Christmas is much more than setting up holiday trees, going to parties, planning vacations, and cooking fun dishes. The holiday season encompasses many things – including music. In fact, Christmas-themed songs have become part and parcel of every Christmas celebration.
Although rooted in an old tradition, Christmas music feels quite at home in the modern world. There are Christmas classics, pop, rock ’n’ roll, slow or fast – you name it. Want to make your party lit? Check out our list of the top 10 Christmas songs of all time. Let’s get the party started!
Top 10 Christmas Songs
1. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” covered by the Jackson 5
This funny tune dates back to the 1930s and was vastly improved in 2003 by Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi. Of course, there have been lots of great covers over the years, but the upbeat Jackson 5 version has always had a special place in our hearts. The track’s so funky and cool, it’s sure to get you on your feet as soon as it comes on.
2. “Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande
Here’s one of the more recent Christmas hits. In 2014, the award-winning singer Ariana Grande made it an addition to her four-song “Christmas Kisses” EP. “Santa Tell Me” quickly gained popularity, peaking at number 7 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Open your ears and mind to Ariana’s half-whispered intimations.
3. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey
What do you want for Christmas? Mariah Carey, another American singer with a stunningly beautiful voice, answered this question quite simply in this song, which appeared on her 1994 “Merry Christmas” album. The catchy track became an instant hit and the album has sold over 4 million copies since its release. Put it on and let your loved ones know they are all you need this holiday season.
4. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland
The original version was sung by the famous actress Judy Garland in 1944 musical Meet Me in St. Louis. Later, the song was fine-tuned and eventually became one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time, fondly remembered by many to this day. Listen to Judy’s soothing voice and have yourself a merry little Christmas.
5. “The Little Drummer Boy” covered by David Bowie and Bing Crosby
“The Little Drummer Boy” is another popular Xmas song. Originally composed in 1941 by Katherine K. Davis, the song was famously covered by David Bowie and Bing Crosby on Crosby's 1977 Christmas special. The record has a distinctive solemn feel so that you can’t help but sing along.
6. “Jingle Bells” covered by Diana Krall
Meet the best-known and most iconic Christmas tune of them all. Dating back all the way to 1857, this song arguably gained even more popularity in 2005 when the female jazz singer Diana Krall included it on her album titled “Christmas Songs.” Since then, “Jingle Bells” has become truly ubiquitous. You’ll definitely find yourself humming along to it at least once or twice this holiday season.
7. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby
This sweet 1942 hit has long had a place among the Christmas perennials. It first appeared in the musical Holiday Inn, where it was sung by Bing Crosby, and it remains one of the world's best-sellers with 50 million copies of the single sold worldwide. A bit old school, sure, but still very good and enjoyable.
8. “Mary’s Boy Child” by Harry Belafonte
“Mary’s Boy Child” is the only song on this list to reach No. 1 on the UK charts twice, in two different versions – an unusual achievement for a Christmas song. The original 1956 version was performed by Harry Belafonte, a popular Jamaican-American singer. Later, Boney M. turned the song into an equally successful dance-pop hit that also topped the British charts. A two-time number one track? Now that’s impressive!
9. “Do They Know It's Christmas?” by Band Aid
Recorded as part of a charity initiative, “Do They Know It's Christmas?” has become one of the most famous Christmas songs ever. The song was written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure as a fundraiser to help provide aid to the people of Ethiopia, who were suffering from famine at the time. Though short, the song cuts across races and generations and definitely deserves a place on this list.
10. “Silent Night” covered by Jackie Evancho
Ease the stress of preparing for Christmas with this popular Christmas hymn. Originally composed in German and only later translated into English, it was used during a World War I truce because it was known to both sides. “Silent Night” regained popularity in 2010 when Jackie Evancho, a child opera singer, included it in her holiday collection “O Holy Night.”
Regardless of what you’re into – pop, rock, or country - there’s something for everyone on our list, cutting across generations and genres. With this collection of songs, you can rest assured that you’ll have a truly merry Christmas party. What’s more, they’re perfect for New Year celebrations, too. Just find the ones you like best on YouTube and get ready for some serious merriment!