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Here Are Our Christmas Song Hot Takes: Staff Picks, by RedHawk Radio Writers

Whether you start listening to Christmas music Nov. 1 or the week before the holiday, everybody has their favorite seasonal songs. And everybody has their least favorites. 

We’re here to share our hot takes. We hate your favorite Christmas songs, and we love your least favorites.

Christmas Songs We Hate 

“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney 

GraciAnn Hicks 

In addition to sounding weirdly empty (the opposite of what I expect from a Christmas song), it’s way too long for how repetitive it is. Throw in some other instruments and more vocals, and I could maybe forgive the repetitive nature. Alas, it stays at the same level the entire time, so I’m forced to change the radio station every time it comes on.

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” by various artists

Emma Rudkin

No matter how good the singing is or how much I like the artists, this song always comes across as creepy to me. It feels old-fashioned and not in a nostalgic way — more so in a coercive type way.

Santa Babyby Eartha Kitt 

Rachel Watkins 

Don't get me wrong, “Santa Baby” has iconic sugar baby lyrics. My issue is not with the meaning behind the song; it’s Eartha Kitt’s voice I can’t stand. Sorry, not sorry!

Underneath The Treeby Kelly Clarkson

Abby Adamson

I know, I know — Kelly Clarkson is an icon — but this song has never done it for me. Four minutes is far too long for a song this repetitive, and Clarkson’s voice begins to sound shrill the longer it goes on. Plus, it plays every two seconds on the radio this time of year. I always change the station when I hear its opening notes.

Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande 

Karla Garcia 

Yes, Ariana’s vocals are top-tier, but this has never been my go-to Christmas song. Apart from the chorus, I struggle to vibe with it. 

Ethan K. Poole

On a technical level, this song is actually pretty good, but I’ve heard it so many times at this point that I really can’t bring myself to be impressed anymore. The vocals feel self-indulgent more than anything else.

Christmas Songs We Love 

Megan Harrison

The Wham! version of this song is the only acceptable choice: The other covers don’t do it justice! I can always count on this song to bring the Christmas cheer (and general good vibes) I’m always seeking, so much so that I’ve also listened to it in the middle of June. The ’80s synth feel and the bright vocals of George Michael turn lyrics riddled with heartbreak into a fun, youthful approach to the holidays. I often forget it’s about a lost love; it’s become a beacon of positive memories, silly dances and singing at the top of my lungs. 

Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano

Emma Rudkin

This has been my favorite Christmas song since I was a kid and I’ve just stuck with it. When I was little, I didn’t even realize they were singing in a different language. I honestly couldn’t make out what any song was saying regardless of the language. All I knew was that it sounded fun and different from all the other Christmas songs, which is what I liked about it.

cindy lou whoby Sabrina Carpenter 

Rachel Watkins 

The merry, bright Christmas cheer can sometimes be a bit much, especially if you received a breakup as a gift this holiday season. Picture this: You see an Instagram post of your ex and their new partner kissing under the mistletoe. Quick, play “cindy lou who” and thank Sabrina Carpenter later. The play on words in the song’s title is a nice touch; read it as a question. 

GraciAnn Hicks 

Although Mariah Carey’s version is widely loved, I secretly prefer Michael Buble’s version. His silky smooth vocal tone and the dramatic strings add a romantic tone to the song that her version lacks. Her over-the-top production and whistle tones contribute to a playful tone, like it’s a love letter to her partner. Michael’s version, however, is filled with yearning. The implication of unrequited love adds a depth to an otherwise overplayed song. 

Drummer Boy by Justin Bieber, feat. Busta Rhymes

Abby Adamson

This song is the epitome of camp. Justin was in his peak riffing era, Busta Rhymes had a feature, and he included not one but two rap verses (one of which encouraged people to donate to charity, come on!) With a line like “I’m surprised you didn’t hear this in the Bible,” how could you not say slay?

“Christmassy” by The Boyz

Karla Garcia

Yes, I chose a K-pop Christmas song — someone had to! “Christmassy” is cheerful, upbeat and groovy. It perfectly combines sleigh bells with melodious vocals and a drum-heavy instrumental. With every listen, I am instantly in my holiday spirit.

Christmas Tree Farm by Taylor Swift 

Rachel Foley

I’m always here to talk about Taylor, and Christmas will be no exception. This song is a perfect mix of the classic symbols of the Christmas season and romance. All of that, tied together with an addictively catchy beat, makes this the best Christmas song to get you excited for the season.

Ethan K. Poole

This is not the first Christmas song you’ll think of, but whenever it manages to sneak itself into a playlist or cover album, it’s always better than I remember.

Don’t be shy! We would love to hear from you. Do you agree or disagree with our hot takes? Let us know your most beloved and hated Christmas song in the comments. 

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Dec 10, 2023

Rachel's take is so valid- I think christmas music can be flirty and playful without making everyone uncomfortable, and this version of Santa Baby is not it!

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