Christmas day isn’t the same without a Christmas playlist with your favorite Christmas songs. The family will love hearing their favorite Christmas songs in the background while opening presents or having Christmas brunch.
Everyone will also love singing along to their favorite holiday songs, and even dancing to them.
In fact, you could even print out the lyrics of these popular Christmas songs to give to each member of your family to encourage a sing-a-long on Christmas day.
Sometimes you already know which Christmas songs you want on your playlist, but you just need to find the perfect cover of the song by an artist who just gets it right.
I listened to hours of Christmas music to compile this list of Christmas hits (a night well-spent if you ask me!)
It’s easy to create a holiday music playlist, even if it’s already Christmas morning and you forgot to do so. Using Apple Music or Spotify, it should only take you about 10 minutes to create a Christmas playlist of the most popular Christmas songs, especially if someone’s already given you a list of which songs you’ll want to add. That’s why below, we’ve provided a list of 25 of the best Christmas songs everyone loves, in no particular order:
1. “Run Run Rudolph” with Kelly Clarkson
Get ready to smile and dance in your living room to Kelly Clarkson’s upbeat and fun rendition of “Run Run Rudolph.” It goes like this:
“Run, run Rudolph, Santa's has to make it in town
Santa, make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
Run, run Rudolph, reelin' like a merry-go-round”
This entertaining and festive song definitely belongs on your Christmas playlist.
"Run Rudolph Run" was written by Chuck Berry, but credited to Johnny Marks and M. Brodie due to Marks' trademark on the character of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It was published by St. Nicholas Music (ASCAP) and was first recorded by Chuck Berry in 1958.
2. “Sleigh Ride” with Mariah Carey
Of course you know that classic Christmas song that goes,
“Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ding-dingling too
Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you
Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling "Yoo hoo"
Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you”
Hands down, this might be the most fun Christmas song to sing. This doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s favorite holiday song or the number one Christmas song, but it’s just so fun to sing. (It must be all of those “ring-a-ling-a-ling” lyrics.)
This song is so catchy and uplifting, and that’s what makes it one of the most popular Christmas songs that belongs on your Christmas playlist.
Mariah Carey is very well-known for her amazing Christmas album. Mariah Carey is an out-of-this-world vocalist who nails it every time she records a Christmas song.
The hit song “Sleigh Ride” was written in 1946 by Leyroy Anderson. It was first recorded in 1949 by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra.
3. “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” Mash-Up with Carly Rae Jepsen and Michael Bublé
This mash-up of two of the world’s most popular Christmas songs by superstars Carly Rae Jepsen and Michael Bublé is the perfect song to add to your holiday playlist to play on Christmas day.
If you can’t find this song on your music app, it’s definitely available on YouTube, or you can find a different version of one of these great songs, “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” as there are many fantastic versions out there of both of these classic Christmas songs.
"Jingle Bell Rock" is an American Christmas song first released by Bobby Helms in 1957. It was written by Joseph Carleton Beal.
"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" was written by Johnny Marks, and originally recorded by Brenda Lee and released in 1958.
4. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with John Legend and Kelly Clarkson
You might recognize this song from the popular Christmas movie Elf when it was performed by actors Zooey Deschanel and Will Ferrell.
“I really can't stay
Baby, it's cold outside
I've got to go away
Baby, it's cold outside
This evening has been
Hoping that you'd drop in
So, very nice
I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice”
This song was originally performed as a duet in the 1940s. It was written in 1944 by Frank Loesser to sing with his then wife, Lynn Garland.
5. “Let it Snow! Let is Snow! Let it Snow!” by Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra sang a lot of covers of popular Christmas songs, but I think this one is one of his best. Everyone loves singing the lyrics:
“Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow”
Written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn, “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” was written during a heatwave in July of 1945 in Los Angeles, California. It was originally recorded by Vaughn Monroe with the Norton Sisters in 1945.
6. “Feliz Navidad” with Celine Dion
Surprisingly, a lot of people forget to put this song on their Christmas playlist. But you know it, right?
