As much as I’m accused of being a fan of all things Christmas, I’m certainly not always that easy to please. In fact, there are many parts of the holiday that I just can’t stand. Below are five examples of “holiday classics” that always manage to be far more grating than festive whenever I hear them on the radio. In fact, a surefire way to get me to zip my hand over the the “Off” switch faster than Mr Myagi catching a fly with chopsticks is to play any of these songs. Bah, Humbug, terrible tunes.
5. “Santa Baby” by Anyone. Although the original Eartha Kitt version annoys me the least of all, I can’t stand this tune. First of all, while trying to be sexy, most women who sing it come off sounding childish. It’s like watching someone trying to be sexy while wearing clown shoes. Secondly, the song is just plain creepy. It brings to mind a dirty old man being serenaded by a teenager which, unless you’re one of the old broads who somehow doesn’t realize how sick you are for loving Twilight, is not remotely what someone should think of when it’s Christmastime.
4. “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” by Gayla Peevy. This 1953 novelty song has thankfully not been one of those songs that gets remade or recorded countless times every year. In fact, I seem to hear it a little less every year, something that fills me with Christmas joy. Besides just being a dumb song about an oh-so-precious kid singing about wanting some crazy gift, there’s really nothing about this song that says Christmas to me at all. You could easily change it to “I Want a Hippopotamus for My Birthday” and no one would even notice. And, by the way, with the exception of “Christmastime Is Here”, listening to children sing isn’t nearly as cute as people like to keep pretending.
3. “Feliz Navidad” by Anyone. This 1970 gem is one of the top 25 most played Christmas songs of all time. Too bad it’s so damned annoying. It’s not that it’s in Spanish that makes it so; it’s the fact that it’s too freaking repetitious. There’s only something like four lines in the the entire song, which seems to go on and on and on. On top of that, nothing about it sounds like Christmas. It sounds more like something you would hear while sitting on a beach somewhere, sipping pina coladas. Call me a purist, I can’t think of Christmas if I’m building sandcastles and getting tan.
2. “Jingle Bells” By The Singing Dogs. There are people who absolutely love this 1955 novelty song. In fact, it has sold well over a million copies and will probably keep Denmark musician Don Clark’s family pretty financially set for decades to come. But it’s lame, and not even very creative. It’s just samples of dogs barking the perennial classic “Jingle Bells” over and over again. Nowadays, a child could record this on a Casio keyboard but, for some reason, it’s considered a classic. Mostly, however, this song is loved by holiday-hating jerks who like to think the song is somehow “rebellious” or speaks about how much the holiday sucks. No, the song sucks. Christmas rocks.
1. “The Christmas Shoes” by Newsong. It baffles me that so many people love this awful, manipulative song that masquerades as a Christmas tune. Luckily I am not alone, since it is also cited as being one of the most hated Holiday Songs of all time. Based on an Internet email chain letter that was sent around in the early 90s, this cheesy tune actually took the band Newsong four years to write. How it’s even possible to take that long to suck this bad is an amazing feat all it’s own. The song is about a woman dying on Christmas Eve (HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE!) and her bafflingly stupid child trying to buy her shoes in which she can be buried. A lot of people love the song because the singer keeps saying the woman is going to “Meet Jesus Tonight” (Get it? Jesus = Christmas!) instead of saying that she’s going to drop dead on what is normally a festive time of year for kids everywhere. Sorry, gang, singing about death on Christmas just plain sucks. Here’s the biggest irony: Misinformed people always try to say that this song preaches against the commercialization of Christmas when, in fact, it’s one of the most appallingly commercialized Christmas songs ever, having been made into a book and two TV movies.
I stand by my hatred for each of these songs as much as I stand by my love for “A Holly, Jolly Christmas”. One of them featured Burl Ives’ majestic voice wishing us a happy holiday and singing of kissing under the mistletoe, and another had dogs barking in tune. Call me a Scrooge for preferring sleigh bells over dog crap.