Saddest Christmas Songs
I don't know if it's my age, or the times we live in. This Christmas/Chanukah season, I have heard more people say "I just want to get through the holidays" than ever before. As sad as that sounds, I think it's okay to honor how hard the holidays are for a lot of people. I asked my Facebook friends for their input about the saddest Christmas songs, and boy, did they come through! There are some tunes I expected on this list, and some I'd never heard of.
So if you're missing a loved one, having a tough time dealing with festive music/people/surroundings, or you have bad memories from this time of year, please give yourself permission to be sad and have a good cry for a bit. And then I hope you'll find a way to move on. Put one foot in front of the other, count your blessings right here and now, and smile whenever you get the chance. I know I'll be trying right along with you.
1. The Christmas Shoes
Okay, I know I said these were in no particular order, but this song was mentioned so many times, that it really does sort of take over the #1 position. The song even inspired a movie (get the tissues if you dare to watch).
2. Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogleberg
This one is a big "what if?" that all of us can relate to.
3. Blue Christmas
This song got a lot of votes for saddest song. It's one we all probably know, but it still hurts to hear it if you're missing someone this time of year.
4. A Soldier's Silent Night
I dare you not to cry. Thank you to all who have served our country.
5. Where Are You Christmas?
For anyone wondering where the Christmas spirit is...or missing someone who makes and toughing it through this season. Featured in the Jim Carrey version of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."
6. I'll Be Home For Christmas
Sad...because you think the singer will be home for Christmas. But the only way it will happen is in his dreams. One Facebook friend said she was away from home for the first time at Christmas, in Africa, and a choir sung this song, making her homesick.
7. All I Want For Christmas is You
Although this can be considered an upbeat song (and hey, it's not materialistic, which is nice), one friend said this song is sad because it can make you miss someone who can't be with you. Her husband was deployed overseas and she wasn't able to be with him at Christmas, making this a hard song to listen to.
8. Please Come Home for Christmas
All of the cheerfulness of people celebrating around you...yet you're missing the one you love.
9. Merry Christmas, Darling
Karen Carpenter's voice makes this an even sadder song. All she wants is to be near the one she loves.
10. Hard Candy Christmas
She's trying to do what she can to be "fine" and distract herself from the holiday. But it's like getting only hard candy for Christmas.
11. Last Christmas
Wham! Learning life's lessons by giving away your heart to someone who doesn't deserve it.
12. Do They Know It's Christmas?
We who have food, shelter, and peace can share with those who don't, can't we?
13. Another Lonely Christmas
This one is made so much sadder because Prince is gone.
14. The Cat Carol
Wow. If you haven't heard this one yet, be prepared to sob. One friend said it represents Jesus.
15. Christmas in the Trenches
If you have loved ones fighting overseas, this one hits home. Again...thank you to those who have served and are serving our country.
16. Light One Candle
Peter, Paul and Mary sing this Chanukah song of hope. Sad for the memories it evokes and the memories it pleads for us to keep alive.
17. I Believe in Father Christmas
The words are sad, dark, and...well, a story of disillusion.
18. Fairy Tale of New York
A friend says, "this one sounds upbeat, but the lyrics are pretty sad." Do fairy tales really come true?
19. It Wouldn't Be Christmas Without You
Speaks to the importance of those we love surrounding us this time of year.
If Sarah McLaclan's sad voice and piano playing aren't enough to get your tears going, listen to the words, and feel the pain of missing someone.
Joni Mitchell speaks to the side of us that wants to "skate away" from the hardest parts of life...including the holidays.
22. Christmas Time
Being lonely at Christmas sucks. Andy Davis makes this clear with his words and voice.
23. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Is this one sad? Maybe. If you're feeling nostalgic for things that used to be a certain way. Regardless, it's always nice to listen to Frank Sinatra, right?
24. My December
Maybe you can relate to this song because your December is like this, too. Linkin Park makes you feel like you are not alone if you're pretending to be happy through this month.
And a few honorable mentions because a lot of people view these songs as disturbing:
1. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
I know, I know. It's a parody. It's tongue-in-cheek. But really?
2. Baby, It's Cold Outside
I've got to admit, I've never thought of this one as disturbing, but one friend says her son calls this the "date rape" song and another (nurse) friend says that the old Johnny Meyer version of this song refers to "getting pneumonia and dying." Sheesh!
An interesting update here: a couple named Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski has rewritten this song to stress the importance of consent in this version:
Do you have any songs to add?
Maybe all you need is a good cry to make it through this season. But if you need more, please remember, if you need help through the holidays, or any time of year, the National Suicide hotline is there for you: Call 1-800-273-8255.
Great compilation. The holidays are very hard for a lot of people. I never thought they were tough for me - I have 2 wonderful children & a great husband. Then I finally admitted to myself that I miss MY parents. Christmas is the toughest because it was best with my parents. As wonderful as my Christmases are with my children, I miss what it was. Thanks for you putting the awareness out there, Joya! xo
Tina, that is so heartwarming. I agree that our best Christmases were the ones we had as kids. Just magical. I'm sorry you're missing your parents at this time of year. Sounds like they made the holidays very special for you. Xxoo
The Christmas Guest- always gets me.
and I don't know if this one is exactly sad but so poignant and I love the voice.
Tamara, that was a wonderful song. I always love anything Reba sings, anyway. Thanks for sharing and I think that definitely counts as an emotional song. xxoo
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