’Tis the season to say “’tis the season” too much. ’Tis also the season to reflect on the year that was, eat too much, see family, and get nostalgic with your favorite holiday tunes. But since we’re all about superlatives around here, we wanna know: What are the greatest Xmas songs of all time? Well, with Festivus rapidly approaching, the web has begun churning out special holiday treats for children young and old.

Like, did you realize that Wham!’s “Last Christmas” has practically become a holiday standard? Well there’s a blog that’s dedicated solely to covers of the tune — and if there’s a blog involved, it’s gotta be true. Stereogum-reader Alex L. told us that Last Christmas promises 5 to 7 covers a day, and there are 41 already! That means “there will be around 150 covers by the big day. Who knew it was so popular?” Probably not even Georgie, Alex!

Then there’s the “humor” holiday tunes. Nothing beats “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” — but there are always new contenders. Here are two newcomers, one from Sarah Silverman and one from the South Parkers, both via Santa Vegan.

And of course there’s The Killers’ “A Great Big Sled,” which you guys hated, so we won’t bother telling you about the video. Instead, check out The Dan Band’s punny clip for their yuletide tune “Ho Ho Ho.” We fucking need them more than ever. There’s also that blasphemous R. Kelly claymation parody, but a homicidal, bi-curious Santa coupled with a bong-toting Jesus ain’t for everyone, we know!

So if holiday vids aren’t your thing, how about a holiday mix with a bit of Low, Sufjan, Eels, and oh so much more?

Thought so. Check Rewritable Content for the goods. Or, for a self-described “weird” take on “O Holy Night” from our bud Cale from Aloha, head to Suburban Sprawl Music.

Have we jogged your memory a bit? Good! Now let’s get a solid playlist of holiday tunes together. Which ones are your faves? If you have holiday mixes you wanna link to, feel free to post ’em in the comments. Grab a cup of eggnog and holler!

Comments (78)
  1. My Dad made this Christmas mix for me when I was a kid and it had a song on it that I loved but I don’t know what it was called or who it was by.

    The chorus was like, “We’re gonna get a Christmas tree, we’re gonna get a Christmas tree…” sung in a kind of gleefully taunting way. That’s all I remember but it gets stuck in my head every year.

    It may be cheesy, but I REALLY want to find this song again. Does anybody here know what I’m talking about???

  2. Andrew  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2006 0

    Does it even need to be mentioned?

    “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

    Nuff said.

  3. What? No mention of Pansy Division’s “Homo Christmas”?? For shame. Any song openly singing about sticking candy canes up each others’ butts is an instant holiday classic.


  4. Blu  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2006 0

    Patton Oswalt’s take on Alvin & The Chipmunks’ Christmas tune played at half-speed is a hoot.

  5. Simple Plan’s “I Want Everything” makes me vomit blood.

    Can I say it makes me vomit blood here? Because it makes me vomit blood.

    Redder than Rudolph’s nose, on Vomit, on Puking, on Hurling Up Bitzen.


  6. regina  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2006 0

    Teddy Thompson just recorded a Christmas song called “Boycotting Christmas.” A wee bit cynical? Perhaps, but it’s really good nonetheless, and in keeping with the holiday spirit, all the proceeds from the sale of the MP3 are going to savedarfur.org.

  7. alicia  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2006 0

    Merry Christmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon

  8. I’m in the practice of making a Christmas mix every year, here is my mix from last year – I’m wrapping up my 2006 mix now. I realize it is Sufjan-heavy, but with 42 songs to choose from it’s hard to narrow down!


    1.Christmas Time is Here – Cepia
    2.Close Your Mouth It’s Christmas – The Free Design
    3.Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing – Sufjan Stevens
    4.In The Black Midwinter – Bert Jansch
    5.Christ Was Born On Christmas Morn – Cotton Top Mountain Sanctified Singers
    6.Winter Wonderland – Darlene Love
    7.Christmas Eve – Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci
    8.Once In David’s Royal City – Sufjan Stevens
    9.Deilig Er Jorden – Kings Of Convenience
    10.Glory, Glory – Al Green
    11.Taking Down the Tree – Low
    12.O Holy Night – Sufjan Stevens
    13.Asian Meteorologists Predicted the Heavens to Snow-down a Child a Child to Us (Plant a little Fir Tree) – Half-Handed Cloud
    14.Sherburne – Alabama Sacred Harp Singers
    15.Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers – The Crystals
    16.In the Hot Sun of a Christmas Day – Caetano Veloso
    17.Only At Christmas Time – Sufjan Stevens
    18.A Child Is Born – The Free Design
    19.Snowfall – Esquivel
    20.My Favorite Christmas (In A Hundred Words Or Less) – Of Montreal
    21.Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes
    22.Christmas Party – The Walkmen
    23.Christmas Is The Day – The Free Design
    24.Carol of the Bells – Outputmessage
    25.Silent Night – Phil Spector
    26.Did I Make You Cry on Christmas Day? (Well, You Deserved It!) – Sufjan Stevens