“I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart
Prospero año y felicidad”
Celine Dion is great at singing Christmas songs, especially this one.
Feliz Navidad was originally written by Jose Feliciano, and it was recorded and performed by him in 1970.
7. “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by NSYNC
“Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” is an original song by ‘90s boy band NSYNC- and it’s never gotten old. It goes a little like this:
“We've been waiting
All year for this night
And the snow is glistening
On the trees outside
And all the stockings
Are hung by the fireside
Waiting for Santa to arrive
Merry Christmas, happy holidays (Oh yeah)
Merry Christmas (Oh, oh, oh oh)
Happy holidays (Ooh yeah)”
“Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” was written by members of NSYNC JC Chasez, Vince DeGiorgio, Veit Renn, and Justin Timberlake, and released and first performed by NSYNC in 1998.
8. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with Michael Bublé
This is one of those calm, relaxing, classic Christmas songs that most people absolutely love.
“Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on
Our troubles will be out of sight”
Michael Bublé does a beautiful rendition of this song. His voice also just suits this song so well.
Songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine wrote the classic Christmas song, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" for Judy Garland's 1944 movie, “Meet Me in St. Louis”.
9. “The First Noel” with Carrie Underwood
Another song many people forget to add to their playlist, “The First Noel” is an incredibly calming, beautiful and nostalgic Christmas song. Here are some lyrics to jog your memory:
“The First Noel the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep
Noel Noel Noel Noel
Born is the King of Israel!”
I had to listen to quite a few versions of this song before I stumbled upon Carrie Underwood’s shockingly incredible cover of “The First Noel”. I absolutely love it, and I’m not even normally a Carrie Underwood fan.
One of the oldest Christmas songs, “The First Noel” is believed to have been written around the 1400-1500s, and the lyrics to The First Noël are an adaptation of the original song. The original writer of this amazing song may never be known for sure. William Sandys edited the current form of this historic song, with extra lyrics written by Davies Gilbert.
10. “Ave Maria” with Leona Lewis
Leona Lewis is such a talented singer with the most incredible range, it’s not surprising that her rendition of “Ave Maria” is hauntingly beautiful.
“Ave Maria” is a spiritual song used for many special occasions, including Christmas.
The original version of “Ave Maria” was written in 1825. "Ave Maria," known as "Hail Mary" in Latin or "Ellens Gesang III" in German, not to be confused with "Ave Maria" by Gounod and Bach, is an 1825 song by Austrian maestro Franz Schubert. The lyrics of this song are based on Sir Walter Scott’s famous poem, “The Lady of the Lake”.
11. “Holly Jolly Christmas” with Faith Hill
“Holly Jolly Christmas” is one of those Christmas carols you just can’t help but sing along to when you hear it. It’s a positive, uplifting song so it’s great for spreading holiday cheer on Christmas day.
“Have a holly jolly Christmas
It's the best time of the year
Now I don't know if there'll be snow
But have a cup of cheer”
Faith Hill does an amazing job of singing this song, and her voice is gorgeous.
“Holly Jolly Christmas” was written by famous songwriter Johnny Marks, and most famously performed by Burl Ives. It was released in 1964.
12. “Silver Bells” with Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley deserves a spot on your Christmas playlist, and “Silver Bells” is a classic Christmas carol he does a great job performing:
“Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring a ling, hear them ring
Soon it'll be Christmas day”
“Silver Bells” was originally written in 1950 by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans for the movie, “The Lemon Drop Kid” starring Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell. This classic Christmas song was originally performed in the 1950s by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards with John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra and the Lee Gordon Singers.
13. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” with Michael Bublé
This is one of the most popular Christmas songs because it’s fun to sing along to, and Michael Bublé performs it fantastically.
“Pretty lights on the tree
(Christmas) I'm watching them shine
(Christmas) you should be here with me
(Christmas) baby, please come home”
It’s upbeat and spreads cheer in anyone’s living room on Christmas day.
"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" was written in the early 1960s by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Phil Spector. It was originally sung by Darlene Love.
