25 Christmas Songs You Need On Your Holiday Playlist

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Christmas is a very particular holiday. Not only is it one of the few where gifts are given out to everyone who celebrates, but it's also one that has a vast amount of songs written about it. Those songs are partly responsible for the distinct feeling that is Christmastime — or the Holiday season. And of course, there are so many, how do you even decide what you listen to when the end of the year rolls around? These25 Christmas songs you need on your holiday playlist should help narrow down your search for the perfect music to listen to while decorating your tree. From slower songs, to sad songs, to those that are the best to dance to, there's something everyone in the house will love on this list. Plus they're all guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit.

There is, of course, the debate on when you should start listening to said Christmas music. There's the camp that demands it year-round and insists on it as soon as the clock strikes midnight on Halloween. And then there are those that need Thanksgiving to officially end before hearing any good tidings. Some are more extreme and demand Christmas music be limited only to the month of December. Whichever you prefer, you have to agree to Christmas music has a special pull on the heartstrings and has a special power to get even the grouchiest Scrooge into the spirit. Hopefully, these songs help you do just that.

1. "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" — *NSYNC

A classic whether you're an *NSYNC fan or not, this song evokes all types of Christmas feelings in you. The message is cute — "Christmas time is here and with the blessings from above, God sends you his love and every thing's okay." It's just cozy and nostalgic. You can watch the hilariously adorable video here.

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2. "O Holy Night" — 'Glee' Cast

There are many versions of this song, but Glee's take on "O Holy Night" is definitely one of the best. Probably a bias amongst Gleeks, but Lea Michele (as Rachel Berry) has a voice so pure, it really sets this version apart.


3. "Where Are You Christmas?" — Faith Hill

If you've seen The Grinch Who Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey, Christine Baranski, and Taylor Momsen, you'll recognize Faith Hill's "Where Are You Christmas" right away. It's really beautiful, and if you're struggling to feel festive this season, this might be the one for you.

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4. "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas" — Gayla Peevey

First premiering back in the '50s, "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas" is easily one of the most feel-good Christmas songs you can find. It's ridiculous, yes, but it's also so cute when you think of a little kid in your life asking for this present. And then imagine having to explain why you can't have a hippo. Priceless! It has fanfare, hilarious lyrics, and notes you can belt. Number one Christmas song? Maybe so.

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5. "Santa Tell Me" — Ariana Grande

Possibly one of the best original Christmas songs of the decade, Ariana Grande's "Santa Tell Me" proved she could really bring the holiday cheer.

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6. "Santa Baby" — Eartha Kitt

One of the classics, Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby" has inspired countless covers and is the epitome of Christmas songs. It's a little sultry, something you might not have picked up as a child, but it's also playful and fun.

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7. "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" — Brenda Lee

With it's signature opening, "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" hits it out of the park with festive energy. It checks off everything you want to do during Christmastime, especially having a grand 'ole time in front of your Xmas tree. Nailed it!

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8. "Feliz Navidad" — José Feliciano

A classic, and one of the only mainstream Christmas songs in Spanish, "Feliz Navidad" brings joy and good vibes. Latinx families have their own Spanish-language songs that they love to listen to around this time of year, but to hear this one on the radio is a nice treat.

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9. "Believe" — Josh Groban

Josh Groban has one of the best voices, period, but also has a voice that invokes festive feelings. And, while he has his own Christmas album, it's "Believe," his original song from The Polar Express that really stands out. Complete with sleigh bells, meaningful lyrics, and a gorgeous tune, this song needs to become one of your Christmas staples.

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10. "Christmas Auld Lang Syne" — Marc Anthony

Maybe a more obscure song, as it came from just one album (Rosie O'Donnell's Another Rosie Christmas), Marc Anthony's "Christmas Auld Lang Syne" is still a nice one to have on during the holidays. It combines "Auld Lang Syne," aka the New Year's Eve song, with beautiful Christmas lyrics.

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11. "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" — Sleeping At Last

A cover of the original song by Darlene Love, Sleeping At Last's version of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home" is much more stripped down, emphasizing the song's magical and romantic qualities. It will make you feel as cozy as a mug of hot cocoa.

