12/15/2014 12:22 EST | Updated 12/16/2014 11:59 EST

Best Christmas Songs To Celebrate The Season (And The Worst Ones To Avoid)


Christmas carols have been inescapable since Thanksgiving, but perhaps the reason they make so many of us into Scrooges isn't the holiday music itself, but the inability of the people playing it to differentiate the best Christmas songs from the worst.

So we put together a pair of playlists to help. The first is the best Christmas songs, collecting some of our favourite modern and traditional tunes ranging from Michael Buble's "Jingle Bells," The Ramones' "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)" and Run-DMC's "Christmas in Hollis" to Bing Crosby and David Bowie's "The Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth," Vince Guaraldi Trio's Charlie Brown classic "Christmas Time Is Here" and Louis Prima's "What Will Santa Claus Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin')."

There are also some great new Christmas songs released this year both by singers you might expect (Sam Smith, Meghan Trainor) and those you might not ("Veronica Mars" and "Frozen" star Kristen Bell, "Family Guy" creator Seth McFarlane, who croons like a latter-day Sinatra).

The second playlist is the worst Christmas songs, the one that make us want to fill the singers' stocking with coal like McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime," Madonna's "Santa Baby" and anything involving Justin Bieber. The most recent addition is Ariana Grande's "Santa Tell Me. She may have a mini-Mariah voice, but her attempt at making it into the Christmas canon is hardly comparable to Carey's modern classic "All I Want For Christmas is You."

Oh, and for good measure we included all three versions of tone-deaf charity tune "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

The Best Christmas Songs

Photo gallery Best Christmas Songs See Gallery

The Worst Christmas Songs

Photo gallery Top 20 Worst Christmas Songs See Gallery