It’s beginning to look a lot like, Chr- hold up, it has definitely been looking like Christmas for a hot minute. And from the songs on the radio, it sounds like we’ve constantly been dreaming of a white Christmas at least since Labor Day.
But that means we are in FULL-ON holiday mode. With roadtrips, parties, and (let’s us face it) cleaning, there’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than cranking the holiday tunes that speak to our festive souls.
Since the holiday season does come with a healthy does of yultide stress, I’ve put together some of my favorite holiday songs (with additions from other local moms).
Before you ask, I’ve only included the good ones that haven’t been on repeat for the last three months. Happy Holidays!
Holiday Playlist Track 1: O Holy Night by Mariah Carey
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. You took one look at Mariah Carey and defaulted to this year’s chart-topping All I Want for Christmas Is You. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Christmas-spirit-killer (and Love Actually is my second favorite Christmas movie… after Die Hard) but as the unofficial song OF Christmas, it’s a bit overplayed.
However, Mariah Carey’s Christmas Album is FULL of fantastic Christmas hits. I’d like you to take a listen to the true masterpiece that is Carey’s rendition of O Holy Night. The weary world rejoices, and so do I.
Maybe it’s the organ that moves my holiday soul, but more likely it’s Mariah and all the glorious highs you might expect.
Sure, there are numerous versions of this holiday staple, but this is by far the most festive of them all.
It’s just. so. extra. I love it and will never get enough.
Holiday Playlist Track 2: Amy Grant – Breath of Heaven
On a more serious note, Amy Grant’s Breath of Heaven is both intense and moving. It tells the story of the birth of Jesus from the perspective of his mother, Mary. The lyrics and melody weave together the anticipation and fear that Mary feels as she seeks guidance on her journey. It gives me chills every time I listen to it!
Becca, Beaverton Mom of Two
Holiday Playlist Track 3: The 12 Days of Christmas – Straight No Chaser
It’s incredibly difficult to effectively pull off The 12 Days of Christmas because, well, it gets really REALLY repetitive. That’s probably why Straight No Chaser is able to pull it off with a faster rhythm, blending of other carols, and funny lines to package it together in a entertaining version.
Whomever wrote it, hats off, because putting it all together in coherently incoherent way had to be a bear. Oh, and they sound nice too, because of course they do (since they’re an a cappella group.)
Anyone that can incorporate Toto is more than okay in my book (FIIIIIIVE Golden Rings!).
It’s [my favorite] humorous Christmas medley.
Elle T, Hillsboro Mom of One Munchkin
Holiday Playlist Track 4: Last Christmas by Wham!
Is there such a thing as Christmas without Last Christmas? No, the answer is clearly no.
I like to think of Last Chistmas as the Careless Whisper of the holidays that we all deserve. Just substitute the saxophone riff with a snythesizier and Wham! you’ve got 80’s gold that never fades.
While many artists have attempted to cover this Christmas favorite, no one has yet to top the original (although T-Swift comes in at a close second).
Holiday Playlist Track 5: O Holy Night by Celtic Woman
While O Holy Night has made a previous appearance on the list, this version is less on theatrics and seeks to present the song using harmony. There’s a reason O Holy Night is a favorite of many people during the holiday season.
It is full of faith and hope, and it uplifts my spirit!
Jenny C, Tigard Mom of Twin Boys
Holiday Playlist Track 6: Hallelujah by Pentatonix
Pentatonix sings a beautiful, modern adaptation of the treasured Leonard Cohen song, Hallelujah. Multiple voices harmonize, providing a background that increases the power that hits you without taking away from the poetry. It’s hard not to feel moved.
I’m pretty sure it’s not technically a Christmas song, but it’s on their Christmas album. Every time I hear this version, I get the chills and stop whatever I’m doing to listen to it.
Katie (a different one), Mama of Two
Holiday Playlist Track 7: The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) by Alvin and the Chipmunks
There’s something about Alvin and the Chipmunks that has driven their popularity across generations. For a while in my youth, I was OBSESSED with the tape I received with various covers of popular hits in those all-too-familiar high pitched voices.
That’s probably while I still love The Chipmunk Song so much. That, and I still want a hula hoop too. Be prepared, though, this is the kind of song that gets stuck in your head like Baby Shark (which by the way, did you know they have a Christmas version now?)
Holiday Playlist Track 8: Here Comes Santa Claus by Elvis Presley
Elvis’s deep and signature voice fits his rendition of Here Comes Santa Claus so perfectly that I’m convinced this is hands-down the best version of this classic Christmas tune.
The background vocals lift the beat and flow even more to make for a fantastic and fun blend. I find it difficult not to burst out in sing-along mode anytime it comes on.
Obviously, this playlist is rather limited at only eight songs. But they are GOOD songs. However, I know there are some more gems out there. Let me know which ones I should add!