Pop Culture

40 Christmas Songs for the Christmas Song-Averse

December  8, 2016

I haven’t seen Mariah’s World, the reality show detailing Mariah Carey’s life, on E! yet; I’m too busy hearing her Christmas album everywhere I go.

I’m not mad at it—I think she’s the best singer alive. But her appearance atop this list of songs for the Christmas song-averse, as recently as last year, makes me laugh. Even "All I Want for Christmas is You" has become so ubiquitous that it's a little tiresome for many people, especially the ogres among us who don't like Christmas music all that much to begin with. Some might even pretend that they "don't know her" when December rolls around! (Yeah, I know my stuff.)

The tsunami of Mariah Christmas music this season, coupled with the consequent ennui, made me engage in a thought experiment: What Christmas songs do I not hate? Are there any? Crazy questions.

Shop the Story

I sifted through my own memory bank for songs that don't make me feel as if I'm in the Herald Square Macy's, succumbing to claustrophobic anxiety. Reaching an impasse after, like, the tenth song, I polled some of the Food52 office members, asking: what are some non-Mariah songs you all like to listen to around Christmas? I amassed a crazy long list, drawn from my and my colleagues' taste buds, and preened accordingly.

Well, we definitely missed a few dozen. Are you a Christmas song grinch?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • bookjunky
  • Lissa
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


bookjunky December 10, 2016
My favorite album: Yule B Swingin'. There are several others in this genre that are cool as well.
Lissa December 9, 2016
Great list! My Yule playlist includes Outkast's Player's Ball and Imogen Heap's Just for Now.