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Here are the 10 worst Christmas songs of all time. Careful, they just might kill your holiday spirit.

One of the greatest things about the Christmas season is the music. In our house, we have a hard and fast rule that no holiday tunes may be played until after we finish the Thanksgiving meal.

If you put on the right song, it can lift your spirits, put a spring in your step, and make wrapping gifts tolerable.

But the wrong song can send you in to an emotional spiral causing you to regret your life choices and wish for Boxing Day to arrive so you can just be past it all.

Last year, I got a lot of kudos — and even more gruff — for my list of the definitive recordings of the 35 best Christmas carols. It truly was a perfect list, despite the claims from naysayers.

Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. This year, at the risk of being labeled a Grinch, I’ve compiled the 10 worst Christmas songs of all time. And because I play fair, you can listen to each song below so that you, too, can judge each song for yourself … and then acknowledge my obvious correctness about the awfulness of each.

Just don’t let it ruin your Christmas.

#1: LAST CHRISTMAS — Wham!

This song is just objectively bad and an obvious first choice. There is not an American alive with two working ears and any sort of taste in music who would disagree that this is the world’s worst Christmas tune.

It’s everything that is wrong with ’80s music — from the bad vocals, obnoxious keyboards, sulky attitude, and goofy lyrics. And as if the song wasn’t bad enough, Wham! thought it would be a good idea to create this video to go with it.

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#2: MERRY CHRISTMAS, DARLING — The Carpenters

I post this one at great personal risk. There are friends who will leave me and family members who will disown me for this, but honestly, the only redeeming quality for this Carpenters disaster is that it isn’t “Last Christmas” by Wham!

Sentimental Carpenters fans who long for Karen’s resurrection need to understand that there are not enough Christmas miracles in the world to keep this song from its placement at No. 2 on the all-time list of terrible songs. From dreaming of “Christmassing with you” to being filled with desire based on seeing logs on a fire, there is no saving this song from the weight of its own silliness — and lousy instrumentation and background vocals.

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#3: WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME — Paul McCartney and Wings

C’mon, Paul. You’re better than this. You’re a Beatle for crying out loud.

Yes, I know it charted bigly. Yes, I know lots people have covered it. No, that does not make it a good song. As Craig Outhier wrote for the Phoenix New Times in his list of the worst Paul McCartney songs, this tune “torments” the public, and its chorus likely “is at least partially responsible for the yearly spike in holiday suicide rates.”

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#4: THE CHRISTMAS SHOES — NewSong

I’m probably going straight to Hell for this one. But it had to be included.

Though it has a nice message about a boy buying fancy shoes for his dying mother and a stranger paying for the footwear when the young lad winds up not having enough money, it’s a depressing song that has no business being in anyone’s holiday playlist. All of that, combined with the sappy vocals, super-awkward video, and the fact that it is overplayed on Christian radio and 24-hour Christmas stations, make this song nausea-inducing and obnoxious.

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#5: MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS — NSYNC

Justin Timberlake is one of the greatest entertainers of our generation: He can write, sing, act, and do comedy. Surely if there are any regrets he has in his career, this song has to be near the top of his list.

The song is like a poorly conceived musical number for a sub-par network holiday special. Speaking of sub-par, the video, featuring “Diff’rent Strokes” star Gary Coleman, is really … something.

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#6: DOMINICK THE DONKEY — Lou Monte

Dominick is supposed to be the hero of the song, having saved Christmas by helping Santa because the reindeer can’t climb the hills of Italy. Instead, this silly song attempts a “Funiculi Funicula” vibe, but even for a novelty song — a genre that is typically given a lot of leeway when it comes to criticism — it is just painful.

Hee haw. Hee awful.

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#7: HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) — John Lennon

It’s a sad day when two songs written by Beatles make a “worst songs” list, but such is life. You write a bad song, it doesn’t matter who you are, you’re going to get called out.

I know I’ll get raked over the coals by Beatles fans who feel Lennon could do no wrong, but this is a terrible Christmas song. The music is well done and everyone knows Lennon was a peacenik, but this tune has no business invading the joy of the holiday.

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#8: A HAND FOR MRS. CLAUS — Idina Menzel & Ariana Grande

You know who the real hero of the North Pole — and therefore Christmas — really is? No, not St. Nick. Nope, not the elves or Rudolph.

The real hero is Santa’s ball-and-chain. She does all the real work up north — and Idina Menzel and Ariana Grande really want you to understand that in this badly written, poorly performed (particularly Ariana’s portion), and inferiorly produced pile of feminist nonsense.

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#9: DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS? — Band Aid

This song was created with the most talented artists alive in 1984, and that stable of amazing musicians makes this a tough one. And anyone with a soul can appreciate their efforts to help the people suffering in Ethiopia.

