HO HO HO everyone! We made it, the holiday season is finally upon us! For weeks, we’ve been subjected to near-constant, nausea-inducing advertising on our television and billboards on the drive home. Each day, we’ve been fighting a losing battle as we try to avoid picking at the leftover food delivered to each of our offices. We’ve struggled to maintain focus at our jobs, diving into the deep, dark crevasses of the World Wide Web. But its here, its finally here – the best couple of work weeks of the year. So yeah, grab that extra beer. Eat that second dinner. For the love of God people, its Christmas – take a load off. You earned it! And as you spend time with your friends and family, enjoy this collection of songs and thoughts I’ve assembled to help get your holiday weekend started right…
Top Holiday Songs
It’s pretty wild how much money floats around during the holidays each year. Christmas is genuinely its own genre, capable of producing thousands of movies and throughout the years. However, for every It’s a Wonderful Life, there’s a Surviving Christmas. Every one-hit-wonder and American Idol runner-up eventually releases a cash-grab Christmas album, littered with forgettable traditional Christmas covers. There’s a lot of bullshit out there, folks. But fear not – here are some of my favorite, original holiday tunes to get you in the right mood:
“Wonderful Christmastime” – Paul McCartney
Written and recorded entirely by Sir James Paul McCartney in 1979, “Wonderful Christmastime” is one of my personal favorites. Its use of non-traditional instruments like synthesizers (and whatever the hell else he was toying with that day) give the song an electronic vibe not usually associated with the former Beatle, or Christmas songs in general. I assume this probably took him, like, 4-5 hours to compose and perfect, about the same amount of time it takes for me to write a small portion of this blog. Sadly, my 4-5 hours netted me exactly $0 and Paul’s gets him $400k each year.
“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” – John Lennon
As is tradition, John Lennon takes a more socially-conscious approach to his songwriting in comparison to his more happy-go-lucky counterpart McCartney on his own holiday tune, “Happy Xmas (War is Over).” As the name suggests, the song features politically charged lyrics but, boy oh boy, is that melody sweet! This song has become a Christmas staple since its release in 1971 and the lyrics still strike a chord, sadly, given our current political climate.
“All I Want for Christmas” – Mariah Carey
If you don’t like this song, you’re lying to yourself. Carey’s Christmas classic (alliteration alert!) just gets more and more popular every year, so much so that it actually popped into the Billboard Top 10 this year for the first time ever, nearly two decades after its initial release. The song is already one of the highest selling singles (of any genre) of all time and is well on its way to eventually becoming the most commercially successful song ever. Wowzers! The song itself is a simple, yet perfect pop song and will certainly stay in every Christmas mix until the end of time.
“Step into Christmas” – Elton John
Written alongside lifelong writing partner Berry Taupin, “Step into Christmas” is probably my favorite song on this list. Nifty piano playing, well-crafted lyrics, crooning background vocals – this one has all the makings of an Elton John classic. And who doesn’t love Elton John?
“Do They Know its Christmas?” – Band Aid
God, I love 80s music… The genesis of this song, for those that don’t know, is pretty cool – essentially, all the biggest stars in the UK/Ireland teamed up to release a Christmas song in 1984 to help raise funds for a devastating famine in Africa. Bono, Sting, George Michael and Phil Collins all appear on the track, alongside countless other stars of the day. Cheesy? Very. Still a good song? You betcha! I’m crossing my fingers for a remake next year with Ed Sheeren, Lil Uzi Vert, and Lavar Ball.
“Feliz Navidad” – José Feliciano
I took Spanish for three years in college. We had class four days a week, attendance was mandatory. The classrooms were very small and the curriculum was centered on immersion/interaction. I visited Mexico two weeks ago and was genuinely shocked to find out how little I retained of the Spanish language from my time at school, as I struggled to think of any phrases beyond “hola” and “gracias.” HOWEVER, I was able to dish out “Feliz Navidad!” to various waiters and bartenders, and for that reason I am including this one on the list. Oh, also it’s an absolute BANGER of a Christmas tune..
“The Chanukah Song” – Adam Sandler
Not technically a Christmas song, I know, but could this go down as the single greatest Adam Sandler output of all time? With the way his career has gone since this song’s 1994 release, its certainly not out of the realm of possibility. But despite the barrage of borderline offensively-bad movies he’s made in the past 10 years, I still have love for the Sand-man and this song is great for Jews and Gentiles alike.
“I Won’t Be Home for Christmas” – blink-182
This one goes out to all the people born in the early 90s like me who grew up on these guys. Blink’s ability to not take themselves too seriously and craft catchy songs is what initially catapulted them into pop-punk super-stardom and this song exemplifies their toilet-humor charm. Make sure to give it a whirl, especially if you enjoy hearing tales about groups of carolers being attacked.
- “Blue Christmas” – Elvis Presley: Love song or Christmas song? Who cares.
- “Little Saint Nick” – The Beach Boys: Pure, old school, hot-rod rock’n’roll. Did you guys know famous basketball player Kevin Love’s uncle is Mike Love from the Beach Boys? Save some for the rest of us, amiright?
- “Christmas All Over” – Tom Petty: The late, great Tom Petty leaves his mark on Christmas with this gem
- “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – U2: OK, not an “original” song but Bono and boys give it their all on the Darlene Love cover.
Generally, I try to keep it pretty positive here at Everything Doesn’t Suck. This blog is designed to shed light on the good things in life, not tear anything down. So naturally, when thinking about this post, I started to brainstorm all the different things that help Christmas not suck every year. Like most, Christmas is at the top of the holiday food chain for me. I love Christmas, so this wasn’t hard. There are a zillion things that make this the most wonderful time of the year (zing). However, could it be possible that Christmas could be improved? Are some of our beloved yuletide traditions outdated and overrated? Here’s a few that could use some serious tweaking:
Eggnog: Let’s cut out the charade here – nobody fucking likes eggnog. I don’t care if you know a special recipe or if you add booze to it – it’s bad. Really bad. There’s a reason nobody drinks it 11 months out of the year. Did you know that a another name for eggnog is “milk punch”? Gross. Moving forward, everyone just leave the eggnog at home, cool?
White Christmas: I know this is probably an unpopular opinion but do we really want a “white Christmas” every year? I have to admit it: I hate snow. Sure – skiing and snowboarding are fun, sledding was cool when we were young but, really, what good is snow if you’re not spending the weekend on some mountain, tearing up (or if you’re me – falling repeatedly) the Black Diamond? It makes it hard to get anywhere, causes car accidents, gets your shoes/socks wet. I get it, there’s a certain beauty to this “phenomenon” of snow on Christmas (not really considering its late December, cold as shit, and snowing everywhere), but give me warm & dry Christmas all day. In fact, I’ll take scorching hot, 100+ degree Christmas. Thanks.
“Little Drummer Boy”: What am I missing here? This song SUCKS, yet each year we hear it grouped with the classics. I’d rather hear a baby screaming/crying into a microphone than “Little Drummer Boy” ever again. Its high time we take this song out behind the woodshed and put it out of its misery.
Caroling: Quick show of (virtual) hands – anybody ever actually been door-to-door Christmas caroling in their life? I certainly have not, and I would actually love to see live footage of my face if a group of adults came to my door singing “The First Noel.” I don’t personally have an issue with groups of people wanting to serenade random neighbors in the freezing cold, but this feels like a tradition that hasn’t aged all that well.
Alright folks, that’s all I got. Have a great Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/whatever!
Photo Credit – USA Today