Top Ten Christmas Songs

I thought the time was officially right to share what I consider to be the top ten Christmas songs of all time.

Honorable Mention: “The Little Drummer Boy” by anyone: Because it makes my tough ol’ military daddy cry every time. Pa rum pa pum pum indeed. (It wouldn’t be on my list but I like to make mention of it because of my daddy.)

10. “Santa Lost a Ho” by The Christmas Jug Band: Because this Christmas song is both hilarious and catchy. Even your favorite Scrooge will have a hard time mustering a bah humbug for this song. Watch this video. You’ll thank me.


9. “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey: Because who can resist that musical number in “Love Actually”? I wasn’t a huge fan of this Mariah Carey number before that movie but now it makes me smile whenever I hear it. 


8. “Blue Christmas” by Elvis: Because it speaks of longing so well while still keeping a nice holiday feel. And because I really would have a blue Christmas without you.


7. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” by  Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer: Because it’s the perfect song to snuggle up to your honey with. Or to dream about having a honey with. Doesn’t it just scream “wooing”? Or if you want to turn the heat up a notch, try Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt. Who doesn’t love a gold digger with a silky voice?


6. “The Grinch Song” by Thurl Ravenscroft: Because we all need a little something to relate to when we receive our 19th fruit cake of the season.


5. “O Holy Night” by Bing Crosby: Because fall on your knees is a lyric that always makes my heart stop a bit. What a wonderfully moving notion.


4.”Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano: Because you can’t not dance to it. Try it. I dare you.


3. “Silver Bells” by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards: Because it really brings the imagery of the season to life. This is the holiday we’re all striving for, even if we’re too busy arguing with our in-laws to actually get it.


2. “Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys: Because “Christmas comes this time each year” is one of the most hilarious refrains I’ve ever heard. Of course it does. That’s how holidays work. However, if Christmas ever gets move to April, this song will start to bum me out.


1. “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole: Because chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Jack Frost nipping at my nose never fail to make me want to curl up in front of the tree and celebrate the magic of the season.


What’s your favorite Christmas song? What did I miss?
47 Responses to Top Ten Christmas Songs
  1. Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year
    December 5, 2011 | 6:12 am

    Nice list. I'm now humming Cristmas songs. Mary Did You Know? is my all time favorite and is now Cole's nighttime rock/bottle song. :)

  2. Ali - My Suitcase Full of Tricks
    December 5, 2011 | 6:41 am

    I can't help but notice the absence of Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas. Do I need to sing it for you? That will definitely make it make the list.

  3. Alison@Mama Wants This
    December 5, 2011 | 6:54 am

    I don't celebrate Christmas but your list has got me into the spirit!!

    I do love Nat King Cole's version of the Christmas song.

  4. An Imperfect Momma
    December 5, 2011 | 8:08 am

    I love Nat King Coles version of that song!

  5. Evonne
    December 5, 2011 | 8:23 am

    Great list. I am cracking up over Santa Lost a Ho!

    My favorite Christmas song is Carol of the Bells by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

  6. Shell
    December 5, 2011 | 8:25 am

    I really want to listen to the Santa Lost a Ho song. But, I have a child right beside who would probably repeat it… and I'm a little scared.

    My parents love Blue Christmas and must sing along to it. It's both hilarious and embarrassing.

  7. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd
    December 5, 2011 | 8:52 am

    I heard “Little Saint Nick” yesterday and thought the exact same thing about that line! I also thought “I bet Santa doesn't like to be called 'it' and 'little', how condescending.”

  8. Bossy Betty
    December 5, 2011 | 9:14 am

    Did I miss the Alvin and the Chipmunks mention?

  9. Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli
    December 5, 2011 | 10:16 am

    While I don't enjoy Mariah, I was happily distracted by the Love Actually scenes.

  10. Liz
    December 5, 2011 | 10:24 am

    I totally love Silver Bells. I also like I'll be home for Christmas, O Come All Ye Faithful, and a couple that are in the movie Home Alone.

  11. Carri
    December 5, 2011 | 10:42 am

    I hate Christmas music. It must be from my 875 years working retail. Bah humbug!

  12. Hutch
    December 5, 2011 | 11:36 am

    I totally knew you'd have the same #1 as me.

  13. Just Plain Tired
    December 5, 2011 | 11:37 am

    Working in retail makes you tired of Christmas songs by the 2nd week of December, but I do like Carole of the Bells by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

  14. Amanda @ It's Blogworthy
    December 5, 2011 | 1:17 pm

    These are all fantastic, but I also really love singing “need a little christmas now”….I think it's the hAAAAUULLL OUUUTTTT The HOLLY! part that gets me.

