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Anti-Christmas Song

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"It's always seemed to me, after all, that Christmas, with its spirit of giving, offers us all a wonderful opportunity each year to reflect upon what we all most sincerely and deeply believe in. I refer, of course, to money."
Tom Lehrer, in the introduction to "A Christmas Carol", on An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer

What the Anti-Love Song is to Silly Love Songs, the Anti-Christmas Song is to Christmas Songs — a vehicle for parodying, satirizing or subverting the tropes and messages of conventional holiday tunes. This may involve mockery of the holiday's religious elements, criticism of its Merchandise-Driven commercialization, depiction of the social alienation or family dysfunction that is frequently cloaked (or exacerbated) by the seasonal ideal of love and goodwill, or imagery of horror and violence in contrast to the usually peaceful tone of the holiday season.

This is the song form of Crappy Holidays, in short. Bad Santa or Twisted Christmas might be invoked. Sometimes there's overlap with Protest Song if the Anti-Christmas Song is serious and political enough.

A number of Video Games have extra features which activate at Christmas (see Holiday Mode) and depending on the type of game and how it was designed, the music can become an Anti-Christmas Song if the game is not of the type one would normally associate with Christmas sentiment.

As you might well imagine, real-life versions of The Grinch tend to love these.


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    Films — Live-Action 
  • "Christmas in Heaven", from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, depicts the afterlife as a tacky Las Vegas-style resort where Christmas is every day and comes complete with a hilariously OTT floor show production.
  • A deleted Penguin line from Batman Returns had the villain singing as he counted down the final seconds before his penguin army attempted to blow up Gotham Plaza: "Silent night / Violent night / All is shrill / All is blight."
  • The 1951 Bob Hope movie The Lemon Drop Kid not only introduced the world to the holiday classic "Silver Bells", but also a parody version performed by William Frawley (yep, Fred Mertz himself) as an ill-tempered sidewalk Santa collecting charitable donations:
    Silver bells, silver bells
    Let's put some dough in the kitty
    Chunk it in, chunk it in
    Or Santy will give you a mickey...

  • In Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (IRL inspiration for the 1990s show), the Baltimore PD Homicide Unit have their own version of "Deck the Halls", which, as befitting people who's job it is to investigate a city with 234 murders a year, is extremely dark. The author says that at least this Xmas they didn't decorate the office tree with cardboard angels, their faces supplied by the morgue photos of the year's murder victims.
    Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa-lalalalalalalala,
    Talk to us and if you're willing, fa-lalalalalalalala,
    Tell us who did all this killing, fa-lalalalalalalala,
    Tell us how you want forgiveness, fa-lalalalalalalala,
    You don't know we've got a witness, fa-lalalalalalalalala,
    Talk to us you've nothing to lose, fa-lalalalalalalalala,
    Why is there blood on your gym shoes? fa-lalalalalalalalala,
    Want to make a good impression? fa-lalalalalalalalala,
    Make yourself a fast confession! fa-lalalalalalalalala!

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bunk'd: In "Summer Winter Wonderland", Destiny gives a rather humorous one when asked to do a number with Ava in the Christmas in July talent show.
    Dashing through the snow in a stupid freezing sleigh
    I'd rather be inside, 'cause I hate Christmas day
    I don't wanna wrap or help you decorate,
    No fun it is to force a smile, 'cause Christmas ain't so great
    Oh, jingle bells, cider smells
    Ava made me sing
    I hate cheer this time of year
    And I can't stand caroling
  • An exceptionally gruesome one from Scrubs, about the experience of being on-call in the emergency room on Christmas eve:
    On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
    Twelve beaten children,
    Eleven drive-by shootings,
    Ten frozen homeless,
    Nine amputations,
    Eight burn victims,
    Seven strangled shoppers,
    Six random knifings,
    Five suicides,
    Four beaten wives,
    Three ODs,
    Two shattered skulls,
    And a drunk who drove into a tree.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
  • Horrible Histories' Christmas special included a version of "Silent Night" describing Christmas in medieval times, with drunken peasants getting into fights, as well as one of "Good King Wenceslas" which debunks the carol's claims about said "king" (actually a duke).
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has Frank hallucinating himself in a parody of the Rankin Bass Christmas specials where an elf sings an upbeat tune about how he should change his ways... or else the other four will eventually snap and horrifically beat and maim him to death.
  • Community: In "Regional Holiday Music", Abed convinces his Jehova's Witness pal Troy, through old-school rap, that he can join the glee club as a means of subverting and taking down the holiday from within.
  • On Saturday Night Live, Paul Simon and Steve Martin did something similar to Simon & Garfunkel's classic "Seven O'Clock News/Silent Night", with Simon singing "Silver Bells" as Martin gives a depraved monologue about the increasingly dysfunctional and appalling meaning Christmas has for him.
    • A 1990 SNL skit had a mock commercial for a Dysfunctional Family Christmas album, replete with such ditties as "Let's Pretend We Like Each Other This Christmas", "Ballad of the Co-Dependent", and "Can't You Let It Drop? It's Christmas!"
      Daddy's nose is red and runny
      Daddy's voice is rough and funny
      And the only words I can understand
      Are "God" and "damn" and "Christmas".
    • An animated "TV Funhouse" skit from 2005 features Darlene Love singing a catchy little ditty called "Christmastime for the Jews".
    • A 2019 skit featured a take on "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", where we find out that daddy did see. And he approved.
  • Subverted by "Luk drømmene ind" from Christmas on Vesterbro. The beginning of the song, which is all you'd hear during the credits, sounds exactly like this, taking every old Danish Christmas tradition and singing about how they suck. The chorus says exactly what's awesome about christmas, ending in the line "shut the fuck up, open your heart and let in the dreams"
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has "California Christmastime":
    California Christmastime
    Is just a golden state of mind.
    Chet’s nuts roasting in the bright sunlight—
    Put on some pants, Chet!

  • Older Than Steam: The "Coventry Carol", written circa the 16th century, features a mother gently singing her baby to sleep... shortly before he becomes one of the many children slaughtered in Herod's attempt to kill the newborn king. Not anti-Christmas, just a bit of Values Dissonance, since most people nowadays don't bring up the darker parts of the Nativity story on this cheeriest day of the year.
    • Similarly, there are carols which talk about how the baby Messiah will grow up to be crucified, the most visible example being the "myrrh" verse of "We Three Kings", which some bowdlerised versions cut.
  • Erich Kästner (best known as a children's author) wrote "Weihnachtslied, chemisch gereinigt" ("Christmas song, chemically cleaned") in 1927, discussing the gap between poor and rich to the tune of a song ("Morgen, Kinder, wird's was geben") that eagerly anticipates presents to be brought by Santa Claus. The first verse goes like this:
    Morgen, Kinder, wird's nichts geben!
    Nur wer hat, kriegt noch geschenkt.
    Mutter schenkte euch das Leben.
    Das genügt, wenn man's bedenkt.
    Einmal kommt auch eure Zeit.
    Morgen ist's noch nicht soweit.

