Sad Christmas Songs for Those With An Incarcerated Partner

Sad Christmas Songs for Those With An Incarcerated Partner

While the rest of the world rejoices in the traditions of the season, for many with an incarcerated partner, this is the worst time of the year. It’s the season of family and our families are torn apart by bars, concrete walls, and endless miles.

Most Christmas songs are happy, joyful and full of glee, but there is no shortage of sad Christmas songs.

Hearing a sad Christmas song when-you-can’t-have-the-person-you-want-most-in-the-world-at-the-time-when-the-world-says-you-should-have-them, is like ripping a band-aid off an open wound. The wound we try to hide the rest of the year.

Here are my picks for top five saddest Christmas songs (guaranteed to induce a crying fit):

#5 – Someday at Christmas by Stevie Wonder

Lyrics: Someday all our dreams will come to be. Someday in a world where men are free. Maybe not in time for you and me. But someday at Christmastime. Someday at Christmastime.

This song wasn’t written about men in prison but when you speak of men being free under of the refrain of “someday,” I can’t help but think of all those incarcerated.

Listen to Someday at Christmas

#4 – Blue Christmas by Elvis

Lyrics: I’ll have a blue Christmas without you. I’ll be so blue just thinking about you. Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree. Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me

Seriously, this song doesn’t need lyrics. The title is plenty.

Listen to Blue Christmas

#3 – I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Michael Buble

Lyrics: I am dreaming tonight of a place I love. Even more than I usually do. And although I know it’s a long road back. I promise you. I’ll be home for Christmas. You can count on me. Please have snow and mistletoe. And presents on the tree…..I’ll be home for Christmas. If only in my dreams.

This song was written for those in the armed forces, but that last line kills me. The whole song is a dream from the point of view of the person who longs to be home. Sound familiar?

Listen to I’ll Be Home for Christmas

#2 – All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

Lyrics: I don’t need to hang my stocking. There upon the fireplace. Santa Claus won’t make me happy
With a toy on Christmas Day. I just want you for my own. More than you could ever know. Make my wish come true. All I want for Christmas is you.

Even with an upbeat tempo, this song tugs at the heart strings. Again, the lyrics are unnecessary.

Listen to All I Want for Christmas is You

#1 – Miss You Most (At Christmas Time) by Mariah Carey

Lyrics: The fire is burning. The room’s all aglow. Outside the December wind blows. Away in the distance
The carolers sing in the snow. Everybody’s laughing. The world is celebrating. And everyone’s so happy. Except for me tonight Because…
I miss you. Most at Christmas time. And I can’t get you. Get you off my mind. Every other season comes along and I’m all right. But then I miss you most at Christmas time

Miss You Most sums it all up for me. I absolutely miss him most at Christmas time. When I hear this, I fall to pieces.

Listen to Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)


Christmas is a season of love, but it’s also a season of sadness. I’m thankful to have love and to be in love. But, gosh it hurts…a lot.





What are some of your top picks for sad Christmas songs?

  1. Susan OkatySusan Okaty12-15-2011

    Great reminder, Reesy, that the holidays aren’t always joyful for everybody. Hugs to you during this time especially.

  2. angieangie12-23-2011

    merry christmas darling by The Carpenters… tht is all :)

  3. chugschugs09-23-2013

    Probably one of the saddest songs of all time and written expressly about being in prison during Christmas is Paul Kelley’s “How to Make Garvey –

    If your not in tears by the time he sings about Dan dancing with Rita then you are a stone. Such sad and happy song –

    Hello Dan, it’s Joe here
    I hope you’re keeping well
    Its the 21st of December
    now theyre ringing the last bell
    if I get good behaviour
    I’ll be out of here by July
    Won’t you kiss my kids on Christmas day

    Pleeeease don’t let them cry for me

    I guess the brothers are driving down from Queensland and Stella’s
    flying in from the coast
    They say it’s gonna be a hundred degrees, even more maybe, but that
    won’t stop the roast

    Who’s gonna make the gravy now?
    I bet it won’t taste the same

    Just add flour, salt, a little red wine and don’t forget a dollop of
    tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang

    And give my love to Angus and to Frank and Dolly,
    Tell ‘em all I’m sorry I screwed up this time
    And look after Rita, I’ll be thinking of her early Christmas morning
    When I’m standing in line

    I hear Mary’s got a new boyfriend, I hope he can hold his own
    Do you remember the last one? What was his name again?
    (Just a little too much cologne)

    And Roger, you know I’m even gonna miss Roger
    ‘Cause there’s sure as hell no one in here I want to fight

    Oh praise the Baby Jesus, have a Merry Christmas,
    I’m really gonna miss it, all the treasure and the trash
    And later in the evening, I can just imagine,
    You’ll put on Junior Murvin and push the tables back
    And you’ll dance with Rita, I know you really like her,
    Just don’t hold her too close, oh brother please don’t stab me in the

    I didn’t mean to say that, it’s just my mind it plays up,
    Multiplies each matter, turns imagination into fact
    You know I love her badly, she’s the one to save me,
    I’m gonna make some gravy, I’m gonna taste the fat
    Tell her that I’m sorry, yeah I love her badly, tell ‘em all I’m
    And kiss the sleepy children for me
    You know one of these days, I’ll be making gravy,
    I’ll be making plenty, I’m gonna pay ‘em all back.

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