The List: The definitive ranking of holiday songs

Erica Thompson

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it's time to break out the joyful - or dreaded, depending who you are - holiday songs. Here's our definitive ranking of the tunes you'll undoubtedly encounter in the coming weeks (and, yes, there's a bias as I took my childhood into account).

1. "This Christmas" by Donny Hathaway

The best holiday song ever by one of the best soul vocalists and musicians ever. There really isn't more to say other than Chris Brown, please never sing this publicly again.

2. "All I Want for Christmas" by Mariah Carey

Whenever I'm tempted to judge Carey's antics, I think of her 18 number-one hits, and that she has, perhaps, the most ubiquitous holiday song of all time.

3. "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole

A classic track, sung simply and beautifully, unlike another rendition (see bottom of list).

4. "Someday at Christmas" by Stevie Wonder

A brilliant combination of thought-provoking lyrics and a beautiful melody that makes you want to weep and rejoice at once.

5. "What's This?" by Danny Elfman from "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

OK, there's no way this is as popular as, say, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," but I really enjoy singing, "There's children throwing snowballs instead of throwing heads…"

6. "Carol of the Bells" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

As Dwight from "The Office" said, "This is Christmas!"

7. "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt

This song makes me really uncomfortable, but it's a classic.

8. "Silent Night"by the Temptations

Marvel at the group's vocal dexterity as the soprano and bass singers trade verses.

9. "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto"by James Brown

Another reason why James Brown was such an important artist to the African-American community.

10. "Let it Snow" by Boyz II Men

The smooth, sultry standout among '90s R&B groups that tried to take on holiday music. And the musical backdrop to a great scene in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

11. "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" by Elmo & Patsy

This song makes other people uncomfortable, but I always thought it was funny, which I guess makes me a terrible person.

12. "8 Days of Christmas" by Destiny's Child

Because TLC's "Sleigh Ride" is killing this.

13. "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" by *NSYNC

This song is almost as cheesy as the video, which features Gary Coleman, a green screen and Chris Kirkpatrick's braids.

14. All holiday hip-hop songs, ever

From Eazy-E's "Merry Muthaf---in' Xmas" to the Ying Yang Twins' "Deck da Club," holiday hip-hop songs are just not my taste. I tolerated Snoop Dogg's "Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto" until he rapped, "Now on the second day of Christmas, my homeboy gave to me/A fifth of Hendog and told me to take my mind off that weed."

15. "The Christmas Song" by Christina Aguilera

I love Christina Aguilera but I can admit when she overdoes it, and her rendition of "The Christmas Song" is atrocious. Or, as one YouTube comment said, "It makes Christmas sound like Halloween."

16. "The Chanukah Song" by Adam Sandler

I suppose I thought Sandler was funny when my dad took me to see "Happy Gilmore," but now his voice is nails on a chalkboard, which makes this song unbearable for me.