8 Songs You Need to Add to your Holiday Playlist

2020 has been tough, which is why this year’s holiday season is especially important.  What better to lift students’ spirits than a chance to (safely) reconnect with loved ones and enjoy a break after finals. Combine that with festive music and you have an almost normal winter break. Here are your favorite holiday songs, according to an Instagram poll and survey. 

  1. “Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlR0MkrRklg

While it’s one of the newer songs on this list, Ariana Grande’s “Santa Tell Me” defends its place as one of the most popular Christmas songs of the 2010’s and, now, 2020’s. Since its release in 2014, the catchy single has made Top 10 status in countries from Latvia to Singapore, and has reached number 1 on Billboard’s US Holiday 100 list multiple times. 

“Ariana is a queen and everything she writes is amazing,” freshman Amy-Kate Winter said. “I’d listen to this song year-round.” 

  1. “Welcome to the Christmas Parade”  Oneboredjeu Mashup   – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zQ53oXITyk

This particular title may not be familiar to many, but over 4 million people have viewed the mashup of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” and My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade” by YouTube creator oneboredjeu mashup. 

“These songs alone are both excellent, but the fusion of the two makes something magical,” said freshman Noah Watson. 

  1. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEKFEolkx9Q

This longstanding hit was written in 1945 by songwriting duo Robert Wells and Mel Tormé, and its most popular singer is Nat King Cole. However, for sophomore Emison Geiger, the version recorded by James Taylor holds a special place in her family’s Christmas traditions. 

“My parents always have James Taylor’s Christmas album playing around Christmas,” she said. “We all sit by the fire and look at the tree, and it makes me so happy!” 

  1. “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUjn3RpkcKY

Bieber was only seventeen when he released this single in 2011. It was an immediate hit due to the singer’s worldwide popularity, and has remained well-loved through the ebbs and flows of Bieber’s career. Its sweet lyrics and bouncy tempo ensured its inauguration to universal Christmas pop fame. 

  1. “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaNwEkCeZrE

This tune was first written and recorded in 1951, and has been sung by many well-known artists since. Perry Como and the Fontane sisters were one of the first to cover it, but were quickly followed by Bing Crosby. More recently, singers and groups such as Johnny Mathis, Harry Connick Jr., and Pentatonix lent their voices to the song, which describes an idyllic Christmas setting rumored to be inspired by Nova Scotia’s Yarmouth Grand Hotel and its surroundings. 

  1. “Blue Christmas”  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6WnnZRSKYs

Elvis Presley was not the first to record this crooned classic, but his rendition of the song lamenting woefully unrequited love during the holidays remains the favorite version amongst country and non-country fans alike. 

For junior Gillian Littleton, the connection to Blue Christmas comes from her father. “My dad loves it!” she said. 

  1. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXQViqx6GMY

Practically everyone knows this upbeat song, which was released in 1994 and has topped charts since. It’s played everywhere from shopping malls to restaurants to, in sophomore Alyssa Langlois’ case, her car. 

“It’s the perfect length to drive from my aunt’s house where we celebrate Christmas eve, pass my favorite Christmas lights, and then go home,” she said. 

  1. “Mele Kalikimaka” by Bing Crosby – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob4LT_gUSFQ

In its description of a “green and bright” Christmas on the islands of Hawaii, “Mele Kalikimaka” directly contrasts the standard image of the picturesque “White Christmas” (which, coincidentally, is another song by Bing Crosby). The song’s picture of a sunny and mild holiday season is familiar to students who originate from anywhere snow is a rarity, even if they’ve never stepped foot in Hawaii.