line between eerie and a little creepy, and festive and fun.

43. Go Tell It On The Mountain
It is a Christmas song, but it’s not one you’d ever carol with. In fact, if someone opened their door and you went with this song, you would not be spreading cheer, you’d be proselytizing. Also my mostly white church always tries to sing it as the end of the Christmas Eve service, and it’s embarrassing for all of us. This is a wonderful song, that should be left to singers like Mahalia Jackson.

42. Someday at Christmas
This is a catchier version of “Grown-Up Christmas List” but it’s ranked much higher because Stevie Wonder has the voice of an angel who fell to earth, and I just believe the message a little more when he sings it. Plus, a lot of his music speaks to social issues, so it feels a little more real when he asks for a Christmas without war or pain.

41. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The childish call and response (“you would even say it glows” “LIKE A LIGHTBULB”) does an excellent job of basically ruining the song for me. But it’s still lovely, inspired a great movie, and I think it’s a delightful message of accepting differences (I understand some may disagree, but those people are overthinking a children’s song).

40. White Christmas
I understand it’s about in snow, but I don’t know if this song has aged that well what with the risk in white supremacist hate groups. Like if I got a card that said “may your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white” I think I’d cut ties with that person. Let’s just say “snowy Christmas” maybe? That all being said, the Bing Crosby version has a lovely little bird whistle in the back and I love that.

39. I Saw Three Ships
This is a weird song, that posits the Virgin Mary and Jesus arrived by…ship? Not clear where they were sailing? What was the need for the other two ships then? I understand it’s a metaphor for Jesus, Mary and Joseph (or, the trinity, I guess) but that’s a very expensive metaphor. But let’s not overthink the song. It’s a bop.

38. O Tannenbaum
I know two words to this song, “O” and “Tannenbaum” but my German grandmother knows all the words and it’s fun to hear her sing it. And the regular “Oh Christmas Tree” is just as good. An ode to a tree. We need more of that in the world.

37. My Favorite Things
I know this isn’t really a Christmas song, but I watch the Sound of Music every Christmas, and this song plays on the radio around Christmas, so I’m counting it. The Sound of Music is the best Christmas movie, and I encourage all of you to follow me on Twitter because at some point this holiday season I will live tweet it, and my takes are amazing.

36. Sleigh Ride
This is what Jingle Bells wishes it was. A song about bells, a sleigh, good friends, a whip for some reason. The Ella Fitzgerald version is truly a masterpiece.

35. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
I’m not sure how one goes “jingle-belling” but this song really puts me in the spirit of the holiday, which is exactly what this music is supposed to do.

34. O Little Town of Bethlehem
This is another song that starts of super normal, just a nice little religious song and then makes a HARD right turn into sin. If you’re just singing the first two verses you’ll miss it but verse three reminds me why I don’t go to certain churchs, “No ear may hear His coming / but in this world of sin / where meek souls will receive him still / the dear Christ enters in.” Where…does he enter…?

33. Blue Christmas
Why do people write songs about being sad on Christmas? I know that lots of people ARE sad on Christmas, it’s why a lot of support groups run 24-hour meetings around the holidays, so that no matter when you’re struggling you can find help. The holidays can be really hard, and can bring up a lot of tough emotions. Grief feels particularly fresh around the holidays for a lot of people.

That doesn’t mean you should sing a song about it Elvis! Now you’re just creating extra sadness. The song’s very smooth though, I do groove to it.

32. Twelve Days of Christmas
This absolutely sounds like a Christmas list of someone who is high at 3am and shopping on Amazon, if Amazon sold lords-a-leaping or maids-a-milking. Some people find this song annoying and repetitive, but those people have never heard the version with John Denver and the Muppets.

31. Away in a Manger
There’s a second tune to this song that embarrasses me every year at the Christmas service, but I refuse to stop singing it my way. Plus, this song contains the true meaning of Christmas, remembering the less fortunate and recommitting yourself to helping those who need it.

30. Happy Xmas (War is Over)
I like the sentiment behind this song, I love John Lennon but it’s hard to love the song overall. Starts on a really rough note when you hear the whispered Christmas greetings between John and Yoko. That’ll freak you out when you’re on a silent subway car! Also the SCREAMING children (and what I have to imagine is screaming Yoko Ono) make it hard to get in the holiday spirit.

29. The First Noel
Religious and French! Two things I normally do not enjoy, but in combination, it absolutely works.

28. Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Don’t @ me.

27. Christmas in Hollis
There is nothing to hate about this song! It’s a modern take on a Christmas song and I love it! It doesn’t have the ubiquity of Mariah or Wham! but it’s still amazing and merits a high ranking.

26. Little Saint Nick
The only reason this is above Christmas in Hollis is because I like the Beach Boys California vibes a lot, and I’m sorry about that.

25. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
Wow this is a really long list. I kind of forgot why I like this song so much. I think I just really like Burl Ives. In ranking Christmas singers, it’s Nat King Cole first, of course, then I guess it’s Burl Ives. He’s amazing. So maybe that’s why it’s 25? Honestly, I’m not sure at this point.

24. What Christmas Means to Me
Stevie Wonder has two different original Christmas songs on the list, because he’s amazing. John Legend’s version of this is pretty great as well.

23. Merry Christmas Baby
If you thought I’d put a Bruce Springsteen song any lower on this list than the Top 25, you were wrong and you don’t know me as well as you thought you did.