  9. ian  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2006 0

    flaming lips white christmas

    belle and sebastian santa claus go straight to the ghetto

    arcade fire jinglebell rock

    beck little drum machine boy (technically about hannukah but based on a christmas song)

    sufjan stevens get behind me santa

    tom waits silent night

    I think that covers almost every stereogum fave

  10. mar  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    mariah carey-all i want for christmas is you


  11. Bev  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    The Kickassiest Christmas!!!

    For free here:


  12. Without a doubt. The only worthwhile christmas song written in the last 30 years is The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping”. Not too schmaltzy. Timeless. Fun to sing. Smart. Catchy. I look forward to it every year.

  13. jeff  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    3 of my faves –

    Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses –
    one of the baddest-ass bass lines ever. I love this song no matter what season.

    Another lonely Christmas – Prince- sad, but good.
    one of my favorite Prince songs period.

    Vince Guaraldi (Sp?) – Christmas Time is Here (instrumental) – haunting melody, very emotional for me. The Charlie Brown song.

    The all time worst???????
    Gloria Estefan

    “Let it snow”
    makes me wanna puke

  14. piss'D  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    Don’t forget about the WOXY Holiday stream: http://streamer.lala.com/woxy-holiday/aac/32

  15. Wham'O  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    Yeah, Wham’s Last Christmas is the BEST Christmas song ever. If, by BEST you mean WORST. Wham sucks. Big Time.

    The best Christmas song I’ve heard this year is actually about Hanukkah. The LeeVees – How Do You Spell Chunnukkahh.

    Best Christmas song of all time? The Three Wise Men aka XTC – Thanks For Christmas.

  16. I loved “Last Christmas” by Wham! And I heartheartheart the cover Savage Garden did of it (cuz it’s like the same, haha).

    I like “A Great Big Sled,” so thanks for linking to the vid. <3

  17. veego  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    “zen gospel singing” this song my folks sang every year at xmas with a friend. about a guy who is a baptist and the converts to budhism. he is talking about how he misses the singing, it is a great song and the one reason i love christmas.

  18. veego  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    “zen gospel singing” this song my folks sang every year at xmas with a friend. about a guy who is a baptist and the converts to budhism. he is talking about how he misses the singing, it is a great song and the one reason i love christmas.

  19. it’s christmas time in hollis, queens…

    mom’s cooking chicken & collard greens….


    rip jmj

  20. Me  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    Dominick The Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey) – Lou Monte

  21. You’ve got to include something from Low’s Christmas album. My vote is for “Just Like Christmas” or the spooky “One Special Gift”.

  22. Subtlety be damned, I’m self-promoting my own blog’s mix effort (a double, at that): http://sweepingthenation.blogspot.com/2006/12/sweeping-nation-covermount-3-very.html

  23. I’m all for the classics — plenty of Bing, Dean, and Frank (with a little Carpenters thrown in for good measure).

    I put together a playlist featuring 40 of my favorites over at my blog:


    Thanks to my iPod, they’re in heavy rotation throughout the day. It would be enough to drive a lesser man insane. ;)

  24. RSTP  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    Just wanted to agree with anyone who said The Waitresses “Christmas Wrapping”. I am usually the only one I know who likes…much less even knows this song.

  25. doggie  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    smashing pumpkins – christmastime is very pretty

  26. Ferris  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    Alright: I’m proposing a one song Sufjan Stevens limit on all Christmas mixes. Releasing a five CD sollection of Christmas music just makes it all a bit too easy.

