I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas music by any means. With that disclaimer, there are a few holiday-themed songs and covers that really brighten my Christmas (instead of getting on my nerves with repetitive jingling). These songs either warm my heart, make me laugh, or just plain sound nice. Merry Christmas!
- “Joel the Lump of Coal” by The Killers & Jimmy Kimmel
The Killers are known for releasing a Christmas song each year, and while this year’s tune was a fun, campy pop piece, I’m partial to last year’s “Joel the Lump of Coal.” The sad but poignant story of Joel might have made me cry, but wow, can Brandon Flowers sing. Plus, the guitar riffs speak for themselves.
2. “Snow” by Sleeping At Last
Few artists do Christmas so well as Sleeping At Last. Citing imagery from the classic film It’s A Wonderful Life and titled after the weather-staple of winter, “Snow” remains a beautiful tribute to the holiday season. Sleeping At Last also has a Christmas EP for free on Noisetrade.
3. “Merry Christmas, Baby” by Otis Redding
Love + soul = Christmas, Otis Redding-style. Got someone you love? Want to dance with them during a holiday party? Put this on your stereo.
4. “The Christmas Waltz” by She & Him
She & Him’s take on a Christmas classic sounds warm and cozy, making it perfect for a night indoors with a blanket and hot chocolate. Somehow I had never heard this song before I listened to A Very She & Him Christmas, and I can’t be more grateful for such a great introduction to this gorgeous melody.
5. “All I Want for Christmas is You” by My Chemical Romance
Not really feeling a jingly-jangly Mariah Carey hit? Me neither. Flashback to MCR’s version of “All I Want for Christmas is You” for some good old-fashioned Christmas angst. Teenage Olivia listened to this every year because it was one of the only Christmas songs she could stand at the time.
6. “Angels We Have Heard on High” by Evan Wickham
Wickham takes a well-beloved Christmas hymn and gives it a surprisingly catchy twist. Listen to this when you need an update on a familiar song.
7. “Ave Maria” by Beyoncé
If you’re searching for a strong vocal performance by a popular artist, look no further. Beyoncé adds a powerful grace to her version of the timeless song.
8. “White Christmas” by the Beach Boys
Even the Beach Boys would like snow on Christmas. With their trademark harmonies and sunny sound, nobody does the holidays quite like the Beach Boys.
9. “Christmas Must Be Tonight” by Bahamas
Slow and heartfelt, “Christmas Must Be Tonight” recalls the original Christmas story of Jesus’ birth and the joy that He brings. Bahamas bring their usual talent to a warm acoustic tune and maybe even channel the Eagles a little bit? Maybe that’s just me, though. This is my new favorite Christmas song.
10. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby
This is the best Christmas song of all time and that’s all.
Access these songs and other great ones in full here: