The Top 10 Ultimate Black Christmas Playlist

Growing up in my family, Christmas is a special time of year. It’s probably the only time of year we all get together and aren’t trying to kill each other. My mother wraps the gifts, my sister cooks the food and my dad eats it while I just absorb all the holiday cheer. In the past, Christmas hasn’t really been special for me. Somewhere along the way, I lost my holiday cheer. But this Christmas, I feel things will be better. I’m actually looking forward to spending time with my family and opening gifts. 

Related: Why I’m Not Looking Forward to the Holidays

However, when I always think about the Christmas season, these songs pop up in my head. There are staples in the black family home, which is why I’m leaving you all with this ultimate playlist in time for the holiday season with a little soul in mind.


1. Silent Night - The Temptations

via Amazon


If this song or this specific album isn’t playing Christmas morning at your grandmother’s house, you aren’t doing it right. This rendition of “Silent Night” by the Temptations is a must played track to get everyone in the mood. It makes you forget the original version and scream, “In my mind…” before the song even starts.

2. This Christmas - Donny Hathaway

via Amazon


Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” gives everyone the holiday cheers just in time for Santa. It’s upbeat rhythm and soulful voice goes perfect together, in addition to the jingle bells ringing in the background. If you haven’t heard this track, it will definitely put you in the mood.

3. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Jackson 5

via Amazon


I’m pretty sure everyone in America has heard this version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Young Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 gave our parents holiday cheer growing up, therefore they play it every Christmas with hopes that the feeling spreads. This is probably the most iconic black Christmas album known to man that your grandmother probably has on vinyl sitting by the mantle.


4. All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey

via Amazon

The Queen of Christmas made a hit when she sang the first note of “All I Want for Christmas.” This year is the 25th anniversary and I’m hoping for a remake of the original track and video to go along with it. Just know, Ms. Carey is making bank each holiday season with this song alone.

5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Jackson 5


via Amazon

Another classic black Christmas hit from the Jackson 5, however just a little naughtier. When I first heard “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” I was distraught. Why would their mother be kissing Santa, and where is their father? However, as I grew older and learned the golden secret (yes, Santa is real) I appreciated this song for what it was: just innocent kids enjoying the holiday spirit like myself. 


6. Let it Snow - Boyz II Men featuring Brian McKinght 

via Amazon

Need a song to cuddle up with your boo under the mistletoe? This classic 90s R&B hit gets me in my feels every holiday season. In Virginia we don’t get much snow, but it sure does make me wish we do while I’m snowed in with my nonexistent bae.


7. Sleigh Ride - TLC

via Amazon 


This Christmas hit will surely get the Soul Train rolling at Christmas dinner. The crazy, sexy, cool sounds of TLC gives this Christmas classic a hip-hop feel with a little R&B melody in the chorus. Your house cannot go without it.

8. This Christmas - Chris Brown

via Amazon

Even though Donny Hallaway’s version is much better, Chris Brown created a holiday track for my generation to carry on to the next. The movie is also my favorite Christmas film as well, so this song is very special to me in many ways.


9. 8 Days of Christmas - Destiny’s Child 


via All Music

Instead of the “12 Days of Christmas,” Beyonce, Kelly, and Michelle gave us eight days. This cheerful and fun track makes you want to have a giving boyfriend during the holiday season so that he can buy you many gifts as Destiny’s Child received. I just wish that type boyfriend existed so that I get a pair of Chloe shades like Bey.


10. Christmas in Hollis - Run DMC

via Genius

If your mom and dad weren’t asking for an Adidas tracksuit with a new matching pair of kicks after this video dropped on MTV Raps in 1988, then they weren’t living right. This song is the best and by far the most classic rap Christmas track known to man. Run DMC brought us a Christmas story on Hollis Ave in the most hip-hop way possible.

I know we have a couple of weeks left until the holidays, however, please make sure these tracks are on your playlist this Christmas season. If not, you are completely missing out on the Black Christmas experience.