Christmas Music Favorites

By Kate Riley December 3, 2011

I was gathering together music for our upcoming holiday party, making selections and creating a playlist and came across some of my favorite renditions of Christmas tunes. We’re decorating to these while we eat our fair share of peppermint candy canes.  Some are new, many are classic, I hope you find a new one to enjoy!


Underneath the Tree ~ Kelly Clarkson *

Jingle Bell Rock ~ Rascal Flatts

I Believe ~ Frank Sinatra

A New York Christmas ~ Rob Thomas

Angels We Have Heard on High ~ Christina Aguilera


All I Want Is You (This Christmas) ~ NSYNC

Marshmallow World ~ Regis Philbin & Steve Tyrell

Jingle Bells ~ Michael Bublé & Puppini Sisters


christmas gif


Please Come Home for Christmas ~ Kelly Clarkson *

Last Christmas ~ Glee Cast

Twelve Days of Christmas ~ The Muppets

All I Want for Christmas ~ Mariah Carey & Justin Bieber (duet)

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year ~ Barlow Girls

Deck the Halls ~ Nat King Cole

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas ~ Bing Crosby, Michael Bublé

Christmas Time is Here ~ Vince Gauraldi Trio

Hark the Herald Angels Sing ~ Amy Grant

Song for a Winter’s Night ~ Sarah McLachlan

Silver Bells ~ Elvis Presley

Under the Mistletoe ~ Justin Bieber

The Christmas Song ~ Diana Krall, Nat King Cole

Mary’s Little Boy Child ~ Harry Connick, Jr.

Cold December Night ~ Michael Bublé

This Christmas ~ Christina Aguilera

We Need A Little Christmas ~ Glee Cast

Caroling, Caroling ~ Nat King Cole

The Christmas Waltz ~ Frank Sinatra

Blue Christmas ~ Harry Connick Jr.

Silent Night ~ Sixpence None the Richer, Kelly Clarkson *

vintage carolers


O Come All Ye Faithful ~ Faith Hill

The First Noel ~ David Archuletta

Ring the Bells ~ Travis Cotrell and Natalie Grant

I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm ~ Dean Martin

Let It Snow ~ Michael Bublé

Winter Wonderland ~ Jason Mraz, Ray Charles

Santa Baby ~ Kellie Pickler

Sleigh Ride ~ Take 6, Diana Krall

Holly Jolly Christmas ~ Michael Bublé

Who Would Imagine a King ~ Whitney Houston

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) ~ Sarah McLachlan

O Holy Night ~ Glee Cast

White Christmas ~ Ella Fitzgerald, The Drifters

Baby, It’s Cold Outside ~ Lady Antebellum.

Do You Hear What I Hear? ~ Glee Cast

Carol of the Bells ~ Barlow Girls

(It Really Is) A Wonderful Life ~ Mindy Smith

I’ll Be Home for Christmas ~ Josh Groban, Wynonna Judd

Somewhere In My Memory ~ John Williams (from Home Alone)

Hark the Herald Angels Sing ~ Jewel

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas ~ She and Him, Kelly Clarkson*

Little Drummer Boy ~ Jars of Clay

My Favorite Things ~ John Coltrane

Santa Will Find You ~ Mindy Smith

Count Your Blessings ~ Diana Krall

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? ~ Harry Connick, Jr.

Auld Lang Syne ~ James Taylor

*2013 update


What are you listening to this season?  Any renditions I should hear?  What do you recommend?




  1. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Wizards in Winter and Christmas Canon Rock
    Faith Hill – Where are you Christmas
    Vanessa Williams – Do you Hear What I Hear
    Martina McBride – Oh Holy Night

  2. I love Christmas music! And I love the NSYNC Christmas CD! You should check out “It’s Almost Christmas Time, Chicago” album by Jon and Val Guerra (it’s on iTunes).

  3. I love your selections! I’m partial to Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick, Jr. and Josh Groban! I love Christmas music too!

  4. Love the list…one suggestion – – Julianne Hough has some Christmas songs out including “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Feliz Navidad,” “It Wasn’t His Child/Mary Did You Know,” “Santa Baby,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.

