SparkNotes Blog

Popular Holiday Songs Ranked in Order of Creepiness

Holiday songs are not supposed to be creepy (unless Sufjan Stevens is the one singing them, in which case they are supposed to be hauntingly beautiful in the way that an abandoned grocery cart in the dying light of a setting sun is hauntingly beautiful). But just because Christmas songs aren’t supposed to be creepy doesn’t change the fact that a lot of them ARE. Here, then, are the creepiest Christmas songs, ranked:

7. Up on the Housetop

Point the first:

Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go.
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go,
Up on the housetop, click, click, click;
Down through the chimney with old Saint Nick.

I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I hear a noise at night, I assume it’s an angry ghost or a murderer and that death is coming for me. I would not, under any circumstances, head on up to the roof to check it out. Point the second:

Give her a dolly that laughs and cries;
One that will open and shut her eyes.

Nope. No. No thank you. This is the beginning of a horror movie, and I want nothing to do with it.

6. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

It’s not Christmas without Grandma
All the family’s dressed in black

And we just can’t help but wonder:
Should we open up her gifts or send them back?

What’s eerie about this song is they care not one whit about Grandma, which leaves me to wonder if this wasn’t actually an accident. Did her family purposely send her out into the night, knowing they were sending her to die? Are they cashing her social security checks? Is anyone looking into this?

5. Santa Baby

Think of all the fun I’ve missed
Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed
Next year I could be just as good
If you’ll check off my Christmas list

It’s creepy that she’s seducing Santa at all, but it’s equally creepy that she’s equating “goodness” with how few people she’s hooked up with in the past year. You can hook up with people and still be a good person! It’s possible, I promise!

4. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night

I know the mom is actually kissing her husband, but the kid doesn’t know that, and there’s something disturbing about catching your mom making out with an immortal elf.

3. Santa Claus is Coming to Town

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why

Without jolly orchestral bells jingling in the background, this reads like the tagline to a slasher film. And lest we forget:

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake

2. Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I simply must go (but baby, it’s cold outside)
The answer is no (but baby, it’s cold outside)

You are either Team “This Song is About Sexual Entrapment” or you are Team “This Song Was Written in the 1940s and Is About the Girl’s Desire to Stay Vs. Society’s Expectations That She Go.” All I know is that I’d rather take my chances in a blizzard than stick around with someone who says the words “Gosh your lips are delicious!” out loud.

1. Frosty the Snowman

Frosty the snowman
Knew the sun was hot that day
So he said, “Let’s run
And we’ll have some fun
Now before I melt away”

The slightly unsettling image of a sentient snowman running amok isn’t even the most ominous part of this song; the most ominous bit is actually the song’s underlying message, which is “Everything dies and so will you.” Merry Christmas.