    (Tomorrow, kids, there will be nothing!
    Only those who already have shall receive.
    Mother gave to you your life,
    and that's enough, if you think about it.
    Someday, your time will come too.
    But tomorrow shall not be the day just yet.)
  • The Hives and Cyndi Lauper recorded "A Christmas Duel" in 2008— a song of a very dysfunctional couple and the awful things they did to each other leading up to Christmas, including his cheating on her with her sister, and she cheating on him with his brother... and his mother.
  • "White Christmas" (1942), composed by Irving Berlin and immortalized by Bing Crosby, started out as one of these; the original lyrics were about a record producer in Hollywood pining for the snows of New York.
  • "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (1944) started out as one of these.
    • The song was originally written for the climax of the film Meet Me in St. Louis, where Judy Garland's character tries to comfort her little sister over the fact that this will be the family's last Christmas at home before moving to New York. Lyrics included lines like "Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it may be your last,/Next year we may all be living in the past" or "Faithful friends who were dear to us, will be near to us no more." Judy Garland absolutely refused to perform the song until the lyrics were changed to something that wouldn't make her seem like a total monster. The film was released in 1944, during World War II, when everyone in the audience knew men serving overseas, and knew that it was likely that this merry little Christmas would be the last for some of them. Even the toned-down version thus had an emotional resonance that we today cannot fully appreciate.
    • Even in revised form, the song still contained the line, "Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow", so Frank Sinatra later had the lyrics modified even further (to the now-familiar "Hang a shining star upon the highest bough") for his 1957 recording.
    • Bob Dylan's cover of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" on an album of Christmas covers which was otherwise played straight. Christmas in the Heart, retained that particular lyric.
  • Spike Jones did multiple odd and humorous Christmas songs, including the now very-well-known "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" (1948) and the much-lesser-known "The Angel in the Christmas Play" (which is about a juvenile delinquent cheerfully recounting all the naughty things he's done in between announcing his role in the school pageant).
    • He also made a private parody recording of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" called "I Saw Mommy Screwing Santa Claus", which has unfortunately never seen the light of day.
  • "Blue Christmas" (1948), first popularized by Ernest Tubb and Covered Up a decade later by Elvis Presley, is all about how miserable the holiday is going to be for the narrator without his loved one.
  • "How I Hate to See Christmas Come Around" (1949) by Jimmy Witherspoon, a blues number in which the singer laments his lack of money for the holidays.
  • Yogi Yorgesson's Swedish-accented novelty hit "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas" (1949). The sung verse is about the frustration of spending money to buy presents. The narration in the middle describes waking up on Christmas morning with a hangover, then hosting relatives, leading up to a serially escalating quarrel-dispute-fight between the singer's side of the extended family and his wife's side. The middle gives us this gem that can't be unheard:
    "Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men."
    Yust at that moment, someone slugs Uncle Ben.
  • "Santa Baby" (1953), first popularized by Eartha Kitt and later Covered Up by Madonna, has its sultry Gold Digger narrator asking Santa for a long list of expensive goodies.
  • "I Got a Cold for Christmas" (1954), originally by the Ames Brothers and later recorded by The Three Stooges during their television age popularity:
    All the other girls and boys
    Ran downstairs to get their toys
    But all I did was sneeze and sniff
    And use my Christmas handkerchief
  • "Nuttin' for Christmas" (1955) is sung by another bratty kid, who's not especially sorry about his wicked deeds ("Somebody snitched on me!") but says he'll try to do better next year and ends with the standard Aesop warning the listener to be good. Stan Freberg's (funnier) version has the kid be totally unrepentnant and let a burglar disguised as Santa in to rob the family house as long as he gets a cut.
    • Robert Lund's "Nuttin' But Spam" (2003), in turn, is a takeoff on "Nuttin' for Christmas".
  • "Why Don't You Go Home for Christmas?" (1958) finds Jim Backus (doing his Mr. Magoo voice) imploring his wife to go home to her parents for the holidays, "so I can have a happy New Year".
  • Augie Rios' "Ol' Fatso" (1958) is from the POV of a little boy who flat-out refuses to believe in Santa, telling him to "get those reindeer off the roof" and even refusing to accept the presents he brings ("I ain't taking no bribes").
  • Stan Freberg's "Green Chri$tma$" (1958) has a "jingles all the way" medley of Christmas carols rewritten to sell products:
    "Deck the halls with advertising..."
    "We wish you a merry Christmas, AND PLEASE BUY OUR BEER!"
  • Tom Lehrer's very grinch-y "A Christmas Carol", from An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer (1959):
    On Christmas Day you can't get sore
    Your fellow man you must adore
    There's time to rob him all the more
    The other three hundred and sixty-four.
    • It reaches the peak of brilliance when it starts deconstructing actual Christmas carols.
      Hark, the Herald Tribune sings
      Advertising wondrous things

      God rest ye merry, merchants
      May you make the Yuletide pay

      Angels we have heard on high
      Tell us to go out and buy
    • And for good measure:
      Let the raucous sleigh bells jingle
      Hail our dear old friend, Kris Kringle
      Driving his reindeer across the sky
      Don't stand underneath when they fly by!
  • "Five Pound Box of Money" (1959), by Pearl Bailey, does "Santa Baby" one better by having its narrator tell Santa to skip the presents entirely and just bring her the eponymous cash instead.
  • Miles Davis' "Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)" (1962) finds guest vocalist Bob Dorough (of later Schoolhouse Rock! fame) bitterly denouncing "all the waste, all the sham, all the haste and plain old bad taste" of the season.
  • "Merry Christmas, You Suckers" (1962) by Paddy Roberts.
    Merry Christmas, you suckers, you miserable men
    That old festive season is with you again
    You'll be spending your money on carloads of junk
    And from here to New Year you'll be drunk as a skunk
    • It continues in this mildly satirical vein up through the final verse, which wraps things up on a Darker and Edgier note:
      But stick to it, suckers, go swallow a pill
      For this is the season of peace and goodwill
      While we patiently wait for that nuclear blast
      Merry Christmas, you suckers, it may be your last
  • "Christmas Ain't Like Christmas Anymore" (1962), by Kitty Wells, is a classic country weeper about someone who can't bear the holiday after a breakup.
  • Allan Sherman's "The Twelve Gifts of Christmas" (1963) replaces the traditional calling birds, turtledoves, etc. with various schlocky items, including, among other things, a pair of teakwood shower clogs, an indoor plastic birdbath, and a Japanese transistor radio. Sherman continuously describes the radio in detail at various points:
    It's a Nakashuma.

    It's the Mark IV model. That's the one that's discontinued.

    And it comes in a leatherette case with holes in it so you can listen right through the case.

    And it has a wire with a thing on one end that you can stick in your ear and a thing on the other end that you can't stick anywhere because it's bent.
    • On the twelfth day, instead of getting a new gift, he decides to exchange all the items he received the other eleven days.
  • "Pretty Paper", written by Willie Nelson and popularized by Roy Orbison (1963), should be mentioned here, as it's about someone (a sidewalk vendor hawking wrapping paper and pencils to the holiday shoppers rushing past him) who's clearly not having a good time amid the celebration.
  • "Standing in the Rain" (1965) by Sydney ("Lord of the Dance") Carter:
    No use knocking on the window,
    Some are lucky, some are not, sir.
    We are Christian men and women,
    But we're keeping what we've got, sir.
    No we haven't got a manger,
    No we haven't got a stable.
    We are Christian men and women,
    Always willing, never able.
  • Loretta Lynn's "To Heck with Ole Santa Claus" (1966). Also a good example of Curse Cut Short, with "I'd like to hit him in his ho ho ho."
  • "7 O'Clock News/Silent Night" (1966) by Simon & Garfunkel starts fairly straight, as a lovely rendition of the traditional song with the duo's trademark harmonies, but in the middle a CBS newsreader starts giving bulletins about downbeat news stories such as the Vietnam War, which eventually dominates.
  • Gordon Lightfoot:
    • "Song for Winter's Night" (1967) isn't a Christmas song per se, but artists like Blue Rodeo and Sarah McLachlan have still covered it on Christmas albums, even though the song is about pining for a distant loved one on a dark and cold winter night, and has no festive aspects whatsoever (save for the Snowy Sleigh Bells that punctuate Lightfoot's original recording).
    • "Circle of Steel" (1974) depicts a poor welfare mother whose husband or boyfriend is in prison, and who spends her Christmas sitting alone in a rat-infested tenement, drinking gin and waiting for the authorities to take custody of her newborn child.
  • Bobby Goldsboro's "Look Around You (It's Christmas Time)" (1968) takes a rather jaundiced view of the holiday:
    Christmas trees made out of plastic
    Standing bare in every door
    We will deck the halls with holly
    If we make it off the floor

    Father's celebrating Christmas
    With a bottle full of rum
    While his children wait for presents
    That they know will never come
  • Jethro Tull:
    • "A Christmas Song" (1968) is a bitter rant about how people use the season as an excuse to get merry, whilst forgetting its true meaning.
    • "Ring Out, Solstice Bells" (1976) reminds us that the merrymaking long predates Christianity anyhow.
    • "Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow" (2003) reminds the listener that not everyone has a warm place to stay or loved ones to keep them company during the holidays.
  • "Whatever Happened to Christmas?" (1968), first recorded by Frank Sinatra and later covered by Aimee Mann, is technically not an Anti Christmas Song so much as a lament for the death of the singer's own Christmas spirit. In any case, one of the most depressing Yuletide-themed tunes you'll ever hear.
  • German singer-songwriter Reinhard Mey has one of these: "Abscheuliches Lied für abscheuliche Leute" (abhorrent song for abhorrent people), released in 1968, deals specifically with the fact that a large part of Christmas sales is made with toy military equipment, ending in these beautiful lines:
    Im Warenhaus fiel drauf ein Schuss
    Da ward unschuldig Blut vergossen
    Da ward laut Aufsichtsrats-Beschluss
    Der Weihnachtsmann erschossen

    (A shot was heard in the shopping mall
    Innocent blood was shed
    According to a resolution by the board
    Santa Claus was shot)
  • The Who's "Christmas", from Tommy (1969), is narrated by Tommy's father, who is seemingly unable to enjoy the holiday due to worrying about the implications that his son's infirmities might hold for his eternal salvation.
    And Tommy doesn't know what day it is
    He doesn't know who Jesus was or what praying is
    How can he be saved
    From the eternal grave?
  • Laura Nyro's "Christmas in My Soul" (1970) is a Protest Song in which the singer juxtaposes holiday imagery with lamentations about war, political injustice, racism, etc., while urging the "young children" to "come to the book of love" and "look for a better day".
  • The Everly Brothers' "Christmas Eve Can Kill You" (1971), a very strong candidate for The Most Depressing Christmas Song Ever, about a lonely and miserable hitchhiker on Christmas Eve.
    The icy air I'm breathing's all that keeps me on my feet
    I feel like I've been walking all my life
    A car goes humming by, the man don't even turn his head
    Guess he's busy being Santa Claus tonight