  5. I love your list and can’t wait to go to iTunes to check out the ones I haven’t heard. My favorite Christmas song is ” Mary did you know” sang by Kathy Mattea. After I heard her sing it, no one else compares!

  6. great list!!!
    i love the winter songs album which has a bunch of female artists- kind of mellow, and then also taylor swift’s holiday. and of course christmas wrapping by the waitresses!
    also, i have a post going up tuesday morning and wanted to thank you for the faux bois idea- i did something similar and gave you credit for the inspiration- i loooooved those!

  7. It Must Have Been Ol” Santa by Harry Connick Jr; and Vanessa Williams & Bobby Caldwell’s Baby It’s Cold Outside; Amy Grant’s Tender Tennessee Christmas; Anne Murray’s Winter Wonderland are all some of my favorites. This is a great list. Thanks for it.

  8. Ha! I love that one too Courtney, I’ll add it to my playlist! Thanks Suesan, Cassie, Jen, and Liz for sharing your favorites too!

  9. Love your list Kate. You’ve got all bases covered! The only one I would consider adding is Winter Wonderland by Annie Lennox (Eurythmics). Give it a listen when you have a chance, I think you will enjoy……

  10. The first concert my now 25 yr old daughter ever went to was HANSON! That year they also came out with a Christmas CD…and yes we listened to it a zillion times. Now, when I hear anything from that CD on the radio ( they do play it still!) I think about my baby girl and text/call her and we giggle over how she was going to grow up and marry Zac, LOL

    Music is so much more than background noise. It’ the soundtrack of our lives :)

    Check out : Loreena McKennitt; any of her winter cds are cool. Oh and “War is Over” has to be John and Yoko for me to feel like it’s Christmastime…

  11. I <3 Rosemary Clooney's Suzy Snowflake and her version of Jingle Bells, plus, the old RC classic 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas' but there's a couple of Nat King Cole's I'd also add… 'A house with love in it' and 'Mrs. Santa Claus'. Gene Autry's Frosty the Snowman and Johnny Preston's 'I want a rock and roll guitar'

    L-o-V-e Christmas :)

  12. The list is fantastic!! Love that it covers so many genres. I will definately playing these on my ipod in the next some weeks. Thanks for sharing.

  13. My name is Christopher Tozzi and I am a local musician out of San Francisco who just released his debut Christmas album titled “A Very Tozzi Christmas”! I had a great time making the album and hope you enjoy the lead off song, everyones favorite, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”! Its for free download for everyone…..Meeeeeerrrrrrry Christmas!!!!!

  14. Mindy Smith-My Holiday CD is a must for me at Christmas. Actually it is a must after the first snow falls.

  15. Great list but must suggest 3 more: Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma. “Wexford Carol”; Casting Crowns “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. and Celine Dionne “Oh Holy Night”…. All 3 send chills down my spine…just very special voices and or arrangements.
    Have a fun party!

  16. Toby Keith’s rendition of “Old Toy Trains” … originally done by Roger Miller is a favorite of my husband and I.

  17. Garth Brooks “Beyond the Season” and my two favorite tracks are The Gift and The Friendly Beasts. The friendly Beast mainly because my daughter did a Christmas program in Kindergarten and they sang this song, so every time I hear it , it brings me back to when she was little. Great memories!!

  18. I agree with your husband, love paul mccartney, but dislike his christmas song greatly haha. My favs though are the Transiberian Orchestra’s xmas album and Kenny & Dolly’s xmas album!

  19. Check out Aaron Neville’s Soulful Christmas. I love the entire cd, but his rendition of “O Holy Night” is one of my all time faves. Please Come Home for Christmas and Such a Night are also great, not radio-overplayed. Great list you have. I was happy to see Wham on there! That’s one of my cheesy favorites! :) Oh, and Amy Grant’s Christmas cd is also wonderful.

  20. Hey Kate…OK….Michael Buble and the Puppini Sisters rock out Jingle Bells beyond belief!!!!!

    I dare anyone to listen and not tap their toes or snap their fingers!!!!

    Janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  21. Nice interesting list. My favorites are the ones by singers from the 40s and 50s. But I’d add the Vince Guaraldi Trio, playing music from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.

    Have to agree with your husband. That Paul McCartney song is the worst. Not a big fan of the Wham one either.

