Christmas songs are a great way to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit. However, I’ve grown rather tired of listening to the same twelve songs over and over and over again. After all, there’s only so many times you can hear “Last Christmas” sung by various artists until you become more against Christmas carols than the Grinch. So here are five alternative songs to save your sanity while still keeping with the holiday season:
By far the most upbeat song in this list, “Silver Nights” was released in 2014 and was Carpenter’s first Christmas single. She describes spending the holiday season with her significant other, with lyrics like “Falling down and decorating all the tangled lights/ There’s nothing like these silver nights with you.” The song features back-up vocals from Sabrina’s older sister, Sarah, who also had a small role alongside Sabrina in Girl Meets World. This catchy tune perfectly encapsulates the joy of getting to spend Christmas with your loved ones, and I play it constantly this time of year.
Describing a young boy’s pleas for a stranger to help him pay for shoes as a Christmas present for his terminally ill mother, this song will absolutely break your heart. The boy recounts his mother going without gifts in the past in order to give him a good Christmas, with a young boy singing in the chorus, “Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my mama, please…And I want her to look beautiful if mama meets Jesus tonight.” The inclusion of a children’s choir towards the song’s close is a beautiful touch, and the music video will bring a tear to your eye.
Chan weaves a beautiful tale surrounding the reminiscent nature of the holiday season. “The years go by so fast/ I thought that it would last/ But now I’m dancing with the ghost of Christmas past” she mourns during the song’s chorus. The music video is an absolute heartwrencher and one that needs to be watched all the way to the very end. It’s equal parts catchy and heartbreaking, and those missing a loved one during Christmas time will be able to connect to the longing in Chan’s voice.
Lake reflects on the enormity of Jesus’ birth and the impact it has had on his life. He laments the fact that he doesn’t have much to offer God other than his praise, singing, “And I know it’s not much/ But I’ve nothing else fit for a king/ Except for a heart singing hallelujah.” There’s so much emotion in his voice, and his wails in the song’s bridge are utterly gut-wrenching. Featured on box office hit Christmas With the Chosen: The Messengers, this song has simultaneously become one of my favorite worship and Christmas songs.
Listeners may be more familiar with acapella group Pentatonix’s version of this song, but the original was released by Fleet Foxes in 2008. Although the song was released in June and wasn’t intended to be a holiday song, the upbeat tune fits the spirit of the season. The music video features some impressive stop motion animation that really adds to the folksy whimsical feel of the song.