Finals season is finally over, which means it’s time to celebrate by getting in the holiday spirit. Since there is no better way to do that than with Christmas music, here’s a collection of old classics and new festive jams to quickly boost your holiday cheer.
“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Michael Bublé
This song’s title is justification enough for its starting position in this playlist. Michael Bublé’s version features his signature velvety smooth vocals and starts with a slow warm-up, solidifying it as the perfect opener to any Christmas playlist.
“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams
Another introductory Christmas classic to set the tone of the season through its festive big band instrumentation, chorus vocal backing and triumphant ending.
“Christmas Tree Farm” by Taylor Swift
The first in what has become a very welcome series of Taylor Swift surprise releases was this delightful single, which effectively transitions from the old-school sound of the previous two songs through a jazz introduction to a poppy, upbeat ode to the Christmas Tree Farm on which Taylor Swift grew up.
“Last Christmas” by Wham!
George Michael’s 1984 “Last Christmas” is one of the most iconic non-traditional Christmas songs, inspiring numerous covers — both official and shower karaoke style — and even a festive film released last Christmas, pun intended.
“Like It’s Christmas” by Jonas Brothers
Next up is a super danceable recent hit from the Jonas Brothers’ 2019 comeback, a live performance of which can be seen in an episode of the popular 2020 holiday series “Dash and Lily.”
“Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley
Mellowing out the playlist is a rock-and-roll tune sung by the King himself.
“Winter Dreams (Brandon’s Song)” by Kelly Clarkson
“Winter Dreams” is the first of two songs on this playlist from Kelly Clarkson’s 2013 Christmas album “Wrapped in Red.” Its magical instrumentation and impressive vocals make this an instant classic perfect for some Christmas karaoke.
“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by U2
The second rock Christmas song on the playlist is a cover whose original is almost as awesome — although Bono’s voice just barely surpasses Darlene Love’s.
“Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande
Ariana’s voice sounds lovely as ever on this jingle-bell-backed and R&B influenced plea to Santa.
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland
The lyrics of the original version of this song, sung by Judy Garland in “Meet Me in St. Louis,” have since been changed to be more jolly. Nonetheless, the original lyrics seem far more appropriate for this year — “Someday soon we all will be together / If the fates allow / Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow.”
“Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson
Another fun, beautifully sung bop from Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas album to cheer you up after Judy Garland’s sad tune.
“What Christmas Means to Me” by Stevie Wonder
John Legend covered this song recently, but the original version — the oldest dance-inducing song on this playlist — is unbeatable.
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Kacey Musgraves and Lana Del Rey
This is not a very well-known version of a very well-known song, but its feature of these two mega-popular and gentle-voiced female singers over soft, relaxing instrumentation is a unique change of pace from some of the other obviously festive songs on the playlist.
“Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses
As an underrated jam with a punny title that looks back on a crazy year, something we can all relate to at the end of 2020.
“Christmas Without You” by Ava Max
“Christmas Without You” is the final recent festive pop song of the playlist, and spreads just as much holiday cheer as the others.
“The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)” by Nat King Cole
A well-established classic to allow a brief cozy shift before the final belt-worthy tune.
“All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey
Last, but certainly not least, is the greatest Christmas bop of all time. If you can listen to this and not feel excited for Christmas, I can’t help you.