It's a well-known fact that the worst time of year for music is Christmas. Christmas songs, by and large, stink to high heaven. They reek of sleigh bells and Santa references and tree dressing and mistletoe. They are overly sentimental and frequently border on sickly. Occasionally, however, there comes along a tolerable song for the season. This year we found five. Here are the least awful Christmas songs of 2012, in no particular order.
"Boxing Day," Blink 182
Our favorite Christmas song of all time is a punk rock one with fake British accents -- The Vandals' "Oi To The World." So it's not terribly surprising that we're quite partial to this tale of yuletide heartbreak from pop-punkers Blink 182. (Boxing Day is what British people call the day after Christmas, incidentally). We like it because, unlike 99 percent of seasonal songs, this one is miserable. Pat on the back for thinking outside of the box, fellas.
"All I Want For Christmas Is You," Mariah Carey, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots
Jimmy Fallon's boyish charm has never been more obvious and more endearing than here -- the rendition of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" he did with Mariah Carey and The Roots (who, in a brilliant twist, are all playing children's musical instruments). If you can watch the video for this without grinning like an idiot, you are officially Scrooge. Or the Grinch. Or somebody who is dead inside. We never thought we'd say this, but how cute are those kids that keep popping up?
"Merry Xmas (Says Your Text Message)," Dragonette
It's not often you hear a Christmas song that repeatedly uses the word "fuck." And also makes a reference to inserting a lump of coal into someone's anus as a means of bitter revenge. Needless to say, stumbling across "Merry Xmas (Says Your Text Message)" -- which does both of those things -- made us very happy this year indeed.
"I'll Be Home For Christmas," Sufjan Stevens
It requires special skills to capture the dreamy wonderment of the season without clubbing the listener over the head with jingle bells and resorting to cliches. No one manages that in a manner as classy and subtle as Sufjan Stevens. His Silver and Gold collection of Christmas songs is literally the only holiday album we could put on at a winter party without expecting someone to immediately throw a glass of spiked eggnog all over us in protest. Like we said: special skills.
"All I Need Is Love," CeeLo Green & The Muppets
CeeLo Green is a magical and eccentric dude with a penchant for dueting with muppets. And while we didn't get that weird, puppet-infused performance at the 53rd Grammy Awards last year, hanging out with muppets at Christmas just makes perfect sense. Nothing fills us with childlike holiday spirit like a pile of muppets dancing around the dinner table. Sure, we're not gonna sit down and pop this onto our stereos any time soon, but the video sure puts smiles on our faces. And that rapping shrimp, Pepe? We're really big fans of his. Seriously.