22. Do You Hear What I Hear?
I really used to not like this song, but then I heard the Whitney Houston version and I changed my mind. I also like this song because it creates a world where the wind talks, and the sheep talks to the shepherd and the shepherd is totally ok with that. I have to say, if a sheep talked to me, I’d forget about whatever child was born that day and focus on how my Talking Lamb was going to make me rich.

21. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
One of the few Christmas songs that can be enjoyed by all. It’s not about God or even Santa, it’s about being too lazy to go outside in the snow and that’s something all people can get behind.

20. The Nutcracker Suite
Yeah, the whole ballet. It’s bangers from end to end.

19. O Come All Ye Faithful
I like any song with clear directions, it’s why I love the Cha-Cha Slide. This song is the Jesus version of the Cha-Cha Slide. Let’s adore him. I get it. I know my role.

Screen Shot 2018-12-15 at 12.21.45 PM.png

18. What Child Is This?
If you wonder why this is so high it’s because I’ve never played you the version with Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige because let me tell you. That version is not just the greatest version of this song, it’s one of the greatest versions of any Christmas song. But like Go Tell It On The Mountain, one good version can only push the song so high.

17. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
As a huge fan of the Charlie Brown Christmas movie, I’ve heard the passage from the Book of Luke about the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night maybe 100 times. This song reminds me of that.

I know I already said the meaning of Christmas is caring for the least of these but the other meaning of Christmas is being unafraid of the new and to trust in the universe / God. Or, to quote Linus, quoting the Bible, “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

16. Winter Wonderland
Why would they build a snowman that’s only going to criticize them for not being married? And then the kids knock the snowman down? Some odd priorities in this song, but if you’re ever walking through a blizzard, this is the song to sing.

15. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Another one that puts me in the mood, but with more specificity than “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” though I’ll admit, even I confuse the two quite often.

14. You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch
The anthem for bitter Bettys around the holiday season. Everyone deserves a Christmas song and this is theirs.

13. Silver Bells
Truly a perfect song for Christmas in New York City, that only moves up on my list the longer I live in New York City.

12. Silver and Gold
I looked at a lot of lists of the best Christmas songs to make this list, and I didn’t see this song on any of them. It’s a real pity, Burl Ives’s smooth voice talking about measuring material goods by how much joy they bring you and others is really what Christmas is all about. It’s confusingly placed in the Christmas movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great.

11. Christmastime Is Here
We discussed how much I love the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, hence this song’s placement. Even the high pitched children’s voices cannot freak me out.

10. Joy To The World
Sometimes your heart is just so fully of happiness, and joy and love and you open your mouth and this song automatically comes out.

9. Santa Baby
I sat down to give you a hot take and say the Eartha Kitt version and the Madonna version are equally good, and then I listened to the Madonna version and wow, did I hate it. The Madonna version actually sounds like a woman wants to have sex with Santa in exchange for presents. The Eartha Kitt version sounds like a woman wants presents, but will have sex with Santa no matter what because she’s a modern woman and she’s into it. The Eartha Kitt version is beautiful and sultry and once as a child I dressed up as Santa while my all-girl singing group performed this in front of the whole school.


8. All I Want for Christmas is You
We have to give Mariah Carey major props for writing such a classic. I didn’t think it was still possible. She’s amazing. This song is amazing. This song did not have to be so great, but she gave us everything, and I am thankful each new holiday season.

7. Last Christmas
I can already hear the anger at this song’s ranking. People are going to think it’s too high, and to them I say, why do you hate joy? Why won’t you let yourself be swept up by synths and vaguely homosexual lyrics? My friend Emily and I used to text each other every time we heard it on the radio. That’s the power of this genuine New Christmas Bop.

6. Feliz Navidad
This song has less than 20 different words. You just repeat the same things over and over again. That’s what a good sing-a-long song should be! And it’s peppy! It’s got good energy! Super basic message too. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, we out!

5. O Holy Night
This is not a good song to listen to in the car, it’s not even a good song to carol to, but if you’ve ever heard a very talented singer sing this song? You’ll see why there’s no better song in the world.

4. Angels We Have Heard On High
The incredibly long GLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORIA rockets this song up the list, and if you don’t agree it’s because you’ve never sung this song with your whole heart.


3. Silent Night
When the other Christmas songs on this list stop a war for a night, they can be at #3 too. And if you’ve ever gone to a Christmas Eve service, they usually do the thing where everyone gets a candle, they turn the lights down, and sing Silent Night, and it’s pretty magical, even if it is a terrible idea to give children actual candles with actual flames.

2. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Of course, I mean the Bruce Springsteen version. Is there another version? If there is, I don’t acknowledge it. It’s rock-and-roll, it has a saxophone solo, it includes Clarence Clemons’ deep voice telling you “you better be good for goodness sake.” The sheer energy Bruce Springsteen has in this song? At the end, he can barely breathe, he’s so amped up on Christmas. That’s the kind of energy I need for the season, and also I love Bruce Springsteen so of course he has one of my favorite Christmas songs.


1. The Christmas Song
There’s nothing better than this song. Nat King Cole’s buttery smooth voice paints a cozy holiday picture. We should all be so lucky to live inside this song. The violins in the background add a classy atmosphere. Manages to capture the feeling of the seasons without leaning too heavily on religiosity which means it’s appropriate for any event. And there’s truly no one better than Nat King Cole. He really is the King. In fact, I’ll let him take us out.

Although it’s been said, many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you.