As great as classic Christmas carols are, it's always great to expand your horizons, so here are some great songs to add to your holiday playlists this year!
1. "Snow" by Sleeping At Last
This song is a bit melancholic, but while it doesn't capture the more cheery nature of Christmas, it does capture some things that most people don't sing about. Through its simple yet beautiful vocals, arrangement, and lyrics, this song really shows the quiet beauty, nostalgia, and warmth that the holiday season brings every year.
2. "Santa Baby" (with a Disney twist) by Carrie Hope Fletcher
I don't know if this is just me, but the original version of this song has always creeped me out a bit. Carrie's changed lyrics and ukulele accompaniment make this song really cute and cheery (like how it's supposed to be)!
3. "That's Christmas To Me" by Pentatonix
This might not count as "lesser known," but I couldn't make a Christmas songs list without including something by Pentatonix. While their Christmas covers have become iconic over the years, people tend to forget that they actually wrote their own original Christmas song! The harmonies are pure magic and they really show us some Christmas nostalgia with this one too.
4. "Rejoice With Exceeding Great Joy" from Disney's Candlelight Processional
This one is super nostalgic to me because I performed in the Candlelight choir when I was in high school and this song was always everyone's favorite to sing. It has a super catchy beat and the great choir arrangement combined with the amazing instrumentation is really a recipe for greatness.
5. "Here Comes Santa Claus" by dodie
Dodie's covers are always so cute and feel-good. This one's no different. Her singing clones interacting with each other never fail to crack me up.
6. "I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Leslie Odom Jr.
Leslie Odom Jr. has the voice of an angel. I love how it starts out with just his voice, then turns into a nice, smooth jazz rendition. This is the perfect song to play in front of a fireplace while drinking hot chocolate.
7. "Winter Song" by Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles
I guess I've been living under a rock because I only recently found out that this song exists, yet it seems like every singer under the sun has covered it. This song makes me think of cold, dark winter nights, but in the best way possible. Also, Sara and Ingrid's voices go together perfectly.
8. "Silent Night" by Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato is a vocal goddess! With her having such a powerhouse voice and "Silent Night" being such a simple song, I was afraid she'd overdo it, but she strikes the perfect balance between the softness of the song and the vocal gymnastics that she's known for.
9. "O Holy Night" by Christina Grimmie
Christina was honestly a wizard when it comes to vocals. I'm devastated that she died before she got the recognition that she truly deserves. This cover isn't perfect, but it's so close to perfection that it's scary! Also, note that she was 17 years old when she recorded this! Team Grimmie forever.
10. "Under A Million Lights" by Tom Chaplin
The golden voice of Keane has recently gone solo and blessed us with a Christmas album. Though this song isn't explicitly about Christmas, it is a part of his Christmas album. Also, it very much captures the happy, hopeful spirit of the holiday season. Everyone could use something uplifting these days and this song definitely delivers on that.
BONUS TRACK: "Hallelujah" by Brandi Carlile
This isn't officially part of the list because there's always been a huge debate as to whether or not Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is a Christmas song. I personally wouldn't call it a Christmas song, but I do find myself listening to it more often during the holiday season. And despite it not being a Christmas song to me, I know it is to some people and Brandi's version is so amazing that I just had to throw it in here! She has such a unique, gravelly voice and she puts 100% of her heart and soul into singing this.