    The saddest part of all is knowing if I switched with him
    I'd leave him stumbling ragged by the road
    I'd ride that highway to the arms of my sweet family
    And forget about the stranger in the cold
  • Joni Mitchell's "River", from her album Blue (1971), is a classic Tear Jerker version of this: it's Christmas and everyone's happy except the singer, who had an awful breakup and just wants it all to go away.
  • "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, from 1971, plays with this a bit; it's not strictly speaking Anti Christmas since the singer is wishing the listener a sincere Merry Christmas — however, the song is also nevertheless taking pains to remind them that the world is far from perfect, there's still a lot of war, misery and fear out there, and that the new year is an opportunity to make things better for next Christmas (("let's stop all the fight"). This song is a subject of Isn't It Ironic? in some non-English speaking countries, as it's played during Christmas season in shopping centers, unknowing that the song is rather depressing, and the Lyrical Dissonance doesn't help.
  • "Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas?" by The Staple Singers (1971) is a Protest Song that laments that "People all over the world forgot about Mary", and disapproves of things like Santa and Christmas parties, along with "fighting wars" and "trying to make it to Mars."
  • "The Twelve Drugs of Christmas" by the Mushroom Tabernacle Choir (1972).
  • Listen to Dr. Demento. He can fill four episodes in a row with these songs.
  • "Second Tuesday in December" (1972) by Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan doesn't mention Christmas at all, but the date of the song's Title Drop makes the holiday loom in the background as a subtext for a song about the Awful Wedded Life of a couple a few years into their marriage, with the husband abandoning his wife on a cold, dreary day.
  • Long before he performed Christmas songs with The Muppets, John Denver had a tender country ballad called "Please, Daddy, Don't Get Drunk This Christmas" (1973), later covered by Alan Jackson.
  • Merle Haggard's "If We Make It Through December" (1973) has a laid-off factory worker explaining to his daughter that "Daddy can't afford no Christmas here".
  • "Advent", a 1973 satirical poem by Loriot, tells the grisly tale of a forest warden being murdered and dismembered by his wife on Saint Nicholas Day. She then wraps up his body parts as Christmas presents and gives them to St. Nick himself as donations for the poor.
  • John Prine's "Christmas in Prison" (1973) has its narrator spending the holiday pining for his sweetheart while incarcerated in the titular locale.
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas" (1974) is a bitter, cynical tune about finding that the pomp and myth of Christmas never lives up to the promise. It shifts back to a (somewhat) hopeful note at the end, though. Something of a Broken Aesop because it's now as much of a Christmas standard in British shopping malls as Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody". The video has its own variation on the idea, as it's mostly innocuous shots of Lake singing the song in the Sinai desert, but then it suddenly and jarringly shifts to stock footage of war scenes in the final instrumental bridge, but retains the hopeful note of the song by ending with a soldier reuniting with his young son.
    I wish you a hopeful Christmas
    I wish you a brave New Year
    All anguish, pain and sadness
    Leave your heart and let your road be clear
    They said "There'll be snow at Christmas"
    They said "There'll be peace on Earth"
    Hallelujah, Noel! Be it Heaven or Hell
    The Christmas we get, we deserve
  • Sparks's "Thank God It's Not Christmas" from Kimono My House (1974) is both this and an Anti-Love Song: It's about a man who dreads Christmas because everything in town closes for the holidays, leaving him with no choice but to spend all day with his wife.
  • The Kinks' "Father Christmas" (1977) is about a gang of bitter poor children who mug a guy playing Santa, demanding not toys but money ("Give all the toys to the little rich boys").
    But give my daddy a job cause he needs one
    He's got lots of mouths to feed
    So I can scare all the kids on the street

