Is there a holiday song for which you harbor an irrational hatred? Here’s why I’m asking. I received Faith Hill’s Christmas album, Joy to the World, in the mail a few weeks ago but held off listening to it until yesterday. (I blame the snowflakes I saw in Happy Valley, PA last weekend with weakening my resolve to wait until after Thanksgiving.) It turns out, I kinda hate “Joy to the World.” Nothing against Faith (who does particularly lovely versions of “Away in a Manger,” “Silent Night, Holy Night!” and “O Holy Night!,” by the way), but I just can’t get it up for a song that is neither as sweet and/or stirring as those previously mentioned, nor as naughty as Elvis’ “Santa Claus is Back in Town” (which I still maintain is the sexiest holiday song ever). The only people I actually want to hear sing “Joy to the World” are Clark W. Griswold, in Christmas Vacation, and my sister, who sings those four words sarcastically whenever the Bierly family Christmas takes a turn for the worst.
So, which holiday song can’t you stand? My mother refuses to listen to “The Christmas Song,” even when Nat King Cole is singing it. That’s just wrong.