The Best Christmas Songs For Your Holiday Playlist

If you're holding a Christmas get together this year but don't know what to put on the stereo, take a look through our picks for the best ever Christmas songs.

Whether you love or hate Christmas carols, it's almost impossible to avoid them this time of year. 

At the shopping centre, on the radio, maybe playing in your office - you know it's the festive season when you hear a little Michael Bublé on the sound system.

If you're in charge of the playlist this year, consider what will make your guests feel nostalgic or in the mood for a glass of bubbly and boogie. Think of the jazzy Christmas classics for the cool and classy approach, or get people up and moving with some modern pop anthems.

Here are some sure-fire hits to include on your Christmas playlist:

1. Santa Baby

Yes, the premise of a sexy Christmas carol is a bit strange. However, there's no denying this little ditty is a lot of fun. Just ask Kylie Minogue, who remade Eartha Kitt's 1953 original.

Listening tip: Play this one when you're up for a bit of a laugh with your girlfriends. Enjoy a couple of cocktails and try your hand at imitating the sultry vocals. 

2. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

Everyone, and we mean everyone, has recorded their own version of this song. Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, Mariah Carey, Miley Cyrus, Michael Bublé and both the Minogue sisters have performed this number. Maybe rights are cheap, or maybe it really is a Christmas classic!

Listening tip: If you're having a cocktail party or spinning a few Christmas hits on the office speakers, pick up the mood with Mariah's fast-paced, fun-packed cover version.

3. Baby It's Cold Outside

Surprise, surprise: there is a Michael Bublé version of this song too, which he performed with Broadway superstar, Idina Menzel. While it's a solid attempt with an impossibly cute music video, you may prefer the jazzy vibes of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan.

Listening tip: Play to accompany a sit-down dinner or a cosy glass of wine with your loved ones. 

4. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

All carols are a matter of personal preference, with no shortage of recorded versions available to purchase. Yet, for this one, you simply cannot go past the original. Judy Garland recorded 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' in 1944 for her holiday film, Meet Me in St Louis, and her iconic voice really set the bar for this melancholy holiday tune. 

Listen to: Maybe don't play this one at your Christmas party as it's guaranteed to bring the mood down a few notches! However, if you love to listen to carols in your car or at home, don't go past this beautiful ballad.

5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Despite, or maybe because of the interesting subject matter, 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' was quite a hit! The 1952 version of the song was actually a No.1 Billboard chart-topper and even gave way to a whole movie loosely based on its lyrics. Modern pop culture fiends may also remember the tune getting a spin on season four of Mad Men.

Listening tip: While The Jackson 5 version is great, we recommend going for the Jimmy Boyd original. Add to your retro Christmas dinner playlist along with 'Baby, it's Cold Outside' and 'Santa Baby'.

6. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

This number will give any Gen Y children (or parents of Gen Y children!) nostalgic flashbacks to watching Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Listening tip: While you could and should enjoy this track during your annual viewing of the Home Alone films, it is generally perfect for all occasions and is guaranteed to get you excited for the holiday season. 

7. Do They Know It's Christmas

It's well known that this 80s Xmas jam was an ingenious way to bring the world's attention to famine in Ethiopia. Not only did it raise millions of dollars for charity, but the song itself is so catchy that it stayed in our heads well beyond the Christmas of 1984.

While the original recording, featuring artists like George Michael, Boy George and Bono, is undisputedly the best version, the song has been re-recorded three further times to highlight other charitable causes. 

Listening tip: Definitely blast this one at your office Christmas drinks. Nothing captures the spirit of the song like a group of drunken suits belting out 'Feeeeeed the WOOOOOOOOORLD!'

...Just kidding. Please remember to give to charity this Christmas, folks.

8. White Christmas

You were probably wondering when this would arrive on the list. This classic is widely loved, despite holding zero relevance in Australia where Christmas tends to hover around 30 degrees! 

Listening tip: If your parents or grandparents are coming over for Christmas, throw on a bit of Bing Crosby and listen to them sing.

9. O Holy Night

You may think a Christmas song from the 40s is "old", but 'O Holy Night' dates back to the 1800s! It was originally a French poem adapted into song in 1847. It's more religious than the previous carols we've listed, but even if you prefer more secular holiday songs there is a reason this haunting melody stood the test of time, so definitely give it a listen!

Listening tip: Turn down the lights, burn a candle and let this one wash over you. While there are a couple of pop versions from the likes of Josh Groban, Il Divo and Mariah Carey, we recommend Celine Dion's attempt because, let's face it, nobody can capture drama quite like the 'My Heart Will Go On' singer.

10. All I Want For Christmas is You

As if there was going to be a Christmas songs list without Mariah Carey's festive classic! We're not sure what it is about this song... is it Mariah's stellar vocal performance? Is it thanks to the little girl who performed it in Love Actually? Is it just a legitimately incredible song? The answer is most likely 'all of the above'. 

Listening tip: We really wouldn't judge you if you wanted to play this song non-stop from now until Christmas. It's just that good. 

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