  • There's P.D.Q. Bach's "Throw the Yule Log On, Uncle John" (1977), which is more satirical than anything, and involves an infamously drunk relative who always manages to ruin Christmas dinner.
  • Cold Chisel's "Home and Broken-Hearted" (1978) has its narrator racing to get home for Christmas Eve, only to find a "Dear John" Letter and spend the rest of the holidays in a miserable funk.
    I caught a taxi homeward with great anticipation
    Thinkin' all you have to do is try
    There was a note propped up against the dressing table mirror
    Dear Jimmy, it's over, goodbye
  • "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" (1978) from Blue Valentine by Tom Waits.
  • Stan Rogers:
    • "First Christmas" (1979) depicts the holiday from the perspective of three different people, each of whom is spending his "first Christmas away from home": a college student working through his winter break, a teenager who's run away from her abusive father, and an old man in a nursing home. Not an anti-Christmas song, per se, but a damned depressing one anyhow.
      She's standing by the train station, panhandling for change
      Four more dollars buys a decent meal and a room
      Looks like the Sally Ann place after all
      In a crowded sleeping hall that echoes like a tomb
      But it's warm and clean and free and there are worse places to be
      And at least it means no beating from her Dad...
    • More humorously, there's his "At Last I'm Ready for Christmas" (1982), about the last minute rush. "At last I'm ready for Christmas / and only two hours to go."
  • "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" (1979) by Elmo and Patsy originally was intended as this, but nowadays it is increasingly accepted as a standard, if humorous, Christmas song. It even has spawned an animated Christmas special. It was then adapted into "Grandpa Got Run Over By A Beer Truck" by Da Yoopers.
    • The sequel, "Grandpa is gonna sue the pants off the Santa", is the aftermath involving a court case.
    • "Don't make me play that reindeer song again" is inspired by the story of a radio DJ who got fired by playing the song five times in a row.
  • Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne" (1980) has the singer running into an old girlfriend at the grocery store on Christmas Eve. They share a few beers in her car while going over old times, and it becomes clear that both of them have regrets about the way things have turned out (she's married to a man she doesn't really love; he's experiencing the lonely life of a traveling musician), and then it's time for them to say their goodbyes:
    The beer was empty and our tongues were tired
    And running out of things to say
    She gave a kiss to me as I got out
    And I watched her drive away
    Just for a moment I was back at school
    And felt that old familiar pain
    And as I turned to make my way back home
    The snow turned into rain
  • The Yobs Christmas Album (1980) is an entire album of these by British punk band The Boys.
  • "Christmas Wrapping" (1981) by The Waitresses, though the humbug attitude turns around a little by the end. The singer does say "Bah, humbug" is too strong because Christmas is her favorite holiday. She's just wiped out from the year and wants a quiet Christmas by herself.
    • A cover version by '90s ska-punk band Save Ferris changes the lyrics to reflect the perspective of a Jewish person in L.A. during the holidays.
  • "Things Fall Apart" by Cristina is a dark New Wave song about the empty ceremony of Christmas in the face of the cruelty of reality.
  • The last song on Fear's The Record (1982) is titled "Fuck Christmas", with good reason.
  • "A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Pittsburgh)" (1982) by Bruce Springsteen describes a young woman sitting by a lighted Christmas tree thinking about her husband, who was killed in The Vietnam War, and their little girl, who "she's gonna have to tell about the meanness in this world."
  • Peter Schilling did a really depressing version of "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht" in 1983.
  • Randy Newman's "Christmas in Cape Town" (1983) is sung from the viewpoint of a bitter Afrikaner racist in South Africa during The Apartheid Era.
  • Band-Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" (1984) is frighteningly depressing. Note that the song was written for a fundraiser to buy food for the people in that 'world of dread and fear' (A section of Africa suffering severe drought) that Christmas. The real tragedy lies in the fact that they forgot to organize a distribution network in Africa to deliver the food, so most of it ended up spoiling on the docks. In a 2010 interview, singer and co-writer Bob Geldof would describe this as one of "the two worst songs in history".
    There's a world outside your window
    And it's a world of dread and fear
    Where the only water flowing
    Is the bitter sting of tears
    And the Christmas bells that ring
    There are the clanging chimes of doom
    Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you
    And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time
    The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
    Where nothing ever grows
    No rain or winter snow
    Do they know it's Christmas time at all?
    • There's also an updated 2014 version about the Ebola virus.
  • Spinal Tap's "Christmas with the Devil" (1984) is quite the charming ditty:
    The elves are dressed in leather
    And the angels are in chains
    (Christmas with the Devil)
    The sugar plums are rancid
    And the stockings are in flames
    (Christmas with the Devil)
    There's a demon in my belly
    And a gremlin in my brain
    There's someone up the chimney hole
    And Satan is his name
  • Prince's "Another Lonely Christmas" (1984), about a lover who died on Christmas Day. Extra depressing because the death is kind of a Wham Line - up until halfway through the second verse, it sounds more like the subject of the song just left him and moved away.
  • The Dogmatics' "X-Mas Time (It Sure Don't Feel Like It)" (1984), a song about being broke (and most likely homeless note ) with nowhere to go on Christmas.
  • Brazilian punk band Garotos Podres has the song "Papai Noel Filho da Puta" ("Santa Claus, Son of a Bitch") (1985), in which they plan to kidnap and murder Santa as punishment for not giving gifts to the poor.
  • King Diamond's "No Presents for Christmas" (1985). Christmas needs to be saved, and no-one cares.
  • Dutch comedian Youp van 't Hek had a song called "Flappie" (1985), about a young boy who loses his pet rabbit, but eventually finds it back at the Christmas dinner table.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic has a couple of these.
  • Culturcide's "Depressed Christmas" (1986) is essentially a suicide note recited over a static-filled, elevator music version of "White Christmas." Bonus points for the singer's monotone, mumbling voice and the eerie way the lyrics just...trail off towards the end.
    I'm having a depressed Christmas
    Just like the one I had last year
    snow glistens
    As I sit and listen
    To the last Christmas song I'll ever hear
  • Fishbone's "Just Call Me Scrooge" (1986) packs in the character of the misery Scrooge who never gives anything for Christmas.
  • Sherwin Linton's "Santa Got a DWI" (1986) showcases Santa getting arrested by the State Patrol for refusing to take their breath alcohol test when he was "weaving around in the sky".
  • Woofing Cookies' "Santa Ain't Santa" (1986) has a kid waking up for Christmas to find out that his parents had been hacked to death and all the stuff had been stolen.
  • Da Yoopers' "Rusty Chevrolet" (1987) (a spoof of "Jingle Bells"). They followed with several on One Can Short of a Six-Pack in 1994, and an entire Christmas album titled Naked Elves in Cowboy Boots (2000). The latter included "I Want a Rinky Dinky Doo Dad for Christmas", about a kid wanting a Cool Toy.
  • The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" (1987) sort of combines this with The Masochism Tango: He's a bum and an alcoholic, she's a heroin addict, and he ends the song declaring he can't survive without her. "I pray God it's our last", indeed. In Real Life, lot of people are miserable around Christmastime; the song throws a bone their way, so it probably comforts some people to know they aren't alone in their misery.
    • Subverted in that, beneath all the fighting and misery, they still love each other and hope for a better life together. It's not a happy Christmas song—but it's all the more sincere because of it.
  • Wall of Voodoo's "Shouldn't Have Given Him a Gun for Christmas" (1987). The narrator's father receives the present mentioned in the title, gets into a drunken argument with "Uncle Jack", and quickly goes Ax-Crazy:
    He put two slugs in the neighbor’s door
    And kicked apart the manger scene
    The plastic Baby Jesus he blew to smithereens
    I can’t think of all the nine year olds who won’t be seein’ ten
    Or how he went-a caroling to the doors of now-dead men!
  • They Might Be Giants':
    • "Santa's Beard" from Lincoln is basically "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"... from Daddy's (unamused) perspective.
      I saw my baby wearing Santa's beard
      She kissed him once and whispered in his ear
      I saw my baby wearing Santa's beard
      I wish he would go
      He's breaking up my home
    • There's also the never-released 1987 demo "We Just Go Nuts at Christmastime" (not to be confused with the aforementioned "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas"), all about trying (and failing) to avoid arguing with relatives.
      We just go nuts at Christmastime
      That's when everything falls apart
      We just go nuts at Christmastime
      And it's another year before we're together again
    • There's also "Careless Santa" (1995) by Mono Puff, John Flansburgh's side project, concerning a bank robbery gone awry because of an idiot partner dressed as Santa.
    • Finally, there's "Feast of Lights" (1999), which could easily be called "We Just Go Nuts at Hanukkah".
  • Bob Rivers and his comedy group are arguably the masters of Christmas parody songs with their series of at least five Twisted Christmas albums from 1988 on, including such memorable titles as "The 12 Pains of Christmas", "Wreck the Malls", "The Chimney Song", "The 'What's It to Ya' Chorus", "Hey! You! Get Off of My House", and "Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire".
    • Just to take one example, "The 12 Pains of Christmas" has various people listing off all the painful and tedious things that have to be done during the holiday season such as finding a Christmas tree, rigging up the lights, facing their in-laws, etc.
  • The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society created a songbook in 1988 and recorded the albums A Very Scary Solstice and An Even Scarier Solstice, which contain Cthulhu Mythos-themed Christmas songs, including such classics as "I Saw Mommy Kissing Yog-Sothoth", "Awake Ye Scary Great Old Ones", "Have Yourself a Scary Little Solstice", and "The Carol of the Old Ones".
  • Rhino Records released a 1989 compilation called Bummed Out Christmas, featuring many of these songs. Recurring themes on the album are spending Christmas behind bars and Santa as an alcoholic.
  • Randy Stonehill has "Christmas at Denny's" (1989): "Then Lisa got killed by a car near the schoolyard, And my wife started drinking just to get through each day...Merry Christmas. It's Christmas at Denny's tonight." Oy.
  • "White Christmas Makes Me Blue" by Randy Travis (1989). One of the saddest "missing you at Christmas" songs in existence, especially if the lyrics are interpreted to mean that the person being missed has died. Witness:
    I'm trying to be happy, I know you'd want me to
    Being sad at Christmas time ain't right
    I'm keeping our traditions, wishing you were here
    On Christmas Eve I still sing Silent Night
  • The Ramones' "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)" (1989).
  • Heywood Banks's "You Ain't Gettin' Diddly Squat" (1989).
  • Humorist folk group The Fourmen (which humorist folk singer Roy Zimmerman used to belong to) had a song called "Buy War Toys for Christmas" (1990) which is about the dark irony of all the children wanting militaristic toys for Christmas
    Little Johnny Johnson wants an M-16
    Sister Susie wants an Uzi and a submachine
    Kids are making wishes and wartime strategies
    Singing, "Happy, happy birthday to the Prince of Peace"
  • AC/DC's "Mistress for Christmas" (1990). ("I want the woman in red at the bottom of my bed!")
  • Eric Bogle's "Santa Bloody Claus" (1990) (lyrics in pdf form here). The accusation is a bit unfair beyond the second chorus though.
  • "It's So Chic to Be Pregnant at Christmas" (1990) by Nancy White.
  • De La Soul's "Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa" (1991): the titular Millie is molested by her father, who happens to work as a department store Santa Claus. She proceeds to get a gun and shoot him, to the bemusement of onlookers.
  • Jackson Browne's "The Rebel Jesus" (1991):
    Perhaps we give a little to the poor
    If the generosity should seize us
    But if any one of us should interfere
    In the business of why they are poor
    They get the same as the rebel Jesus
  • "The St. Stephen's Day Murders" (1991), by the Chieftains with vocals and lyrical input from Elvis Costello. How do they handle the Christmas swarm of annoying relatives? Poison their food!
    Ah, it's nice for the kids
    As you finally get rid of them,
    In the St Stephen's Day Murders.
  • Denis Leary gave us "Merry Fucking Christmas" (1992), named after the comedy special of the same name. It's a sarcastic ballad about how wonderful Christmas is despite how bleak and dreary society around it is. It ends with Denis himself punching out Santa.
    Old Saint Nick's got bourbon breath
    It's so cold, you could catch your death
    A cop sold me some crystal meth, it's a Merry Fucking Christmas
    Everything's so Christmassy
    The streets are twinkling with frozen pee
    My priest just sat on Santa's knee, it's a Merry Fucking Christmas
  • Porn Orchard's "This Holiday Season" (1992), which is an anti-Christmas song In the Style of Tom Waits collaborating with Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, and accordingly often gets misattributed as exactly that.
