The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was a perfect MCU gift for lots of reasons. One of the biggest is that it gave us the Old 97’s “I Don’t Know What Christmas Is (But Christmastime Is Here).” The song is an instant classic, but, like so many other great noels, we don’t expect to hear it on the radio anytime soon. Stations are too busy playing Mariah Carey and Bruce Springsteen on repeat to recognize other terrific Christmas songs. But we’re not. So to celebrate some of our lesser recognized favorites we’ve put together an official Nerdist Nerdy Christmas Playlist.
It features forgotten and overlooked bangers, alternative tracks you might have never heard, comedy songs that celebrate the silliness of the season, and numbers from some of our favorite pop culture properties. From pop and punk to rock and emo, this playlist will bring you to the North Pole, the galaxy far, far away, and every place in between.
- “I Don’t Know What Christmas Is (But Christmastime Is Here)” – Old 97’s
- “Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man This Christmas)” – The Weather Girls
- “The Night Santa Went Crazy” – Weird Al
- “Christmas in Hollis – Run DMC
- “(Do It On My) Twin Bed” – SNL Cast, Jimmy Fallon
- “A Grouplove Christmas” – Grouplove
- “All I Want for Christmas (Is a Pardon from the President)” – Nick Lutsko
- “Emo Christmas” – Wavves
- Christmastime is Killing Us – Family Guy
- “The Christmas Song” – Weezer
- “Just Another Christmas Song” – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
- “Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas” – Eels
- “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” – The Ramones
- “Father Christmas” – The Kinks
“I Don’t Know What Christmas Is (But Christmastime Is Here)” – Old 97’s
The “purple monkey dishwasher” of Christmas songs doesn’t get all of the holiday’s lore right, but it absolutely rocks.
“Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man This Christmas)” – The Weather Girls
The Weather Girls, most famous for “It’s Raining Men,” also delivered this fantastic track on their 1983 album Success. Think about how much better Christmas would be if you replaced every inexplicable airing of Paul McCartney’s inane “Wonderful Christmastime” with this song instead. That would really make for a wonderful Christmastime.
“The Night Santa Went Crazy” – Weird Al
Only “Weird Al” Yankovic could craft a song about Santa going full-Rambo on the North Pole and have it be funny, strangely sentimental, and a total blast.
“Christmas in Hollis” – Run DMC
Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” is an unquestioned classic that rarely—if ever—gets played on the radio. We don’t know who’s to blame for that, but they deserve coal. Lots of coal. Come on, it’s in Die Hard!
“(Do It On My) Twin Bed” – SNL Cast, Jimmy Fallon
Saturday Night Live has delivered lots of great holiday songs over four decades, but “(Do It On My) Twin Bed” might be the best. As a raunchy comedy premise it’s hilarious. But it’s also a fantastic song that you’ll be singing long after the holidays end and you’re back in your normal bed…doing whatever you do there.
“A Grouplove Christmas” – Grouplove
Grouplove gave us a delightful holiday number at the end of Bojack Horseman’s holiday special “Sabrina’s Christmas Wish,” but their best seasonal song is this gorgeous track.
“All I Want for Christmas (Is a Pardon from the President)” – Nick Lutsko
The King of Halloween proved his skills extend to other holidays with this catchy melodious Christmas track that really highlights both his musical and comedy chops. It might be even funnier if you have no idea what it’s actually about.
“Emo Christmas” – Wavves
It’s A Wonderful Life is basically an emo Christmas movie, right? So it’s not that surprising the genre lends itself to some great seasonal songs, like with this aptly named track from Wavves.
“Christmastime is Killing Us” – Family Guy
Family Guy‘s song about how greed is literally killing Santa and the elves might technically be depressing, but this track is too good (and too funny) not to include.
“The Christmas Song” – Weezer
“Just Another Christmas Song” – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
This Nerdy Christmas playlist needs some soul, and it gets all that and more with this groovy track from 2015’s It’s a Holiday Soul Party. In a just world Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings would already be a staple of every holiday radio station’s lineup. Instead we gotta hear about stupid Christmas shoes every year.
“Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas” – Eels
Usually when we think “cool” during Christmas we’re talking about the temperature, but this rocking number from Eels isn’t talking about snow. This one is especially good while driving down the highway to go shopping at the mall. In fact, that’s the vibe we’re closing out the rest of this playlist with.
“Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” – The Ramones
Speaking of cool, The Ramones got into the holiday punk rock spirit with 1989’s “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight.” And just as good? The video which features a couple, uh, working things out during the holidays. Good for them!
“Father Christmas” – The Kinks
We’re ending our playlist with a Holiday song we once said is good enough to listen to all year. And we still totally stand by that. The Kinks’ “Father Christmas” is a perfect rock song that transcends the holiday. It’s also a perfect way to end our Nerdy Christmas Playlist.
Well, it will end it until we restart the whole thing and listen to it again. And again. And again. Mariah Carey fans aren’t the only ones who love playing their favorite Christmas songs on repeat.