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10 Nontraditional Songs For The Holiday Season

Originals (and covers better than the original) for when all you want for Christmas is new music

Joel the lump of coal the killers christmas music holiday music jimmy kimmel
Still from Joel the Lump of Coal by

Last updated on January 2nd, 2019 at 01:50 am

As the holiday season draws near, and the debate over whether or not Christmas music is meant to be listened to before or after Thanksgiving comes to a close, it’s finally a safe time to start marinating in your old holiday favorites.

But what can you do when every public space and radio station has been completely washed out by the same old songs, year after year? I’m here to help you offset the overload of Jingle Bells and Mistletoe and give you some options and a breath of fresh air.

1. Christmas List – Simple Plan

Simple Plan has crafted the perfect tune for the Christmas fanatic who is all about getting presents.

The line, “Its Christmas, and I want everything” sums it up pretty nicely.

2. The Night Santa Went Crazy – Weird Al

Leave it to Weird Al to write something from an entirely unique perspective. This the perfect song for anyone questioning Santa’s ability to maintain his sanity during the highly chaotic stress of the holiday season.

Hint: he’s not okay.

3. Do You Hear What I Hear? – William Beckett

Wait a minute, we’re only on the third song of this list and you already picked a cover?

I sure did. But I picked an innovative and fun cover. Wait until the sweet change up in rhythm on the second verse. You’ll see.

This is essentially a revamped and less boring version of the song that, typically, when it is heard on the radio, one changes the channel and checks back after a few minutes to see if its over. Don’t deny it.

4. Time To Fall in Love – Lindsey Stirling Ft. Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low

I’m a big fan of this song because the upbeat strings provided by the endlessly talented Lindsey Stirling, paired with Alex Gaskarth’s poppy vocals, really gives it that “intro to an ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas special” kind of feel.

I can totally envision the panning shots of busy, but cozy, stores in the snow in the middle of New York City.

5. What’s This? – Fall Out Boy

This cover makes the list because it’s from The Nightmare Before Christmas, which most people think is a Halloween movie anyway. What’s more unconventional than listening to songs from a Halloween movie on Christmas? Nothing.

Plus this is from before Fall Out Boy sold out, which is cool. (Yes, I went there).

6. White Winter Hymnal – Pentatonix

Is this song about little children bundled up in winter coats, falling over in the snow because, just like in A Christmas Story, they can’t move their arms? Maybe.

Is it about beheading people during the French Revolution? Also possible.

Though I’m not sure what it is about exactly, I do know this song is catchy as heck. And besides, regardless of its meaning, it was “wintery” enough to make it onto Pentatonix’s 2015 Christmas album, and unusual enough to make it on this list.

7. Joel The Lump of Coal – The Killers

“Joel the Lump of Coal” features the talent of The Killers, the wit of Jimmy Kimmel, and the cutest little animation that will somehow leave you feeling sorry for carbon for the first time in your life. It doesn’t get much better than that.

(The song starts at 5:14).

8. Sleigh Ride – This Wild Life

I know what you’re thinking: this song is way too close to the original to pass as an unconventional Christmas song. And that may be true, but when you compare it to the more commonly heard rendition by The Ronettes, there is something that feels more authentic and cozy about this version.

This Wild Life brings a more mellow tone to “Sleigh Ride” that is less swingy and jazzy. Instead of feeling every motion of horse hooves clomping, you feel the warmth of the blanket you’re nestled under during the trip, and taste the promise of hot chocolate afterward.

9. Ho Ho Hopefully – The Maine

The entire Christmas album that The Maine released is fantastic, but I chose to mention this song in particular for its warmth, even though it talks about being unable to make it home for Christmas.

Alternatively, I’ll say that Santa Stole My Girlfriend is phenomenal as well, and definitely not your average holiday song. (There, you even got a bonus song out of this list).

10. Merry Christmas, Kiss My A** – All Time Low

The perfect song for anyone who, instead of presents, got hit with a bad breakup this holiday season and just wants to spend time being bitter about it. But hey, not everyone gets to spend Christmas with a perfect significant other, so why not?

Well, there you have it. Some are new songs, some are improved songs, but all are songs that you’re not likely to hear while running around the mall in a mad frenzy as you race to check off everyone on your shopping list.

Which one is your new favorite?

Written by Katie Ahrens


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