By Jack Sharkey, December 19, 2016

Well, the title pretty much sums this piece up. December is a time for two things: Lists and non-stop Christmas music.

For your convenience I have combined the two in my Definitive List of the Top Ten Christmas Songs. Ever. It is likely that you will disagree with every song on this list, and that's okay...enjoy your holiday season anyway!

 

Dihonorable Mention But Can't Be Included Because My Head Is Exploding From Over Exposure

Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You

While I'm flattered that Ms. Carey feels that way about me, I simply can't take it anymore.

 

Dishonorable Mention

Patsy and Elmo - Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

This song is banned in our house because my wife is uncomfortable with the glorification of elder abuse.

 

10. Ramones - Merry Christmas, I Don't Want to Fight

Production: Two broken ornaments

Cheer Factor: Approximating the Garden State Mall on December 20th.

Seasonal Awesomeness: 3 glasses of spiked Egg Nog (especially when she says she doesn't have any friends. Those of us from the metro-NY area will understand.)

 

9. The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping

Production: Way better than that sweater your step-mom buys you

Cheer Factor: 2 tiny A&P turkeys

Bass Line: Extraordinary

Seasonal Awesomeness: This was the song that heralded the holiday season for everyone from 1981 until the Internet.

 

8. Bruce Springsteen - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Production: The version we're all used to was cut live at a show in Long Island in 1975, so with that in mind, it's kind of like a nice, fresh Christmas tree

Cheer Factor: A joyful celebration of joyfullness

Boardwalk Evocativeness: Extraordinary

Seasonal Awesomeness: Well, it is overplayed a bit, but seriously, how much do you smile when you hear this?

 

7. The Ronettes - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Production: Monaural-wall-of-sound-with-sleigh-bells-from-the-opening-kiss-to-the-closing-hi-hat-perfection.

Cheer Factor: A joyful celebration of extra-marital holiday shenanigans

Seasonal Awesomeness: I dare you not to have fun trying to find a parking spot at the Mall while listening to this song

 

6. Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas?

Production: Cheesy 80s synths, Phil Collins' drums and Boy George's hair = a metallic, artificial Christmas tree

Cheer Factor: Not so much, but we all still sing along. You can admit it

Seasonal Awesomeness: Ubiquitous

 

5. Run-DMC - Christmas In Hollis 

Production: Badass 1980's Queens-style funk = everything I hoped my holiday would be

Cheer Factor: Finally someone gives back to Santa, and not just chicken and collard greens

Seasonal Ubiquity: No where near as much as it should be

 

4. Kinks - Father Christmas

Production: Two broken ornaments

Cheer Factor: You kids today have no idea how bad the economy was when this song came out, and stay off my lawn!

Seasonal Awesomeness: That depends on what bar you're in while you're waiting for your wife to stop all this shopping madness

 

3. Julian Casablancas - I Wish It Was Christmas Today

Production: Not bad for apparently being recorded in a closet with a laptop, but you're only listening on your phone anyway

Cheer Factor: "Hearing those sleigh bells ring-a-ding-ding" and "Santa's bringing goodies to the boys and girls in every nook and cranny of this crazy-ass world." 'Nuff said  

Seasonal Awesomeness: In a world that embraces Glee covers of bad holiday songs, you can't be shocked you probably never heard this before

 

2. Vince Guaraldi - Linus and Lucy

Production: Recorded in one session with minimal engineering, Vince's fat finger mistake at the 0:50 mark is a testament to real music made by real musicians

Cheer Factor: Like getting exactly what you wanted for Christmas, only better  

Seasonal Awesomeness: Iconic

 

And the Number One (According To Me) Top Ten Christmas Song

 

1. Greg Lake - (I Believe In) Father Christmas

 

Production: The original is stunning, if not just a little too bright in the highs, snf now that he's joined the Class of 2016 and moved on, I'll even gladly play all of the re-mixes and covers I used to hate

Cheer Factor: Not much, but it's way more real than I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Seasonal Awesomeness: Nostalgia inducing

 

So there you have it, The Definitive (According to Me) Top Ten Christmas Songs. Ever. Hopefully you have your own list (feel free to share). Regardless of your holiday faves or what you celebrate, we here at KEF wish all of you the very best this season, with hopes for a bright and successful (and awesome sounding) New Year!