The Best Christmas Songs You Don't Know Yet (But Should)

I have yet to meet anybody that doesn’t love classic Christmas songs- that’s why they’re the classics! Every year, I look eagerly anticipate the recrudescence of Christmas music into my life, and greeting some of my old seasonal pals, like Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, and so many others.

Hearing their seasonal songs brings me such joy and hope in a time when those feelings are scarce. ‘Tis the season for “it’s 5:30 p.m. and pitch black out- I feel like I should go to sleep, but it’s the end of the semester, so I actually have nine hours of work ahead of me.” But I digress.

Surprisingly though, some of the best Christmas songs aren’t the classics, and in fact, you may not have even heard of them before!

1. Christmas in New Orleans by Louis Armstrong

If you love jazz like I do, you won’t want to go another Christmas without hearing this song. You may even find yourself booking a plane ticket to Louisiana for the end of December…

2. That Old Christmas Moon by Leon Redbone

You know what? I’m about to say it. Elf would not have been the movie it was without Leon Redbone. This gem of a man voiced Leon the Snowman and was then kind enough to lend his voice to the soundtrack. His version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Zooey Deschanel is the best (it’s non-negotiable) and this song is honestly just as good.

3. The Spirits of Christmas by Kevin Kline (with Bob’s Burgers)

Allow me to preface this one by saying that I am neither underage nor in favor of excessive drinking. But as a huge fan of Bob’s Burgers, I had no choice but to include this clever ode to Christmas- and bourbon, as Mr. Fischoder sings roughly nine billion times in the song.

4. Santa’s Coming For Us by Sia

I’m a big fan of Sia as a person- she drove thirteen hours to her own concert because she couldn’t catch a plane. But the best gift she gave the world was this song. So happy. Such joy. It came out this year which is perfect, because honestly- we needed this.

5. You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Darius Rucker

I am not typically a Darius Rucker fan. Seriously. I got into a heated debate during fall break about how unremarkable I think Darius Rucker’s standalone career is. So when I found this cover, I was skeptical TM. But this is a version I can get behind- especially since I take the Grinch very seriously.

6. Carol of the Banjos by Beta Radio

Literally just Carol of the Bells…but with banjos. Not really sure what else to tell you.

7. That Christmasy Feeling by Johnny Cash

If you’ve ever thought, “I like Christmas, but there aren’t enough songs I can clap along to,” then you’re in luck with this song. Maybe don’t listen while you’re driving.

8. Sleet and Snow by My First Tooth

Hey hipsters, here’s the perfect unconventional Christmas song for your perfect unconventional taste in music!

9. Yule Shoot Your Eye Out by Fall Out Boy

If you’ll be rocking your ugly sweater with straightened side bangs, black eyeliner, and doodled-on Converse, then you’ll want this song on loop for the month of December.

10. Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas by Eels

Great song, but this is also what I’m going to be telling myself every day until the semester ends, if we’re being honest.

11. Is Zat You Santa Claus? by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

I love this song because it’s jazzy, but also because I am also a fan of making words even shorter. (I’m lazy.)

12. Why Couldn’t It Be Christmas Everyday? by Bianca Ryan

“I like this song because I like it when people yell when they sing.” -my roommate

Seriously though, the song is incredible on its own, but better when you consider that Bianca Ryan was TWELVE when it was recorded. When I was twelve, I was busy planning my wedding to Nick Jonas. (And at twenty-one? Same thing.)

13. Dear Santa by Mr Little Jeans

This girl has a beautiful voice, and this song totally makes me want to be a backup singer and clap my hands and sing “oooh.”

14. Gonna Eat For Christmas by Rosie O’Donnell and Gloria Estefan

If there has ever been a Christmas song that’s appropriate to my life, it would be this one.

Best lyric: “At the family shindig/ Gonna be the Christmas pig” GIRL SAME

15. Auld Lang Syne by Andrew Bird

Okay so maybe this isn’t a CHRISTMAS song, but there just aren’t enough songs for New Year’s on its own. Oh well. Maybe next year.