  • Eazy-E's "Merry Muthafuckin' Xmas" (1992) contains a story (Christmas In Compton) about a Christmas-day drive-by shooting (with Eazy E, dressed up as Santa Claus, screaming "MERRY CHRISTMAS, MOTHERFUCKERS!")...and it devolves into a menagerie of profanity, drug use, violence, and explicit sexual acts, some to the tune of Christmas classics such as "Jingle Bells", "Deck the Halls", "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". Here's the song, and here are the lyrics.
  • Ren Hoek sings a song with the title "I Hate Christmas" on the Ren & Stimpy Christmas album (1993).
  • "Suddenly It's Christmas" (1993), by Loudon Wainwright III, is a well-aimed Take That! to the modern retail-led push to rush into the Christmas season immediately after Halloween.
    There's got to be a build-up
    To the day that Christ was born
    The halls are decked with pumpkins
    And the ears of Indian corn
    Dragging through the falling leaves
    In a one-horse open sleigh
    Suddenly it's Christmas
    Seven weeks before the day
    • Then there's his "I'll Be Killing You This Christmas" (2014), sung from the perspective of an unhinged Gun Nut.
      I'll be shooting folks this Christmas
      But there's no need to be worried or alarmed
      What's wrong with a hand gun
      When everybody has one
      Which is why we all need to be armed
  • Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas (1994) is a whole album of these, credited to the Cryptkeeper of Tales from the Crypt fame.
  • "Spirits Past" (1994) by Gil Scott-Heron.
    It makes me sad that my kids won't see
    Christmas the way it used to be
    I was so excited though we didn't have a dime
    But that seems like such a long time ago
    And I am still a child I know
    But it seems like we've lost much more than the time
  • "Merry Christmas from the Family" (1994) by Robert Earl Keen (Covered Up by Montgomery Gentry) is a humorous look at events during a dysfunctional redneck family's Christmas.
  • The original version of OutKast's "Player's Ball" (1994) has the titular gathering of pimps taking place on Christmas Day.
    Ain't no chimneys in the ghetto so I won't be hangin' my socks...
  • "Christmas is for Mugs" (1994), by Graham Parker.
    Everybody's talkin' about the kisses and the hugs
    And all the little heartstrings that the festive season tugs
    But all I see are lager louts, shoplifters and thugs
    So fill mine up, 'cause Christmas is for mugs
  • Adam Sandler's "Chanukkah Song" (1994) and its sequels, which spawned a full-length animated motion picture, Eight Crazy Nights.
  • Jeff Foxworthy's "Redneck 12 Days of Christmas" (1995).
  • Sarah Silverman's "Give the Jew Girl Toys" (1995).
  • Oi To The World! (1996) by obscure punk band The Vandals is a full 12-track album of these, including such ditties as "A Gun for Christmas" and "Hang Myself from the Tree". The title song, on the other hand (later covered by No Doubt) is about a punk and a skinhead who manage to put aside their differences (read: "violent feud") 'cause it's Christmas.
  • Kevin Bloody Wilson's "Hey Santa!" (1996):
    Hey Santa! (Hey Santa!)
    Where's me fucking bike?
    I've unwrapped all this other junk
    And there's nothin' that I like.
    I wrote you a fucking letter,
    I came to see you twice,
    You worn out geriatric fart!
    You forgot me fucking bike!
    • Just to hammer it home, that's the clean version. The opening line of the uncensored version is the uncompromising "Hey Santa Claus you C**t".
    • Wilson's anti-Christmas spirit shines through again with "Ho Ho Fucking Ho" (2003), proving no one hates Christmas as much as Santa's helpers:
      Ho ho fucking ho
      What a crock of shit
      We all work for Santa Claus
      We've had enough, we quit
      'Cos we do all the fucking work
      While he stars in the show
      Stick your Christmas up your arse
      Ho ho fucking ho!
  • Type O Negative's "Red Water (Christmas Mourning)", which may just be the single most depressing Christmas song ever. It's a Grief Song, as the name suggests, and has keyboardist Josh Silver playing interpolations of Christmas carols "Carol of the Bells" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen".
  • Flying Tart Records' 1996 compilation Christmas in Heaven features a surprising number of these. Steve Hindalong and Chris Colbert mock the holiday's excessive consumption in "Tis the Season of Excess". ("Daddy doesn't need to have another piece of pie.") Backwoods' song "Christmas Wishes" wonders what the point of the holiday is and can't find any—it ends with the repeated line "Christmas means nothing to me!" And other bands do cover versions of aforementioned anti-Christmas songs: The Huntingtons cover the Ramones' "Merry Christmas, I Don't Wanna Fight", Love Bucket & Slapphappy Super-Fly cover Miles Davis' "Blue Xmas (to Whom It May Concern)", and The Echoing Green cover Band-Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas". (And The Echoing Green's version is an upbeat techno song, for maximum Lyrical Dissonance.)
  • The Arrogant Worms' Christmas Turkey (1997) is an entire album of comedic Anti Christmas Songs, including such gems as "Christmas Sucks" and "Dad Threw Up on Christmas Day".
  • Guniw Tools's "Fat December" (1997)
  • The Insane Clown Posse have two: "Santa's a Fat Bitch" (1997) and "Red Christmas" (1994) (in the latter, one rapper is killed by Santa while attempting a home invasion and the other is killed by a snowman who wants them to die together in separate verses).
  • South Park's 1997 Christmas special features "Christmastime in Hell" and "A Lonely Jew (On Christmas)"; in 1999, "Merry Fucking Christmas" (a rant that says that anyone who doesn't celebrate it is an infidel...); one song that was only in the album was entitled "The Most Offensive Song Ever", and it's basically just Kenny and Mr. Hankey singing about the Virgin Mary giving blowjobs and how it apparently doesn't undermine her virginity. Yes, really.
  • "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" (1997) by blink-182. It's about a guy who hates Christmas going Ax-Crazy on some carolers, who then gets arrested and Prison Raped by a guy named Bubba.
    • And "Happy Holidays, You Bastard" (2001). And to complete the trinity, "Not Another Christmas Song" (2019).
  • Brian Beathard's country and western-flavored "Damn It, I'm Vixen!" (1997), in which the titular reindeer finally gets fed up with all the press Rudolph's been getting the last few years at the expense of the other members of Santa's team:
    Well, since then he's been acting kinda of snotty
    And what you might call a little stuck up.
    So I think Donner and me, we're gonna drink two or three
    And then go out and shoot us a buck.
  • Most of the content on Ray Stevens Christmas Through a Different Window album (1997), such as "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" and "Xerox Xmas Letter".
  • Robbie Williams' "Walk This Sleigh" (1997) contains some wonderfully dark, cynical lyrics. For bonus points, it was released as the B-side to "Angels", a heartfelt ballad that served as Williams' Breakthrough Hit. If you've ever heard "Angels", imagine the Mood Whiplash of going from that to this:
    Happy birthday, Jesus Christ
    Here's the Spice Girls merchandise
    Got Christmas spirit, without a doubt
    I'll rob Santa while he's out
    And I don't care if lords are leapin'
    I'll take a gat to the back while they're sleeping
    And make sure that they won't be breathing
  • Joe Pesci's "If It Doesn't Snow on Christmas" (1998) takes a cheery old Gene Autry song and adapts it into his characteristically profane style (in character as Vincent LaGuardia Gambini), complete with an ending tirade against the "fuckin' reform-school brats" who "stole all the fuckin' candy canes".
  • "Weihnachtsmann vom Dach" (1998) by Die Toten Hosen...where Santa has hung himself and left a message wishing everybody a merry Christmas.
  • Roy Zimmerman's "Christmas Is Pain" (1998) is a hilariously over-the-top Anti-Christmas Song in the style of Bob Dylan, complete with terrible harmonica solos. The whole PeaceNick album fits the trope to some degree, but "Christmas Is Pain" is tropiest.
  • Rhan Wilson's version of "Deck the Halls" (1998) has a woman singer who's not quite able to sing all the first verse, sings the second verse off key, and barely makes it through the third verse. The bawling baby in the interlude sort of hints towards postpartum depression, but I've always wondered if you removed the baby and had HER lose it during the bridge....
  • Straight No Chaser, an a cappella group, gained a strong internet following (and a record contract) in 1998 after releasing a funny, disjointed version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" where they lose count of the days, wind up singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", "Carol of the Bells" and "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" before singing the final verse to the tune of "Africa" by Toto! They followed it up in 2009 with "Christmas Can-Can", which is nearly an entire song lampshading the Christmas Creep phenomenon, and "Who Spiked the Eggnog?", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Their most recent medley, "Nutcraker", is about a football fan who is forced by his wife to take her to see the The Nutcracker on the day of the big game - sung to the tune of various songs from that traditional ballet.
  • The LAUNCHCast radio station on Yahoo! calls them Scrooge Songs if they're particularly anti-Christmas.
  • Lou and Peter Berryman's "Uncle Dave's Grace" (1999) is an Anti-Thanksgiving Song, in which the titular uncle ("who reads The Progressive, which makes him depressed") is asked to say grace at dinner and uses the occasion to declaim on all the ways in which the holiday is a product of exploitation and ecological devastation.
  • Mitch Benn's "Christmas Single" (1999) is a parody of, well, Christmas singles:
    Now I shift into a minor key,
    As we remember those less fortunate than we.
    At this time of year one thing you must not forget,
    Is why you haven't bought this record yet.
    • "We Pretty Much Broke the Bank for You This Christmas" is about the horrible realization when the bills arrive.
      Someone is coming tonight without fail, if,
      We're lucky it's Santa, if not it's the baliffs.
      We pretty much broke the bank for you,
      (We don't expect a word of thanks from you),
      We pretty much broke the bank for you this Christmas.
    • "Thank God It Isn't Christmas Every Day" (2008) isn't exactly anti-Christmas, but seriously deconstructs Wizzard.
      Would it be fun, no not very.
      Nobody could stay that merry.
      We'd all be dead by February.
      Thank God it isn't Christmas every day.
  • Canadian folk singer James Gordon sings "There Is No Silent Night" (2000). "How can you rest, you merry gentlemen? How can you not be dismayed, by the number of poor souls who are so cold on Christmas Day?" In an interview, he states that he has never before or since had such an immediate and varied response to any of his songs.
  • Weezer's "Christmas Celebration" (2000), which is largely about bemoaning the commercialism of Christmas ("Carolers are singing/ registers ka-ching-ing"). Its A-side "The Christmas Song" is really just a Break-Up Song that happens to take place at Christmas.
  • In "Stanta" (a parody of Eminem's "Stan") by Chris Moyles (2000), the narrator calls out Santa Claus for never leaving him Christmas presents, and threatens to convert to Judaism.
  • Ben Folds's song "Lonely Christmas Eve" (2000) describes Christmas from the point of view of the Grinch. And his "Bizarre Christmas Incident" is about a naked Santa getting stuck in the chimney and suffocating (and the most prominent line in the chorus is "Santa is a big fat fuck", which is probably why it has a Non-Appearing Title).
  • Half Man Half Biscuit's "It's Cliched to Be Cynical at Christmas" (2000) is an Anti--Anti-Christmas Song subversion.
  • Matt Thiessen & The Earthquakes (a side project by the frontman of Relient K) recorded "I Hate Christmas Parties" for Tooth & Nail Records' 2001 compilation Happy Christmas Vol. 3. The singer of the song just went through a messy breakup so he can't stand the merrymaking of everyone around him. "I look under the tree, / but there's nothing to see, / 'cause it's a broken heart that you've given me."
    • Relient K also have a (much more humorous) song called "Santa Claus Is Thumbing to Town", in which the toy shop is burning, the sleigh has broken down, and Santa resorts to hitch hiking to deliver they toys, and it's implied he doesn't get the job done.
  • Cledus T. Judd recorded several on his album Cledus Navidad (2002), including such gems as "Stephon the Alternative Lifestyle Reindeer", "Only 364 More Shopping Days 'til Christmas", "Tree's on Fire" (parody of "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash), and "Merry Christmas from the Whole Fam Damily".
  • Symphonic metal band Within Temptation gives us "Gothic Christmas" (2002), additionally serving as an affectionate parody of European metal's self-consciously dark image:
    Rudolph, he will change his name
    'Cause Rudolph just sounds really lame
    Now we'll call him Ragnagord
    The Evil Reindeer Overlord.
  • "Santa's Gonna Kick Your Ass'' (2002) by the Arrogant Worms.
    • Another one of theirs is "Christmas is Here" — which starts with strained smiles on all the relations, until a drunk one admits his wife has been cheating on him. It ends with an implied massacre of the whole family.
  • Voltaire's "Coming Out for Christmas" (2002).
  • "Ex-Miss" (2003), by New Found Glory, decrying the overrated sappiness of the yuletide and the fact that the singer's girlfriend left him.
    This holiday
    Is overrated
    It turns out
    The way i expected
    This holiday
    Is one to forget
    Another year
    This time I'll regret
    I spent too much time and money on you.
  • "Yule Shoot Your Eye Out" (2003) by Fall Out Boy
    Don't come home for Christmas
    You're the last thing I wanna see
    Underneath the tree
    Merry Christmas, I could care less
  • Barenaked Ladies:
    • "Elf's Lament" (2004). Not as nasty as some of these, but it focuses on the plight of Santa's elves as they try to unionize in order to improve their working conditions.
