The 10 Best Christmas Songs, Hands Down

I abide by three simple rules: hang up your towel after you shower, don’t feed the dog people food and no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. Well, Gigglers, I broke that last rule this year. I listened to Christmas music in early November to help you prepare for the holidays. Yes, I pored through iTunes and scoured Spotify to find the best songs to get you in the Christmas spirit. What resulted was a playlist of the holiday’s finest.

Some songs have the original artist you recognize from the radio year after year, while some are a more updated version. You’ll see a lot of classics on the list, because frankly, they’re hard to beat. I compiled a fun mix of old and new; the perfect playlist to jumpstart your ho ho holiday season!

Let’s be clear: there are Christmas songs, and then there are Christmas carols. Songs are about the season, while carols are more religious. To keep me focused, I stuck to just Christmas songs. Even then it was nearly impossible to narrow it down, but here are the 10 best Christmas songs, hands down, and in no particular order.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year performed by Robert Mersey and Andy Williams

This song is so dang cheery and catchy. I’m convinced it can make even the grinchiest Grinch smile. Plus, it reminds me of Ellen giving away free stuff on her show, because this is her holiday giveaway theme, or at least it was one year.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside performed by She & Him

I love me some She, and I really love me some Him. They’re the perfect duo to sing this song. Whenever M. Ward delights us with his vocals it’s a win in my book.

Blue Christmas performed by Elvis Presley

Because let’s face it: sometimes, you aren’t having a white Christmas.

It’s Christmas! Let’s Be Glad! performed by Sufjan Stevens

An ironically upbeat Christmas song from Sufjan Stevens. If you like it, check out his entire Christmas album!

Santa Baby performed by Miss Piggy

Miss Piggy – Santa Baby

The only YouTube videos I could find of this were homemade tributes complete with stuffed Miss Piggy dolls (I’ll let you find those yourselves… they’re really something), but trust me when I say to listen to this little piggy’s rendition of ‘Santa Baby’ from The Muppets: A Green and Red Christmas.

Fairytale Of New York performed by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl

Life. Love. Happiness. Sadness. New York City. A hauntingly beautiful Christmas must-hear.

What Christmas Means To Me performed by Stevie Wonder

This song is impressive simply because how many things are there that both a) define what Christmas means to you and b) rhyme with ‘mistletoe’?

Marshmallow World performed by Francesca Battistelli

Francesca Battistelli’s version of this song is so warm and fuzzy, I almost can’t handle it. Almost.

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) performed by Nat King Cole Trio

This song is such a classic, it’s called ‘The Christmas Song’. Emphasis on ‘The’. If this doesn’t remind you of nestling into bed on Christmas Eve and waiting for Santa, I don’t know what does.

All I Want For Christmas Is You performed by Mariah Carey


Happy holidays, Gigglers! Whatever you’re celebrating, I hope it’s the best. And because this list shouldn’t be limited to 10 (hell, or Christmas even), let me know your favorite holiday song in the comments.

Featured image via ShutterStock

  • Melissa Lamb

    Christmas Time by the Darkness!

  • Jenny Lonussen

    Mine would be:
    1 Christmas Day – Beach Boys (or She & Him :-) )
    2 There’s Something About December – Christina Perri
    3 Joy To The World – Best versions are choir versions. (Pure joy, instant good mood song for me ).
    4 Happy Christmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon and Yoko Ono
    5 Blue Christmas – Elvis/She & Him/Beach Boys all beautiful.
    6 O Come All Ye Faithful/Adeste Fideles – Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Bing Cosby all have great versions.
    7 I’ll Be Home For Christmas – She & Him, Rascal Flatts also has a beautiful a-capella version. (But Elvis, Michael Bublé, The Beach Boys also have great versions).
    8 Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – The Crystals
    9 The ultimate classic Silent Night. :-)
    10 A toss up between Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Away in A Manger and The First Noel (Also Mary’s Boy Child?)

    I just love Christmas songs and picking just 10 proves to be too difficult, haha! I commend you for your restraint and ability to choose :-)

    • Jenny Lonussen

      Also I snuck in some Carols but ya know it’s not Christmas without the Carols.

  • Tom Clements

    Okay… mine is very very strange… but whatever:

    1. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness
    2. Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen
    3. Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth – Bing Crosby & David Bowie
    4. Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid
    5. Ave Maria – Chris Cornell
    6. Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord – Boney M
    7. Boots – The Killers
    8. Christmas in Hollis – Run DMC
    9. Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John Lennon
    10. It’s Just Another Christmas Without You – Prozzäk

  • Lindsey Gallagher

    How on earth is Bing Crosby’s White Christmas not on this list??!! :-)

    • Kathryn FitzGibbon

      How is Christmas at all without ANY Bing Crosby carols? 😀

      • Kathryn Lentini

        I agree. It doesn’t matter which one!

