Are you hosting a Christmas party this year? Did you sign up to be the DJ for your office holiday get-together because your secretary Kathy, who only asks about your kids so she can tell you about hers, downloaded Lou Monte’s Christmas to play on repeat? Are you looking for a little yuletide cheer on your ride to work and are tired of the same three songs played on repeat?
We at The Comeback are here to help! Our gift to you, friends, neighbors and readers, is our ultimate list of Christmas songs, curated by our writers and editors. Listen, download, sing along, share with your friends and loved ones (and Kathy’s kids, obvs) and Merry Christmas.
Up on the Housetop – Jackson 5 (recommended by Dan Levy)
Mowtown Christmas songs are better than anything else, and the Jackson 5 had a handful of amazing Christmas tunes to choose from. Why this song? It’s not their most memorable one, but I find myself humming this every year…in July.
Don’t Shoot me Santa, by The Killers (recommended by Liam McGuire)
Christmas in Hollis – Run DMC (recommended by Jack Maloney and Joe Lucia)
There’s only one answer here. This is such a ridiculous, unexpected song – it’s perfect for the holidays. – Joe
We’re a Couple of Misfits (recommended by Alexander Goot)
“We’re a Couple of Misfits”, from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for this one, I think because of the part of me that still feels sometimes like I don’t fit in. My favorite rendition comes from Moe,, one of my favorite bands.
“Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance!” by Sufjan Stevens (recommended by Michael Grant)
This is an easy song to embrace even after the holidays are over. It’s silly, fun and has an old school sensibility. Plus, who can resist the lyrics: “Hijack a snow plow?”
John Lennon, Happy Christmas (recommended by Dave Lozo)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Bruce Springsteen (recommended by Yaron Weitzman)
Yes, I know, I’m a cliché.
“Oh Holy Night” from the Home Alone soundtrack. (recommended by David Rogers)
The song is timeless and instantly brings back feelings of childhood as well as one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time.
The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole (recommended by Matt Zemek)
Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry (recommended by Brendan Prunty)
White Christmas, Bing Crosby (recommended by Andy Coppens)
Maybe it’s growing up in the upper Midwest or having a grandfather with a voice like Bing’s, but Christmas isn’t the same without this song or snow. It may not be a hip, recent sing, but it is a timeless classic and Bing did it best.
Last Christmas by Cascada (recommended by Shlomo Sprung)
I’m not a big fan of the genre, but if I had to pick one, this is it.
Last Christmas by Wham (recommended by Sean Keeley)
Favorite Christmas song? How about none? If I have to choose, I’ll go with “Last Christmas” by Wham!
Silent Night by Bad Religion (recommended by Josh Katzowitz)
Irony around the holidays is the best, and you can’t get much more ironic than a punk band named Bad Religion doing a slamming cover of “Silent Night.” Despite the band’s name and the fact lead singer Greg Graffin is an atheist who wrote a book called, “Anarchy Evolution,” he’s also a former choir boy who enjoys singing Christmas songs. I once saw a Bad Religion show on Easter Sunday, but even that isn’t as ironic as this song and how rocking it is.
Do They Know It’s Christmas from Band Aid – 1984 version (recommended by Ian Casselberry)
It’s not a traditional Christmas song, and I wouldn’t play it for family and friends or at a Christmas party. But no song gets me more excited during the holidays if I hear it on the radio or at a store. It reminds me of the music I loved growing up and gets me in the spirit.
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee (recommended by Ken Fang)
As a person who deals with depression every holiday season, I try to avoid all Christmas songs, but the only one which truly can bring a smile to my face is Brenda Lee’s. Perhaps it’s the guitar riffs or it’s Brenda’s voice that’s reassuring. It’s a standard December in the Fang household.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Christmas Canon Rock (recommended by Andrew Bucholtz)
I love most of their stuff, but this one’s particularly good.
Christmas is Coming by Vince Guaraldi (recommended by Kevin McGuire)
For me, now Christmas playlist is complete without a couple of tunes from the Charlie Brown Christmas special, but this one always seems to be overlooked and caught in the shadows of the signature and iconic Linus & Lucy. To mix things up with your Christmas playlist, throw this jazzy tune into the set and let the magical work done by Guaraldi on his keyboard get you going. It has always been one of my favorite tunes.
That’s just a totally random sample of some of our favorite Christmas songs for you to share. Of course, the list doesn’t include every song we like, and it’s kind of silly if any Christmas song list doesn’t include Mariah Carey or Stevie Wonder or Stevie Wonder or Stevie Wonder, but feel free to download those too and nobody at your party will complain. (Note: or Stevie Wonder.)
One bonus, and I didn’t know until today this is originally from a McDonald’s commercial, but if the holidays aren’t about abject commercialism, I don’t know what is. I’ve heard this song constantly on satellite radio this year, yes, but it’s insanely catchy and I can’t get it out of my head, so now I’m sticking it in yours!
Merry Christmastime. Tell Kathy we said she’s welcome.
Keep Me Warm – Erin Bowman