It’s finally the time of year where it’s socially acceptable to blast Christmas music constantly and I am LIVING for it. Truth be told I’ve been playing it since October with a few songs blasting from my car radio in July (fight me) because I LOVE Christmas music. I love music in general, you’ll often see my walking down Comm Ave with headphones in, tuning out the world. I know we’ve all dramatically looked out the window or imagined ourselves in some elaborate life while listening to music and if you deny it you are lying to yourself because music allows you to enter a new world, a fantasy. Christmas does that but with more snow, hot chocolate, festive themes, and hot guys like the ones in the Hallmark Christmas movies. So, in no particular order, I’ve listed my top 14 Christmas songs that I can’t go without listening to.
1. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree- Brenda Lee
This is a favorite for me and my dad this time of year. My dad has XM radio in his car so we turn on one of the Christmas stations and whenever this comes on we crank the volume and sing it at the top of our lungs. It’s one of our Christmas traditions and I’m looking forward to it as I sit here writing this article and dreading the final exam I have next Monday. It’s also in one of my favorite movies (Cheaper by the Dozen) which just gives me extra reason/excuses to watch the movie 42 times while I’m home on break.
2. Last Christmas- Ashley Tisdale
Photo from burnyourfaves.net
Every seventh grade girl who has had their “boyfriend” break up with them during the holiday season can relate to this song and has definitely sat in their room belting it to make themselves feel better. Even if you haven’t had a holiday break up I guarantee you’ll still love it because 1) it’s catchy 2) we all know Ashley Tisdale is talented AF and 3) when you combine that talent with the magic of Christmas it’s a recipe for a wonderful song. It’s also a bit versatile in that it starts a bit slower and has a buildup until she really gets going in the chorus.
3. Anything by Michael Buble
Photo from discogs.com
Anything. Literally anything. Go listen to his Christmas album. You’ll thank me later. Make like Shia LeBouf and just do it.
4. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town- Bruce Springsteen
Photo from amazon.com
A true classic for all of us. As childish as this song may seem since (spoiler) Santa isn’t real, I can’t deny that I get a giddy feeling whenever this song comes on. I have no shame as I sing quietly to the chorus and then dramatically throw out my arms as I yell the chorus with no regard for the fact that people around me might not want to hear this song. It’s a memorable piece of my childhood that I come back to it every year despite insisting I’m a mature adult. If there’s one thing Christmas makes me realize year after year, it’s that I’m actually a 6-year-old and I’m very okay with that.
5. Jingle Bell Rock- Bobby Helms
Photo from discogs.com
This is right up there with “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” in that it makes me wanna get up and dance around my living room. I have zero qualms about forcing my mother to sing it with me as our cats stare at us like we’re nuts (we are so it’s fitting). It’s just so catchy that, even if I last through the first verse with just foot-tapping and bobbing my head, I have to start singing because it just makes me feel happy and festive.
6. Santa Baby- Eartha Kitt
Photo from earthakittfanclub.com
I know what you’re thinking: “wait, Arianna, didn’t Madonna sing this?” Well dear reader let me tell you before Madonna there was Eartha Kitt. And Eartha Kitt slayed this song. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Madonna version, but nothing beats the original when it comes to this song for me. It’s flirty and funny and just makes me wanna lay across a table dramatically as I sing this to the boyfriend I don’t have (fun fact: I’m the most self deprecating person I know).
7. Wonderful Christmastime- Paul McCartney
Photo from For the Win USA Today
When the opening noise of bells comes on I know I’m in for a treat. Paul McCartney is beyond talented and the fact that he sings a Christmas song brings me joy because, while it’s a simple song, sometimes simple things are the best when done well. And Sir McCartney does this exceedingly well. This is the song I start listening to around December 20th when I get home and see the piles of presents that need to be wrapped and the cards that need to be sent because it calms my stress. It’s a stressful time of year because buying presents for everyone that are personal can be hard and making sure everything is done so you don’t have to run around like a madwoman can get overwhelming very quickly. This song reminds me that this is a time of year that is supposed to be fun and relaxing and it definitely helps to pass the time while you’re putting bows on everything because you’re a little distracted.
8. White Christmas- Bing Crosby
Photo from ITunes
Time to take things in a bit of a different direction with this one. It’s a slower song which is all about memories of the holidays as a child and hoping that Christmas this year will be just like that. Mr. Crosby reminds us to slow down and think about how we spend Christmas and that sometimes the little things make things so amazing — snow on Christmas may not seem like a huge deal, but every year that I wake up and snow is on the ground I get a little extra burst of excitement. Maybe it’s because there hasn’t been snow on Christmas up here in the past few years but regardless, this song just makes me look around and appreciate the environment around me this time of year because it’s something I can fondly look back on.