  22. Back in the 90’s, I was in love with Hanson! Every year i break out their Christmas album..Snowed In. Great songs, some classics and some originals. Gets me in the holiday spirit every year.

  23. Oh, I agree with Lynne!! Kathy Mattea’s ‘Mary Did You Know’…there is no better rendition, imho!!! And John Gorka’s ‘I heard the Bells on Christmas Day’. Both are slower songs to mix in! Rosie

  24. I love “We Three Kings” and “Schedryk” both by Pink Martini, “Star of Wonder” by Tori Amos, and “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson for something more traditional. Thanks for your suggestions!

  25. Ooh, great list Kate! My hands-down favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night by Josh Groban. Brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it! I also love just about any Christmas song recorded by Vanessa Williams. Her voice is beautiful.

    Merry Christmas!

  26. I love Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses and 2000 Miles by The Pretenders. Can you tell I’m an 80’s girl??!!

  27. Great list! You should also check out “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings” Barenaked Ladies & Sarah Mclachlan.

  28. I’m a sucker for Christmas music!! My hubby works in retail as a manager and hates it. I can see why, since they start playing it November 1st. Anyway, one of favorites that’s not on your list is “River” sung by Sarah McLachlan. It’s a Joni Mitchell song, but Sarah has such an amazing voice. We LOVE her soo much, our daughter’s name is Adia. Also, one of my all time faves is Bing Crosby, White Christmas. The movie is soo good too!!

    Happy Holidays!!

    ~ Catie

  29. Kate, my absolute favorite piece of music is Good King Wenceslas done by the Philadelphia Orchestra many,many years ago. There is a snare drum syncopation in the music that is bar none the best I have ever heard. My children and I would gather up their little toy percussion instruments and march around the room and then do it again and again. They loved it. Thanks for the memory. Alas, this music was only on LP and you can only find it now from rare music dealers. Sorry

  30. Hi, Kate– Every year for the past several years, my blog, “I Can Fly, Just Not Up”, turns into a Musical Advent Calendar for the month of December. I post a new carol every day… come on over and check out my favourite music for 2011!

    [email protected]

  31. LOVE YOUR LIST!!! I would also like to add A Baby Changes Everything by Faith Hill…don’t know if it’s actually “holiday party” music, but it is a lovely Christmas song and should be mentioned!

  32. Your list is awesome, Kate! Classic and contemporary…a great mix. I am excited to listen to some of those you have listed that I haven’t heard yet. I also love Johnny Mathis Christmas tunes. Everytime I hear him it brings back good Christmas memories. :) Thank you so much for posting your compilation!

  33. Oh! I just remembered one other song. Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano. My kids rock out and sing along when this one comes on the radio.

  34. This is such a great discussion. I would like to submit that Ella Fitzgerald’s Xmas collection is also worth listen. Ella could sing the phone book and make it swing. Happy Holidays everyone.

  35. I was going to say the same Pat…Driving Home for Christmas is my FAVORITE xmas song ever! LOVE it!

  36. This is such a great list!! Mine are a little off the radar- but my four all time fave Christmas songs (that I have been known to listen to in October because I just cant help myself!) are, Waitresses- Christmas Wrapping, Elton John- Step into Christmas, Christmas All Over again by Tom Petty, ooh and All Alone on Christmas- Darlene Love.

  37. Great list! Two that I would add: for some good rock n’ roll, (my crush since high school), Bruce Springsteen’s “Merry Christmas Baby”

    for pure sweetness and Christmas loveliness” Annie Lennox’ “Coventry Carol”…..(LOVE!) oh…

    just remembered, Judy Collins’ “Cherry Tree Carol” (Beautiful!)

  38. I’ve been following your blog for just a few weeks now…to tell you the truth, I never even knew what a “blog” was until I stumbled upon yours. There have been many times that I have wanted to respond to your posts because I love what you do but this one really struck a chord. Sorry, couldn’t resist. Anyway, way back when, my brother made me the most awesome Christmas CD. This was before downloads and playlists and, well, I really don’t know how he put it all together, but I love it. After reading your list, I think you wll love these choices, too. Check them out…and thanks for all of your choices and from your followers as well. A personalized Christmas CD is an awesome gift…trust me, I’ve cherished mine for years now. So here are my favorites…
    Christmas of Love- Little Isidore & The Inquisitors (such a totally hip tune that gets any party started)
    Everyday is Christmas – SWAG (“Every day is Christmas with you” awesome lyrics for those of us in love)
    Christmas This Year- Hootie and the Blowfish
    There’s a New Kid in Town- Billy Gilman (love, love, love it. so beautiful)

    Enjoy and Merry Christmas all!