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12. “Someday at Christmas” — The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5 has done many great Christmas songs, but "Someday at Christmas" is an amazing tune with a great message. And you can truly get down to this one.


13. "Sleigh Ride" — TLC

TLC is known for many things, but some might forget that they also released a truly great Christmas song, "Sleigh Ride." It's different than classic holiday tunes, but an absolute necessity for any holiday party.


14. "My Only Wish (This Year)" — Britney Spears

Did you know Britney Spears had a Christmas Song? Well, you do now, and you should also know that it's a perfect holiday tune. "My Only Wish (This Year)" is super catchy and fun. In other words, it's Britney, Santa!

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15. "8 Days of Christmas" — Destiny's Child

Destiny's Child's "8 Days of Christmas" has a similar message and layout to "12 Days of Christmas" — counting off different days where their S.O. gives them gifts. This one is a fun song to add to your playlist. Plus, you can count on the vocals being perfect.

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16. "Bring Me Love" — John Legend

One of the best things about the holidays this year was the new NBC special, A Legendary Christmas With John & Chrissy. Not only was it a perfect Christmas special, the songs from Legend's new Christmas album are great and infectious. It's almost impossible not to dance during "Bring Me Love" and it's just insanely sweet.


17. "Ay, Ay, Ay It's Christmas" — Ricky Martin ft. Rosie O'Donnell

Ricky Martin's tune "Ay, Ay, Ay It's Christmas," from Another Rosie Christmas, is one of the best Christmas songs to dance to, and it's so catchy. The live version in particular is fun, upbeat, and now a must for your holiday playlist.

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18. "Who Would Imagine A King" — Whitney Houston

Originally from the film The Preacher's Wife, and sung by Whitney Houston from the start, "Who Would Imagine A King" is absolutely breathtaking. The lyrics tell the Nativity Story in a way to help kids understand how grand that story is, so of course it has a special quality to it. Houston's vocals are just the cherry on top.

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19. "The Christmas Song" — Nat King Cole

This Nat King Cole tune is literally called "The Christmas Song," so of course it's the the Christmas song to end all Christmas songs. Cozy and nostalgic doesn't even begin to cover it.

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20. "Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)" — Céline Dion

Céline Dion's voice is basically meant for Christmas songs, along with dramatic ballads, epic love songs, and anything that calls for a full orchestra. On "Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)," she brings her signature pipes to a classic, religious tune, and adds some of the original Latin in there too.

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21. "Christmas Shoes" — Newsong

Newsong's "Christmas Shoes" is a good choice if you want a good, long sob session accompanied by an understanding of what Christmas is all about. You really want to listen to all the lyrics to get the whole story, but when you do, it'll just make you feel all the feels.

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22. "Love Me Like You (Christmas Mix)" — Little Mix

If you heard Little Mix's song "Love Me Like You" and instantly thought it sounded like a Christmas song, you weren't alone. After release, they went back and remixed it into "Love Me Like You (Christmas Mix)." The lyrics don't have mention of Christmas, but with sleigh bells and smooth harmonies, the retro vibe will get you into the festive spirit.

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23. "Last Christmas" — Wham!

Another classic, Wham!'s "Last Christmas" is a great breakup and Christmas song rolled into one. The emotion in George Michael's voice alone is enough to make it a repeat this season, but it's also just too good to pass up.

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24. "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo" — Trans-Siberian Orchestra

A band known for its intense, rock versions of Christmas songs, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra has a whole album of reimagined versions to classic carols. But their combination of "God Rest 'Ye Marry Gentlemen" and "Carol of The Bells," titled "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo" is definitely the most electric. It's great to add a little twist to your Christmas playlist.

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25. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" — Mariah Carey

You don't need to know anything about Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas" other than the fact that this song is Christmas. Carey succeeded, in 1994, to create the most iconic Christmas song of the last three decades, at least. It doesn't get old, it's catchy, and it makes you want to hit those high notes (except, you probably can't). No shame in trying though. Because Christmas songs are all about singing along, no matter what you sound like.

Just press play on your new holiday playlist to find out for yourself!

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