Christmas songs are a gorgeous treat, made even more delicious because we have to wait all year to listen to them (I mean, there’s no law, but All I Want For Christmas Is You just doesn’t hit the same in March). The thing is, because Chrissy songs have been coming out for decades now, there’s a few tracks that haven’t aged all that well. Some of them even feel like they would have been questionable at the time of release.

With the sheer abundance of Christmas songs out there already, and with new ones dropping every year, it’s really not a big deal if we have to scrap a few tracks from our playlists. We’ve wrapped up some of the most probbo Christmas songs for you, so you know what to avoid. If all else fails, just bump Santa Claus Is Coming by Hi-5 one more time — I promise you none of your Chrissy guests will complain.

What are the most problematic Christmas songs?

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

I have to admit I have never in my life heard of this song, but even the title feels uncomfortable. I just had a read through of the lyrics and holy moly we’re in for a ride.

Basically, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer narrates a disturbing tale that involves an elderly grandmother, intoxicated and off her medication, stumbling out into a snowstorm on Christmas Eve and then being involved in a hit-and-run with Santa’s sleigh. No one really mourns this poor old woman, least of which her husband who then spends Christmas Day drinking beer and watching football.

I get that this is meant to be funny… but forgive me if I struggle to find anything remotely funny about the scenario being described here. If you’re looking for a goofy Christmas song, may I suggest Tyler The Creator‘s take on You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch? 

Santa Baby

While the vocal melody in Santa Baby is probably one of the most catchy of all Christmas songs, we have to admit that this song feels super uncomfortable. It also marks the first song on this list to exist within a genre I like to call “horny for Santa”, which should be fairly explanatory. For some reason everyone started getting horny for Santa a while back and people have been writing songs about it ever since. I’m not here to yuck anyone’s yum but I do think we should point out that Christmas is a holiday that largely focuses around small children? Won’t somebody think of them?

Anyway, Santa Baby has big “buy me things because I am hot” energy, which is fine in small doses I suppose but this person is asking for the deed to a platinum mine, people.

If you like songs where the singer just lists a bunch of material things, you should simply listen to My Favourite Things from The Sound Of Music. I know it’s not a Christmas song but you can just pretend she’s writing her Christmas list.

Do They Know It’s Christmas?

Ahh. This one just sucks all round. Let’s figure out what happened here, so we may never repeat it.

Bob Geldof saw a BBC report on famine in Ethiopia, wrote this song and enlisted a bunch of very famous musicians (Paul McCartneyBono and more) to sing it with him for charity. It raised a lot of money which is good, but the problem is this song, and the campaign behind it, is a result of white saviourism and unfair and inaccurate stereotypes. There’s also the particularly painful line sung by Bono, “Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you.” Yikes.

If you’re looking for a non-probbo Christmas charity song to rally behind, check out Tim Minchin‘s White Wine In The Sun. Every holiday season, Minchin donates the proceeds from this song to a different organisation that supports people on the autism spectrum. Last year, it was Aspect In Australia.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

OK this one is just creepy, like, literally. A kid tiptoes downstairs on Christmas Eve (naughty!) and catches his mum kissing Santa. So he’s spying on his mum, which is sucky behaviour, and he also reckons it would be “a laugh” if his dad had caught the kiss? IDK man but I don’t know anyone who’s been laughing it up after walking in on their partner kissing someone else behind their back. Also… the kid needs to smarten up, because he didn’t even consider the possibility that Santa might’ve been his dad all along.

I think we should all have a listen to A Hand For Mrs Claus by Idina Menzel and Ariana Grande instead, and spend some time celebrating a truly underrated character in the Christmas cinematic universe, Mrs Claus.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Where to even start with this one. If you haven’t heard about how probbo this Christmas song is yet, let me break it down for you.

Basically, this song is about a woman having a casual drink at her date’s house, and he pretty much… won’t let her leave. Like, to the point where, in one of the lyrics, she’s actually wondering if he’s slipped something into her drink. He keeps trying to coerce her into staying for longer and she keeps politely declining, and it’s all just very uncomfortable.

Instead of the truly scary original version, let us bask in the genuine joy of John Legend and Kelly Clarkson‘s version of the song — with updated lyrics.