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Here’s a list of my favorite (and not-so-favorite) Christmas songs

Anna Kate Alford, Gazebo Staff Writer

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Christmas time is here!

My favorite part of Christmas is right after my family and I have finished decorating the tree. The atmosphere, complete with hot apple cider, the Christmas lights, and my dog, Ella, on my lap, is the best way to kick off the holidays.

Of course, this scene isn’t complete without Christmas music. It can make or break the holiday atmosphere. Today, I will rank my top 10 favorite and least favorite Christmas songs.

Let’s kick off with my least favorite Christmas songs of all time.

10. Dominick the Donkey

Last week, someone asked me what I was humming. I hung my head in shame and admitted that it was this song. This one wouldn’t be up here if it wasn’t for the annoying “yee-haws” that made it so aggravating. To finish off why this song is on here, I must ask if Dominick is considered Santa’s donkey, how did he get to the North Pole? The reason why this song is ranked so low is the fact that it’s become a Christmas tradition in my family to make fun of it. When I was a kid, I used to think the lyrics were “it’s time to lick the donkey”, which is an inside joke that even my extended family understands.

9. Wonderful Christmas Time

Simply having a wonderful Christmas time is exactly what I won’t be doing when I hear this song again. I love Paul McCartney, but this song makes me feel like I’m being abducted by aliens. This is not something I want to think about when celebrating the holidays. Normally, I am enthusiastic about space-related topics, but this song definitely has its space on my list.

8.  I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

This song is the No. 1 cause of little kids saying “But mom! I’m only asking for a pony! At least it’s not a hippo!” But honestly, what is the perk of owning a hippopotamus? If you are asking for an animal whose babies weigh 100 pounds, at least ask for something cool, like a dragon. But, in all honesty, the only reason why I dislike it is because I’ve spent plenty of nights unable to sleep because I have this song in my head.

7.  The Christmas Song

Not even Bublé can completely save this one. The idea of Jack Frost biting my nose scared me too much as a kid. Childhood fears aside, this is also my mom’s least favorite song. Whenever we’re watching “A Muppet Family Christmas,” we always have to skip Big Bird singing (or whining)  this song. Everyone who sings this song sounds like they’re trying to annoy the listeners. While it’s a popular Christmas song, it’s a popular skip in my family.

6. All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth

This song is cute … if the kid doesn’t have his two front teeth. Anyone else covering this needs to find another song. Also, if anyone can find a cover where a kid sings this song without missing any notes, I will give you a hug. So many kids are on shows like “America’s Got Talent” who do a great job, nailing every single note. They probably knock the teeth out of the covers I’ve heard.

  5. The Chipmunk Song

If you’re thinking “Oh no! Not a song from my childhood!” then I understand. There’s some kind of magic in listening to a song in the movie theater that makes it enjoyable. While that movie was a part of my childhood, I know how annoying it must have been for the parents. Try to listen to it on repeat. Trust me, you won’t be able to stand it.

4. Christmas Shoes

Every time I asked people for suggestions for this list, they all brought up this song. I had never heard it before, so I was scared I wouldn’t understand why they hated it so much. I listened to it, and I understand completely. Christmas songs shouldn’t make the listeners feel sad. When you’re opening presents or decorating the tree, do you picture you and your family listening to “Christmas Shoes” or “Winter Wonderland”? While some people get emotional over this song, the only emotion I felt was the urge to skip to something happier.

3. I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas

Who is this song for? It depresses kids, it’s not funny for teens, and it reminds adults of that cousin who pitches fits all throughout Thanksgiving. Is this song a warning? Is it supposed to be funny? Whatever it’s supposed to do, it succeeds at annoying people.

2. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

I bet the creators were drinking more eggnog than grandma when they wrote this. What encouraged them to write a song about Santa Claus’ poor driving skills? Do they think the perfect song to set up a Christmas atmosphere of baking cookies is one that mentions concepts such as a grandma being trampled to death?

