The 51 Best Christmas Songs to Listen to This Holiday Season

Emilee Geist

The holiday season is almost here—which means it’s perfectly acceptable to blast the best Christmas songs at an ear-screeching decibel, if that’s what you’re into. But what Christmas classic is the most popular of all time? Well, going off Spotify, that honor goes to “All I Want for Christmas Is […]

The holiday season is almost here—which means it’s perfectly acceptable to blast the best Christmas songs at an ear-screeching decibel, if that’s what you’re into. But what Christmas classic is the most popular of all time?

Well, going off Spotify, that honor goes to “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey. Are you surprised? That song—not to mention the ’94 Christmas album it comes from—is cultural canon! It sits atop Spotify’s Christmas Hits playlist, which we included below. The 100-song list features the most popular Christmas songs on Spotify, and it runs the gamut—from staples like “Last Christmas” by Wham! to newer offerings, like a holiday track by Ava Max. 

We’ve also highlighted the top 51 songs for you if you want to learn more, so pour yourself a glass of eggnog, hit play, and enter Club Christmas. And if you’re in a romantic mood, check out these Christmas love songs.

Table of Contents

1. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey (1994)

If Christmas songs were featured on American Horror Story: Coven, this one would be the Supreme. It is, of course, one of the best-selling Christmas songs ever.

Mariah Carey told EW about the song’s 25th anniversary in 2019, “I rebuke time. I have a thing where I just live outside the traditional realm of how we measure [it]. So in that way, Santa and myself are very similar. But I’m excited about the 25th anniversary. It’s like everything coming together to give the song a celebratory moment. It’s hard for me to know how much people celebrate this song other than what I hear from friends and just what I read online, or just other things, of people saying that they really get into the spirit with it. That, for me, particularly as a songwriter, is huge. So I do want to celebrate this year in an even bigger way than usual.”

And on the song’s origins, she said, “I wrote the beginning and the middle on the keyboard in a little house in Upstate New York, in a room by myself. I just started thinking about all things Christmas and growing up as a kid that loves Christmas. I think that’s why it’s such a festive record. Somebody said the other day, ‘It’s the saddest Christmas song ever, because you’re like, I don’t care about all these things. I just want this other person.’ And I guess that was my thing. I wanted to put a love twist onto a Christmas song, two of my favorite things in the world…. So when I got with [cowriter Walter Afanasieff]…I recently read something he spoke about in, I don’t [know], 2014 or something, where he said when I brought the song to him, he didn’t like the melody and it was very simplistic. And you know what? That is true, because I don’t usually start writing songs on the piano. I’m a terrible piano player, but sometimes the biggest songs for come [from] just sitting down at the piano and messing around. So I brought it to Walter. I had already written most of the song, and we worked on the bridge and produced it together.”

2. “Last Christmas” by Wham! (1986) 

I’m partial to the Glee version of this song (don’t judge!), but either way, it’s an earworm. 

3. “Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande (2014) 

You’ll be humming this one for hours. One of the best pop Christmas songs to exist. 

4. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee (1958) 

I can’t hear this song without thinking of a classic Christmas movie like Home Alone or The Holiday. Talk about one of the ultimate classic Christmas songs. 

5. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas” by Michael Bublé (2011)  

Say what you want about Michael Bublé, but he has a voice that transports you to a speakeasy in the 1940s. And that’s exactly the vibe you want in Christmas music. 

6. “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms (1970)

Remember when The Plastics danced to this in Mean Girls? History! 

7. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams (1963)

This song specifically brings up in my mind the scene in Just Friends where all the Christmas decorations get ruined. 

8. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” by Andy Williams (1965)

But real talk: Please don’t snow. Snow makes everything hard! 

9. “Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson (2013)

I need Kelly Clarkson to do a Christmas residency in the post-vaccine world. 

10. “Sleigh Ride” by The Ronettes (1963)

Wish I had someone to go on a sleigh ride with, but nope: I’m hopelessly single. 

11. “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano (1970) 

It’s not Christmas until my Puerto Rican father drinks three glasses of spiked eggnog and starts singing this. 

12. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Brett Eldredge and Meghan Trainor (2016)

We’re all in agreement that the message of this song is problematic, right?

13. “Holly Jolly Christmas” by Michael Bublé (2011)

I just want to snap my fingers to this song like I’m at a sock hop! 

14. “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber (2011) 

Awww. baby Biebs! 

15. “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney (1979)

This song is just deliriously happy. 

16. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow” by Frank Sinatra and B. Swanson Quartet 

Again, I’ll listen to songs about snow. But please don’t let it actually snow. 

17. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid (1984)

But wait…do they know? 

