It’s officially acceptable to listen to holiday music … but let’s be honest here, we’ve been secretly doing it for weeks.
Naturally, we love the old standards but a select number of modern musicians have original holiday tunes that have actually earned a spot among the greats.
Here is the undisputed ranking of pop holiday hits.
(Note: this list is undisputed solely because we say so.)
#10 The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick
The Beach Boys were one of the first popular groups to mainstream an original holiday song. Little Saint Nick was released in 1964 and brought a little bit of that SoCal beach vibe way up north … where the air gets cold.
#9 Britney Spears – My Only Wish (This Year)
Santa, can you hear us? Britney Spears bubble-gum pop tune about wanting to find her true love under the tree is so delightful it hurts. Our only wish this year is for Brit Brit to make it into a music video.
#8 RUN-DMC – Christmas in Hollis
RUN-DMC’s Christmas in Hollis pretty much holds the only spot for a hip-hop holiday classic and has since 1988. Plus, it’s featured in one of the more underrated holiday films: “Die Hard.”
#7 Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas
It’s a song with cause. Every major musician came together for this 1984 holiday ditty to benefit victims of the Ethiopian famine. It was rerecorded in 2014 but that can’t top the original.
#6 New Kids on the Block – Funky, Funky Christmas
So, it’s arguably not a “good” song but it’s weaseled it’s way into the list of holiday standards. The only reason it holds such a prime spot on the list is this wonderfully 90s performance on The Arsenio Hall Show.
#5 Elton John – Step Into Christmas
We dare you not to start dancing when this Elton John beat drops. Step Into Christmas is so authentically Elton you might actually forget it’s a Christmas tune.
#4 Wham! – Last Christmas
When George Michael whispers “Merry Christmas” in this classic 80s ballad, it can melt the hearts of even the iciest snowmen. There’ve been many covers but nothing holds a candle to this version.
#3 Adam Sandler – Chanukah Song
Adam Sandler’s iconic Chanukah Song did the seemingly impossible, it crept into the upper echelon of holiday music cornered by Christmas songs while not being about Christmas. Also, we learned OJ Simpson wasn’t Jewish. So, the more you know!
#2 *NSYNC – Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
The beat is infectious, there’s a fake sleigh and a cameo by Gary Coleman in the music video. *NSYNC improving the lives of fake homeless people in front of a green screen is really what holiday dreams are made of.
#1 Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas Is You
There is no debate. It doesn’t get better than this. Period. End of sentence. We dare you to disagree (but please don’t because we’re trying to spread cheer here not pick fights.)
Listen to all the festive tunes here!!