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25 Most Popular Christmas Songs of All Time

It’s a matter of days before the holidays are upon us, and we do not know about you, but one of our favorite parts of the holiday is the music. 

So here’s a list for you of 25 of the most popular Christmas songs to have ever graced the speakers of our radios to supplement your holiday playlist. 

 

All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey 

You would know that the holiday season is upon us when stores and other public places start blasting the uptempo Mariah Carey banger on speakers, and what is a holiday without her? 

All I Want For Christmas Is You has sold over 16 million copies worldwide and is considered one of the most successful Christmas songs by a female artist, and has sold over 60 million dollars in royalty by 2017. 

Mariah Carey re-recorded the song with a more festive twist and released it with her second album in 2010. 

 

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee

https://youtu.be/4vn_I0-3WOk

This next Holiday track is a song that is a staple to any holiday party and will keep you smiling throughout its lively and upbeat sound. 

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree was recorded in 1958 by Brenda Lee and covered by many artists. 

This song is still one of Brenda Lee’s signature songs and one she loves to perform to this day. 

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree has sold over 25 million copies and is in the top 5 of most downloaded Christmas songs to date. 

 

Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms

Here is a Christmas song that has been playing on the radio on the way to work since the ’60s— the Bobby Helms’ rockabilly classic Jingle Bell Rock. 

This feel-good song was released in 1957 and peaked on the Billboard Best Sellers list at number 6, and just reached number 3 in the latest Hot 100 in January 2020. 

Being a classic, it has been covered by various artists, including Kylie Minogue, Hall & Oates, to name a few, but the classic Bobby Helms’ original will still reign supreme. 

 

The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) by Nat King Cole

The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole is a Christmas song that feels like a hug in a cup with his smooth crooning and gentle piano playing. 

According to the writers Robert Wells and Mel Torme, it was a song written in the heat of summer to “stay cool by thinking cool.” 

It was first recorded in 1946 by the Nat King Cole Trio, but the version that you probably hear when roasting some chestnuts was recorded in 1961 with a full orchestra. 

 

A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives

A Holly Jolly Christmas is one of Burl Ives’ Christmas songs, together with Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, that are now considered a Christmas classic that is heard every holiday season. 

It was initially written for The Quinto Sisters’ first album, but Burl Ives made the version that will surpass time. 

A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives entered the chart at number 4 just this January 2020, making Ives break the record of the longest time it took him to reach the top 10 again. 

 

Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano

Here is a foreign Christmas carol that everyone and their mom know: José Feliciano’s cheery and optimistic Christmas song Feliz Navidad. 

José Feliciano wrote the melody in 1970 with nostalgia for holidays with his family in his mind and has been recognized as one of the most played Christmas songs around the world. 

Many versions of Feliz Navidad have been recorded worldwide, but the original by the legendary Puerto Rican artist Feliciano will always reign supreme. 

 

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year by Andy Williams

This Christmas song is probably the first song on anyone making a holiday playlist as it is attested every time the music is played in department stores, and we are more than happy to hear it. 

This holiday carol placed at number 5 in the Billboard Magazine’s list of Top 10 Holiday Songs since 2001 and peaking at number 5 again on the Hot 100 chart in January 2021. 

 

Last Christmas by Wham!

Last Christmas by British pop duo Wham! in 1984 will transport you to the 80s when pop music was at its prime, and it is a song that speaks to people because it encourages them to inspire and do better for next year. 

When it was released in 1984, this song peaked at number 2 in the UK Singles Chart, only behind Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas, where George Michael was also a performer — it was a Christmas hit but never reached the top of the charts until 36 years later in 2021. 

 

White Christmas by Bing Crosby

For people living in a state where winter and snow are possible and where the place is blanketed by white fluff every Holiday season, this song is for you. 

It is originally a song written for the musical film Holiday Inn in 1942 and won the Oscar for Best Original Song, with the cover by Bing Cosby being the most famous version. 

