Now that Thanksgiving is over and we’ve entered the month of December, we can finally blast this month’s holiday tunes at full volume, free of judgment! A few years ago, I created my own festive playlist on Apple Music that is just labeled with a christmas tree emoji. I absolutely love it and play it throughout the holiday season each year.
I’ve had plenty of time to add the perfect songs that match the seasonal excitement to a tee, making my soundtrack truly merry. Because I can’t share my entire playlist which has over 60 songs and three hours of music on it, I’ll be sure to only mention the super important, must-listen-to holiday jams.
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey released her biggest hit, “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” in 1994. Since then, this four-minute song has taken over every radio station and streaming app all season long, so much so that Carey has been labeled the “Queen of Christmas”. This song will excite any listeners the second you hear the first ring of the track’s 13 chimes.
“A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives
I can’t help but bounce my head and grow a large smile across my face every time “A Holly Jolly Christmas” plays. Ives’ voice is so soothing, and matched with the upbeat bells and background vocals, what could be better?
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Frank Loesser
In recent years, this song has become a bit problematic due to its questionable lyrics. Though the controversy about consent seems to stay adamant, I personally don’t think that was ever the intent of the song. When Lesser wrote it, he merely meant to represent a couple that didn’t want to depart because their love is so strong. I’ve made joke excuses with my friends and family when it was time to leave like this, so for me, it will always be a great holiday song. Especially because it also reminds me of the shower scene in “Elf,” which is one of my favorite Christmas movies.
“Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley
The King of Rock and Roll can do much more than just sing “Jailhouse Rock” and “Blue Suede Shoes” as his rendition of “Blue Christmas” is a flawless, jazzy addition to any seasonal playlist. His unique voice truly shines through, with his repetitive scoops and vibrato.
“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band
While most Christmas songs are upbeat and cheery since it matches the tone of the seasonal festivities, “Happy Xmas” takes a different approach. The slower rhythm introduces a nostalgic and grateful feel in the air, and after all, that’s what the holidays are all about!
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is another slower holiday song that beautifully emphasizes the peacefulness of Christmas and the appreciation we should acknowledge.
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by The Jackson 5
It’s hard not to join Michael Jackson’s belt and dialogue in “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” I’ve always loved picturing someone’s child spying on Santa to end up seeing his mother kiss him. It’s just so silly that I can’t help but giggle in between the lyrics!
“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” by Michael Bublé
This song will always have a special place in my heart as it always makes me think of the time I sang it with my friends in my high school choir. Even so, with Bublé’s smooth tone, all of his holiday songs are stunning in his 2011 “Christmas” album, but especially this track.
“It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” by Perry Como & The Fontane Sisters
The beautiful instrumentals will always invoke a magical feeling inside of me, but the descriptive and humorous lyrics on top of it leaves this tune to be truly unmatched.
“It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams
Talk about driving up the holiday excitement! “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is a cheerful tune that prepares all listeners for the glorious upcoming seasonal events.
“Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms
I feel like even though “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Jingle Bells” are both amazing songs, “Jingle Bell Rock” is just so much more iconic. And even more so, it will forever remind me of the scene in “Home Alone 2” when Kevin matches this beat with his oversized flip flops and jumps in the pool, losing his bathing suit trunks!
“Last Christmas” by Wham!
I love “Last Christmas” by Wham! so much that it might actually be my favorite Christmas song. While George Michael and Andrew Ridegeley sing about a devastating holiday heartbreak, they ultimately recognize that there’s someone better out there as they say this year, they’ll give their heart “to someone special.” The meaning is just as gorgeous as the music itself.
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee
This song is so nostalgic for me. I had a dancing Christmas tree when I was little and it would play this song as it moved side to side. But I will forever be confused why they say “later we’ll have some pumpkin pie,” because that’s only a Thanksgiving treat for me – for Christmas, it’s a large pile of cookies!
“Run Rudolph Run” by Chuck Berry
This song just makes me want to get up and dance until I can’t breathe. Its fast-paced beat and goofy meaning will forever make for a fun Christmastime tune!
“Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt
Not only do I love singing this song, but I will always laugh at the fact that Kitt is trying to basically seduce Santa into giving luxurious gifts. I would love for Santa to give me a yacht and decorations from Tiffany & Co. too!
“Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” by Frank Sinatra
This song is the absolute perfect tune for children everywhere during the holiday season. As a child, I would get so thrilled every single time I heard this song because it’s simply about Santa on his way to give me presents! What builds up the excitement more than this?
“Sleigh Ride” by The Ronettes
Though the background “Ring-a-ling-a, ding-dong-ding’s” can sometimes be a bit too much, I think it is a good reminder that this is how peppy we should be around this time of the year. Grab a mug of hot chocolate, buy some presents for your friends and curl up to a holiday movie – it’s the best time of the year!
“White Christmas” by Bing Crosby
I feel like I haven’t had a white Christmas where I live in a long time, which saddens me to no extent, so this song hits close to home for me. Even though the song talks about dreaming for snow, the lyrics allow me to easily imagine the white fluffy snowflakes falling outside as I open my gifts surrounded by my loved ones.
“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney
Like I have been saying throughout this article, Paul McCartney perfectly reiterates my point that the emotions you get during this season are like no other as he sings: “The feeling’s here, that only comes, this time of year.” Not to mention, the chorus is super catchy.
The holiday season will always make up for lack of sunlight, colder temperatures and dreadful academic finals. And after you put on a well-rounded, festive playlist, it will seem like nothing can bother you except for the pressing need to make cookies and play in the snow.