With the holidays upon us we find ourselves rushing around from store to store in a mad dash for gift buying and party prepping. That also means that, everywhere we go, the same old holiday tunes are not far behind, drowning out our thoughts and prompting us to sing along in spite of our ever-growing migraines.
How’s that for holiday cheer?
If you’re feeling a little too inundated with the repetition of “Run Run Rudolph”, allow us to gift you with the miracle of all-new Christmas music for you to enjoy at home and on the go. Here is our ‘best of’ holiday playlist:
(1) Mariah Carey – “Oh Santa!”
Now here’s a diva who already claimed the title of World’s Catchiest Christmas Classic back in 1994 with “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, and years later she’s back with another album of holiday bangers. How does she do it? The original track “Oh Santa!” is from her 2010 album Merry Christmas II You and it’s a fast-paced pop song that resumes the longstanding theme of pining over unrequited love. Let’s be real – it’s just not Christmas without Mariah sending Santa her wish list via a jilted love song.
Bonus Track Shout-out: “When Christmas Comes” feat. John Legend
(2) Kelly Clarkson – “Underneath The Tree”
Someone should have told Kelly Clarkson years ago that she was built for Christmas music. It’s her divine purpose. The American Idol stuff was cool too, I guess, but Clarkson’s holi-debut Wrapped In Red is the perfect soundtrack for tree trimming and cookie icing. Your mom will love it. Your grandma will love it. You will love it. The hit single “Underneath The Tree” is the new holiday anthem we all need to freshen up our festive spirit.
Bonus Track Shout–out: “Winter Dreams”
(3) Justin Bieber – “Under The Mistletoe”
It may not be that new-new JB everyone is losing their minds over (#sorry), but the fact is, this is still a pretty solid holiday song and album. Just before the Biebs’ voice takes its final dip south, we get to savor the innocent cherub-like falsetto in this smooth serenade. “Under The Mistletoe” is for those romantic nights at home with hot chocolate, candles, and another Lifetime movie starring Candace Cameron.
(4) Kanye West – “Christmas in Harlem”
The holidays are a time for peace and reconciliation, and if Kanye and Cam’ron can find it in their hearts to squash a beef, so can we. This song is not only catchy but it’s a refreshing venture away from the traditional bell-jingling classics that flood commercial radio airwaves. If you’re throwing a holiday party and you need something to dance to, get this song bumpin’!
(5) Ariana Grande – “Santa Tell Me”
When she’s not licking donuts and denouncing America, Ariana Grande is busy impressing us with her pipes. The girl really can sing, and her R&B spin on holiday tunes is a breath of fresh, frosty air. “Santa Tell Me” is an original Christmas song reminiscent of early Mariah. It’s bouncy, fun, and the video is a giant pajama party in bear hats. What more can you ask Santa for than a pajama party with bear hats?
Bonus Track Shout–out: “Snow In California”
(6) TLC – “Sleigh Ride”
Another classic gets the 90’s R&B makeover and it’s the magic holiday touch we never knew we needed. If you’re sick of hearing the same peppy, upbeat, jingled-out version while hustling through the mall, put on TLC’s Sleigh Ride and just try not to dance. The next thing you know you’ll be wearing a pair of old baggy overalls and riding in your own makeshift sleigh of cardboard pizza boxes and the bells from your cat’s collar.
(7) Run DMC – “Christmas in Hollis”
We’re throwin’ it way back with this one, but no alternative holiday playlist is complete without RUN DMC’s “Christmas In Hollis”. Sometimes the perkiness of holiday cheer needs a little bit of an edge, and that’s exactly what you get with Run DMC – party vibes all around. This is the kind of tune that needs to be blasting from behind the door as your guests arrive for rum and ‘nog.