White Christmas by Bill Cosby is also the world’s best-selling single, with 50 million physical copies sold worldwide. 

 

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow by Dean Martin

Like The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole, Let It Snow is written in California in the middle of a heatwave, imagining cooler weather conditions. 

Let It Snow peaked at number one on the charts with its first release in 1945 by Vaughn Monroe, but the version by crooner Dean Martin released in 1959 is considered the best version that epitomizes this song as a holiday classic and a fixture in holiday dinner parties. 

The song wasn’t originally intended to be a holiday carol since there’s no explicit mention of Christmas, so we won’t fault you for playing this song in February. 

 

Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

When you think of Christmas carols, you wouldn’t usually think outside the realm of orchestral, instrumental, or even jazz ballads, but Trans-Siberian Orchestra will convince you to listen to more unconventional Christmas carols. 

Their cover of Carol of the Bells is a sprawling drum and guitar spread sprinkled with a mashup of more Christmas songs like God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman and some mellow solos. 

It is the third best selling holiday digital single behind Mariah’s Christmas staple and the snowman song from the Disney movie Frozen. 

 

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Gene Autry

This is a Christmas carol that kids would genuinely enjoy about Santa’s favorite reindeer’s nose called Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer, famously sung by Gene Autry, hitting the number spot on the charts three months later. 

It is a song about how Rudolph saves the day because of the imperfection other reindeer are bullying him for, and many children— even adults, can take comfort from that. 

 

Mary, Did You Know? by Pentatonix

Many have attempted to cover the Michael English song Mary, Did You Know?, from country royalty Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd to Dolly Parton to CeeLo Green to Jordan Smith, but no one managed to have the success that the Pentatonix’s cover has. 

Debuting in 2014 and peaking at number 2 at the Charts and it is one of the most loved covers from a cappella pop group Pentatonix. 

 

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas by Michael Buble

It was composed by Meredith Wilson and made famous by versions from both Perry Como and Bing Crosby, which are largely played, so Michael Buble releasing a cover of It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas was a risk, and oh how it paid off. 

The cover of the Meredith Wilson classic was included in the release of Michael Buble’s 2011 holiday album aptly named Christmas and reached the top of the charts the day of its release. 

The original version will always live in our hearts, but Buble’s covers just made it just a little bit warmer. 

 

Sleigh Ride by The Ronnettes

Many have made a version of this song initially intended as an instrumental composition by Leroy Anderson in 1946 but was added lyrics by Mitchell Parish in 1950.

From Ella Fitzgerald to the Spice Girls, but no one matches the cool and amazingly casualness in the delivery of The Ronettes’ Ronnie Spector. 

The Ronettes’ version was released in 1963 and became the Ronettes’ most successful single since the release of Be My Baby that same year. 

Sleigh Ride continues to dominate charts to this day, peaking at number 22 just this 2020. 

 

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John & Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir

John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s anti-war activism was not a secret in the early ’70s, from their bed-ins to their campaign and, of course, through their songs. 

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) is their song collaborating with the Harlem Community Choir that has topped the charts when the Christmas season is approaching, especially in the United Kingdom, where it was voted as the Nation’s tenth favorite Christmas Song. 

Although it was not a hit at first (owing to the single’s delayed release), it is much loved today, probably because of its anti-war message that many children and adults would like to hear. 

 

Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley

For the people longing for love or recovering from heartbreak this Christmas season, Elvis Presley’s famous version of the Doye O’Dell classic Blue Christmas is for you. 

After several versions of this holiday classic, Elvis Presley’s rockabilly version that was released in his holiday album in 1957 fastened this song as part of every future holiday playlist. 

Blue Christmas is famous, especially in the UK, peaking at number 11 in the UK singles chart

Inspired by Elvis’ country version, many artists other than him covered this track too.

 

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland

Christmases are not always a time of happy festivities and gatherings; sometimes, it is a heartbreaking time for some, and Judy Garland embodies the hope we want to feel in her Christmas classic Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. 

