Music/Lists

Problematic Christmas Playlist Palate Cleanser

Swap the season's most problematic tracks for these Christmas classics.

December 14, 2017

As we enter the Christmas season, we know we’re going to be subject to a veritable snowstorm of disturbing, misogynistic, materialistic and often painfully religious Christmas songs. Somebody is going to fire up their phone with “Baby it’s Cold Outside…” and you’re going to consider going for a unplanned sprint through the snow outside just to get away from its creep-fest lyrics.

Why do we put up with them? Most likely, it’s familiarity. These songs have been out for a while and have pretty much always been there in background—alright, and some are pretty damn catchy).

But you know what else used to be around all the time? Leprosy. And Christmas has been fine since we got rid of that! Time moves on, and there are simply more than enough quality Christmas songs out there to fill the gap (including straight-from-Santa’s-sled newbies and golden oldies that deserve more attention).

So let’s say: no more! Here are five alternatives that you should consider to replace the aging dinosaurs on the office playlist. If you have to wrestle the phone out of your drunk boss’s hands, so be it!

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”

This one pops up every year, and in particular a squirm-inducing version featuring a young Michael Jackson singing about mommy kissing Santa back in his Jackson 5 days. It doesn’t take much to catch the true injustice of this considering the nightmare of a childhood that poor kid was made to suffer. Every word must have burned.

SMACK IT DOWN with Dolly Parton’s “I’d Like to Spend Christmas with Santa.”

Jolly St. Dolly totally nails this short but sweet cut from 1986’s A Smoky Mountain Christmas (where else?) while entertaining children that actually seem to be engaged by her. Blasting past the usual cliches, Dolly chooses to focuses on travelling to the north pole to inquire about Mrs. Claus’s housing situation. Smash that Bechdel test Dolly!

“Santa Baby”

Beloved by drunk managers everywhere with just enough authority for you to be unable to protest, this cut usually gets aired when someone on the office team decides to do a drunkenly suggestive rendition.

Is it materialistic? Check.

Gold-digging? Oh you bet it is.

The cherry on top is the inclusion of a demand for a sable from the singer. This is a sable. The singer (lately including Gwen Stefani) wants to turn this into a coat. Enough with this song already.

KICK IT TO THE CURB with Sia’s “Puppies are Forever.”

This one is brand spanking new for 2017, and is fresh off Sia’s first Christmas album (surely many more to come). It’s a properly catchy pop banger about puppies being cute as hell, but also underlines the vital point that, you know, animals ain’t just for Christmas and are deserving of love even when they get “old and slow.”

Seriously, that video.

“12 Days of Christmas”

Where did this overplayed list of bizarre gifts originate from? The only real lesson from it seems to be that if you encounter someone who can recount all of it, it’s time to back slowly away from them. Flocks of geese simply do not make for practical gifts, as so memorably demonstrated by The Office’s Andy Bernard (sorry, Nard Dog).

One for the Canadians here: FREEZE IT OUT with “Bob and Doug McKenzie’s 12 Days of Christmas.”

Seasonal sensibility reigns supreme as these two beloved Canadian characters request simple Canadian goods like beer, bacon and (admittedly golden) toques. A true piece of history from the Great White North, pretty much anyone could have a good Christmas with this list. The chances are your good old Dad will dig this tune far more.

“Backdoor Santa”

While the original Clarence Carter version is undeniably decent, ultimately “Backdoor Santa” counts as a highly lecherous skeeze anthem. It’s been covered numerous times, with Bon Jovi’s mind-bendingly loud and annoying version being gross enough to have been pulled from that live album’s repress. This is the kind of cut that gets played by the office sleaze when everyone’s back is turned.

CRUSH it with Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis”

You have no reason to settle for sicko puns about coming once a year when the boys from Queens can sample the brass hook from the above for the best ever Christmas rap song. Let us not forget that it also intros DIE HARD: unquestionably the best ever Christmas movie. Altogether: “AN ILL REINDEER!”

“Baby It’s Cold Outside”

Not much more needs to be said about this song and it’s off-putting predatory overtones (“Say, what’s in this drink!?”), yet it seems to remain consistently popular, year-in and year-out. If you find yourself stuck at the end of the party with someone sliding up to you with this playing, you’ll know the level of creep-enabling it’s capable of.

FLIP IT with Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s role-reversal version (from Lady Gaga & The Muppets Holiday Spectacular )

They managed to salvage this song in true Christmas miracle style, with (whattaya know) actual magnetism and charm. As for how she manages to get down those stairs at the end without tripping on her dress? Now that’s real festive magic at work.

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