The 12 Best Christmas Songs That Should Be On Your Playlist

The 12 Best Christmas Songs That Should Be On Your Playlist

A list of the 12 best Christmas songs for all your holiday fun!
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With the holiday season well underway, and quickly coming to an end once again, it's inevitable you've heard Christmas music on the radio since Black Friday. And it's likely you might be sick of it by now. But if you're anything like me, you just can't get enough! Stores try to mix it up and play new, remixed versions of classic holiday songs, but they just don't measure up quite like these definitive Christmas classics do. Here is a list of the 12 best, must-listen Christmas songs you need on your playlist!


1. "Last Christmas" by Wham! (1986)

Remember when you were 13 and that boy you got an awesome Secret Santa gift for said he had a crush on your best friend? Or when you were 21 and you found out your shitty ex was cheating on you with his lab partner, only to tell you 'we've been over for awhile'? Or maybe you just like feeling a little sad while jamming to some fabulous 80s tunes during the holidays. Whatever the reason, this song is perfect for any or all of that! Not only is Wham! the epitome of 80s pop music, but "Last Christmas" is an amalgamation of all things emotional, Christmas-y, and glam - with just a tinge of sadness.

2. "Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms (1958)

You're free to say that this song hasn't been on your Christmas favorites list since you were a kid, and I'm free to call you a liar. Even before being mega-popularized (again) by Cady, Regina, Karen, and Gretchen in Mean Girls - although a different rendition - this 1957 Christmas jam is a reminder of all of the best Christmases you've ever had and those yet to come. Its upbeat tempo and easy-to-follow lyrics warm even the grinchiest of hearts.

3. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee (1958)

There seems to be a theme with the 1950s and Christmas music classics! At only 13 years old, Ms. Brenda Lee recorded the iconic "Jingle Bell Rock," which has held its reign as the fifth best-selling Christmas song of all time. Her mature vocals and snazzy saxophone solo make this song the ultimate Christmas anthem! Don't you feel like bobbing your head side-to-side while stringing lights on your freshly cut Christmas tree? I know I do!

4. "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby (1942)

Famed crooner Bing Crosby could melt the polar ice caps with his silken voice (not that global warming isn't doing that already, let's be honest). "White Christmas" encompasses the innermost desires of many people during the holiday season. No matter how badly you hate winter or think the sight of snow is terrifying, there's that little kid voice inside of all of us that wishes for a white Christmas every single year. What's more magical than a bed of sparkling sky glitter blanketing the ground beneath you? Nothing.

5. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams (1963)

If you were looking for a better song to represent how I feel about this time of year, you wouldn't be able to find it. In fact, I'm officially dubbing this the quintessential Christmas song. Williams never outright says that Christmas itself is what makes the holidays the best time of the year, but it is implied heavily. The fact that we are surrounded by friends, family, warmth, and cheer is what makes this season truly superior.

6. "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey (1994)

This song. I could go on about this song forever. As one of the younger additions to the list, I'd say its impact has reached far and wide, bringing a new generation of Christmas music lovers to rise. There's been a point in pretty much all of our lives where we've wanted someone we couldn't (or didn't yet) have. Instead of sadly drowning our sorrows in too much-spiked eggnog, we belted this song at the top of our lungs in hopes that our future sweeties would hear and ask us to be theirs.

7. "Blue Christmas" by Elvis Presley (1964)

With all of the warm, glowing happiness surrounding the holiday season, it almost seems unfair to include this melodramatic song of yearning in the list. Even in its air of sadness, "Blue Christmas" is one of the prettiest holiday songs, throwing a bit of country "rock" in a sea of upbeat pop music. Though the original version was recorded by Doye O'Dell in 1948, Elvis' unmistakably smooth voice makes words roll off his tongue like they were written just for him. And with every syllable sung by his signature vibrato-filled warble, suddenly we feel blue at Christmastime, too.

8. "Feliz Navidad" by José Feliciano (1970)

If there were a perfect song for bridging the gap between English and Spanish-speaking Christmas music lovers, I haven't seen it! The exact translation of "Feliz Navidad" means "Merry Christmas," which is the most direct way to get your Christmas wish out there! And even though you might not know a lick of Spanish other than these two words, you definitely can agree that Christmas is a million times better when spreading cheer to others in more languages than one.

9. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman/We Three Kings" mash-up by Phillips, Craig, & Dean (2013)

Have you ever heard a song whose harmonies literally send shivers down your spine? Well, this is one of those songs. Admittedly, I fell in love with this arrangement the first time I heard it. The upbeat, but mellow vocal harmony throughout the song along with an impeccably executed segue from first song to second - and back again - makes this likely one of the best Christmas songs ever. Religious or not, you'll want to jam along with Phillips, Craig, & Dean while trying to simultaneously sing multiple voice parts.

10. "Christmas Cookies" by George Strait (2000)

It's likely you've never heard this song, but you are sorely missing out until you do! Who doesn't love a song about food - let alone cookies?! This contemporary country Christmas jam really puts you in the mood for baking and cuddling with your S.O. It's cheeky, cute, and gives off that "simple Christmas at home" vibe. The lyrics are catchy and easy to consume...just like those Christmas cookies you're pretending not to eat.