  15. Kristin @ What She Said
    December 5, 2011 | 1:33 pm

    Now I really want to watch Love, Actually again.

    I think “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole tops everyone's list. It's just THE quintessential Christmas song.

    I actually prefer Michael Crawford's (the original Phantom of the Opera) version of O Holy Night. But nobody does “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” like Bing Crosby.

    My honorable mentions would have to be “Christmas Canon” and “Wizards in Winter” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

    But my all-time favorite (right up there with “The Christmas Song) is “Sleigh Ride” by the Boston Pops.

    Oh, and while I hate the song with the fiery passion of a thousand suns, Patton Oswald's bit on “The Christmas Shoes” actually makes it work listening to.

  16. Kristin @ What She Said
    December 5, 2011 | 1:35 pm

    Oh, and having read through the comments, I must concur with Ali on “Do They Know It's Christmas.” Every time I hear Bono sing, “Well tonight thank God it's them instead of yoooooo!” I get chills.

    December 5, 2011 | 2:04 pm

    oh i like this.
    but your HM, little drummer boy, is one of my all time favorite Christmas songs.. alongside Silent Night.

  18. From Tracie
    December 5, 2011 | 2:12 pm

    I'm not sure about #10, but the rest of them are awesome.

    I actually sang a Christmas song on my blog today….but it didn't make your list ;-)

    Silent Night is probably my all time favorite.

  19. Jackie
    December 5, 2011 | 4:45 pm

    I too only starting liking All I want for Christmas is You after Love Actually! I can do without Mariah most of the time, but that song is perfect holiday cheer.

  20. The Flying Chalupa
    December 5, 2011 | 5:51 pm

    I love that you included Elvis, Nat, and the Beach Boys. Christmas songs make me so happy.

    I would say that you forgot Burl Ives, but I hate Burl Ives so I won't mention it.

  21. Stasha
    December 5, 2011 | 7:22 pm

    Glad to see most of us are on the same page about Mariah. But yes, anything from Love Actually gets a pass and a spot on the list. My favorite is 'I've got my love to keep me warm'.

  22. Julie
    December 5, 2011 | 8:31 pm

    Your number one is my favorite from a nostalgic perspective – we listened to that thousands of times as children.

    However, Silent Night was my favorite as a child and I do think Oh Holy Night is the most beautiful of all the songs. (Totally agree with the “fall on your knees” lyrics being goosebump-worthy.)

    But despite the questionably corny lyrics, I also will always adore Andy Williams' “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” for the same nostalgic reasons as Christmas Song.

    His was the first carol on an album we played every year so it was like the BEGINNING of all the fun.

    And it says right there in the title that it's most wonderful.


  23. Kimberly
    December 5, 2011 | 10:46 pm

    I love Christmas songs! What about Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey? Ever heard that gem? ;)

  24. W.C.Camp
    December 6, 2011 | 12:02 am

    I love that Grinchy song so it would be my #1 but your list is pretty complete. Great job! W.C.C.

  25. Jessica
    December 6, 2011 | 5:56 am

    HOw could I never have heard “Santa lost a Ho?”

  26. Kir
    December 6, 2011 | 6:22 am

    Love Actually..”swoon”
    “fall on your knees” swoon right up there with O Holy Night and Mary Did you know for religious songs that pull me to my knees everytime.

    There is a song called. “the Ballad of the Christmas Donkey” on an old xmas album that we listened to each year “I'm not beautiful, what good to anyone am I?” That was the inspiration for my favorite little kid movie…”Nestor, the Long Eared Christmas Donkey” and that song just makes me smile and cry at the same time.

    My new favorite (that you can find the video for on my blog) is Driving Home for Christmas…..I adore that song.

    Loved ur list!!!!!! Thanks for sharing those memories with us.

  27. euregirlsandboys
    December 6, 2011 | 6:45 am

    Great list! I love Christmas music so much. I used to be very strict about sticking to the same old Christmas music I grew up with, but now I've branched out, mostly because the kids like different songs. I also like All I Want for Christmas Is You – but my daughter's doing a dance to it in her school musical next week, so I've heard it so many times recently that it's getting a little old!

  28. John
    December 6, 2011 | 6:53 am

    I'm just compiling my 2011 Christmas playlist . . . I love Belle & Sebastian's “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” The Royals' Guardsmen's “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron,” Setphen Colbert & Elvis Costello's “There Are Much Worse Things to Believe In,” John Lennon's “Happy XMas (War Is Over),” and, you left off the best Bing Crosby Christmas tune – him & David Bowie's rendition of “Peace On Earth / Little Drummer Boy.”

