Sometimes movies or songs don’t age well, but you find yourself watching or humming along to them anyway, offensive lyrics, wince-inducing scenes and all. That is especially true during the holiday season, when traditions and modern sensibilities collide in an acute way.

So, how do you balance your warm feelings for a traditional song or movie with whatever cringe factor it may sometimes produce?

That is the question we asked Times readers this week. Many responded with reflections on holiday standards, like the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” as well as pop culture standbys one might encounter at any time of year, like “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”

We also heard from Shane MacGowan, the lead singer of the rock band The Pogues and the writer of its 1987 Christmas song, “Fairytale of New York,” which has been criticized in recent years for its derogatory language toward women and gay people.

Art shouldn’t be “sanitized” or tinkered with “to suit the changing attitudes of the times,” Mr. MacGowan said in an expletive-filled statement that used a word stronger than tinkered.

“We don’t look at ‘The Merchant of Venice’ in the same way now as people did when Shakespeare was writing it, now it would be outrageous,” said Mr. MacGowan, who added that the characters in his song used offensive language because they were meant to be seen as screw-ups.

“Society is constantly changing and the lyrics of songs don’t have to change to suit the times, they are doing their job by reflecting the changing times,” he said.

When it comes to the importance of context, many readers agreed with him. But others said they had fond feelings for some songs or movies that they were unlikely to recommend to their kids.

Below are a selection of responses from Times readers that have been edited for length and clarity.

I keep in mind that the artists (Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes) didn’t have anything to do with Phil Spector’s actions. They shouldn’t be ostracized or discounted because of what Phil Spector did.

SONYA CARNEY, 51, Columbia, Mo.