It’s that time of the year again when a glass of hot chocolate in hand and snuggled up in your cozy blankets gives you a simplistic pleasure. And you might just accidentally catch yourself humming ‘jingle all the way’. And to further revel in the spirit of Christmas, you might give in to the temptations of Christmas movies. Transporting yourself to the hubbub of New York with Kevin or celebrating in Hogwarts with Harry Potter, the amusement found in these escapades is incomplete with Christmas songs. And as the winter blues come in heavy, it is time to play some tunes to dispel the colorlessness of this season and relish in the gala of Christmas.
1. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU
– MARIAH CAREY
The biggest Christmas song of all time, released in 1994 and spanning decades, has stood the test of time. This timeless classic makes its glorious return every Christmas season, reigning all music chart promises Mariah Carey millions in royalties every year. This up-tempo song with a catchy tune and rhythmic beats gives the feeling of a ‘growing sense of excitement.’ If anything, this song will surely make you bop your head and groove along with its tempo.
2. SANTA TELL ME
This cute romantic pop song, released in 2014, is a modern version of Christmas classics. If there is one song that will make you hop around in bed very reminiscent of the official music video, it is this one. For the lonely souls out there, who need good cheering, this is the kind of song suitable to fulfill those needs. Full of warmth and hope, the melody and instrumentation of Santa tell me is there to uplift your mood and make you feel joyous.
3. OH SANTA!
–MARIAH CAREY (ft ARIANA GRANDE, JENNIFER HUDSON)
What do you get when you put together three vocal powerhouses, amazing vocalization, whistle notes, great harmonies, and a good ol’ Christmas cheer? This rendition of Oh Santa! originally by Mariah Carey made people gasp in surprise to see the other two featuring artists, and Oh, did they deliver ever so wonderfully! Yet another up-tempo sing will get you by your ears just from the vocals alone. Christmas is all about festivities with your family and friends, and what better than listening to three fantastic artists beautifully meshing their voices together to give you that feeling of joyful togetherness!
4. 8 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
Now one cannot go wrong with the Queen herself- Beyoncé and her sultry voice. It would be a travesty to miss out on this Christmas song by Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams, together known as Destiny’s child in 2001. If there is one thing to look forward to for Christmas, it’s the presents, of course, whether from Santa or cough Not Santa! cough. Either way, we all wish to be pampered and this upbeat R&B track is about living like the Queen, indulging in all the tokens of affection you deserve. So, put on your crowns, people, know your worth, and groove to this song and to the spirit of Christmas!
5. CHRISTMAS IN HOLLIS
Alright. These Christmas songs, despite being upbeat and all fun, seem to be still lacking some flavor. It’s that party and cool vibe that we are looking for! But look no further, as this hip-hop track released by Run D.M.C. is exactly what you need. Being one of the most legendary hip-hop artists, Run D.M.C. released this song in 1987, with beats that will bring the party home. It looks like the professionals agree with this sentiment as this song has found its playlisting in several badass and entertaining movies and shows such as Die Hard (1988), The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Orange is the new Black, and Hawkeye. So, if you want to throw a party, be it at your office, at home, with friends, or with any decent company, it is this kind of track that will keep the mood going.
6. A TYPICAL IDOL’S CHRISTMAS
A Christmas song, whether a cover or original is normalized to be in the arsenal of every international artist out there. So, it comes as no surprise that superstars B.T.S. will also be having one. Released in 2013, joining with the likes of Christmas in Hollis, this is yet another hip-hop track; however, the subject and the vibes differ significantly. Taking a different turn from all the romantic Christmas tracks, this song will resonate with those who are still hustling despite the festivities. You look at previous Christmases and wonder about the progress you made since then, but you still end up working, making it just another typical day after all. With a very chill vibe, this song is an undiscovered jewel.
7. SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN
How can any playlist be complete without at least one song from Jackson 5? Released in 1970, this song was a hit single from what is hailed as the best Christmas album ever, Jackson 5 Christmas Album. So, if only this song had been listed in this playlist, don’t forget to check out the rest of the songs, particularly another hit from this very album, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” This fast-tempo R&B track, sung by a 12-year-old Michael Jackson, accurately captures the excitement of all our inner children. In the days leading up to Christmas, we knew Santa Claus was coming to our homes bearing gifts because we damn well knew we were on that good list (forgetting all our naughtiness throughout the year). This child-like excitement is what makes Christmas special, after all.