  27. Jon S.  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    Wow, how has everybody failed to mention the
    Truly Greatest Xmas Song Ever–

    “Father Christmas”-The Kinks

  28. Jen  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    Agreed. The Kinks “Father Christmas” rocks my world. I am also a HUGE fan of “Feed the World (Do They Know Its Christmas?)” By BandAID … the long version. I am a huge Christmas music dork. Thanks Ipod

  29. Cory  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    1. Aimee Mann – Christmastime
    2. Aimee Mann – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
    3. Alex Chilton – The Christmas Song
    4. The Apples in Stereo – Holiday Mood
    5. Badly Drawn Boy – Donna and Blitzen
    6. The Band – Christmas Must Be Tonight
    7. The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick
    8. The Beach Boys – The Man With All The Toys
    9. The Beach Boys – Santas Beard
    10. The Beach Boys – Merry Christmas Baby
    11. The Beatles – Christmas Time (Is Here Again)
    12. Beck – Little Drum Machine Boy
    13. Belle & Sebastian – O Come O Come Emmanuel
    14. Belle & Sebastian – Christmas Time Is Here (Peel Session)
    15. Belle & Sebastian – Santa Claus (Peel Session)
    16. Belle & Sebastian – Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me (Peel Session)
    17. Belle & Sebastian – Took Some Time For Christmas (Peel Session)
    18. Ben Folds – Bizzare Christmas Incident
    19. Ben Folds – Lonely Christmas Eve
    20. Big Star – Jesus Christ
    21. Bright Eyes – Blue Christmas
    22. Bright Eyes – O Little Town Of Bethlehem
    23. Bright Eyes – Silver Bells
    24. Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town [Live]
    25. Bruce Springsteen – Merry Christmas Baby [Live]
    26. Coldplay – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
    27. Dandy Warhols – Little Drummer Boy
    28. The dB’s – Christmas Time
    29. The dB’s – Home for the Holidays
    30. The dB’s – Holiday Spirit
    31. The dB’s – Feliz Navidad
    32. David Bowie & Bing Crosby – Little Drummer Boy (Peace on Earth)
    33. Death Cab For Cutie – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
    34. The Decemberists – Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)
    35. The Eels – Christmas Is Going To The Dogs
    36. The Eels – Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
    37. Fiona Apple – Frosty the Snowman
    38. The Flaming Lips – A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn’t So)
    39. The Flaming Lips – Christmas At The Zoo
    40. The Flaming Lips – White Christmas
    41. Fountains of Wayne – I Want An Alien For Christmas
    42. Fountains of Wayne – The Man In The Santa Suit
    43. Grandaddy – Alan Parsons In A Winter Wonderland
    44. Ivy – Christmas Time Is Here
    45. Jimmy Eat World – 12.23.95
    46. Jimmy Eat World – If You Were Born Today
    47. Jimmy Eat World – Last Christmas
    48. John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
    49. The Killers – A Great Big Sled
    50. The Kinks – Father Christmas
    51. Low – Just Like Christmas
    52. Low – If You Were Born Today
    53. Low – One Special Gift
    54. Marshal Crenshaw – Lonely Christmas
    55. My Morning Jacket – Xmas Curtain
    56. My Morning Jacket – Xmas Time Is Here Again
    57. My Morning Jacket – Santa Claus Is Back in Town
    58. Patti Smith – We Three Kings
    59. Paul McCartney – Christmas Time
    60. Pete Yorn – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
    61. Phantom Planet – Carol of the Bells
    62. Phantom Planet – Winter Wonderland
    63. The Polyphonic Spree – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
    64. The Pretenders – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
    65. Queen – Thank God It’s Christmas
    66. The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonite)
    67. The Raveonettes – The Christmas Song
    68. Rilo Kiley – Xmas Cake
    69. Ron Sexsmith – Maybe This Christmas
    70. Ryan Adams – Hey Parker, It’s Christmas
    71. Simon & Garfunkel – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
    72. Simon & Garfunkel – Silent Night
    73. Smashing Pumpkins – Christmastime
    74. Squeeze – Christmas Day
    75. Sufjan Stevens – Put The Lights On The Tree
    76. Sufjan Stevens – Come On! Let’s Boogey To The Elf Dance
    77. Sufjan Stevens – Hey Guys! It’s Christmas Time
    78. Sufjan Stevens – Get Behind Me Santa
    79. Sufjan Stevens – Star Of Wonder
    80. Sufjan Stevens – Holy, Holy, Holy
    81. Tom Petty – Christmas All Over Again
    82. U2 – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
    83. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
    84. The Walkmen – Christmas Party
    85. Weezer ? Christmas Celebration
    86. Weezer ? The Christmas Song
    87. The White Stripes – Candy Cane Children
    88. The Who – Christmas
    89. XTC – Always Winter Never Christmas
    90. XTC – Thanks For Christmas

  30. ian  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    That waitresses track has been covered by:
    save ferris: http://www.amazon.com/Kevin-Beans-Last-Christmas-1999/dp/B0002H4YN0

    and the spice girls (which is surprisingly decent):http://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-UK-CD1-Spice-Girls/dp/B00000I2NN

    Also no mention of the chipmunks song christmas don’t be late or you’re a mean one mr grinch yet?

