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30 Best Christmas Songs of All Time

Santa in Poland in 2010.

Tis the season…for some Christmas tunes!

Christmas music is amazing, not only is it music that you don’t get to hear all year round, but some amazing artists get in on the holiday action and remake songs that have been sung by Americans for centuries.

You may be wondering, just what are the best Christmas song of all time that you should be adding to your YouTube or Spotify playlists this coming Christmas eve? Keep Reading to find out!

1. Jingle Bells by Frank Sinatra

This song is perhaps the oldest Christmas carol still sung today. Written in 1857, it was actually a Thanksgiving tune and was recorded on an Edison Cylinder. It became famous in 1948 when it was sung by Frank Sinatra, and many artists have been hesitant to touch it since.

2. Mistletoe by Justin Bieber

It’s rare that a “new” Christmas tune is debuted that actually makes it to the top charts. That’s why Mistletoe by Justin Bieber is so unique. This song was written in 2011 supposedly by the star himself.

3. All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey is a highly debated subject during the Christmas music season. Many people love her Christmas music, while others find it overplayed and annoying which has sparked many memes in response.

This is one of the few modern Christmas songs as it was only just written in 1994. It will be interesting to see if people are still singing this famous tune in a century.

4. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee

Sometimes it’s the original that’s best! This is the case with Rocking Around the Christmas Tree which has been re-done many times since its original was released in 1958. But no one can come close to the sound of iconic singer Brenda Lee, who was only 13 when she first sang this famous Christmas tune.

5. White Christmas by Bing Crosby

White Christmas by Bing Crosby is the most famous Christmas song of all time and no playlist is complete without it. It was penned by Irving Berlin but owes its popularity to Bing Crosby who sold 50 million copies of this tune since 1942.

Dolly Parton and other stars have tried to re-make their own versions of this Christmas classic, but when it comes to White Christmas, Bing Crosby is simply unbeatable.

6. Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley

Even the king Elvis Presley had to get in on the Christmas action with his version of Blue Christmas. But did you know he didn’t write this song? No, it was actually recorded by Doye O’Dell in 1948. Elvis Presley simply made it famous.

7. Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano

Feliz Navidad was written by Puerto Rican singer Jose Feliciano in 1970 and he also provided the vocals for the song. Although it contains the chorus in Spanish, this song was quick to become popular in the United States and Canada, and most Americans now know the meaning of the Spanish words in the chorus by heart.

8. Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon and Yoko Ono

Written in 1969, this song was conceived as a part of the anti-Vietnam war protest occurring in the United States at the time. It has since become part of history as one of the top-selling Christmas songs of all time and is most widely known for the Harlem Community Choir who sang in the original version.

9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Frank Sinatra

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas was originally sung by Judy Garland after being written by songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine for a movie of hers in 1944. However, the version by Frank Sinatra, recorded in 1957, is the one that really took off.

You can also find a more modern version of this song by both Kelly Clarkson and Christina Aguilera that are perfect to put on while doing your Christmas wrapping. 

10. Last Christmas by Ariana Grande

Last Christmas was supposedly written to be a ballad, but many have regarded it as a pop song since Wham! first topped the charts with it in 1984. Their version is still great to listen to, but try the Ariana Grande version that has a fun modern take on this old tune.

11. Little Drummer Boy by Pentatonix

Pentatonix is perhaps the best thing to happen to Christmas music in the modern-day as they have covered all kinds of iconic songs like no other band could! This Christmas carol was originally penned in 1941 for the Trapp Family Singers (Known for the movie based on their life, The Sound of Music) and rose to fame after being sung by David Bowie in the 1970s.

12. The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole

The Christmas Song is the Christmas hit that you can never remember the title of, and more people know it as the “chestnuts roasting over an open fire” song. Nat King Cole’s voice is perfect for the tune, and no one will ever sing the song quite like this legend.

13. Santa Baby by Arian Grande

Surprisingly, Santa Baby was written in 1953, for iconic speaker Eartha Kitt. In the days where America was still widely religious, it’s shocking that this song was able to climb the charts as it did.

In the past few decades, several notable singers such as Madonna have tried to match Eartha Kitt’s success with this song, but no one comes quite as close as the current pop icon Ariana Grande.

14. Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney

How can it be Christmas without this song? Written in 1979, this is another Christmas carol that is considered to be fairly “modern” in nature. Many artists have sung it over the years, but none quite as good as Paul McCartney.

