With the holiday season just around the corner, you may be dreading listening to the same twenty songs you do every year, especially if you work in retail. Well, my friend, you are just in luck. I have compiled some of the (objectively) best hidden gems of the genre. Some you may have heard once or twice on the radio while some you have probably never heard before. Either way, they will definitely be a change from the classic crooning of Burl Ives and Brenda Lee.
Santa Stole My Girlfriend – The Maine
Though perhaps not the cheeriest of songs on this list, the acoustic feel somehow exudes warm vibes while still dealing with a bittersweet topic. Also, this one gets bonus points because it made my mom laugh when I showed it to her.
Father Christmas – The Kinks
As someone whose father religiously listens to the classic rock station, I’ve heard this song every single Christmas since birth, but I’ve been informed that others haven’t had this experience. In that case, give it a listen. It’s a classic.
Oi To The World – No Doubt
Although No Vandals actually released the song, No Doubt’s cover is iconic. I will admit, I like ska music more than the average person but this is still a must-listen. If you want an unconventional song to get you in an upbeat mood, this is the one for you.
Space Christmas – Shonen Knife
This song is perfectly lighthearted and upbeat. The lyrics are easy to remember and a blast to sing along with. You can definitely tell it was released in the late 90s alternative rock scene, but in the best way possible.
I Want An Alien For Christmas – Fountains Of Wayne
From the legends that brought you “Stacey’s Mom” comes this gem. “I Want an Alien for Christmas” is just good old-fashioned fun. It’s also way better than listening to “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” for the 1000th time.
White Christmas – George Ezra
I am aware that this is one of the aforementioned overplayed Christmas songs but George Ezra’s voice is unique enough to make this cover stand out from the crowd. This is the perfect song to play when you need a break from the classics but you don’t want to upset your grandparents in the process.
West Coast Christmas – Anarbor
Although I do live in Ontario and classify every green Christmas as a blight on humanity, this song doesn’t fail to get me in the mood. The laid-back vibe is exactly what I’m trying to emulate in my own life during this hectic time.
Just Another Christmas Song (This Time I’ll Sing Along) – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
The lyrics in this one are pretty simple but for a good reason: to showcase the impeccable talent of the whole band. From the singing to the trumpets and saxophones, the entire song oozes soul.
Mele Kalikimaka – Kacey Musgraves, The Quebe Sisters
As a longtime fan of Kacey Musgraves, I couldn’t leave this one out. This cover makes me feel like I’m laying on a Hawaiian beach even when it’s -30°C outside. For that very reason, it deserves a place on this list.
Snow – New Found Glory
If you want a break from the general cheer of the genre, play this one. It may cause a slight breakdown about the unrelenting passage of time, but I think it’s worth it. This mood is enhanced at least 20% by driving around and looking at Christmas lights while remembering your childhood.
All I Want for Christmas is You – My Chemical Romance
Can you tell I had an emo phase? Honestly, I’m fine with exposing my seventh grade self because this cover still goes hard. This is about as far away from the original version as you can get but it somehow captures the exact same level of enthusiasm.
Wizards of Winter – Instrumental – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
For a band that basically specializes in Christmas music, this song goes above and beyond. If you’re a fan of metal or hard rock, you’ve got to listen to this one. Even without any lyrics, it’s one of my favourites, hands down.
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