14. “O Holy Night” with Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey has an astounding singing voice, and her cover of the classic Christmas song “O Holy Night” which goes like this:
“O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!”
Mariah Carey’s version of this song is one of the most unique and hauntingly beautiful versions.
"O Holy Night" is a beautiful Christmas carol from the 1800s. The song was based on a French-language poem by poet Placide Cappeau, written in 1843, and composer Adolphe Adam set to music to it in 1847. The English version of this song is by John Sullivan Dwight.
15. “My Only Wish This Year (Santa, Can You Hear Me?) by Britney Spears
"My Only Wish This Year" is a pop Christmas song by pop icon Britney Spears, and it’s a great track to sing along to.
“Santa, can you hear me?
I have been so good this year
And all I want is one thing
Tell me my true love is here
He's all I want, just for me
Underneath my Christmas tree
I'll be waiting here
Santa, that's my only wish this year.”
“My Only Wish This Year” was written and produced by Brian Kierulf and Josh Schwartz, and it was originally recorded and performed by Britney Spears in the year 2000.
16. “Last Christmas” with the Backstreet Boys
There are many different versions and covers of “Last Christmas” out there, but the Backstreet Boys just harmonize so well together on this track.
“Last Christmas I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year, to save me from tears
I'll give it to someone special”
George Michael both produced and wrote the song “Last Christmas”, and British pop duo Wham!, originally released it in 1984.
17. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” with Michael Bublé
Like many of the best Christmas songs, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” has been covered by many popular artists, but I think Michael Bublé takes the cake.
“It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
Take a look at the five and ten, it's glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes that glow
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Toys in every store
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door”
“It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” was written in 1951 by Meredith Willson. It’s remained popular since its release in the 1950s, and it’s been covered by many top artists.
18. “Silent Night” with Pentatonix
“Silent Night” is a beautiful Christmas song that has versions by Frank Sinatra, Kelly Clarkson, Sarah McLachlan, Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani, Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Elvis Prestley, Boyz II Men and more.
For my Christmas playlist, I chose the version by Pentatonix for this song, because they harmonize incredibly well and their version is quite unique.
“Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace”
The popular Christmas carol “Silent Night” was originally written in the year 1816 by a young priest in Austria, Joseph Mohr. It was composed in the year 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber based on Joseph Mohr’s lyrics. Gruber was a choir director who came up with the song’s melody.
19. “White Christmas” with Taylor Swift
Can you really create a Christmas playlist without including at least one Taylor Swift song? Luckily, this Queen has a wonderful version of the classic Christmas song, “White Christmas”. Don’t you already just want to sing it out loud?
“I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the tree tops glisten and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white”
"White Christmas" was originally written in the 1940s by Irving Berlin, a famous composer. He wrote the song for the 1942 musical film ‘Holiday Inn’.
20. “Winter Wonderland” with Leona Lewis
Leona Lewis offers listeners a unique and upbeat rendition of “Winter Wonderland”. Normally a slower song, her version is a little more upbeat, which is great.
“Sleigh bells ring, are you list'nin?
In the lane snow is glist'nin
A beautiful sight
We're happy tonight
Walkin' in a winter wonderland”
The song "Winter Wonderland" was written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and lyricist Richard Bernhard Smith.
21. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by The Pointer Sisters
Featured in a lot of your favorite Christmas movies, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is one of the most popular Christmas songs, and kids love it.
“You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He's making a list
He's checking it twice
He's gonna find out who's naughty or nice
Santa Claus is coming to town”
One of the most popular versions of this song was performed by The Pointer Sisters in the 1980s.
The song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” dates back to the 1930s. It was written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie.
22. “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey
I know I can’t write a round-up of the most popular Christmas songs without including “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey.
“I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you”
This original song released by Sony Music Entertainment gained tremendous popularity and became one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time. It has never been 100% confirmed that Mariah Carey wrote it, but she certainly was the first artist to record and perform it in 1994. Mariah Carey is the one who made this song famous in the ’90s and it has remained incredibly famous to this day.
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