It’s easy to get sick of holiday music each year. As soon as the clock strikes midnight on Halloween and October becomes November, some twisted switch in the world of marketing clicks on and what was formerly a land of spooks and terrors instantly becomes a world of snowflakes and jolly good cheer.
Case in point, I happened to stroll into Walmart during the day on Halloween this year. And what do I see? I see employees taking down the Halloween display and filling it with this year’s Christmas display. The horror! What about the turkey? Where is the spotlight for Adam Sandler’s “Thanksgiving Song” that it so deserves? Where is the justice?!
Okay, I should calm down, but I am a fanatic about this time of year. Anyone else who works in customer service will understand all too well. I can’t wait to break out my Christmas bell earrings just as much as the next person, but I also need to have time to wear my turkey earrings in public as well.
I swear I’m not a Scrooge. In fact, I tend to act like Buddy the Elf when it comes to the holidays. Last year, in my tiny little dorm room in Finegan, I managed to decorate to a point that looked like Christmas cheer barfed in the room. Ornaments were hung from the ceiling, Christmas blankets were placed on my bed, various decorations hung from the walls, the door was adorned with a tree made out of Christmas wrapping paper, and to top it all off, three mini Christmas trees were scattered about the room (complete with mini tree skirts and everything).
Even with all of that excitement, I still get annoyed with Christmas music. Every radio station tries to get a jump on the season, pumping out Christmas music all through November, successfully beating the proverbial dead horse until the happiest music in existence becomes a misery fest.
So, what does a gal do when she can’t stand to listen to Elvis Presley crooning “Silver Bells” one more time? Why, she listens to these lovely anti-cheer Christmas tunes! With just enough punch to get you out of your Christmas song funk, these songs will give you the relief you need so you can jump back into the carols and holly with all the force of a great typhoon.
- “Christmas Celebration” by Weezer
Here’s a little taste of this ditty, where Weezer perfectly describes the metaphorical nausea caused by Christmas overload.
“Christmas to perfection,
I’m begging for some action,
And the ringing in my ears,
Is the sound of Christmas cheer,
And they’ve knocked me screaming overboard.”
- “A Christmas Carol” by Tom Lehrer
Have you ever realized the irony of the holiday season, like the whole “good will toward men” that seems to only be universal during this one time of year? Tom Lehrer knows it.
“On Christmas day you can’t get sore,
Your fellow man you must adore,
There’s time to rob him all the more,
The other three hundred and sixty-four.”
- “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
This song can be a downer. It describes a couple looking back on their toxic relationship, but in the end they hear the Christmas bells ringing on Christmas Eve and realize they are better together. So yes, it’s a downer, but it also shows the magic of the Christmas season.
“The boys of the NYPD choir,
Still singing ‘Galway Bay,’And the bells are ringing,
Out for Christmas day.”
- “Christmastime Will Soon Be Over” by Jack White
This song doesn’t sound like a Christmas song at all, except for the lyrics mentioning it. Its bluegrass jive and instrumental focus will surely get your mind out of any “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” sludge.
“Christmas time will soon be over,
Christmas time will soon be over,
Christmas time will soon be over
Then we’ll join the band.”
- “Forget December” by Something Corporate
This is up there on the list of the most melancholy Christmas songs. It’s not quite as sad as “Christmas Shoes,” but if you want that holiday sadness without having to cry during the shoes song, listen to the emo rock hopeless-themed Christmas tune.
“Forget December, it won’t be better,
than I remember it before,
and this month only, will be so lonely,
and not so holy anymore.”
- “I Hate Christmas Parties” by Relient K
Here is yet another “woe is me, I miss my ex-girlfriend” song. For your needed dose of morose Christmas feelings, look no further.
“I hate Christmas parties,
They offer me some punch,
But I just shrug,
I hate Christmas parties,
You and the cookie,
Tray hear me say ‘Ba! Humbug!'”
- “My Girlfriend (Forgot Me This Christmas)” by The Click Five
There is zero deception in the song title. It’s a tale of this guy’s girlfriend forgetting him on Christmas. It’s a fun song nonetheless and isn’t too Christmas-y.
“She got everything she wanted on her list,
Except for one thing that she missed,
(Just a kiss)
My girlfriend forgot me this Christmas day.”
- “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!” by Sufjan Stevens
This is a fantastic, laid back, coffee-shop song that makes you want to grab a book and a mug of hot chocolate just so you can play this song in the background with the sight of snow falling outside.
“Our father yells,
Throwing gifts in the wood stove, wood stove,
My sister runs away,
Taking her books to the schoolyard, schoolyard.”
- “A Long December” by Counting Crows
Aw, man, here’s another “woe is me, I miss you” song. But it’s equally beautiful and doesn’t reek of jingle bells and Santa hats, so there’s a bonus!
“A long December and there’s reason to believe,
Maybe this year will be better than the last,
I can’t remember the last thing that you said as you were leavin’,
Now the days go by so fast.”
- “Run Rudolph Run” by Lemmy Kilminster
Taking a traditionally over-played Christmas song and turning it into a song that really rocks, Lemmy Kilmister (along with the killer efforts of Billy Gibbons and the all-mighty Dave Grohl) riffs Rudolph right outta town. *insert “rock on” hand sign here*
“Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s got to make it to town,
Santa make him hurry, he can take the freeway down,
Run, run Rudolph a whizzing like a merry-go-round.”