But that does not make it a good Christmas song. Despite the talent involved, the tune is mediocre at best — some took to calling the supergroup “Bland Aid” after the record’s release. And the words, again, do not capture the joy and magic of Christmas — which is what holiday songs are supposed to be about. When the song came out, NME called it a “turkey” and ripped the song as “Millions of Dead Stars write and perform rotten record for the right reasons” — which, honestly, was a pretty generous review.

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#10: WARM AND FUZZY — Billy Gilman

Yes, only a monster would mock a record cut by a kid, and this is probably enough to get me labeled Mr. Potter reincarnated, but seriously …

This song serves no purpose, tells no story, and contains zero originality. It isn’t even cute. There’s nothing about this song that should give it any acclaim, yet here it is — every stinking year.

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Dishonorable mention:

There are some songs that are pretty ridiculous or silly or just downright dumb. But unlike the songs listed above, they do bring some joy to the season.

I couldn’t bring myself to list them as terrible, but their questionableness should at least be noted.

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Christmas Christmas movies Entertainment Holiday Season holidays Intelwars

Here are the top 15 family-friendly Christmas movies of all time

One of the many great things about the Christmas season is the entertainment available for families. Whether you prefer recordings of your favorite Christmas songs from Nat King Cole and Perry Como or Mariah Carey and Cee Lo, TV specials you grew up with as a kid or new specials created for your kids, or holiday movies in black and white, Technicolor, or 3-D, there’s always something for everyone looking to submerge themselves in the spirit of the season.

If you’ve got kiddos at home now for Christmas break, you’re probably looking for things to fill the hours before the big day arrives. Here are some ideas for TV time.

Below are the 15 best Christmas movies for your family. There are just a few rules behind these selections: Each movie had to have been a “Christmas-y” movie shown in theaters (no TV specials), couldn’t be rated worse than PG (keep it clean, so no “Die Hard”), and had to have a hook for families to actually want to see it — just having a good message wasn’t enough, it also had to be worth watching.

#1: Miracle On 34th Street (1947)

STORY: The Macy’s store Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, says he is the real Santa Claus—a claim he eventually has to defend in a court of law, which sends the locals into an uproar.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: Though it was first filmed in 1947, this story has continued to be an American favorite for generations. Families love seeing the no-nonsense Doris Walker and her daughter Susan let down their defenses to experience the true gifts of Christmas: hope and love.

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#2: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

STORY: A man on the verge of losing it all and taking his own life is visited by an angel who shows him what life would be like if he’d never existed. And it’s not a pretty picture.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: Filmed in the 1940s, it’s family friendly and contains a ton of moral messages, from sticking out rough situations, self sacrifice, and how communities can come together and help each other in tough times to how much worth each life actually carries.

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#3: White Christmas (1954)

STORY: WWII Army buddies Bob Wallace and Phil Davis team up to create a hugely successful song-and-dance duo after the war. They and the Haynes Sisters put together a Christmas spectacular in a Vermont inn owned by the men’s former commanding officer.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The acting and choreography are great. The Christmas spirit shared by all is, of course, prevalent. But it comes as no surprise that the music of the film is what everyone remembers.

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#4: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

STORY: In this musical depiction of “A Christmas Carol,” Jim Henson’s magical Muppets play second-string to Michael Caine’s performance as Dickens’ skinflint.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The original songs and scoring are tremendous. Caine’s turn on the miserly Scrooge is masterful. And the brilliance of the Muppet casting defies description. (Gonzo as Charles Dickens; Miss Piggy as Mrs. Bob Cratchit; Statler and Waldorf as the Marley brothers? C’mon, it doesn’t get any better.)

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#5: Elf (2003)

STORY: Buddy, a human raised by elves at the North Pole, sets out from Santa’s workshop to New York City to find his dad who is on the “naughty list.”

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The quotes — “Smiling’s my favorite”; “I’m a cotton-headed ninny-muggins.” The humor—an elf-costumed man treks through Manhattan, finds his dad and becomes a part of his family. The morals—everyone wants to be loved. Christmas is not about physical gifts, it’s about family. And this movie highlights that journey in one of the funniest ways possible.

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#6: The Nativity Story (2006)

STORY: The Biblical account of Jesus’ birth comes to life in this film that faithfully adapts the account found in Matthew and Luke.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: This film reminds us how very revolutionary Jesus’ message of peace and love truly were. Christmas movies typically avoid any mention of Christ, but this film serves to remind us of the true reason for the holiday.

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#7: The Santa Clause (1994)

STORY: After accidentally killing the real Santa Claus, a divorced dad finds himself as the reluctant replacement.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: This movie cleverly details Tim Allen’s transformation into Kris Kringle, everything from sprouting white facial hair to massive weight gain to having a desire to wear red and green. Families who have been touched by divorce will also be encouraged by the happy ending.

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#8: The Polar Express (2004)

STORY: A young boy on the verge of giving up his belief of Santa Claus boards the Polar Express train on Christmas Eve. His astonishing journey to the North Pole that teaches a lesson on the spirit of Christmas.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The animation does an incredible job of bringing this beloved story to life. The kids experience action, adventure and mystery all in one night — reminding us that Christmas is truly a magical time of year for children.