18. “Driving Home for Christmas” by Chris Rea (1989) 

Careful! The roads may be icy. 

19. “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” (1973) by Wizzard 

Honestly, a relatable song title. 

20. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Stevie Mackey, Jennifer Lopez, and The Eleven (2020)

J.Lo on a Christmas song? A serve! A win! A Grammy! 

21. “The First Noël” by Faith Hill and Josh Groban (2007) 

And while you’re on a Faith Hill kick, listen to her 1999 hit “The Way You Love Me,” one of the best songs on the planet. 

22. “Christmas C’mon” by Lindsey Stirling and Becky G (2017) 

Have a holly, boppy Christmas. 

23. “Merry Christmas Baby” by Otis Redding (1968) 

Thanks, Otis! You too! 

24. “Take Me Home for Christmas” by Dan + Shay (2020)

Sorry, Dan + Shay. Wish I could, but there’s a pandemic. 

25. “Under the Mistletoe” by Kelly Clarkson and Brett Eldredge (2020)

Actually, I have an updated request for my Kelly Clarkson Christmas residency: A joint Kelly Clarkson–Mariah Carey residency!

26. “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” by Pentatonix (2020) 

Okay, I stan them and I won’t be judged! 

27. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé (2014) 

Again, amazing singers. Problematic song. Moving on! 

28. “Holidays” (feat. Earth, Wind & Fire) by Meghan Trainor (2020) 

Low-key obsessed with Meghan Trainor’s look in this video. I want to be covered in Christmas ornaments! 

29. “Mistletoe and Wine” by Cliff Richard (1988)

Honestly, a great combination. 

30. “Naughty List” (with Dixie D’Amelio) by Liam Payne (2020)

I guess the TikTok generation deserves a Christmas song too. 

31. “Christmas Without You” by Ava Max (2020)

Ava Max is bringing back Christmas pop, and I’m forever grateful. 

32. “2000 Miles” by Pretenders (1983)

Follow this up with Vanessa Carlton’s seminal classic “A Thousand Miles.”

33. “My Kind of Present” by Meghan Trainor (2020)

Okay, why do I want to steal all of Meghan Trainor’s holiday looks?! This should be entered into a book of Christmas hymns. 

34. “Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas” by Dolly Parton and Michael Bublé (2020)

A Holly Dolly Christmas is the greatest album name of all time, and I won’t be challenged. 

35. “Lonely This Christmas” by Mud (1974)

If this title doesn’t reflect the 2021 holiday season, then what does? 

36. “Please Come Home for Christmas” by Eagles (1978)

Ooof, another title that feels all too real this year. 

37. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Mariah Carey (1994)

“All I Want for Christmas Is You” gets all the shine, but this is a classic too. 

38. “Let It Snow” by Tori Kelly and Babyface 

No! More! Snow! 

39. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love (1963)

Carey’s version of this song may be more popular, but let’s not forget the queen who first gave it life. 

40. “I Need You Christmas” by Jonas Brothers (2020)

A JoBros Christmas! 

41. “Jingle Bell Rock” by Daryl Hall and John Oates (1983)

So much rocking to jingle bells on this Christmas songs list! 

42. “My Only Wish (This Year)” by Britney Spears (2000)

This Britney Spears Christmas song is a sacred text. It’s easily one of the best Christmas songs of all time. Yup!

43. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Sam Smith (2014) 

And when you’re done sobbing to Sam Smith, you can dance to their bop “Diamonds.”

44. “Santa Baby” by Ariana Grande and Liz Gillies (2013)

Two Ariana Grande holiday songs on this list but none from her EP, Christmas & Chill? A travesty!

45. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Perry Como and The Fontane Sisters with Mitchell Ayres & His Orchestra (1951)

The perfect first song of the holiday season! 

46. “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives (1965)

Give the original a spin after you’ve exhausted Michael Bublé’s version.

47. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” by Michael Bublé (2011)

Speaking of Bublé, here he is again! 

48. “Winter Wonderland” by Tony Bennett (1968)

Fun fact: He rerecorded this song with Lady Gaga in 2014! One of the best Christmas songs ever.

49. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono (1971)

The only Christmas song on this list that doubles as a protest anthem against the Vietnam War. 

50. “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)” by Nat King Cole (1946)

Nothing more on point than something literally called “The Christmas Song.” 

51. “Santa Baby” by Kylie Minogue (2015)

After this, go stream Minogue’s new album, Disco. Yes, this is shameless promo!

Want more holiday content?

Click here for a list of romantic Christmas movies to watch right now. 

And go here for our list of the best Christmas movies on Netflix. 

Originally Appeared on Glamour

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