These Christmas songs put the holly in holiday


Drishti Upadhyaya

With the Holiday season bestowed upon us, music is a big contributing factor to what makes the season so special.

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mariah Carey

We have to start off with the most festive song there is! With dozens of renditions of this Mariah Carey classic, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has become a staple of Christmas time. It just isn’t Christmas without this song! The song begins with percussion, played to sound like a music box or snow globe, reminiscent of traditional winter carols and ballets. Its pace slowly picks up, becoming a catchy, upbeat tune. The jingling bells throughout the song really put the star on the tree, so to speak, and Carey’s voice, is, as always, ethereal. The lyrics, amplified by Carey’s incredible vocals, are simple, yet iconic. Carey makes a fairly simple tune stand out with her powerful voice. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is the perfect song to put anyone in the holiday spirit. 

It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

Micheal Buble

Yet another classic, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas” is a song that was made to begin the winter season with. The song’s mellow tune along with Michael Buble’s soft voice makes this the perfect background music to listen to while reading a book, baking cookies, putting up ornaments on the tree! The song makes you feel comfy and warm, starting off with the sound of wind and string music and continuing the gentle tone with hints of playfulness as Buble sings the hook, “A pair of hop-a-long boots and a pistol that shoots/ Is the wish of Barney and Ben/ Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk/ Is the hope of Janice and Jen/ And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas” is a song about the subtle signs of the beginning of the holiday season, and what better time to listen to such a song than what the song itself is about — the beginning of the holiday season!

The jingling bells throughout the song really put the star on the tree, so to speak, and Carey’s voice, is, as always, ethereal.

Jingle Bell Rock

Bobby Helms

“Jingle Bell Rock” is yet another classic. Though it doesn’t have a traditional carol feel, it definitely gets you in the Christmas spirit with its upbeat, laidback tune. The instrumentals and vocals have that vintage tone to them and feel more nostalgic than dated. Its simple lyrics are filled to the brim with colorful imagery that really sets the scene for a cozy night. The bells accompanying the vocals really add to the winter scene. The cold winter atmosphere it describes complements the warmth the song sets, creating a truly unique listening experience. The song’s longevity is due in part to its numerous uses in films, including “Home Alone 2: Lost In New York” and “Mean Girls.” The song has become a staple of the holiday season, and really sets the cozy atmosphere we all crave during Christmas. 

Christmas Tree Farm

Taylor Swift

One of Taylor Swift’s few holiday songs, “Christmas Tree Farm” is upbeat and merry, with tambourine and guitar playing throughout the song. The song opens with a set of string instruments and piano, beautifully paired with a slow, deliberate tempo, similar to a ballad. However, although the song seems like it is just a reminiscence of a trip to a Christmas tree farm with Swift singing about standing “Under the mistletoe/ Watching the fire glow,” the song is about how the Christmas tree farm that she spent time living on for much of her childhood. The song’s lyrics are sweet and romantic, creating a warm, comforting tone throughout the song with lyrics like “and when I’m feeling alone/ You remind me of home/ Oh baby, baby, Merry Christmas.” Magical and upbeat, “Christmas Tree Farm” sounds like it was made to be in a Hallmark movie, and is the perfect song to kick off the Christmas season!

Feliz Navidad

José Feliciano

Popular since its release in 1970, “Feliz Navidad” marks its fiftieth anniversary in 2020, continuing to be a must-have in everyone’s Christmas playlists. Although the song is repetitive, with only a few distinct lines, it continues to hold the charming holiday spirit of the Christmas season, never getting old or boring — even fifty years later — something that not many songs can achieve. Linda Viero Caballero, better known as La India, who sang with Feliciano alongside other artists in the newest version of the song that was released to celebrate this milestone, says that “It was an honor and privilege to sing for José … He’s just an amazing improviser. Everyone has always been so proud of José, ‘cause he never abandoned the Latin culture.” First sang with a cuatro that Feliciano learned how to play from his uncle in his homeland, Puerto Rico, he said that it was a very emotional song for him, written at a time where he felt very lonely, missing all his siblings and relatives who lived in Puerto Rico, saying, “it was expressing the joy that I felt on Christmas and the fact that I felt very lonely.” He has since released several renditions of the song. Beautifully composed, “Feliz Navidad” has passed the test of time and holds meaning for many, and even for those for whom it is just another Christmas song, it is a definite holiday staple. 

Last Christmas 


Its sweet melody accompanied and gentle vocals have kept “Last Christmas” a staple of holiday cheer. The simple tune and bittersweet lyrics capture both the magic and vulnerability synonymous with this time of year. The chorus stays in your head with its catchy lyrics and rhythm. The song tells the tale of a person reuniting with an ex who broke their heart one Christmas ago. The narrator knows they have to move on, but can’t keep themselves from looking away. One of the most popular Christmas songs, “Last Christmas” has been covered by numerous other artists, including Carly Rae Jepsen and Ariana Grande, keeping it in the public consciousness for over three decades. These covers all explore different genres and styles, but none hold a candle to the original. “Last Christmas” remains a true holiday classic.