The holidays are filled with so many wonderful traditions. Last blog I shared my Top 10 Christmas movies. Now, I have compiled a Top 20 playlist of some of my favorite Christmas songs. Here’s the YouTube link to my Top 20 holiday songs: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsUFOb9WMVocJGW1fZeAkM9tus8_5vVNE
Let It Snow-Boyz II Men
During the holidays, this song is my favorite slow jam. The Boyz II Men version brings a fresh twist on a holiday classic song. The tantalizing chords gives my soul a warm and cozy feeling. The tune is so iconic that I can’t help but sing along. Also, I grew up listening to this song and other Motown holiday songs. For the most part, Motown is very much prevalent on my holiday playlist.
All I Want for Christmas Is You-Mariah Carey
This song is one that everyone probably associates with the Christmas holiday. This classic has a very catchy tune and it makes me want to dance like nobody’s watching. Like Mariah Carey, this song hit a high note on my top 20 list. I can’t imagine not listening to this song during the holidays because of its strong influence on my traditional Christmas morning. I listen to this song whenever I’m cooking scrumptious cookies with my family or making hot chocolate from scratch.
Grown-Up Christmas List– Kelly Clarkson
Grown-Up Christmas List is such a beautiful song to listen to and I especially love Kelly Clarkson’s version. The orchestration is quite lovely and I could hear the deep emotion of the song in Kelly Clarkson’s singing. When I started getting older and maturing, I had a personal connection to this song because it discusses all the many struggles that happen during Christmastime. So, every Christmas, I pray for those who are less fortunate than I during the holiday.
What Christmas Means to Me- Stevie Wonder
One of my favorite artists to listen to during the holidays is Stevie Wonder. His Christmas collection truly fascinates me with his soulful singing. His version of What Christmas Means to Me has a funky swing to it. Every time I hear this song, I can’t help but bop my head up and down. Stevie Wonder’s Christmas songs will forever be played through many generations because of his iconic voice and beats.
Jingle Bells- Michael Bublé
Michael Bublé is another one of my favorite artists to listen to. His smooth and mesmerizing voice represents the essence of old jazz singers like Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday. Michael’s voice is so special because there are very few singers now that have that shimmering quality to their voices. I absolutely love this version of Jingle Bells because of its charismatic nature. The orchestration is very upbeat and a lot of fun which ties the whole song together.
This Christmas-Chris Brown
This Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas movies as well as one of my favorite Christmas songs. This song truly represents the importance of spending time with family and friends during the holidays, which is also a prevalent theme throughout the entire movie. This catchy song can be enjoyed by the whole family and is a great song to play while your family and friends gather around the table for a hardy Christmas meal.
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus-Jackson 5
This adorable version of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus by the Jackson 5. I remember listening to this song as a little girl and how I used to be tickled by the lyrics of the song. It made me smile and it still makes me grin a little bit. The lyrics take me back to my youth and helps me remember about my curiosity during Christmas.
Someday at Christmas-Stevie Wonder
This is another powerful song that Stevie Wonder made famous. The song doesn’t talk about the material things, like gifts under the tree. The lyrics help me hope for a better future for each generation, especially at Christmastime. Christmas is the time for giving to the less fortunate and bringing peace across the nation. This is a wonderful song to teach our youth this important principle so that maybe one day a perfect world can exist.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer-The Temptations
The Temptations present a smooth and groovy sound to this classic song. I remember first hearing this version from the Claymation Christmas VHS. In the movie, the Temptations are represented as these cool cat raisins and they were my favorite characters in the movie. I recommend that you look up some of the clips on YouTube or ask your parents if they have a collection of VHS. You never know what you may find and I guarantee there are many great Christmas ones that have been forgotten about.
Mary Did You Know-Pentatonix
This version of Mary Did You Know was orchestrated beautifully. Each harmony was planned out perfectly to create a dramatic climax. There’s something authentic and raw in their version that I love. And above all that, they’re my favorite acapella group because of how they deliver each and every song with ease.
Santa Tell Me-Ariana Grande
Even though I indulge mostly in the classics, sometimes newer material entices my ears. I believe Ariana Grande did an excellent job with putting her signature style to this holiday song while still having a festive appeal. If I want to hear a more upbeat Christmas song, Santa Tell Me is one of my go to choices.
You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch– Thurl Ravenscroft
The choice of lyrics in You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch is quite clever and makes it very clear how awful the Grinch is. Metaphors and similes like “you’re as charming as an eel” or “you’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel” are associated with foul or unpleasant things. Clever phrases like these make the song very catchy. I may not know all the words, but certain phrases stick out to me because of the clear imagery I receive from some of the lyrics.
Merry Christmas Baby-Otis Redding
I think this song is often overlooked but there are a lot of things that I like about this song. The band is on point bringing joy to my soul. The lyrics itself are simple but the soulful singing of Otis Redding gives the song that extra spice of color. I think, if a singer and the music can work as one then that makes a fantastic sounding record, which I think was achieved in Merry Christmas, Baby.
One Little Christmas Tree-Stevie Wonder
One Little Christmas Tree has a deeper meaning. Stevie Wonder cleverly uses a Christmas tree as a symbol that one person can make a difference in the world. Meaning that if a little Christmas tree can light up a room or even the world then one person can lead the way to a brighter world while others follow.
I love the classical hymn Joy to the World. However, Whitney Houston’s version is quite refreshing to listen to. The song makes me cheerful to tell the entire world what makes me so happy during this holiday. I have joy deep down in my soul because Jesus Christ is born. This is one of the many songs that reminds me of who we are truly celebrating.
The Christmas Song-Nat King Cole
Every time I hear this song on the radio, it makes me think of all the many joys of Christmas. This is the type of song that makes you want to snuggle up with family while watching various Christmas movies. The serene tone of the music puts me in a dream-like setting. For instance, the lyrics “Jack Frost snipping at your nose” makes me think about the possibility of it snowing on Christmas Day.
White Christmas-Michael Bublé
Every year I dream of having a White Christmas. This is my favorite version because of its jazzy flare and because it’s Michael Bublé. I play this song in the hope of it snowing on Christmas Day and that everything will go perfect. I hope the food is cooked to perfection and that everyone has a merry time together.
The older I got, it was harder to feel the joy I used to feel during Christmas. But listening to this song reminds me just to have faith and believe then the magic of Christmas will never disappear. The joy of Christmas is inside all of us if we continue to dream and believe that the impossible can be achieved.
Who Would Imagine A King-Whitney Houston
This is my favorite song that appears in The Preacher’s Wife. Can you imagine being Mary and Joseph? They were chosen to be the parents of a child who would become the King of Kings. This song has a powerful message.
It’s All About Love- Brian McKnight
I love the message and the lyrics in this song. Christmas is a time to open your heart and be generous to a soul who is suffering during the holiday season. The song reminds me that giving a little love on Christmas makes a difference in someone else’s life. It doesn’t have to be big, but if everyone does something to pitch in then there’s more than enough love to go around.