The Ultimate Christmas Playlist

The Ultimate Christmas Playlist

By Allie Hastings

I’m not gonna lie – as I sit here writing this article, I’m listening to my Christmas playlist so I can get into the holiday spirit! A few years ago, I started searching for different artists than the ones that constantly play on the radio, because I wanted to hear Christmas classics sung in new, original ways.  Since then, I’ve managed to put together a playlist of various artists and musical genres, spanning from songs that feature beautiful a-capella arrangements to slow Christian-themed ballads and mellow, jazzy tunes. Here are ten artists/groups who have released Christmas music totally worth checking out if you haven’t already -

  1. Pentatonix

Pentatonix is perhaps the most well-known a-cappella group in the music industry, and when it comes to sharing their love for Christmas, they don’t disappoint! With a total of four Christmas albums under their belt, they’ve managed to re-arrange several holiday classics with flawless harmonies, using incredible rhythmic layering techniques to create perfectly crafted tunes. One of my personal favorites that they cover is “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year,” which can be found on their second xmas album titled, “That’s Christmas to Me.”

  1. David Archuleta

I wanted to place David Archuleta high on my list because I think he deserves more credit and attention than he receives; a year after his chart-topping single “Crush” was released in 2008, David came out with his first holiday album titled, “Christmas From the Heart,” which includes renditions of popular songs such as “Joy to the World” and “O Come all Ye Faithful.”  He also released a brand-new xmas album earlier this year in November titled, “Winter in the air.” The music video for his original track, “Christmas Every Day,” is adorable and will definitely brighten your day if you watch it!

  1. Ingrid Michaelson

An artist I stumbled upon this year was Ingrid Michaelson, whose new album “Songs for the Season” makes me imagine what it feels like to take a stroll down the snowy streets of New York during the Christmas season. If you like listening to songs characterized by a sultry, jazzy flair that captures the big-band instrumental style of the 40s and 50s, this is the album for you. The record features duets with Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., America’s Got Talent winner Grace VanderWaal, indie-pop singer Christina Perri, and “Nashville” actor Will Chase.  


  1. Jordan Smith

Jordan Smith won season 9 of NBC’s show The Voice, where he wowed the judges and audience with his incredible range and showstopping voice. The holiday album he released in 2016, titled, “’Tis The Season,” features a mix of radio classics and Christian-based pieces.  Two of my favorite tracks he covers are “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and “The Christmas Song.”

  1. Kelly Clarkson

In my humble opinion, I think Kelly Clarkson is one of the greatest artists to grace the music industry with her infectious personality and one-of-a-kind voice.  Her sixth studio album, “Wrapped in Red,” combines timeless holiday classics with original songs, including the pop-hit and one of my favorite xmas tunes, “Underneath the Tree.”  On this album she proves once again that there’s no limit to her creativity and vocal talent.

  1. Michael Buble

Celebrating Christmas and the holiday season without Michael Buble would be difficult for me – he just has one of those voices that captures the spirit, warmth, and cheer of December perfectly. If you haven’t already listened to his album “Christmas” which was released in 2011, I highly recommend; like Ingrid Michaelson, most of the songs on this record are characterized by smooth instrumental jazz, which - combined with Buble’s soulful voice - makes for some gorgeous music.

  1. Jackie Evancho

A lot of current Christmas songs reference the fun things we all associate with the holiday – Santa Claus, gift-giving, tree decorating, and more – but other songs remind us why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.  Jackie Evancho, a singer who gained a platform from her success on America’s Got Talent in 2009, has released two xmas albums that stay true to her Christian roots. “Someday at Christmas,” which came out when she was only sixteen, contains a total of twelve tracks, including well-known church and Christian-based songs such as “Do you Hear what I Hear,” “O Holy Night,” and “Pie Jesu.”


  1. Christina Perri

Christina Perri (who I mentioned earlier makes an appearance on Ingrid Michaelson’s new album) may be familiar to you already, as she is the artist behind “Jar of Hearts” and “A Thousand Years.”  Her six-track holiday collection, appropriately titled, “A Very Merry Perri Christmas,” presents a heartwarming tribute to the season everyone cherishes. Her original song, “Something About December,” is about keeping the spirit of Christmas in your heart, no matter where you are/who you celebrate with.

  1. Gwen Stefani

    The cover for Gwen Stefani’s album, “You Make it Feel Like Christmas,” is super festive and gives me all the holiday feels, and after giving it a listen I can say the same for the songs too!  It includes catchy tunes we all know, such as “Let it Snow” and “Santa Baby,” as well as upbeat originals like “You Make it Feel Like Christmas,” the song the album is named after.  Her real-life beau Blake Shelton is featured on this track with her and also appears in the music video, which was just released this year.

  1. Sia

Last but not least, we have the impeccable and extraordinary Sia! What makes her holiday album, “Everyday is Christmas,” stand out from all the others on this list is that every single track is an original and was co-written by Greg Kurstin and Sia herself. With unique, unforgettable song titles such as “Candy Cane Lane,” “Santa’s Coming for Us,” and “Puppies are Forever,” there is no shortage of jovial references to Christmas and every aspect that makes it special.