What are your favorite things about the holiday season, guys? For others, it’s the Christmas light displays and decorations in their neighborhood though for some it’s the holiday parties or the Christmas movies.
As for me, I love them all but nothing beats a good Christmas music playing on the radio! It’s too bad Christmas caroling is no longer a thing in some areas of the United States as it had already fallen out of practice in the last few decades. Anyway, even if it is still a thing, we’re currently in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving Christmas carolers no choice but to spread holiday cheer virtually.
Thank goodness for the radio and the free online music streaming platforms, we can listen to Christmas songs whenever we want which brings us to this question: what, for you, are the best Christmas songs of all time?
Take a look below at our list and please feel free to mention yours in the comments section:
- Carol of the Bells (1914, Mykola Leontovych)
A classic said to have been inspired by a Ukrainian folk chant called “Shchedryk.” My most favorite version is the one heard in Home Alone (1990) which you can listen to here although I also like the one done by Pentatonix.
- Santa Baby (1953, Eartha Kitt)
And somehow Christmas isn’t the same without this upbeat song. Santa Baby makes me smile because of the lyrics’ tongue-in-cheek humor. I love Madonna’s remake of this song as well as Calista Flockhart’s (the one heard in Ally Mcbeal) and Kylie Minogue’s.
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (1944, Judy Garland)
This song is sad but hopeful and every time I hear it, it makes me remember friends and family who had either already passed on or those who I haven’t seen or heard from for a long time. I would feel sad but I’ll also smile because hearing this song makes me remember fond memories with loved ones.
Karen Carpenter’s version of this song is amazing as well and you can listen to it here.
- Do You Hear What I Hear (1962, The Harry Simeone Chorale)
This song brings us back to our childhood days.
However, it is said that Do You Hear What I Hear was written in October 1962 by ex-couple Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis as a call for peace first and as a Christmas song second. Fifty-eight years later the message of this song remained relevant and I believe it will continue to be in the next fifty years or so.
There have been numerous renditions of this song but I love the one sang by Philippines’ Jose Mari Chan the most. You are probably only hearing about him for the first time but this Christmas icon’s soothing voice is golden.
- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (1945, Vaughn Monroe)
Or simply Let it Snow (the original title is quite a mouthful, yeah?) is said to have been inspired by a heat wave. There’s nothing like the original version of course but I also love Kylie Minogue’s version.
- Baby, It’s Cold Outside (1944, Frank Loesser)
This flirty song is both Christmassy and romantic at the same time. It has been revived numerous times by a lot of artists over the years but my most favorite is the one done by Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé.
- O Holy Night (1847, Adolphe Adam)
It is said that this song was first heard 173 years ago, I mean, how cool is that? If there’s such a thing as quintessential Christmas song, this one is it. There have been many notable versions of O Holy Night but I love Celine Dion’s and Mariah Carey’s the most.
- Hallelujah (1984, Leonard Cohen)
This Leonard Cohen original isn’t probably even a Christmas song but somehow people associate it with Christmas.
Hallelujah is very popular but the version I love is the one sang by American Canadian Rufus Wainwright. There is something in the way Wainwright sang Hallelujah that clutches at the listener’s heart.
I also love Filipino Canadian Darren Espanto’s version of this song. He’s got such an amazing voice. Watch him sing it below.
- White Christmas (1942, Bing Crosby)
Bing Crosby’s version of White Christmas according to the Guinness World Records has sold 50 million copies worldwide as of 01 January 2012. Though it has been covered by many artists, Crosby’s version is considered the world’s best-selling single of this song.
White Christmas is timeless and our Christmas is somehow incomplete if we didn’t hear this song.
- Last Christmas (1984, Wham!)
This song is a perennial favorite both by the listeners and the singers. This is perhaps because Christmas season is also somewhat a break up season and Last Christmas therefore, has become the theme song of the brokenhearted club every year.
First released in December 3, 1984—Last Christmas has since then been covered by various singers including Ashley Tisdale, the Glee cast, Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Taylor Swift to name a few.
- All I Want for Christmas is You (1994, Carey & Afanasieff)
All I Want for Christmas is You is the multi-platinum worldwide album and single of Mariah Carey, the queen of Christmas. First released in 1994, the song has since then had three versions: Mariah Carey’s and Justin Bieber’s version, the Glee cast’s version, and Michael Bublé’s version all released in 2011.
Clearly a popular Christmas staple, Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You is currently number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. It was number 1 around this time last year, too!