  31. Sarah  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    I can’t believe how fast you squares have forgotten about Jessica Simpson’s wonderfully heartfelt Christmas CD. I keep it on my ipod all year long!

  32. ajaku  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    I much prefer the original version of “Reindeer” to the weird Christmas one…anyway, The Waitresses’ song is awesome, I’ll third or fourth or whatever that suggestion. Coldplay did a very pretty, mellow cover of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” that I loved.

  33. Brooks  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    My all time favorites:
    “Father Christmas” – The Kinks
    “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – Darlene Love
    “Teenage Christmas” – Nikki Sudden

    Best of the year:
    “Another Christmas at Home” – Eux Autres

  34. Belle  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    I think Pedro the Lion’s “I Heard the Bells” is probably what inspired Sufjan to make his record.

  35. You guys clearly haven’t heard the NEW CHRISTMAS CLASSIC by a New York band called Wormburner. I’ts a brand-new song called “Bells of St. Ignatius”. Check it out (and download it for FREE) at http://www.myspace.com/wormburner.

    It’s in the vein of The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” and Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” with a pub sing-along chorus and icy guitar lines reminiscent of The Pretender’s “2000 Miles”.

    These guys (Wormburner) were produced by David Lowery, frontman for Cracker and Camper van Beethoven!

  36. Steve  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    I’d bet my christmas stocking that last one was written by someone connected to the band. ha.

  37. nehemiah  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    to be honest, i’ve grown quite attached to that annoying wings xmas song.

  38. myron  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    I gotta go with Slade’s “Merry X-mas Everybody.”

  39. Stephen  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is one of the worst X-mas songs ever. Up there with Paul McCartney’s “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime,” which could drive someone to suicide. And I’m a huge fan of both those artists.

  40. Arcade Fire – Jingle Bell Rock has my vote! :-D

  41. rich  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    ‘The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album’, particularly ‘Merry Christmas, Baby’.
    Also, ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon.

  42. Saint Etienne, “I Was Bron On Christmas Day” – can’t walk into a Tesco without hearing that one.

  43. “Born.” Being bron sounds painful.

  44. jeff  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2006 0

    I guess the only reason I forgot to include this turd in my last entry is that I run out of the room anytime I ever have the misfortune of hearing it…. but alas, no luck tonight.

    Feliz Navidad.
    Any version.

    This song has absolutely no reason to exist.
    From the bottom of my heart.

  45. Here’s one i bet you haven’t heard: “Don’t Believe in Christmas” by the Sonics. Belligerant, great beat, only 2 minutes long.

  46. say no to censorship  |   Posted on Dec 10th, 2006 0

    So in another sign of the rapid decline of this site, posts criticizing the changes here and the corporate takeover are being removed. There were several yesterday and now they are gone.

    While I can, I will agree with what was said. This site has turned into a puerile, stupid mess. Is Scott even writing here anymore, or did he and Amrit take their cash and fly down to Buenos Aires?

    There is no class here anymore. This site is a bastardization of what was once great. Now, profanity is used in place of wit, and we have a legion of new writers unsuccessfully trying to ape Scott’s style. It’s become worse than MTV here, and you are all being had. And really, what is up with all these posts about WHAM! fer chrissakes? How is WHAM! in any way shape or form relevant to the current indie scene, or the music world at large?

    There’s nothing wrong with success, and making money, but if you dudes are gonna completely sell out and let your once-great site become a cruel self-parody of what it once was, at least be honest with your readers about it.

    If this is actually posted, I don’t expect it to be around long, but we’re onto you guys.

  47. say no to censorship  |   Posted on Dec 10th, 2006 0

    Okay, my bad. I found the posts that I thought had been deleted, so I was wrong on the censorship aspsect of my comments. However, I still stand by comments regarding the declining quality of the content here.

  48. Spencer  |   Posted on Dec 10th, 2006 0

    I appreciate the person who mentioned Prince and Vince Guaraldi, as those are my two picks, almost exclusively. I also enjoy “O Tannenbaum” by They Might Be Giants and “Christmas in Cape Town” by Randy Newman. Oh, and half of the music Raymond Scott ever wrote for a jazz band goes pretty well.

  49. You are a douche, Mr. Censorhip. If anything this site has gotten better over the last few months. And its a blog silly, give me the rule book that says you have to post anything relevant at all. Who cares if he posts about Lohan, Britney, or WHAM! once in awhile or even on a regular basis. Sift through it because Scott puts up enough stuff for everyone to find something worthwhile everyday. Worse than MTV? You are delusional.

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