30 Best Christmas Songs to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Get your holly jolly on with the ultimate holiday playlist.

30 Best Christmas Songs to Get You in the Holiday Spirit
Betsy Farrell

Whether you're throwing an over-the-top holiday party or just having the family over for Christmas, a festive playlist is essential to set the mood. Even if you're just trying to get hyped for the holidays, these tunes will do the trick. These are the 30 best Christmas songs of all time, from old-school classics to modern-day covers.

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bing crosby - best christmas songs
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White Christmas (1942)

Bing Crosby's classic hit about a picturesque Christmas scene is one of the most popular holiday songs ever — even named it the best-selling single of all time.

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bing crosby - best christmas songs
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I'll Be Home For Christmas (1943)

Yup, Bing Crosby has not just one, but two of the greatest Christmas songs of all time. This heartfelt tune was recognized as a tribute to the soldiers fighting .

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judy garland - best christmas songs
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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (1944)

Judy Garland originally recorded this soft Christmas song for the musical Meet Me in St. Louis, which is about four daughters coming of age while getting ready to move to New York.

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nat king cole - best christmas songs
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The Christmas Song (1946)

Everyone knows this holiday song as the one where Nat King Cole sings, "chestnuts roasting on an open fire." It's so popular that it was inducted into the in 1974.

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gene autry - best christmas songs
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Frosty the Snowman (1947)

Gene Autry is the voice behind this holiday song that you've been listening to since you were a little kid — in fact, the same goes for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

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frank sinatra - best christmas songs
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Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (1948)

This jazzy holiday song by Frank Sinatra is about that cold winter weather we have a love-hate relationship with. Although it wasn't on his original Christmas album, it was featured on the years later.

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eartha kitt - best christmas songs
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Santa Baby (1953)

This cheeky song by Eartha Kitt is about wanting some pretty extravagant Christmas gifts. Even though this is a holiday tune, it's one of her most well-known songs ever.

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elvis presley - best christmas songs
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Blue Christmas (1957)

Elvis Presley's recording of this song is the most well-known version, but rumor has it that he didn't even want to sing it in the first place, according to an .

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brenda lee - best christmas songs
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Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (1958)

Brenda Lee was only 13 years old (!) when she recorded this holiday favorite. She'd probably never guess that people would still be listening to it in 2018.

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johnny mathis - best christmas songs
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Sleigh Ride (1958)

This Johnny Mathis pop song is from his first Christmas album ever — in total, he's released six throughout his career.

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ella fitzgerald - best christmas songs
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Jingle Bells (1960)

Ella Fitzgerald's jazzy rendition of this Christmas classic is a holiday staple. A harmonica version of it was actually the first song ever played in outer space, according to the .

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andy williams - best christmas songs
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It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (1963)

Fun fact: This holiday pop song by Andy Williams is often featured in back-to-school commercials for Staples.

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burl ives - best christmas songs
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A Holly Jolly Christmas (1965)

This holiday pop song by Burl Ives is the leading track on his Christmas album. The song was actually written by Johnny Marks, who, despite being Jewish, wrote tons of other popular Christmas songs.

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dean martin - best christmas songs
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Winter Wonderland (1966)

Dean Martin's take on this classic holiday hit is upbeat and genuinely fun to listen to. He, too, has an entire complete with all your holiday favorites.

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Jose Feliciano - Best Christmas Songs
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Feliz Navidad (1970)

Puerto Rican singer José Feliciano's song has easy-to-remember lyrics in both Spanish and English, making it one of the most popular Christmas songs among all types of people.

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jackson five - best christmas songs
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I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (1970)

Even though Jimmy Boyd was the original artist of this song, Jackson 5's cover is so much catchier — the funky beats, amazing vocals, and the innocent conversations recorded in the background are so energetic.

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donny hathaway - best christmas songs
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This Christmas (1971)

You've probably heard this soul song covered by plenty of other artists, but Donny Hathaway was the first. even called him one of the "most important black performers" of his time.

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john lennon - best christmas songs
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Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (1971)

John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded this with the Harlem Community Choir as a protest song against the Vietnam War, and it eventually became a classic Christmas hit.

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paul mccartney - best christmas songs
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Wonderful Christmastime (1980)

Paul McCartney, the famed musician known for being part of the Beatles, sings this upbeat pop song about the good vibes on Christmas.

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wham! best christmas songs
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Last Christmas (1984)

Pop duo WHAM!, composed of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, might originally be from the United Kingdom, but their music is still super popular in the states.

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bruce springsteen - best christmas songs
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Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1985)

Just give this Bruce Springsteen song a listen, and you'll instantly realize why he's called "The Boss." It's the most energetic performance of this classic holiday song out there.

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harry connick jr - best christmas songs
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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1993)

Harry Connick, Jr.'s take on this song about everyone's favorite reindeer is so upbeat — he even greets the kids (who you hear singing, too) at the beginning of the track.

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Mariah Carey - best christmas songs
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All I Want for Christmas Is You (1994)

Mariah Carey has a filled with your favorite Christmas songs, but this cheerful song (with jingle bells in the track!) is a favorite year after year.

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aretha franklin - best christmas songs
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Joy to the World (2006)

Aretha Franklin wows in this soulful version of the classic Christmas carol. She recorded a ton of top hits and even earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so her nickname as the "Queen of Soul" is well-deserved.

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josh groban - best christmas songs
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Silent Night (2007)

This classic Christmas carol has also been sung by tons of artists, from Bing Crosby to Justin Bieber, but Josh Groban's cover is truly magical.

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glee cast - best christmas songs
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We Need a Little Christmas (2010)

Although the cast of the TV show Glee performs this version, the song originally appeared in a 1966 Broadway musical called Mame.

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michael buble - best christmas songs
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It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (2011)

Full disclosure, just about any Christmas song by Michael Bublé could make this list because of his soothing voice. He's covered all of your favorite holiday hits, on his albums Christmas and Let It Snow.

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pentatonix - best christmas songs
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O Holy Night (2014)

Opt for a more modern take on this holiday classic with this version by the talented a cappella group Pentatonix, which won NBC's show The Sing-Off in 2011.

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leann rimes - best christmas songs
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Christmas Time Is Here (2015)

This song was originally written for the 1965 TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas — but Country singer LeAnn Rimes sings this slow, melodic version.

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stevie wonder and andra day - best christmas songs
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Someday at Christmas (2016)

This song was originally released as part of Stevie Wonder's 1967 Christmas album, but in 2016 he recorded this breathtaking version with soul singer Andra Day.

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