1.   The Angel In the Christmas Play

Good luck finding something worse than this song. The original recording is sung with such a shrill, irritating voice. I have so many questions about this song. Why is being an angel considered the most notable role in this Christmas play? If it’s the nativity story, I would expect Mary to have a bigger role. Also, what in the world is the difference between angel hair and human hair? Is this child actually wearing thin spaghetti on her head in the play? Complete with sound effects that don’t mix well with the shrill vocals, this song takes the “moldy fruitcake” for being one of the most skippable Christmas songs.

And here is the list of my top 10 favorites:

10. Marshmallow World

This song takes me back to elementary school. I remember dancing around in my “feet” pajamas in my tent while listening to the Cheetah Girls cover at my grandparents’ house. I also remember creating this story in my head where my friend and I venture through a snowy woods, discovering new beautiful feats of nature while we sip hot chocolate with tons of marshmallows and be friends with an animated snowman, often depicted with a pumpkin head. This song is underrated beyond what this glimpse into my childhood can explain.

9. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

What is so good about this song is that it’s so versatile. Are you annoyed by all of your friends telling you it’s too early for Christmas music? Just remind them this song says it’s ‘beginning’ to look a lot like Christmas, which doesn’t mean that it’s not appropriate to play. Around November, it gets colder, the fireplace is starting to be used, and scarves and hats are worn more often. That qualifies as the beginning of Christmas’s merry descent into the year to me.

8. Holly Jolly Christmas

This song didn’t come to mind immediately when I thought of Christmas songs, but it always brings a smile to my face. It’s a very kind request to have a holly jolly Christmas, which is a reminder to those who press shuffle on their Christmas Spotify playlist after a hard day of work or school.

7.  Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

This song is a classic. Think about all the movies you’ve heard this song in. It’s in “Home Alone,” “Mean Girls,” and even played as background music in “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.’’ It is too involved in your year-round movie watching to not include.

6. You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch

Every time I hear this song, I start to feel bad for the Grinch. This song is basically roasting the Grinch like a gooey marshmallow. The reasons why this song is on this list is because of the animated classic from which it comes from and the Brian Setzer Orchestra cover, which makes the Grinch sound more like a 1920s mobster with a ‘90s rockstar edge as opposed to a Dr. Seuss character. If you haven’t heard it, I would recommend a listen with good headphones or speakers.   

5. Frosty the Snowman

I honestly don’t know what my fixation is with snow-related songs. I guess it was my dream to wake up to a snow-covered backyard, followed by building the perfect snowman. Also, since I once made up a dance to this song that I performed at my church’s Christmas pageant, it brings back memories.

4. Santa Claus is Coming to Town

This Santa Claus song is special since the focus isn’t only on the toys kids get for Christmas. The lyrics to this song that always stand out to me are “He doesn’t care if you’re a rich or poor boy, he loves you just the same. Santa knows that we’re God’s children, that makes everything right.” This song has an overlooked message, yet still remains very cheerful.

3. Walking in a Winter Wonderland

This is a fun song for daydreaming. Forget the visions of sugarplums. Visions of walking through a snowy paradise are only attainable if you are in a Christmas card or Harry Potter movie seems much more enjoyable. The best part is that is that the title of the French version translates literally to “In the Kingdom of the Winter Snowman.”

2. What Child is This?

I’ve had a lack of church songs throughout both playlists, but I hope this makes up for that. This song is beautiful and reminds me of listening to my church’s  choir singing this song as I admire the beauty of the sanctuary from the balcony.

1. We Need a Little Christmas

This song is underplayed, which is the great part about it. You don’t hear it so often, which makes every time you hear it more special. Not to mention, it reminds you of how everyone goes through a lot to prepare for the holidays. Whether you’re a disgruntled retail worker listening to the store radio, or a student trying to study for their exams while also looking for the perfect gift, we all grow a little sadder. This song reminds you that it’s OK to balance out your stress for your exams with Christmas spirit.

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