Each year at Global News, we brainstorm a list of the best and worst holiday songs of all time for you, the reader, to enjoy, hate or argue over, keeping in line with the true spirit of the season of togetherness.
However, new music is inevitable, meaning new holiday-inspired songs are an annual guarantee, so rather than rehashing or simply rearranging the same list year after year, we’re changing things up in 2019 and acknowledging some of the holiday classics and duds that we haven’t before.
This means you won’t see Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You on our 2019 list. Shocking, we know, but keep in mind that it topped our list last year and still remains No. 1 in our hearts. It always will.
So yes, our 2018 picks — which can be found here — are still in play. This list just serves as an extension to it. Whether these songs are good or not, however, is up to you to decide.
Here are our best and worst holiday song picks for 2019, in no particular order.
Top 10 Worst Holiday Songs
Pentatonix — Deck the Halls
Some eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that we already picked on the cringeworthy quintet in last year’s list. However, it was necessary to do so again, as this is yet another anger-inducing take on an undeniable holiday classic.
Simply put, this steaming heap of garbage belongs in a dumpster.
Alvin and the Chipmunks — The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)
Sure, the original 1958 version of this Alvin & the Chipmunks track may have been a treat to listen to back when you were a child, but does it hold up?
Not in the slightest. Especially not with this diluted 2007 rock n’ roll reboot. Alvin’s high-pitched voice alone is insufferable, why torment us with “harmonies” from Simon and Theodore as well?
Green Day — Xmas Time of the Year
Billie Joe, what are you doing? Not only these lyrics, but this performance is the equivalent of gifting all Green Day fans across the globe with a gigantic lump of coal. Stick to politics! Please.
Elmo & Patsy — Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer
For a song about a horrendously unfortunate death, Patsy Trigg and Elmo Shropshire seem completely unfazed. “Grandma just got trampled by a reindeer? Sure, let’s sing a number.”
It’s almost as if they’re celebrating the departure of the poor woman. This song is as twisted as it is joyless.
Madonna — Santa Baby
Each holiday season we’re met with an abundance of rehashed covers of Christmas songs, because who needs originality, right? Though Madonna’s rendition of Santa Baby was not entirely necessary, it’s what we were given in 1987.
The suggestive tongue-in-cheek staple is unsettling enough as it is, never mind when you add Madonna’s try-hard, cutesy New York City accent. It’s just gross.
Sia — Santa’s Coming For Us
It’s a shame that the quality of the music doesn’t match that of the star-studded music video. From a joyous Kristen Bell and charming Dax Shepherd, to the hilarious Henry Winkler and Stranger Things’ Caleb MacLaughlin, there’s plenty of smiles — that is, until Sia’s squawking comes in.
Despite its awfulness though, it’s hard to deny that Santa’s Coming For Us is an irritatingly catchy tune…
Elton John — Step Into Christmas
The talent of Elton John is undeniable, and equipped with his backing band, Step Into Christmas is an instrumental gift in itself.
So why did it make it onto the worst songs list, some might ask? Well, as great as John’s singing voice is, the lyrics themselves are much too cheesy and simply forgettable.
Spice Girls — Christmas Wrapping
Remember when the Spice Girls covered the Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping? Yeah, we try not to either.
Want a headache? This one’s for you. It’s a figurative assault on all unsuspecting and unfortunate eardrums of the world.
Jackson 5 — I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Sure, it’s another cover, but you’d think the Jackson 5 could put a catchy spin on this creepy number so the listeners could sing along with ease.
That being said, who “Mommy” was actually kissing in this unfortunate classic is still unclear to many listeners, and the thought of catching one of your family members in the midst of an affair doesn’t seem fitting for any holiday season at all — let alone singing about it.
Lady Gaga — Christmas Tree
If you haven’t stopped to listen to any of these godawful holiday-themed “songs,” then I urge you to sit through all two minutes, 20 seconds of this monstrosity.
We know you’re now an Academy Award winner, Gaga, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about this trainwreck. How could we?
Ears still bleeding from that Pentatonix tune? Likely. But it’s OK, because now, we bear gifts for you, the reader. Ten of them to be exact.
Again, in no particular order, here our our top picks for best holiday songs of 2019.
Top 10 Best Holiday Songs
Shakin’ Stevens — Merry Christmas Everyone
What’s better than synthesizers and jingling bells? Not a whole lot, which is why Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas kicks off this list.
It’s like Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmas Time but even better. The joy emitted from this holiday banger is simply unparalleled.
Gwen Stefani — You Make It Feel Like Christmas (ft. Blake Shelton)
Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton actually work really well together. Who knew?
The music alone is top-notch. Add the sweet and romantic music video into the mix and you actually might find yourself giving into Stefani’s contagious smile.
Frank Sinatra — Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Choosing a rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas that isn’t the Judy Garland original was a tough decision to make. But alas, it goes to show that not all covers are quite so bad (unless, it’s by Pentatonix). In fact, Frank Sinatra’s version is an essential for all holiday-themed playlists.
Ariana Grande — Santa Tell Me
It’s not just vocal range that Ariana Grande has. Back in 2013, the pop icon broadened her horizons with her first-ever Christmas EP, and Santa Tell Me became an instant hit.
Try not to dance, or at least tap your foot along to this one. Seriously.
Tom Hanks — Hot Chocolate
A traditional holiday song? Not exactly. But this is a song all about one of the season’s most treasured hot beverages: hot chocolate. What’s not to like?
One of the greatest Christmas films of all time (The Polar Express)? Tom Hanks? Dancing waiters? Tom Hanks again, except he’s singing a jazz number? These astounding qualities call for something extraordinary, and Hot Chocolate certainly delivers.
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The Pogues — Fairytale of New York
Though it’s often the subject of controversy as a result of the vulgar nature of its lyrics, The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York is so popular that it is often cited as the U.K. and Ireland’s favourite Christmas song.
It’s hard not to smile when you hear the opening piano melody for the classic folk-style love balled too, so why not make it one of Canada’s most-beloved as well?
Elvis Presley — Blue Christmas (ft. Martina McBride)
Though it’s quite a mellow song, it’s nothing short of a holiday essential. If you haven’t heard this rendition of Blue Christmas before, now’s the time.
Martina McBride’s performance is the cherry on top of Elvis Presley’s bellowing and goosebump-inducing croons.
Brenda Lee — Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree has been covered relentlessly over the last six decades, yet nothing compares to Brenda Lee’s bluesy, foot-tapping original.
It’s almost impossible to resist singing along to this Christmas stomper.
Jonas Brothers — Like It’s Christmas
With all the amazing holiday-themed singles we’ve been treated to over the years, it almost seems pointless to seek out new ones, however, once you hear the Jonas Brothers’ 2019 effort, you might change your mind on that too.
This song slaps. Instant classic, perhaps?
ABBA — Happy New Year
Early 1980s ABBA still holds up, and there’s absolutely no better song to wrap up the holiday season, as well as our carefully chosen list, than this one.
READ MORE: The best and worst holidays songs of 2018
Do you agree with any of our choices? What songs would you like us to tackle in the future? Share them in the comments section below.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year from Global News, Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.