  29. Jackie
    December 6, 2011 | 7:28 am

    Those are some of my favorites except for the the Mariah Carrey one… I don't like her.

    I guess I like the older, more traditional sounding ones.

  30. The Random Blogette
    December 6, 2011 | 7:39 am

    I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm by Irving Berlin. This song reminds me of my holiday dance recitals. Whenever I hear the song I can hear tap dancing too. My old studio is doing a tap to this song again this year and I wanted to jump.up and dance with them during rehearsal last weekend. I even reared up a bit. The dancers that don't know me probably thought I was a freak. There are so many songs this time of year that remind me of dance. It is even more special now that Paige is dancing.

  31. The Random Blogette
    December 6, 2011 | 7:40 am

    Stupid autocorrect. I didn't rear up. I teared up.

  32. MommaKiss
    December 6, 2011 | 9:19 am

    I was saying the other day that Amy Grant's Breath of Heaven will forever bring me to my knees in gratitude. I also love Carol of the bells. And Raffi's petit noel. you know me, i listen all year. Yes, All. Year.

  33. MommaKiss
    December 6, 2011 | 9:24 am

    Forgot to say that Love Actually (and The Family Stone) – watch that all year round, too – they don't call me Merry for nothin'

  34. Sela Toki
    December 6, 2011 | 11:38 am

    Nice list. My favorite version of O Holy Night though is the one by Celine Dion.

  35. Kelly
    December 6, 2011 | 11:48 am

    Thanks for the ear worm of Feliz Navidad….now I'll be singing all day!!


  36. JDaniel4's Mom
    December 6, 2011 | 12:28 pm

    You would hav loved the Grinch Song on the Sing Off last night!

  37. Elaine A.
    December 6, 2011 | 1:04 pm

    What about “Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer”??? ;P

    My favorite is always “O Holy Night”, it's just so beautiful…

  38. Karen Peterson
    December 6, 2011 | 2:49 pm

    We used to call “Baby It's Cold Outside” the Date Rape Song because if you listen to the lyrics a certain way, it sounds a little…fishy.

    But ever since Buddy the Elf overheard Zooey Deschanel singing in the Gimbel's locker room, I have a newfound love of that song. I don't call it the Date Rape Song anymore.

  39. Mama Insomnia
    December 6, 2011 | 4:15 pm

    Great List! I love God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman by BareNaked Ladies and Sarah Maclachlan. I never liked the song in all my 9 years at Catholic school, but this version is so festive I love it!

  40. Natalie
    December 6, 2011 | 4:29 pm

    I'm a HUGE fan of Carol of the Bells by Celtic Woman. I could listen to it all day!

  41. Leigh Ann @ Genie in a Blog
    December 6, 2011 | 5:36 pm

    I love almost any version of Carol of the Bells, but my favorites are What Child is This, Do you Hear What I Hear, and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by the Barenaked Ladies. And there's not really a version of O Holy Night that doesn't bring tears to my eyes — same part.

    Check out the Invincible Czars. They do an awesome rendition of the Nutcracker Suite.

  42. Two Normal Moms
    December 6, 2011 | 7:02 pm

    That really is a good list. I'm not a Mariah Carey fan, but I can't help but like that song.

  43. ADO
    December 6, 2011 | 8:30 pm

    My all-time fave Christmas movie is Love, Actually. And I'm not a big fan of Mariah but you're right that song is fantastic and now it's stuck in my head, so thanks for spreading some musical Christmas cheer…!

  44. Jamie
    December 6, 2011 | 8:48 pm

    How about my least favorite… Baby It's Cold Outside sung by Dolly Parton and Rod Stewart. Who the hell thought that would make a good duo?!?

  45. My Inner Chick
    December 6, 2011 | 10:28 pm

    –Classic – Great Songs.

    I love “Baby It's Cold Outside.”


  46. MrsJenB
    December 7, 2011 | 2:47 pm

    #1. #1 #1 #1.

    I knew there was a reason I love you like I do. As I read this list I was secretly hoping we shared the same #1 and we DO!

    Seriously. That song IS Christmas to me. Just the first few opening notes make me sigh with happiness.

    In other news, now that I'm grown I find Baby It's Cold Outside to be kinda rapey – “say, what's in this drink?” being the biggest red flag.

  47. Leighannn
    December 13, 2011 | 12:11 pm

    Great choices.
    I like any song with the word “ho”

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