11. "Winter Wonderland" by Johnny Mathis (1958)

This is the oldest song on the list, yet still one of the most memorable. Originally written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith, Johnny Mathis' peaceful, familiar rendition takes us on a journey through the most beautiful winter scene we could ever dream of. Though the song never explicitly mentions Christmas, most places experience Christmas during the wintertime (some places in the world are always warm, duh). The lyrics are laden with winter imagery, like snow, a warm fireplace, and togetherness. And what could be better than a winter wonderland surrounded by your loved ones?

12. "A Holly, Jolly Christmas" by Burl Ives (1964)

Like a fair amount of other Christmas songs on this list, this song wasn't originally recorded by Burl Ives. But, like the others, it's the most well-known version for a reason. Beginning with its upbeat, acoustic guitar solo, the song dives in with a cheery voice directly wishing listeners a "holly, jolly Christmas," reiterating the same concept of Christmas being "the best time of the year". Ives' joyous voice is reminiscent of your friendliest uncle, ready to greet you with a tall tale and a taller glass of 'nog.

Cover Image Credit: Trailing the Lawsons

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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What The 2019 'Season Of The Crab' Means For Your Zodiac Sign

It could be a super emotional month for everyone.

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It's officially summer, and that means it's time to dive into the watery depths of Cancer season on June 21. There is a different energy in the air; different from the vibe in Gemini season. Each sign can expect to notice its effects, whether they are obvious or more subtle.

Cancer season means you're probably going to feel more moody than usual. Maybe you're crying more often. Maybe you'll feel more dreamy and intuitive. Maybe you'll be more irritable. Whatever the case, it never hurts to know what you're about to get yourself into.

So what does Cancer season mean for you, based on your zodiac sign?

1. Cancer - 21 Jun to 22 Jul

@rebeccahmac_

Happy solar return, cutie crustacean!

This is one of the dreamiest times of the entire year for you, but lacking structure and planning could prove stressful. You're in an imaginative zone and you may not feel like settling down before chasing the stars, but you must think ahead so things will work out.

2. Leo - 23 Jul to 22 Aug

@lolasuxs

Cancer season will find you exploring who you want to become, and what you want to leave behind. With your season just around the corner, this is also a magical time for healing and exploring yourself. Journaling, creative pursuits, or talking things through are wonderful ways to nourish your soul.

3. Virgo - 23 Aug to 22 Sep

@nahomi.17

This Cancer season, you'll find that the stars and the moon are asking you to rest. You will be faced with many choices and decisions this month. Enjoy your time fostering whatever creativity comes to mind. Do not force yourself to go out if you're not feeling up to it. It's okay to be you and be alone sometimes.

4. Libra - 23 Sep to 22 Oct

@tiiffahh

Cancer season and Neptune retrograde begin on June 21, causing you to need to pause and reflect on your goals. Change can be uncomfortable, but every small shift brings us closer to our goals. Be willing to take a risk, and let the universe push you in the direction of happiness and adventure.

5. Scorpio - 23 Oct to 21 Nov

@jordansavannah_r

Cancer season finds you traveling and opening new doors of opportunity. Are you really gaining anything by holding onto the past so tightly, Scorpio? Set your sights on new dreams, and leave all those people and situations that are holding you back in your rearview mirror.

6. Sagittarius - 22 Nov to 21 Dec

@zelzhcabbage

The question Cancer season asks you now, Sag, is whether you'll run away from your past, cling on to it, or do the emotional work necessary to process it and let it go. Appreciate the memories you are making and try not to get too wrapped up in the little things that annoy you. This is a time for experimentation.

7. Capricorn - 22 Dec to 19 Jan

@xxadriiana

You love your deadlines and goals, but remember that taking care of your emotional health will ultimately help you be more efficient! Trust your intuition, take it slow, and use the energy for play and creativity rather than detailed planning.

8. Aquarius - 20 Jan to 19 Feb

@yeeshibee

Cancer season this year is all about being comfortable and doing what you know, so go ahead and stick to that. This is also a great time for you to check in with yourself when it comes to wellness and your habits.

9. Pisces - 20 Feb to 20 Mar

@stephdangle

This Cancer season, the heightened emotion that is in the air will bring you natural happiness. Go out, have a wonderful night under the summer stars, and use your experiences for inspiration. It will reinvigorate your soul to be more creative and more adventurous.

10. Aries - 21 Mar to 19 Apr

@marilang_

Cancer season finds you focused squarely on your personal life. It's a wonderful time for an adventure. Go on that hike. Wake up early and drive to the beach. You'll feel an inclination to do it all-- and you can! Remind yourself that you are capable.

It will be hard to stay focused because the vibe just feels so good, but Neptune's retrograde brings intriguing messages to your dreams, so pay close attention to your inner voice at this time.

11. Taurus - 20 Apr to 20 May

@belendenike

Cancer season causes emotions to be even more extreme so you'll probably reach your breaking point this month, Taurus, but you are never alone in the problems that you face. Remember to control your temper long enough to cool off and take some relaxation for yourself.

Take a day off and drive around with the windows down. Take five days off and drive to the beach to hang out and reflect. Whatever it is that you need to feel better, it is time to do it this month.

12. Gemini - 21 May to 20 Jun

@nicolenaone

Cancer is a sign that's all about security and protection, and you're really feeling those vibes right now. Your confidence is running high, as you are feeling more in control of your life. Get rid of the elements in your life that won't propel you forward.

Just as the moon and ocean cycle, so do we. Cancer is that strong energy that gets you up in your feels; it's sure to be a ride.

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