  • Dana M. Abel

    I prefer the Hanson version of What Christmas Means to Me. So fun.

  • Fiona Barrett

    no Christmas playlist is complete without ‘Lonely Pup in a Christmas Shop’ it’s my favourite! Reminds me of all those Christmas’ when I was younger and I would pray to wake up to a puppy on Christmas morning

  • Jaime Hammer

    I was worried for a minute that All I Want for Christmas is You wouldn’t make the list! It’s one of my faves. :) Good list. I also love It Snowed by Meaghan Smith. More of a Winter song than specifically Christmas, but it’s fun and cute. :)

  • Claire Willis

    The Anberlin cover of ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ is my absolute favourite Christmas song. The Michael Buble version is also great.

  • Kathryn Lentini

    Mine (in no particular order):

    1. Nat King Cole- The Christmas Song
    2. Ertha Kitt- Santa Baby
    3. Andy Williams- It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
    3. Brenda Lee- Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
    4. Mannheim Steamroller- Carol of the Bells (The version by Transiberian Orchestra is a close second, if not tied).
    5. Mariah Carey- All I Want for Christmas Is You
    6. Margaret Whiting and John Mercer- Baby It’s Cold Outside (There is another version, Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby and it sounds EXACTLY the same – on itunes- so idk which is the real one. Lady Antebellum also does a really good job.)
    7. The Weepies- All that I Want
    8. Bing Crosby- It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
    9. Celine Dion- O’ Holy Night (I also really like the version by Josh Groban.)
    10. Johnny Mathis- Sleigh Ride

  • Sandra Povilaitis

    This is mine:

    1. Pretenders- 2000 Miles
    2. Coldplay- Christmas Lights
    3. She & Him- Sleigh Ride
    4. The Darkness- Christmas Time ( Don’t Let The Bells End)
    5. Killers- Boots
    6. Band Aid 20- Do They Know It’s Christmas?
    7. Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas Is You
    8. She & Him- Baby It’s Cold Outside
    9. The Hush- Wishing You A Happy Christmas
    10. Chris Rea – Driving Home For Christmas

  • Tammie Rafferty

    Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses

  • Katie Edwards

    I love “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” sung by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan. Like, a lot. :)
    An annual fave was watching Darlene Love sing “Christmas [Baby Please Come Home]” on Letterman…don’t know if she still does that, but it’s awesome.
    And of course “O Holy Night” sung by anyone with a good voice.

    • Jenny Lonussen

      It’s also on the Phil Spector Christmas album. Terrific song and wonderful album :-)

  • Brandi Barrett Elkins

    Thank goodness someone mentioned Happy Christmas (War is Over)! A terrific Christmas song. I was also glad to see Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home), although I prefer the U2 version. Finally, I would add Last Christmas by Wham!

    And yes, I am a product of the 80s in case you were wondering.

  • Camille Casmier

    These are definitely some of my favorite to listen to when I’m in the car or listening to the radio in general, but I really love the classic Christmas songs, too. The really classic ones. Like, the pre-radio stuff. Like O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and Little Drummer Boy.

  • Rachel van Kommer

    Driving home for christmas?

  • Lisa-Marie Borras

    Glad fairytale of new york is on this list! Wot about ‘Last Christmas.’ By wham or ‘merry xmas everyone.’ By slade or rocking around the christmas tree!!

  • Rosemary Snyder

    You must never have heard Run DMC’s Chistmas in Hollis, or that would definitely be on here! Also, what anout Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses?

  • Jessica Leffelman

    With the exception of Mariah Carey, I’m with you! I prefer the version performed by Vince Vance & The Valiants. And I love ‘Hey Santa’ by Carnie & Wendy Wilson.

  • Ken Niebauer

    You’re missing one of my favorites – The Dropkick Murphy’s singing The Season’s Upon us. –

  • Cynthia Cadmus Clark

    Baby It’s Cold Outside, as I call it, “The Official Date Rape Song of Christmas.” When you take into consideration when it was written (1949) women didn’t have a lot of say. Sorry, I think that song is overly creepy, all I hear is that the woman wants to leave and the man resorts to every excuse in the book to get her to stay. It even has the lyric, “Hey, what’s in this drink?” Sorry, the tune is cute, the singers are great — but if I were the girl, I’d go outside in a bathing suit with a wet head to get as far away from this man as possible, even if it was 50 degrees below zero outside.

    • Theodora Kaloudis

      I totally agree with you. I’ve been saying the same thing for years! This is why I especially love the She&Him version because Zooey and M switch up the roles. Here’s the video for it, it’s awesome and creepy all at the same time!

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