9. Let It Snow- Dean Martin
Photo from MusixMatch
IF THIS DOESN’T PUT YOU IN THE HOLIDAY AND WINTER SPIRIT YOU ARE LYING. It’s peppy, catchy, and makes me wanna go build a snowman or have a snowball fight (I say this as someone dreading the fact that it’s supposed to snow in Boston this weekend). As I got older and listened to the lyrics I finally understood what the song was actually about, but Dean has a point. If I have to choose between going outside in the cold and snow to go home to my empty dorm or staying in with the person I love to cuddle and drink hot chocolate and just enjoy each other while super cozy, naturally I’m gonna pick the latter.
10. I’ll Be Home for Christmas- Bing Crosby
Photo from amazon.com
Mr. Bing Crosby hitting us again with a slow, lovey ballad during this holiday season. Unlike the couple in the above song, some people don’t have a significant other, or their significant other is not around. When I think of this song I always think of those cute military family reunions where the soldier shows up with flowers to see his wife or shows up at school to see their child and it’s all emotional and beautiful. It just makes me think of someone going to see their loved one after not seeing them for a long time and as something to look forward to. It’s not necessarily a sad song to me, rather its full of hope and longing. My hope is that someday the guy I’m dating will send this to me if we’re in a long distance relationship or something and it’ll be cute and stuff. THIS SONG JUST MAKES ME MUSHY AND HAPPY I DON’T KNOW.
11. Hallelujah- Pentatonix
Photo from Spotify
I know this isn’t necessarily a Christmas song, but I always hear it played the most at this time of year and I’m living for it honestly. I was introduced to Pentatonix in high school by one of my friends and when I discovered their cover of “Hallelujah” I was dumbfounded. It’s so beautiful and almost heart wrenching and I’ve had it on repeat all day. It’s the type of song I can just have playing while I’m doing work because it keeps me calm and it’s not something that I wanna get up and dance to, but I feel like if I don’t listen to it I’m seriously missing out on something beautiful. Just give this song a listen (and all of their other songs) and I promise you’ll fall in love like I did and on Christmas you’ll be forcing your whole family to listen to them as well.
12. No Place Like Home for the Holidays- Perry Como
Photo from YouTube
Okay if nothing else I’m listening to this because I am frantically counting down the days until finals are over and I can go home for winter break. I like this song outside of that context but it definitely makes me want to get out of here and go home because at this time of year I think a lot of us get homesick. The weather is gross, exams make us wanna cry, and we just wanna sleep in our own bed with our pet and eat mom’s home cooking. And it’s very true — there really is no place like home for the holidays. Family may drive you crazy but they’re irreplaceable.
13. Most Wonderful Time of the Year- Andy Williams
Photo from Spotify
While I’m not a huge fan of winter because I hate the cold, I can appreciate the beauty of everything happening during this time of year. I love walking down Newbury Street and seeing all the lights and decorations. I love how Faneuil Hall and Boston Common have huge trees lit up and that there’s ice skating at the Frog Pond. I love how pretty the snow looks when it’s fresh and fluffy and white (so long as I don’t have to go outside and experience the cold). And I just love how so many people have an extra burst of happiness or friendliness because we’re all excited.
14. Winter Wonderland- Dean Martin
Photo from Pinterest
I’m gonna be bold and say this is probably my favorite Christmas/winter song. It’s most definitely in my top three. It’s a song I’ll play when December starts to get me into that holiday mode and kind of wake up my jolly side. I also have a new appreciation for it this year because Boston really is like a winter wonderland. Back where I’m from there isn’t some huge metropolitan area where there are holiday events and tons of lights and trees because I’m not from a big city. Yeah, people decorate their houses, but that’s nothing compared to all the stuff going on around Boston. Every store and space of green land is lit up, there’s wreaths every five feet, and there’s holiday events every weekend all over the city. I’m tempted to make my dad visit this month because back home we play a game where when we drive anywhere we count how many wreaths there are and I think we’d lose count if we did that here.
For me, Christmas music is the ultimate way to begin feeling festive and to get into the mood for the holidays. I know this month can be kinda glum since professors are piling on the final papers and exams are coming up, but listening to some fun Christmas music throughout the day can really put you in a better mood. Even listening to something like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” when you’re getting ready for bed can help because it’s slow and can help you wind down.
Happy holidays lovelies! I hope this gave you some good ideas for songs to listen to during study break, on your flight or ride home for the break, or to share with your families. I wish you all a Merry (almost) Christmas, an (almost) Happy Chanukkah, and good luck with exams!
Cover photo courtesy of The Odyssey Online