Now that the turkey has been carved and the pumpkin pie cut, the time to listen to Christmas music has arrived.
Of course, there are the classics like “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Jingle Bells” and “Winter Wonderland”.
These songs have come a long way since they first debuted, being covered and redone by just about every artist who has produced a Christmas album. They have been remastered, revamped and remixed to have the new artists’ own flair show through the original styling of the song.
Instead of focusing on songs that cover versions of the classics, let’s look at some original tunes that have become holiday staples.
“All I Want for Christmas is You,” by Mariah Carey is probably one of the most well known and most played, even overplayed, of the original Christmas songs.
It is very catchy as it tells a story of love at Christmas time. Carey’s feelings of love outweigh any gift that could be left under the tree as she is willing to give up snow and seeing Santa for her one and only.
Since Christmas is associated with so much happiness and love, it only makes sense that this song would be such a big hit, even if it was released in 1994.
Another immensely popular song that is usually overplayed is “Last Christmas” by Wham!.
It has the romance that Carey sings about, but it takes a sad turn.
Lead singer George Micheal sings of a broken heart at Christmas time after a past love broke his heart the year before.
It has the standard Wham! ’80s vibe to it instead of the usual bells and chimes associated with holiday music. Even still, it has become a favorite for radio stations and intercoms in department stores everywhere.
“It Could Happen Again,” by Collin Raye is a song many have likely not heard of, but it tells the true and touching story of the Christmas Truce of 1914.
It speaks of peace in a time of war brought on by the celebration of Christmas between enemies. The Christmas Truce saw enemies become acquaintances as they exchanged words, food and gifts of sorts.
Another song with a similar theme of peace during a time of war is John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”. However, instead of peace within the military itself, Lennon sung in protest of the Vietnam War.
Lennon’s song was a peaceful protest of the war during a time when peace was a hot topic. The holiday season is heavily associated with goodwill and forgiveness, making this song a timeless favorite.
“Present Without a Bow” by Kacey Musgraves is a duet released in 2016. Leon Bridges joins Musgraves to sing about love and how the holidays would not be the same without that special person.
It touches on spending time with loved ones and slowing down to enjoy the season instead of running around frantically. It also compares not being with the special someone to a more dismal and bleak Christmas.
Sia’s “Candy Cane Lane” also talks about spending time with friends and enjoying the holidays.
She mentions visiting with Rudolph, eating candy canes, and the bright colors of Christmas, which brings back memories of classic Christmas songs while putting a fresh and modern spin on them.
The last song on the list is “You Make it Feel Like Christmas” by Gwen Stefani and featuring Blake Shelton. The song focuses on being thankful for a new love entering your life.
This new love Stefani and Shelton sing about reminds them of the giddy feelings of Christmas and the happiness of the holiday season. They mention festive treats and sleigh bells, sharing familiar themes with songs from many years before.
Of course, not everyone will agree with these choices, but these are just some recommendations to get in the holiday spirit.
With finals coming up and last minute shopping in the near future, listening to some festive music could be just the thing to help melt some of that stress away.