Just because I find some Christmas songs annoying, it doesn’t mean I’m a Grinch. Here are some of my most beloved holiday songs. OK, they are all Christmas songs. Enjoy!
Father Christmas (The Kinks) This may be my all-time favorite holiday song. It could stand on its own all year long. The tune is fantastic and the lyrics are even better. The victimized Santa empathizes with his attackers, and what could be more in the true holiday spirit? It also sends a message without being preachy.
Holly Jolly Christmas (Burl Ives) I know some people put this on their list of most annoying songs, but I love Burl Ives. This song radiates joy and is so catchy you have to sing along. Burl’s awww shucks vibe works so well here. Oh by golly, have a holly jolly Christmas this year.
Marshmallow World (Darlene Love) This song is just pure happiness. Darlene Love’s pure, unwavering voice assures us of her conviction. I also love how at the beginning it psychs you out with a lick of slow church music before bursting into the wall of sound.
I Want a Hippopotomous for Xmas (Gayla Peevey) Gayla Peevey has that same edge to her voice as Wanda Jackson. It makes this children’s ditty something more.
Nothing for Me (The Muffs) This is a true punk anthem without being about speed riffs. It’s still a sweet and sad melody with Kim’s harsh vocals making it the closest thing to a soundtrack for Divine’s Cha Cha heels.
2000 Miles (Pretenders) This is one of my top Christmas songs. It’s so sad it can make you cry if you are really missing someone. You can hear the longing in Chrissy Hynde’s voice.
Thanks for Christmas (XTC) Another modern hit, but on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum from 2000 Miles. Originally recorded as Three Wise Men, there is almost a Beach Boys cheer to it. It’s a true loving ode to the holidays.
What I Really Want for Christmas (Brian Wilson) Everything Brian does well, angelic harmonies and a genuine, heartfelt voice. The tune is beautiful and easily to get lost in.
Heat Miser (The Year Without a Santa Claus) Yes, I have been too heavily influenced by television. And I love kitsch. There is no one I love more than Heat Miser, even Snow Miser. having a green Christmas in Los Angeles you might as well like it.
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) (Darlene Love) She is so fantastic Darlene Love makes two appearances on my list. This was the first rock and roll Christmas hit, according to David Letterman, on whose show she appears every Christmas. Every time this song comes on the radio, I find myself singing along with the backup singers, Christmaaaaaasssss, Christmasssssss. That is the mark of a classic.