    • From the same Christmas album, "Green Christmas"...which, appropriately enough, was originally written by them for the Jim Carrey version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.
    • "Snowman" is from the point of view of...well, a snowman, who watches people walk by him and is unable to do anything except slowly melt.
    Button eyes, lullabies
    I melt away
    Criticize, compromise
    White turns to grey
    I'm paralyzed, otherwise
    I'd leave today...
  • According to Frickin' A's song "Merry, Merry, Merry Frickin' Christmas" (2004), the only good things about Christmas is no school, getting to make out with sister-in-law and getting crappy gifts that can always be exchanged at Wal-Mart.
  • "Christmas Is Canceled" (2004) by The Long Blondes.
  • "What is Christmas", by Trans-Siberian Orchestra on their album The Lost Christmas Eve (2004), is a Villain Song from the point of view of the album's Scrooge-like antagonist.
  • John Waters's Christmas album (2004) has a bunch of these. Some, like "Here Comes Fatty Claus", are intended that way (it bills itself specifically as a song for people who suffer during the holidays due to "ruptured bank accounts"), others weren't originally meant to be Anti-Christmas Songs but serve the role for Waters's usual Camp-savvy audience (like the overly-earnest religious song "Happy Birthday Jesus").
  • "My Girlfriend (Forgot Me This Christmas)" (2005) by The Click Five is about expensive gifts lovers exchange without any sentimentality.
  • "Seasonal Depression" (2005), the first Christmas song from Wizard Rock band The Whomping Willows, is a really sad tune about how the aforementioned tree is all alone on Christmas.
    It's Christmas again, and I'm here alone
    Covered with snow, chilled to the bone
    My branches are bare, my roots have gone dry
    My only companions are the clouds in the sky...
    If Christmas brings love and peace in your minds,
    Then how could Christmas leave this poor tree behind?
  • "Fuck Christmas" (2006) by Eric Idle. Among the proposed recipients of said action are holly, ivy, mistletoe, snow, carols, Santa, Santa's elves, and Santa's reindeer (including Rudolph).
  • Sufjan Stevens has:
    • "That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!" (2006), which is based loosely on Sufjan's own childhood: the stress of the holidays would cause his parents to argue, and these arguments would generally end with mom grabbing a present at random from under the tree and throwing it into the fire. The song ends with the repeated lyrics "Silent night / nothing feels right."
    • His song "Did I Make You Cry On Christmas? (Well You Deserved It!)" (2005) is, in spite of its goofy title, an even more somber tune.
    • "Sister Winter" (2006) could be a subversion. The lyrics of the song seem to be about seasonal depression, and the song starts off suitably somber, but then the song goes all Bolero and manages to end on a somewhat hopeful note.
  • "Christmas in Lancashire" (2006) by The Lancashire Hotpots:
    It's Christmas again, digibox is up t'spout
    I had fifty channels but now I've got nowt
    No ITV 4 or PriceDrop TV
    It's reruns of Sinbad and t'Queen's Speech for thee
    I can't even BitTorrent Morecambe and Wise
    Cause me 8 meg broadband is bust I'm cut down to size
    No credit on t'mobile so I can't send a text
    This technology at Christmas oh it does get me vexed
    • Another song, "The Trafford Centre" described the stress of last-minute shopping (owing to the presents ordered from Amazon not being delivered on time).
    It's Christmas Eve and I'm sat here, but I'm not 'aving fun
    I've bought presents off Amazon, but none of them's come
    I've got three hours till t'shops shut, so I can't travel far
    Then in a flash, it hits me, Ill go t'Trafford Centre
  • The Lonely Island and Justin Timberlake's "Dick in a Box" (2006) is a bit of an atypical example, as stylistically it's a parody of 90s R&B. The song made its debut on a pre-Christmas episode of Saturday Night Live, and is essentially about a pair of oblivious singers giving their loved ones a terrible present for Christmas.
  • Jonathan Coulton's "Chiron Beta Prime" (2006) — possibly the only Christmas song about killer robots. Its also interesting in that the only thing cynical or non-Christmasy about it is the setting.
    Merry Christmas, from Chiron Beta Prime
    Where we're working in a mine for our robot overlords
    Did I say "Overlords"? I meant protectors
    Merry Christmas From Chiron Beta Prime.
    • "Christmas Is Interesting" (2003) is another, much darker Coulton Christmas song.
  • The Killers have "Don't Shoot Me Santa" (2007), wherein Old St. Nick is a serial killer who lives in a trailer in the Mojave desert and plans to kill Brandon Flowers for being naughty.
    • It now has a sequel song, 2012's "I Feel It In My Bones", about Brandon's unsuccessfully trying to reason with Santa.
  • "Killing Myself for Christmas" (2007), by Sick Puppies. It was intended to be a dark yet funny and humorous song about killing oneself for the holiday season out of sheer spite for everything and everyone.
    'Cause we feel like killing our selves for Christmas
    We never got along real well with our moms or dads
    Yeah, We feel like killing our selves for Christmas
    It’ll be the best, the best, the best, the best, the best, the best Christmas day we ever had!
    Bum bum bu bum GO FUCKIN' DIE!!!
    (But I don’t wanna die this year, that was last year..)
  • Tripod regularly does Christmas shows with a range of semi-anti-Christmas comedy songs, including "I Hate Your Family", "The Homophobic Christmas Tree", "I Was the Only Shepherd" (about the only shepherd that saw the angel and stayed with his flock rather than go see the baby Jesus), and "Fabian" (about a bastard reindeer).
    • "Santa Won't Be Welcome Here" takes then-Prime Minister of Australia John Howard's policies on border security to their logical conclusion.
    • Tripod's Christmas album titled For the Love of God (2008) consists mostly (but not entirely) of anti-Christmas songs.
  • "The Anti-Christmas Carol" (2008) by Joss Stone.
  • "Slower Than Christmas" (2008), by Billy Bob Thornton's neo-rockabilly group the Boxmasters, is all about how the singer hates Christmas because it forces him to spend time with a dysfunctional family he can't stand to be around.
  • The Schoolyard Heroes song "I Want Your Soul for Christmas" (2008) has a tune quite fitting for a Christmas song, but the lyrics... not so much.
    Sleigh bells ringing,
    Choirs singing,
    You'll be screaming
  • On The Colbert Report's A Colbert Christmas (2008), Toby Keith sings a song about how the all-American holiday of Christmas is under attack by atheists and activist judges, and real Americans are fighting back, prepared to wreak violent retribution on anti-Christmas forces. The result is an over-the-top mixture of holiday cheer with Patriotic Fervor and plenty of Stuff Blowing Up.
    • There's also Feist's song in the same special, based on "Angels We Have Heard on High", which she sings in the style of a busy customer service call center responding to Stephen's prayer.
      Pleeee-e-e-e-e-eeee-e-e-e-e-eeeee-e-ease be patient.
      An angel will be with thee shortly.
  • "Christmas in America" (2008) by Melissa Etheridge. The narrator can't get into the holiday spirit because her partner is away fighting in a war and she just wishes they could be safe at home:
    What happened to the peace on Earth?
    All that goodwill toward men?
    Oh, come on, all ye faithful
    It's time to think again ...
  • "It's Christmas and I Hate You" (2008) by Paloma Faith and Josh Weller is sung from the point of view of a couple who, well, hate each other. Complete with the chorus:
    So Merry Christmas, babe
    I think I hate you
    A little bit more than last year!
  • Tim Minchin's "White Wine in the Sun" (2008) is an interesting example - the first couple of verses are basically a list of reasons why it's understandable not to like Christmas (dislike of religion, dislike of commercialization), while the chorus is why Tim likes the holiday anyway.
  • "Wish You Well" (2009) by Alison Sudol/A Fine Frenzy is sung from the perspective of a prodigal son’s sister, wishing he would come home for Christmas and make peace with her and their family:
    Our family was never perfect
    You did your best to tear it down
    Well, everybody made mistakes
    I wish we could fix 'em now
    I understand that you are angry
    Well, maybe I am angry too
    'Cause I still love you, brother
    But I don't know what to make of you
    When I don't know you anymore...
  • Jay Brannan's "Christmas Really Sucks" (2009) and "Dear Santa" (2011).
  • "Year End Letter" and "Present Face" (both 2009) by Garfunkel and Oates aren't as dark as many of the other examples, but they do deal with some annoying aspects of the holiday; namely, family Christmas letters that are a "monotonous rambling piece of drivel" and getting a present you hate but having to pretend you like it because you don't want to be rude.
  • French examples by Le Donjon de Naheulbeuk's creator, John Lang. "Noël en Mordor (Christmas in Mordor)" (2009) is set in The Lord of the Rings universe, and ends with: "Santa Claus captured by trolls, and dark era begins." "Le retour de Gzor (Gzor's return)" (2010) is about a bad god named Gzor, a Cthulhu expy. "Gzor will come back, Gzor will be your master..." to the "Oh Holy Night" tune.
  • "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas" (2009) by the Pet Shop Boys is like this in the verses ("Christmas is not all it's cracked up to be/Family fighting around a plastic tree") before the chorus adds that "I'll still have a glow at Christmas/Because I'll be with you".
  • Sting's "If on a Winter's Night..." is an anti-Christmas album, in the sense that it emphasizes winter rather than Christmas.
  • "Snowman" (2010) by TV's Kyle, which is about how despite being associated with jollity, a snowman actually has a short, futile existence:
    I am a snowman and I wish that you never made me
    I'm filthy and ugly and I'm wearing all your old clothes
    I'm only around for a day or two, that's if I'm lucky
    Some pants or a jacket are out of my league, I suppose.
  • Coldplay's "Christmas Lights" (2010): The speaker breaks up with his girlfriend after they have a huge fight on Christmas Eve, and he spends the night depressed and drowning his sorrows, unable to join in with the joyful revellers on the streets. But it still manages to end on an upbeat note, as the sight of the Christmas lights lifts his spirits and gives him hope that he'll be able to move on.
    I took my feet to Oxford Street
    Trying to right a wrong
    "Just walk away" those windows say
    But I can't believe she's gone
    When you're still waiting for the snow to fall
    It doesn't really feel like Christmas at all
  • Stevie B's "F-ck All This Christmas" (2010) is pretty much a "Reason You Suck" Speech that's aimed at a spoiled brat who treats his mother like dirt and might as well go back to bed since he's not getting anything from Santa this year. What puts the icing on the cake is the fact that the recipient of Santa's lecture is actually a grown-ass man.
    Now there's just one thing that bothers me about the way you act
    You're a selfish little bastard and a real piss-taking twat
    Now I do think that it's very nice that you still believe in me
    But you must be a bloody weirdo, mate, 'cos you're nearly twenty-three!
    Ho Ho Ho!
  • "XM@$" (2010) by Corey Taylor has to be heard to be believed.
    • a few lyrics are "If I ain't drunk it ain't Christmas", "Eggnog makes me vomit", and "leave the goddamn scrooge the f**k alone". "MERRY F**KING CHRISTMAS"
  • "The Way-Too-Early Christmas Song" (2010) by Paul and Storm. This one riffs on how the Christmas and winter holiday decorations tend to go up in stores shortly after Halloween. The incessant (and premature) Christmas cheer does not agree with the protagonist, who eventually snaps at a mall Santa. And from the same album, there's "Grandma's Christmas Dinner", a deceptively cheerful little ditty about how Grandma, in her senility, serves up the family cocker spaniel as the main course.
  • "Christmas" (2010) by Jesu is one of the most musically heavy Christmas songs ever: a post-metal dirge about the futility of Christmas cheer in a Crapsack World. While the lyrics are bleak enough, they take a backseat to the eight minutes of oppressive, glacier-like guitars. The EP's Shoegazing/Dream Pop remixes are more "listenable", but no less depressing.
    Are the sleigh bells ringing in your ear?
    And will expectations bring in your happy new year?
    And after these days will it all just return?
    That Christmas is lost on us and we will never learn?
  • All Time Low's "Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass" (2011) is about a guy lamenting that his girlfriend left him at Christmas. He tears down the decorations and goes to drown his sorrows before sarcastically asking, "Ain't that just what Christmas is all about?".
  • "The Season's Upon Us" by Dropkick Murphys (2012). Starts off as a celebration of the holidays before barreling into the various fucked-up relatives the lead singer has to deal with over the holidays.
  • "Zombie Christmas" (2012) by Emmy the Great, with lyrics like the ones below to a joyful Christmas tune with bells:
    They don't feel the cold when it's 50 below
    See them sucking brains out in the snow
    Don't get caught beneath the mistletoe
    It's a zombie Christmas!
  • "Carry Me Home" (2012) by Hey Rosetta! The narrator wishes he could spend Christmas with his family, but he's on the run because of some unspecified criminal activities, and he's broke to the point of barely being able to eat, so he's stuck in a cheap hotel instead.
  • "I'm Not Really in the Christmas Mood This Year" (2012) by Foxtails Brigade. The title says it all.
  • While most of the Punk Goes Christmas (2013) compilation album could count as this by itself, the 11th track "This Christmas (I'll Burn It To The Ground)" by Pop Punk band Set It Off is a perfect example of this trope from start to finish. The title is not just there for kicks, that is what the song is actually about.
    This Christmas, I'll burn it to the ground!