A song made well known in her 1944 musical movie Meet Me in St. Louis and was popular among WWII soldiers because of the feeling of longing and nostalgia the lyrics and song induce. 

The song was a success peaking at number 27 on the charts in 1944

Many have covered this song, from Frank Sinatra to Sam Smith; still, nothing will beat the original. 

 

Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney

The second Beatle in our list put a pop spin on his own version of a holiday classic: simple, happy, and great for a sing-along, just like his best songs. 

Although critically regarded as one of his weaker songs, this bop has charted in Europe, including the UK, Germany, and Ireland charts. 

This song was written by just Paul McCartney while fiddling alone in a studio, truly a genius on display. 

Wonderful Christmastime reached the number six spot in the UK charts and still has considerable radio airtime today. 

 

Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande

One of the more contemporary Christmas songs on our list is Ariana Grande’s Santa Tell Me, a pop track with R&B influence released in 2014, which in its own right and popularity has remained a standard during holiday seasons. 

The song has enjoyed its place at the top 5 of the chart, and Billboard named it number 13 in their list of 100 best Christmas songs of all time. 

 

You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Thurl Ravenscroft

Thurl Ravenscroft’s You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, released in 1966, is another unconventional holiday track in a way that the lyrics are essentially a roast or diss track against the Grinch. 

The lyrics were written by famous children’s book author Dr. Seuss and used for the cartoon How the Grinch Stole Christmas winning the Grammy for Best Children’s Album in 1968. 

It’s been covered by various artists, including Jim Carrey, who sang the song as the Grinch himself for a movie, and an updated version of the song by Tyler, the Creator, to supplement the 2018 animated movie. 

 

Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt With Henri Rene And His Orchestra

Here is a cheeky and fun song for all the single ladies (and gentlemen!) out there wishing for some extravagant present under the tree or in their Christmas socks— Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby. 

Released in 1953, this song is controversial in the way that it was banned in most Southern States when it was released and has been included in some of the best or the worst holiday music by countless publications. 

Santa Baby is one of Eartha Kitt’s most iconic and covered by various artists, including Madonna and Kylie Minogue. 

 

Underneath The Tree by Kelly Clarkson

Here is an underrated gem of holiday music to add to your holiday playlist, whether for your Christmas dinner or for when you’re simply baking Gingerbread cookies— Kelly Clarkson’s Underneath the Tree. 

It has the bell chimes and Kelly’s powerful voice, released in 2013 under her holiday album Wrapped in Red. 

It’s been received with high praise, many considering it the gem of the whole album, and one critic even lauded that Kelly’s Underneath the Tree can receive the accolade and the mainstay Mariah’s Christmas staple received.

 

Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys

If you manage to sponsor a Holiday dance or party this year or just live by the beach and are enamored by classic cars, the California legend’s Little Saint Nick by the legendary The Beach Boys is for you. 

Little Saint Nick was released as a single in 1963 and again in 1964 as the first track of The Beach Boys’ holiday album aptly named Christmas Album. 

It placed at number 3 in the Billboard Holiday 100 and has been a regular in lists of some of the best Christmas songs. 

 

Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid

Written as a call of action in response to the news reports of the Ethiopia famine in 1985, various British and Irish musical artists released this song in 1984, and it has been voted as the sixth favorite song of people in the United Kingdom. 

Band Aid hoped to raise at least 70,000 pounds in releasing the song but instead raised more than 8 million pounds for Ethiopia. 

This charity song’s release and success prompted the release of what would become the 1985 American version in We Are The World and the Live Aid concert. 

From U2’s Bono to Sting to Phil Collins to Boy George— Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas has it all. 

 

Final Thoughts

Whether you are spending this holiday alone trying to catch up with school work or are spending Christmas week baking Christmas cookies and hanging popcorn on your tree, these songs are here to keep you company and, at the very least, put a smile on your face. 

Happy holidays! 

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