8. SANTA BABY
With another change in genre, Kylie Minogue, in 2000, gave the world an Alternative/Indie Christmas song. If Jackson 5 captured childish excitement, this song took moved into the realms of adulting, taking “adult wishes” as an indicator to put it out in a song. After all, if wishes do come true, wouldn’t one ask for convertibles, yachts, Tiffany jewelry, and a million-dollar cheque? Though the track has a seductive style of singing, it probably is quite relatable in terms of want for presents that an adult would wish for while assuring Santa they had been good all year round. Yet another song that doesn’t fall for the typical romanticizing of Christmas, the melody of the song suggests otherwise. So, watch out for the lyrics, because you might end up liking them more than you should!
9. UNDERNEATH THE TREE
This song is the classic cheerful Christmas song of 2013, giving a pop and jazzy feel with bells and saxophone in the background. Giving an ‘optimistic’ vibe, this up-tempo song revels in the companionship of others which is seemingly more fulfilling than getting presents. So, would you prefer a million-dollar cheque as sung by Kylie Minogue, or the feeling of ‘togetherness’ as sung by Kelly Clarkson? Well, you can sit and think about that. But to be fair, we listeners deserve a song that can give us both. So, while we wait for a track like that, Kelly Clarkson here delivers with amazing vocals this wholesome song.
Now this song is all about romanticizing the spirit of Christmas. For those not well versed in the art of romance, lovers kissing under the mistletoe during Christmas is a long-standing tradition. Though sometimes non-lovers, if caught together under the mistletoe, also decide to go for a consensual peck. So, what do you get when you mix a 17-year-old Justin Bieber in 2011 with a romantic heart? You get a boy kissing the girl he likes under a mistletoe, forgetting to write his list of presents for Santa, participating in festivities, and playing with snow. This soft melodious pop song might make single hearts feel a little lonely, but it’s still quite a lovely song sung by a beautiful voice.
11. WHAT CHRISTMAS MEANS TO ME
Yet another song with references to ‘kissing under the mistletoe’ by Stevie Wonder is here to put a nail in the coffin of the lack of romance in our lives. However, the mistletoe is not only the Christmassy thing that Stevie Wonder connects with Christmas but also the snow, ice, and carols are sung. Now imagine running to your lover at night, hearing the sounds of melody in the background, ice and snow covering the ground as you greet them under a mistletoe, where the two of you eventually kiss. Sigh, What a hopelessly romantic atmosphere! Released in 1967, this Funky/Soul song exudes love and warmth with the mistletoe magic, of course!
12. LONELY THIS CHRISTMAS
If Justin Bieber and Stevie Wonder with their Mistletoe made you feel lonely, fear not; you are not so alone after all! Lonely this Christmas by glam rock band Mud, released in 1975, will make you miss even your non-existent lover. Rather let’s go the extra mile and say it will make you feel lonely and miss your lover even if they are by your side. This Alternative/indie track, sung by the lead singer Les Gray in the style of Elvis Presley, hits you right in the feels pulling at your heartstrings. So, take a deep breath, and hold yourself steady as you bask in the beauty of this song. The catchy ‘Bom- Bom- Bom- Bom’ in the background of the song gives a sense of completion to this track. This song is a must for a Christmas playlist.
13. BLUE CHRISTMAS
Recommending a song stylistically sung like Elvis Presley’s (Lonely this Christmas) and yet not mentioning a sung by the man himself would truly be an injustice. Commercially released in 1967. As the story goes, Elvis, not wanting any part of this song, attempted to sabotage it intentionally by singing the main vocals ‘choppily.’ If only we could all be successful despite all the mistakes we made. Alas! We are no Elvis Presley. This song cemented itself as a ‘rock- and- roll’ holiday classic in the soulful voice of Elvis with rhythm and blues in genre.
