The Best Untraditional Christmas Songs

As we enter the winter season, many people get themselves in the holiday spirit by listening to good old-fashioned Christmas music. Although these songs will always be able to make us feel that nostalgic happiness, some of the greatest Christmas songs are not what we would typically expect.

There are no rules about what you are allowed to listen to during this season, so there is no harm in aiming to expand your holiday music knowledge.

Especially if you are a big fan of rock or alternative genres, you may be interested in some of this Christmas music that may not align which what someone would typically associate with the holiday. Some bands write their own music, while others cover some well-known songs, adding their own twist to them.


No matter what type of music you prefer listening to, you should definitely check out these hits:


  • Thank God It's Christmas - Queen

Everyone has heard of Queen and can sing along to Bohemian Rhapsody (including the guitar riffs). However, even some self-proclaimed Queen fans do not know about this great Christmas song! It has a slow tempo and will fit perfectly into your Christmas love song playlist -- we know you have one.


  • I Saw Three Ships - Sting

This song is an example of traditional English Christmas music that is losing its popularity. Sting's take on this old classic is much more upbeat, giving the song a new life. It is perfect for listening to when you're getting excited for the holiday -- perhaps wrapping presents or decorating the tree!


  • Christmas Time - Bryan Adams

Because of his hit Summer of '69, everyone is a fan of Bryan Adams, whether they know it or not. In this tribute to the joy of the Christmas season, you will have no choice but to get in the holiday spirit and remember what this time of year is truly about. 


  • Little Saint Nick - The Beach Boys

Staying true to their lively, upbeat music with perfect harmonies, the Beach Boys are somehow able to California-ize Christmas. Although this song is not in alignment with what one might consider Christmas music, it is definitely able to brighten your mood. You can't help yourself from wanting to sing along and dance to this great hit!


  • Oi to the World - No Doubt

If you're in need of another Christmas song with a female head vocalist, look no further. No Doubt finds a way to make Christmas their own by adding grungy undertones to stereotypical holiday phrases. This song is different from any other and perfect to add to your Christmas variety!


  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Weezer

Typically sang in a church choir, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing is clearly a traditional Christmas classic. Weezer puts their own spin on it, making the gospel song more fast-paced and giving it a rock-and-roll beat. If you like this, Weezer actually has an entire Christmas album that you can check out for songs that have a similar vibe.


  • Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty's unique voice alone makes this song different from all others, but the soft rock rhythm truly puts this song on top. Written as a list of everything that reminds us of the Christmas season, Christmas All Over Again definitely deserves your attention.


  • Please Come Home for Christmas - Bon Jovi OR The Eagles

Right off the bat, The Eagles and Bon Jovi are inarguably two of the greatest bands to have ever blessed our ears. So you can believe our excitement that they both have their own version of this Christmas song. You have to listen to both and decide which you like better because we sure can't!


  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan

The Barenaked Ladies are known for their country-sounding songs that are usually written with a sense of humor. However, their voices combine beautifully with Sarah McLachlan in this take on a mash-up of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and We Three Kings. These songs that are typical of a choir to sing, are mixed together perfectly, and given a hint of country flare -- as a signature of the artist.


  • Joy to the World - Train

One of the more recent releases from this selection, Train's take on Joy to the World makes the song more modernized while holding the ability to fill you with holiday spirit. Train mixes in a taste of their own song, Calling All Angels, which fits in so perfectly with this classic hit you will be surprised that it wasn't originally part of this song.


  • Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) - U2

Like many of these other well-known bands, U2 also has their own Christmas song that many are shocked they don't already know. This is a slower song, topped off with incredible high notes that you can try to sing along to. Although it is one of the sadder Christmas songs, it definitely deserves a listen.


These are just a few examples of some of the greatest Christmas songs from artists and genres that you would not normally expect. We strongly recommend you check these hits out and find some of your own hidden gems to share with others!

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