  39. If you haven’t already gone, please see Trans Siberian Orchestra and their Christmas show when they come to your (closest) town. I went last night — leg in cast and leg scooter too. My son has been working at concert venues for over ten years and he said that he has NEVER seen so many different lasers, fireworks, etc. ever at ANY show! Take the kids too! It was magnificent even though I am in bed all day today! Check the finale (yet it cannot do it justice) on You Tube.

  40. I’m not much of a country music fan, but I LOVE SheDaisy’s Christmas music. Especially “That’s What I Want For Christmas”, “Deck the Halls”, and “Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag”. I can listen to them all on repeat for hours!

  41. Great post, Kate – you have a lot of my favorites on your list. Of the new albums this year, Michael Buble’s Christmas album is great and I like several songs on She & Him’s album. Also Jersey Boys has some good ones. I’ve got to check out Lady Antebellum, haven’t heard that one. A few of my all-time favorite’s are Gloria Estefan’s Let It Snow, The Carpenter’s Merry Christmas Darling and Louis Armstrong’s Zat You Santa Claus. I also include John Lennon’s Imagine on my Christmas playlist because the sentiment is perfect for the holidays.

  42. I like your playlist. One of my favorite Christmas songs is The Christmas Song by Angel. It’s so beautiful.

  43. What a great list! I’m using it as a jumping-off point for my own to fill my computer up! My all time favorite Christmas song is “Mary did you Know”. It’s been done by several artists, but I’m sentimental for Kenny Roger’s version. And on the opposite side of the spectrum is “Mr. Heatmiser” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

  44. Great list! I am going to have to add Sammy Davis, Jr and Carmen McRae’s version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. It is (in my opinion) THE best rendition of the song. Love it!

  45. Awesome list! Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas album is my all-time favourite. And also love David Archuleta’s First Noel… I got to hear him sing it live last night on his Christmas tour. If you get the chance, GO! Amazing show.

  46. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen from Bare Naked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan is one of the best christmas songs I listen too. Great list!

  47. There’s a great group named Straight No Chaser that has two fabulous Christmas CD’s out – Holiday Spirits, and Christmas Cheers. My boys love their version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. A few members of the group are old college friends of mine who were discovered on Youtube by the CEO of Atlantic Records, who then signed them.

  48. I have so many favorites but a few of my tops are one that you listed Caroling, Caroling by Nat King Cole. I know it’s not for everyone, but my husband introduced me to The Beach Boys Christmas album and it’s also been a favorite of ours. Little Saint Nick is a great one.

  49. I love the Barenaked Ladies’ holiday album for some Christmas fun and then for more traditional favorites I love Nat King Cole singing “The Christmas Song” and Martina McBride’s version of “O Holy Night”. Love your list too!

  50. You have great taste in music, I will say that ;) My list would look very similar – especially with Buble, Connick Jr., Amy Grant, and the oldies…Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Nat and Sinatra. While I LOVE so many of them, my favorite is O Holy Night by Nat King Cole. Hands down. I could close my eyes and listen to it over and over again. Thanks for this post.

  51. You have to check out 12 Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser and Hallelujah Chorus by Chorus Niagara ( their flash mob video is on You Tube). Both of these will make you smile. I will post others that come to mind later.

  52. Wauw thank you for making this list. I have a Christmas playlist for a while now, but there were some on your list i never heard and had to add to my own list.

    Have a very merry christmas!
    Greetings from the Netherlands

  53. For next year I would add Let It Snow by Boyz II Men , I Saw Moma Kissing Santa Claus by The Jackson Five , and Last Christmas by Glee.

  54. Great list. But being British I would add Slade’s Merry Chritmas everyone. It’s THE Christmas song in the UK

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)