14. I.T.’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS
Released in 2011, this song makes you realize the basic charm of Christmas. The Christmas tree has been set up, and stockings have been hung, ready to be filled with gifts, toys, and candies in store. More than the actual day of Christmas, it’s all the events leading up to it that make it even more exquisite. But despite all this, the prettiest sight to see is your lover, the arrival of whom is what Christmas truly is. This seasonal cover by Michael Bublé is yet another steady hit which every Christmas season finds itself back on the charts every day. If this track is being played, you know it is truly beginning to look a lot like Christmas but without the lover.
15. CHRISTMAS TREE
–V (OF BTS)
This sweet ballad with a soft acoustic guitar melody is here to make you feel all soft and fluffy. Released in 2021, this song serves as an official soundtrack of the Korean romantic comedy-drama ‘Our Beloved Summer’. So, this Christmas, treat yourself not only to this song but to a K-drama as well. If there is one thing you should know, it’s Korea producing and creating quite the best drama and movies in the world. As a matter of fact, you might run into familiar faces from the Oscar-winning movie ‘Parasite’ in this drama. So, rest assured, Our Beloved Summer will live up to the expectations along with this equally beautiful track by Kim Taehyung, aka V of B.T.S.
16. LAST CHRISTMAS
Released in 1986, this song remains to be one of the most iconic Christmas songs in history. The song entails the feelings of a broken heart from Last Christmas and finding a more special love this Christmas. Now, one would wonder why it is only Christmas that everyone is looking for their true love. It feels as if the mistletoe, Stevie Wonder, and all the other artists keep pushing this romantic Christmas narrative. But with beauty comes love, and those who think it is the most beautiful time of the year, also feel the stirring of romance. Following the gist of this lovely song, if you wish to find your special someone this year, then in the words of Ariana Grande’s Santa Tell Me-
“Santa, tell me if you’re really there.
Don’t make me fall in love again if he isn’t here next year.”
May Santa help you find that special someone who will be there next Christmas.
17. MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY
–IKE AND TINA TURNER
If there is one uplifting song that you need this Christmas, it’s this one. There are only so many times that you hear pretty baby before you start basking in the enjoyment of being called pretty. This soulful R&B song released in 1990 is that holiday cheer you need because you be looking mighty fine, playing some good music, and feeling good about yourself. Let that “Pretty baby” cheer you up!
18. MERRY CHRISTMAS (I DON’T WANT TO FIGHT TONIGHT)
Released in 1989, this punk rock anthem has a different take on the romantic Christmas. There are those kissing under the mistletoe, those looking for love, or those already in love, but here you have a song for the couples fighting during Christmas. Christmas is not the time to be breaking each other’s hearts, unlike what happened Last Christmas So, embrace each other during this exciting time and love to the fullest. And give this song a good listen as well!
19. JINGLE BELL ROCK
Yet another classic Christmas song released in 1957 encourages you to revel in the sounds of all the jingling bells. Let the jingle of these bells that sway give an extra skip to the beat of your step. May these lovely sounds tinkle your very being and fill you with delight. And let there be an outpour of those same delightful sounds from you, cheering up the people around you. It’s Christmas, it’s wondrous and it sounds beautiful.
20. FELIZ NAVIDAD
Adding this song to the list of iconic Christmas songs in history, released in 1970, it is a very simple and heartfelt Latin pop song just wishing us all a very Merry Christmas. Sometimes this is all we need, a simple greeting to make us all smile. This song consists of only two lyrics which keep repeating over the catchy tunes,
“Feliz Navidad, próspero año y Felicidad (Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness) I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart.”
And what a Merry Christmas it is! So, let this song and all the others in this playlist cheer you as you hum, groove, or maybe throw in a little ‘shimmy’ to all this good music. No matter where you are in life or whatever you may be doing, may this Christmas bring you happiness, splendor, good health physically and mentally, and healthy love. A word of caution – Keep an eye out for the mistletoes.
If you’re like us, you probably start blasting Christmas music soon as you can—after all, there’s no such thing as too soon when it comes to Christmas tunes. Whether you’re trying to shake your Grinch mood on your morning commute, on the hunt for a sing-along soundtrack while you deck the halls with all your favorite holiday decorating ideas, or baking holiday cookies for your annual Christmas party, you’ll want all the best Christmas songs playing in the background to get you into the spirit of the holidays.