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16 Christmas Songs That Actually Don't Suck

Never listen to "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" again

16 / 16

James Brown, "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto"

At Christmas, you make a lot of sacrifices. You're willing to put up with your drunk uncle, your Precious Moments-gifting aunt and your cousin who shows you BlackBerry photos of the same motorcycle year after year. What you refuse to put up with is all of those played-out Christmas songs. And we're 100 percent with you.

Here's our list of 16 Christmas songs that positively do not suck. A few of them are modern takes on old standards, while others, like James Brown's "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto," shine a light on some of the lesser-celebrated aspects of the holiday season. Grab that egg nog and press play. 

15 / 16

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, "Ain't No Chimeys in the Projects"

Like James Brown, Sharon Jones uses the power of her Christmas song to remind us of the less fortunate. And while it might leave you feeling a little bummed out, at least "Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects" is really fun to sing along to.

14 / 16

Sufjan Stevens, "Christmas Unicorn"

A 12-minute song about a magical/satirical "Christmas Unicorn"? This might be the most Sufjan Stevens-y Sufjan Stevens song ever.

13 / 16

LCD Soundsystem, "Oh You (Christmas Blues)"

So maybe LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy is a total Scrooge, but if that means sexy bummer Xmas tunes like this one, we'll let it slide. 

12 / 16

Fitz & The Tantrums, "Santa Stole My Lady"

Finally! Someone's telling the truth about what a sleazeball Santa is. First he's creeping around your house at night, then he's kissing your mom under the mistletoe. Now he's stealing your lady, Fitz & The Tantrums. We've got you covered. (See next slide.)

11 / 16

Gruff Rhys, "Slashed Wrists This Christmas"

DO NOT go caroling at Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys' house. He's... busy. 

10 / 16

Mayer Hawthorne, "Christmas Time Is Here"

While the Charlie Brown version of "Christmas Time Is Here" (as performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio) is an untouchable classic, soul singer-songwriter Mayer Hawthorne spices it up a bit. And it's still PG enough for kids.

9 / 16

Mariah Carey, "All I Want For Christmas Is You"

Though originally recorded and released in 1994, this Mariah Carey Christmas hit is such a classic that many people think it's much older than that. If "All I Want For Christmas Is You" doesn't put at least a tiny smile on your face, maybe you need to lighten up, Grinch.

8 / 16

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band, "Merry Christmas Baby"

Leave it to The Boss to turn a Christmas standard into a makeout song. 

7 / 16

John Lennon & Yoko Ono, "Happy Xmas"

Recorded with the Harlem Community Choir, this Vietnam protest song had become a classic just years after its 1971 release. Maybe the "Happy Xmas" video's a little heavy, but thus is John and Yoko.

6 / 16

The Waitresses, "Christmas Wrapping"

Fun fact: The Spice Girls released a cover of the Ohio new wave group's Xmas tune "Christmas Wrapping" as the B-side for their 1998 single, "Goodbye." More street cred than you thought, huh?

5 / 16

Run-DMC, "Christmas in Hollis"

"It's Christmas time in Hollis, Queens / Mom's cookin' chicken and collard greens." Run-DMC: Doing everything cooler than everyone since 1981.

4 / 16

Julian Casablancas, "I Wish It Was Christmas Today"

What was originally a spoof Christmas song performed on Saturday Night Live became a real, full-blown song thanks to Julian Casablancas' experimental solo phase. And, obviously, it's awesome. 

3 / 16

The Ramones, "Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)"

The Ramones have truly captured the spirit of the holidays in this 1989 Christmas track: the endless joy of fighting with your loved ones.

2 / 16

The Flaming Lips, "Christmas At The Zoo"

Ah, yes—The Flaming Lips' beautiful yuletide tale of the lonely guy on Christmas Eve who wants to free all the animals at the zoo... but then the animals tell him they're all good and they'd rather stay caged.

1 / 16

Kurtis Blow, "Christmas Rappin'"

Kurtis Blow's "Christmas Rappin'" was the first rap song to be released on a major label in 1979. Since then, about 100 million other rappers have sampled the song, so in a way, Christmas is always with us!

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