    This Christmas, Santa's skipping town!
This Christmas, everything will change, when they see the flames
This Christmas day!
  • Dark Sarah's "A Grim Christmas Story" (2013) starts out sounding like a love song written for a rather grim orchestration of "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Then on the second day of Christmas, the singer's husband lies to her, so she kills him and dumps the body in the sea. Then on every day afterwards she kills someone else, usually because they're asking about someone she killed in a previous verse, until the seventh day, when she poisons some policemen who had realized that she was the common thread in all the disappearances that had been going on, then fleeing the area, leaving eight dead bodies in her wake.
  • Kyle Dunnigan's "Fuck You, Mistletoe" (2013) is a quasi-country ditty chronicling an instance of mistletoe-enforced Ho Yay between two redneck male friends as their families celebrate Christmas together.
  • Pentatonix' "Just for Now" (2014) doesn't seem like this if you're only listening to the chorus, but the lyrics paint a picture of a seriously Dysfunctional Family trying to have Christmas dinner. It includes in no particular order:
    • A Stepford Smiler who has no clue what her Christmas Presents even are.
    • A Bratty Teenage Daughter who's complaining about someone kicking her under the table (prompting a Big "SHUT UP!" from the family's Hair-Trigger Temper).
    • An Only Sane Man trying to keep the peace with no success.
    • A hopeless drunk who has a family member who does NOT approve of his drinking habits ('Don't wag your finger at me!').
    • Finally all the food gets burned and the family members start screaming to get out of there.
  • Downplayed with Dan Bull's "Non-Christmas Song" (2015); while the criticism is still present, it mainly lists births, deaths, and events unrelated to Christmas that occurred in December 25.
  • German Band Saltatio Mortis has the song "Willkommen in der Weihnachtszeit"note  (2015), which is about supermarkets having Christmas-themed articles as of August every year.
  • Tom Smith wrote a version of "Oh Christmas Tree" entitled "O Yog Sothoth", about the Great Old One.
    No Santa Claus, or Jesus Christ
    We worship Yog 'cause he's not nice
    O Yog Sothoth, O Yog Sothoth
    We pray you do not eat us.
  • peepeepo has two short albums of these: SHITMAS and CRAPMAS. Both contain their versions of many Christmas carols containing lyrics about getting drunk and taking dumps.
  • There have been multiple songs written about the Christmas Truce during World War I. Some of them focus on how the spirit of Christmas called the war off for one day, making them fit more into the traditional mold, but others have a verse at the end pointing out that the next day the war resumed and the men in the trenches had to kill many of the people they were singing and celebrating with the day before. "Christmas 1915", popularized by Celtic Thunder, is one example:
    And in the morn, the guns boomed in the rain,
    And we killed them and they killed us again,
    At night they charged, we fought them hand to hand,
    And I killed the boy who sang in No Man's Land.
  • D.D.E.'s "Det e ei lyspær et sted som itj virke" is mostly about how frustrating it is when the Christmas lights refuse to turn on because there's a broken bulb somewhere and you can't figure out where it is. It also mentions that their Christmas tree won't stand up straight, and is so dry that its needles keep falling off.
  • Carly Rae Jepsen's "It's Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries" (2020) is a subversion. The singer describes being home with her Dysfunctional Family for Christmas, enduring political arguments at the dinner table, her parents giving her vegan boyfriend fish, and her younger relatives pestering her with questions about Santa Claus she can't answer, among other things... but admits that she's just too happy to be home to really mind.
  • 100 gecs's "sympathy 4 the grinch" (2020) is a mostly tongue-in-cheek version of this (one can't feel that resentful to rowdy Ska Punk) about the duo finally having enough of being "nice" and still not getting the Christmas presents they want, hatching and executing a plot to steal Santa's magic bag for themselves.
  • Taylor Swift's evermore (2020) has "'tis the damn season", a song about the narrator coming home for the holiday and proposing to hook up with her old flame... which brings up feelings of bitterness toward her current life of chasing fame and leaves her wondering if she should have chosen her hometown, but she knows that this rekindling couldn't last and that she would be heartbroken to leave again.
  • "F U Kristmas" by Kim Wilde (yes, that one) and Lawnmower Deth.
  • CrazyCod's "I Don't Want To Rot Inside My Room For Christmas (But...)" (2020) features the singer complaining about how he's lonely on Christmas even though others are happy, but it looks like things will just have to be this way.
  • Kunt and the Gang has an entire 2011 album of these called Kiss You Under the Cameltoe (The Christmas Singles).
  • Nerdgata's "Det er Jul" (It is Christmas) is about how it's Christmas, but the narrator just wants to be left alone so that he can enjoy gaming.
  • The Norwegian song "Juletragedien" ("The Christmas Tragedy") by Erik Follestad & Linni Meister is a cynical joke song whose tone is set when Linni asks Erik to come watch Dinner for Onenote  with her, and he angrily tells her he doesn't want to. It features people getting stressed out, attacked by a cat, eating too much, drinking too much, going to church even though no one actually believes in Jesus, and so on. In particular, Linni has an entire verse chewing out Erik for giving a crappy homemade Christmas card instead of a proper gift, blaming his fatness on Christmas even though he was fat back in August, and being a Drunk Driver who almost killed Linni's aunt.
  • Øystein Sunde's "Julekalenderen" ("The Christmas Calendar") is a comedy song where stuff keeps going wrong, such as when Grandpa has a bad case of Christmas Light Chaos. Their Christmas Eve is particularly messy.
  • Set It Off has "This Christmas", which is about someone who really hates Christmas singing about how they're going to ruin for everyone by scaring the utter crap out of them and pretty much burning down the holiday in the process.
  • Unlimited Cotton's "Christmas at the End of Time" is a progressively degrading mix of vintage Christmas recordings In the Style of Leyland Kirby's Everywhere At The End of Time.

    Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 
  • "'Ere We Go" is an authorized Warhammer40000 filk song in which Orks sing about going on a rampage to the tune of "Jingle Bells".
    'Ere we go,
    'Ere we go,
    Dakka all the way,
    Oh what fun, it is to WAAAAGH!
    With beaky gits to slay!

  • One Pantomime's Aladdin had the Big Bad sing "Children Roasting on an Open Fire".
  • "Christmas Bells" from RENT zig-zags this one. It starts off played straight as a bunch of homeless New Yorkers sing about living on the streets in the winter ("No stockings, no candy canes... no Santa Clause is com-in', cause Santy Clause ain't comin'...") and junkies sing about getting a fix, but eventually moves towards a more optimistic Christmas song, as two of the principal couples (Mimi and Roger, and Angel and Collins) start to fall for each other, complete with Snow Means Love.
  • Songs for a New World by Jason Robert Brown has "Surabaya Santa", in which Mrs. Claus is tired of being alone on Christmas and generally being ignored the rest of the time — so she decides to walk out on Santa, but not before giving him a piece of her mind. It's majorly hilarious.

    Video Games 
  • If you play the game at Christmas, Rise of the Triad plays a song in MIDI format called "Deadly Gentlemen" (which is based on a well-known Christmas carol) instead of the normal level music. Considering the game is a First-Person Shooter, this could well be classified as an Anti Christmas Song. Blasting the bad guys into Ludicrous Gibs with Christmas music playing... I'd say that's anti-Christmas.
  • The level "Land of the Damned" from Serious Sam: The Second Encounter has Jingle Bells as its song (regardless of when you play the game), and when the action heats up, it turns into a rock version with an assortment of sound effects from the game mixed in (various guns firing and monsters dying). If you rip the music out of the game, you can hear that the sound effects are actually part of the music and are not added by the game.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has disintegrating sheet music of Crimbo Carols dropped by the Ancient Yuletide Troll familiar, which are lyrics sheets meant to be sung to the tune of Christmas Songs, like "Frosty the Hitman" and "Violent Night". Since December is a month-long event that tends to involve beating up monsters, they are decidedly tongue-in-cheek.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 gives us "All I Want for Christmas (Is to kick your ass)". In-universe, the song came about after the Midnight Riders grudgingly agreed to do a charity single in lieu of 30,000 hours of Community Service.
  • In Twisted Metal, "Stalk 'n Roll", the ambient music of the River Park Rumble stage, interpolates twisted(pun intended) versions of "Deck The Halls", "Jingle Bells", and "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town". Likewise, the music for the North Pole stage in the third game mixes "Jingle Bells" with White Zombie's "More Human Than Human".


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs did a riotous send-up of "Noel", each verse leading to a different pun in the chorus, and the last one lampshading the entire thing and apologizing to the viewer for ruining the song.
    • They also lampooned at least two other Christmas carols, including the incident where Wakko belched "Jingle Bells".
  • "Jingle Bells! Batman smells! Robin laid an egg!/ Batmobile lost a wheel, and all on Christmas Day!"
  • "Bow down, bow down / Before the power of Santa / Or be crushed, be crushed / by his jolly boots of doom".
  • Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation plays with the 'Scrooge' idea: Dr. Doofenshmirtz sings "I Really Don't Hate Christmas". He's not for or against Christmas, he's completely indifferent to it. Right before the song, he says that even though he's a villain and he knows he should hate Christmas, "Christmas was always fine in my family! I mean, it wasn't good, but it wasn't bad!" With his Hilariously Abusive Childhood, that's saying something.
    Dr. Doofenshirtz: I have an intense, burning indifference!
  • "What's This?" from The Nightmare Before Christmas is a subversion; the singer, Jack Skellington, falls in love with Christmas when he first discovers the holiday, but misses the point, largely because he sees Christmas through his own unique prism:
    "There's children throwing snowballs instead of throwing heads,
    They're busy making toys and absolutely no one's dead!"
    • Other songs from the film, most notably "Making Christmas" and "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" play the trope straight.
  • In the animated Christmas Special Olive, the Other Reindeer, the Postman has a little number called "Bah, Bug and Hum!" The song is all about how he hates carrying all of those gifts, catalogs and cards through the cold weather during the holiday season.
  • The Family Guy episode "Road to the North Pole" has "Christmas Time Is Killing Us". Be warned, it contains a lot of nightmarish imagery.
  • One of the animated segments from TV Funhouse was a parody of the old black-and-white stop-motion Christmas song videos, called "Tingles the Christmas Tension", about a magical sprite who embodies/cultivates all the stress of the holidays. The last verse mentions his annual successor, Mopefuls Day after Christmas Depression, and the video ends with a person jumping out a second-story window.
  • Futurama has several. In their first Xmas special, Santa is a dangerous robot who kills everyone on his "naughty" list (and has such high standards that everyone winds up on his naughty list), so the episode ends with the cast gathering around the piano to sing "Santa Claus Is Gunning You Down". The second Xmas special has the elves singing happily about their dangerous slave jobs. And in Bender's Big Score Santa and the other Anthropomorphic Personifications of winter holidays sing about upgrading their ships to declare war on the scammer aliens.
  • Mumfie's White Christmas has one sung by a group of electric eels entitled "Let Off Steam", as they help Whale and his passengers cut through the ice. The eels who were singing it were just being sarcastic, as their powers to heat up and produce electricity are activated by negative feelings.
  • The second Christmas Episode of The Fairly OddParents! "Merry Wishmas" has the song "Not On the List!", which features Timmy's friends and a bunch of other kids complaining about the things Santa brought them for Christmas instead of what they actually wanted.
  • In The Simpsons' Season 14 episode "Dude, Where's My Ranch?", Homer attempts to write a Christmas song and instead comes up with an anthem on hating Ned Flanders, his very Christian neighbor.
    • His original draft is also a satire on Christmas songs.
      Christmas in December // wow, wow, wow! // Give me tons of presents // now, now, now!

Alternative Title(s): Anti Christmas Carol


Bow Down, Bow Down...

"...before the power of Santa. Or be crushed. Be crushed. By his jolly boots of doom!"

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / AntiChristmasSong

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