The best and worst Christmas songs ever written

The festive bops and the festive flops...

Dean Hadcock Dean Hadcock - 24th December 2023

We can all agree, in terms of Christmas music, it has its bops and it has its flops.

Some songs do an incredible job of capturing that warm fuzzy feeling that Christmas can give you… others feel like they were purposely made just to drive you crazy.

And whether you’re into violins and jingling bells or pure festive pop, we’ve all got opinions about Christmas music.

So let’s take a look at five of the all-time best Christmas songs and five of the absolute worst.

We know people will go to war in the name of their favourite Crimbo song, so before you start a crusade against us because your favourite is on the worst list, let me remind you this list is completely subjective… but we all know it’s right.


The best Christmas songs ever written

  1. White Christmas – The Drifters

Nothing lends itself more to Christmas than some classic doo-wop, that’s why White Christmas by The Drifters and only The Drifters is the best version of this festive classic. As soon as the band’s deep harmony kicks in at the start it fills the room with that Christmassy feeling. 

2. Step Into Christmas – Elton John


No era was better for Christmas music than the 70s and Elton John’s Step Into Christmas is its peak. Whether you’re putting up the tree, present shopping, having a festive boogie or eating your Christmas dinner, this song fits the vibe perfectly.

3. Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses

We don’t think American new wave band The Waitresses knew the scale of what they were making when they were recording this anti-Christmas song. It instantly became a cult classic. Trust us, sit down and listen to the bass in this one, it’s so funky and usually by the time the sax comes into it we’re already up dancing. 


4. Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney

As soon as this song starts with those synthy keys you know you’re in for a good’n, I mean who else is more equipped to write a jolly ol’ Christmas song than an ex-Beatle? It just feels like the epitome of Christmas.

5. Christmas Rappin’ – Kurtis Blow

By the time this song came out in 1979, rap was a relatively new genre on the scene. So for Kurtis Blow, the first commercially successful rapper, to release Christmas Rappin’ as his first song is insane but what a hit it was. Not your generic Christmas song but it’s something different and you can’t deny, that beat is infectious.

The worst Christmas songs ever written

Sia's Christmas song is one of the worst ever written
  1. Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande

Not hate towards Ariana – she’s an honorary Manc after all – but Santa Tell Me is a massive flop. Nothing screams ‘I’m in a department store at Christmas time’ more than this song and I pray for any retail worker who has to hear this more than once on their wintery shifts.


2. Everyday Is Christmas – SIA (The Whole Album)

You’re getting a whole 13-song album for this one. SIA did not need to make a full Christmas album but she did and it’s basically all the same song. Everything about it is bad, even down to the album art. There’s something about SIA’s voice that just doesn’t lend itself to festive music. Sorry SIA.

3. It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas

It’s not the singer, it’s the song. It doesn’t matter who is singing this one, it’s going on the worst list. When it’s the start of November why does every commercial company decide this is the perfect song to shove on every Christmas ad ever? And how does something with such cheerful lyrics manage to sound so glum?! It’s like a Winnie the Pooh Christmas song.

4. Underneath The Tree – Kelly Clarkson 


This one makes me feel like I’m in a silly little 00s British Christmas romcom and I absolutely hate it. How did she fall from Since U Been Gone to this utter trash? I’m not mad, Kelly, I’m just disappointed.

5. Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano

For a three-minute-long song, it does not need to repeat Feliz Navidad 21 times. There are literally only four different unique sentences in this one and they’re repeated over and over again. We get it Jose, you wanna wish me a Merry Christmas. Can you do it a bit more quietly I’ve got a Bailey’s hangover.

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