15. Baby it’s Cold Outside by Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé

Baby, it’s been cold outside since 1944! This song was originally written in 1944 and hit widespread fame after being featured in the movie Neptune’s Daughter. In the modern-day, this is a popular song for famous duos, and you can find everyone from Seth McFarlane and Sara Bareilles to Amy Grant and Vince Gill singing this popular tune!

Our personal favorite is the one featuring Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé, so be sure to take a few minutes to check it out while you are putting presents underneath the tree. 

16. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams

This famous Christmas tune by Andy Williams made its debut in 1963 on the Andy William Christmas Album and has been one of the most highly requested songs ever since!

17. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love

This song was written by Phil Spector and became famous in the 1980s when it was sung by U2. But if U2 isn’t your go-to for Christmas music, be sure to listen to this version by Darlene Love.

18. Do They Know it’s Christmas? by Band Aid

Do They Know it’s Christmas was written during the 1980s as a response to a famine that was occurring in Ethiopia at the time. Regardless of the fact that it was a Christmas song, it held the record as the number one selling single of all time until 1997.

19. The First Noel by Carrie Underwood

The First Noel has been sung this time of year for centuries, and no one is quite sure when it originated! Because there is no copyright, this song has been sung by many artists over the years, most notably Frank Sinatra and, Josh Groban and Faith Hill as a duet.

Branch out a little and check out this version by Carrie Underwood because this traditional carol is a perfect fit for her smooth voice.

20. Frosty the Snowman by Jimmy Durante

Did you know that Frosty the Snowman was originally written in 1950? It’s true. And it was originally sung by Jimmy Durante, who was 57 years old at the time. Surprisingly, the song was such a hit, that twenty years later, the director of the animated movie based on the song asked Jimmy Durante to voice the narrator.

Michael Bublé now has a version of this song, as does Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald, but honestly, this is one of those where we think the original is the best!

21. Holly Jolly Christmas by Michael Bublé

Nothing puts you in the mood like Holly Jolly Christmas—with its upbeat nature and catchy lyrics. Although it was originally released in 1964 sung by Burl Ives, the Michael Bublé version is a fun take on this oldie when you want to freshen your Christmas playlist.  

22. I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Glen Campbell

I’ll Be Home for Christmas was originally written for Bing Crosby in 1943 as a tribute to soldiers fighting in World War II. But it quickly became a standard, even after the end of the war not two years later.

Frank Sinatra and Connie Francis have also made versions of this song, but Glen Campbell is the current favorite.

23. It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas by Michael Bublé

This next song is the perfect one to play during the holiday season, as it helps get everyone into the Christmas mood! It was originally written in 1951 by flutist Meredith Wilson, but now you can find versions by Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and of course, Michael Bublé!

24. You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Thurl Ravenscroft

This song was originally recorded for the animated movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 1966. Many people all over the world recognize the voice of Thurl Ravenscroft, not just for this song, but also for his work in Kellogg’s Frosted Flake commercials.

Although there have been many remakes, this song is honestly just best with the original performer.

25. Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms

If you’ve seen the movie Mean Girls, then you’re familiar with the song Jingle Bell Rock. First released in 1957, this song was sung by Bobby Helms. There are probably new versions of this song around but you really can’t let go of the original on this one—it’s just so iconic!

26. Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! by Dean Martin

First played in 1945, this song has been making headlines ever since. Even though many agree that Dean Martin released the best version of this song in 1959, this song was first sung by Vaughn Monroe.

27. Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry

This song was first performed by Chuck Berry but was written by songwriter Johnny Marks, who is famous for several of his other Christmas songs as well (Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer being a big one!)

In the days since, it has been recorded many times over, and you can find fun versions by Billy Rae Cyrus, Bryan Adams, and Jimmy Buffet to suit your particular Christmas style.

28. Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Jackson 5

Santa Claus is Coming to Town is probably best known for the Jackson 5 version that came out in 1970, but the reality is, this song has been around since 1934. Even Bing Crosby has a fun version of this song, but the Jackson 5 one really is the crowd favorite!

29. Silent Night by The Temptations

Silent Night is a Christian hymn that has been around for centuries but is perhaps most famous for the bluesy version released by The Temptations.  

30. Merry Christmas Baby by Otis Redding

Merry Christmas Baby was written in the 1940s and hit the top charts in 1947. It was originally sung by Charles Brown who also played the piano in the number, but the current consensus is that Otis Redding has released the best version in the years since.

Hope Davis
Author: Hope Davis

Writer, because it's the only way daydreaming pays.

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Written by Hope Davis

Writer, because it's the only way daydreaming pays.

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