Not that I have anything against festive cheer, but for some reason, this sometimes means that good taste seems to vanish completely, and this could not be more true when it comes to Christmas songs. With videos featuring a load of scouse wigs and tashes, to giant inflatable TV personalities, to coolest-of-the-cool singers who really should know better, Christmastime is responsible for some of the biggest load of tat in the 20th and 21st centuries. My top 10 are below; feel free to join the party and share your most hated Christmas hit...
10.) The least offensive of my Top10 Worst Christmas Hits is Christmas Time by The Darkness, a band which I actually quite like for its more than slightly tongue in cheek take on glam rock. But for me, this video goes beyond tongue in cheek and is just plain old nonsense. Still, at least it knows it. Lyric-snip: 'Feigning joy and surprise at the gifts we despise over mulled wine with you...'
9.) When you're as cool as Bruce Springsteen, you want to leave Christmas songs well alone. I mean, look at Bob Dylan bringing out that Christmas album last year, Christmas In The Heart; nobody could quite believe it and it was even thought by some to be a spoof. But I'll leave The Boss back at No.9 because he is clearly taking the mick with his version of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, which he performed right here in London. Lucky us. Lyric-snip: 'You better not shout, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why: Santa Claus is coming to town...'
8.) If, like me, you were a young teenager when Wham's Last Christmas came out, you'll know that it is one of those songs where you just can't help knowing every single vocal embellishment and warble - and maybe even singing them in the privacy of your own home or car. But the dreadful feel-good skiing holiday video is just appalling. Give me the snowball fight scene from Dumb And Dumber any day. Lyric-snip: This year, to save me from tears, I'll give it to someone SPESHull, SPESHull, Oh-oh...'
7.) Ricky Tomlinson makes two appearances in my list, and this is the first and worst. Anybody with a beard who dresses up as a Christmas fairy deserves a ruddy good clout around their ruby red schnoz. Herewith the promised Scouse wigs and tashes with Calm Down. Lyric-snip: 'I'll put on a tutu and climb the Christmas tree, the world's biggest fairy is gonna be me, me, me, me, me!'
6.) From the ridiculous to the trying to be sublime, the list wouldn't be complete without born-again Christian Cliff Richard with the first of his two appearances in this list and Mistletoe And Wine. His day-centre attempt at dancing at the end is extraordinary and it looks like he's shaking out some sheets before hanging them on a washing line. And that jacket (and that amount of hairspray) would only have been fine, broadly speaking, in the Eighties. Nursery-rhyme-style lyric-snip: A time for living, A time for believing, A time for trusting, no deceiving...' Yuk.
5.) With his second appearance, Ricky Tomlinson with the slightly more believable Christmas My Arse! Fans of the Royle Family will know the 'my arse!' catchphrase already, and probably use it themselves on occasion. But what could have been a good prod at Christmas No.1s was actually a completely awful attempt at sardonic wit. Lyric-snip: The telly's crap, there ain't no snow (clearly written pre-2010, in that case), the pubs are shut, no place to go, Del and Rodney on the box again...
4.) The Eighties have a lot to answer for, as we all know, but There's No-one Quite Like Grandma getting to be Christmas No.1 in 1980 is probably the biggest question mark of the decade. Or even of the century. I was probably about the same age as the children of St Winifred's School Choir who sang it at the time, and I can still remember my female classmates annoying us football-playing boys in the playground at breaktime by singing it in massive great posses. Lyric-snip (chorus): 'Grandma, we love you - Grandma, we do, - Though you may be far away,- We think of you...' Truly dreadful.
3.) Back to our Cliff again now. Look, his heart's in the right place (I guess?) but his Millennium Prayer is just a bit limp and cringey: the tune of Auld Lang Syne and most of the words from the Lord's Prayer (ie 'Our Father, who art in heaven' etc). So the problem I have with Cliff's Millennium Prayer is that I feel like it should be featured on Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, sung by Barry Cryer in the game 'the words of one song to the tune of another'. The best thing about the video is that it looks like Cliff has had his ankles chained to the floor and he's searching the room for the key. Lyric-snip towards the end (solely to see the emotional fist-pump): 'Lead us not to the time of trial...'
2.) The precursor to X Factor was, you might be aware, Popstars: The Rivals, which gave birth to none other than Girls Aloud. What Popstars also gave birth to was a very embarrassing and slightly worrying twin-girl duo called the Cheeky Girls. Their biggest hit was the Cheeky Song, which featured the genius lyrics 'touch my bum, this is life'. Seriously. But with four top 10 hits in two years (hard to believe, I know) one of these featured a Christmas song, unimaginatively titled Have A Cheeky Christmas. Lyric-snip: 'Close your eyes and make a wish, If you've been a really good boy, I will be your special dish...'
1.) My all-time worst Christmas video has to go to the one and only Mr Blobby. Now, I know that it isn't a Christmas song per se (nor was There's No-one Quite Like Grandma), but it epitomises everything that is wrong with the Christmas No.1 scramble. Celebs who should have known better such as Jeremy Clarkson, Will Carling, Carol Vorderman and Shakespears Sister all made appearances for what I can only assume was a shed load of money. Christmas-single-buying British public, you only have yourselves to blame. Lyric-snip: 'Blobby, Mr Blobby, you're the guy who puts the do in do or die; Blobby, Mr Blobby, your deeds are guaranteed to stupefy...' I agree. But no more so than your reaching No.1.
So, that's my top 10 worst Christmas hits. Now, over to you. What's your own most hated Christmas hit? Share it in the comment box below...
by Ashley Morrison
Ashley is a blogger, copywriter and editor