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#9: A Christmas Story (1983)

STORY: Ralphie dreams of getting a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas — he’s obsessed with it. Now he has to convince his parents, who are sure he’ll shoot his eye out.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The movie portrays what it’s like, through the life of an Indiana 9-year-old, to grow up in middle America around 1940 (or even today) — dealing with family, friends, bullies, and teachers — all while wishing for what every kid wishes for: that perfect present from Santa under the tree on Christmas morning.

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#10: Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

STORY: Mickey Mouse and his fellow Disney all-stars offer their version of Dickens’ 1843 masterpiece.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The Oscar-nominated short isn’t just a Disneyesque portrayal of Scrooge and his ghosts, it serves as a faithful adaptation of a life-changing story that’s accessible for children.

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#11: Home Alone (1990)

STORY: This is what happens when a mischievous 8-year-old boy is left to his own devices to defend his family’s home against a pair of hooligan crooks during the Christmas season.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: While the antics that young Kevin McCallister employs to protect his home are hilariously entertaining, the true message of the movie showcases how everything is better when you can share it with your family.

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#12: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

STORY: Everyone in the city of Whoville embraces Christmas, except for the Grinch — until he experiences the ultimate transformation of the heart.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: Dr. Seuss’ classic is brought to life complete with delightful rhymes, colorful imagery and the always adorable Max the dog. The Grinch’s lesson about love is the icing on the cake.

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#13: Scrooge (1970)

STORY: In a performance for the ages, Albert Finney brilliantly transforms Ebenezer Scrooge from super-grump into the giddy Scrooge of Christmas morning. The fact that it’s a rare musical interpretation of the holiday story makes it even more powerful.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: The music from the film is unforgettable, the redemption story is, of course, powerful, and the film itself is very well done. The whole thing is worth watching just for Alec Guinness’ loopy performance as Jacob Marley.

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#14: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

STORY: The king of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington, stumbles into Christmas Town, is moved by the spirit of Christmas and decides the residents of his hometown need to get in on the act.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: Tim Burton’s tale celebrates the generous spirit of Christmas with a lesson on being yourself using great humor, award-winning stop-motion cinematography and a fabulous score from Danny Elfman.

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#15: Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)

STORY: The 1980s’ favorite bumbling neighbor, Ernest P. Worrell, helps an aging Santa Claus with his eye on retirement find a replacement.

WHY WE LOVE IT: Ernest’s unwavering faithfulness and innocence leads not only to comical scenes but also to heartwarming lessons about loyalty, friendship and the child-like wonder that permeates Christmastime. “KnowhutImean?”

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Honorable Mention

A version of this list first appeared in the December 2013 issue of TheBlaze magazine.

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Christmas Coronavirus Pandemic Covid vaccine COVID-19 Dr. anthony fauci Holiday Season Intelwars

Fauci: Christmas will be worse than Thanksgiving for COVID spread

Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning Americans that the Christmas holiday could be worse than Thanksgiving for spreading the coronavirus.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on CNN’s “New Day” with host John Berman and issued a warning to America about the potential dangers of holiday celebrations.

“My concerns, John [Berman], are the same thing of the concerns that I had about Thanksgiving, only this may be even more compounded because it’s a longer holiday,” Fauci said.

He explained that because the Christmas holiday leads into New Year’s Day celebrations, the potential for virus spread is greater than Thanksgiving, which lasts one day before people return to work.

“I think it can be even more of a challenge than what we saw with Thanksgiving,” Fauci said. “So I hope that people realize that and understand that as difficult as this is, nobody wants to modify, if not essentially shut down, their holiday season.”

“But we’re at a very critical time in this country right now,” he added. “We’ve got to not walk away from the facts and the data. This is tough going for all of us.”

Fauci’s advice comes amid a recent increase in positive coronavirus cases being reported. According to the COVID Tracking Project, as of Dec. 7 there were 14,717,065 identified cases of coronavirus in the United States. The previous Friday saw 228,000 new cases reported, the largest volume of positive cases reported in a single day since the pandemic began. Currently there are 102,148 people hospitalized with COVID, with 20,098 people currently in the ICU and 7,073 currently on a ventilator. Tragically, 274,745 Americans have died with confirmed or probable cases of COVID.

Progress toward the release and distribution of a COVID vaccine continues.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration released documents containing the agency’s analysis of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The documents show Pfizer’s vaccine provides some protection after the first dose and full protection from the coronavirus after the second dose. The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet Thursday and vote on whether to grant Pfizer emergency use authorization to begin distributing the vaccine in the United States.

In the United Kingdom, a retired British shop clerk received the first shot of the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination program after the nation last week authorized the use of Pfizer’s vaccine. The UK is the first Western country to begin a mass vaccination program.

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