Photo: ABC Photo Archives/ABC (Getty).
One of the most important factors of your holiday party is the playlist. If you don’t have the right Christmas songs, it’s going to give your party a vibe that you don’t want to have to deal with. Just because it’s an older song doesn’t mean the older crowd is going to relate, and just because it’s newer doesn’t mean the younger crowd will be into it. You need a perfect mix of both. That’s why we’ve taken all the guess work out of it for you and put together the definitive ranking of Christmas songs. Of course, there are others that are classics and favorites, but these are the best of the best. There are deep cuts and there are timeless sing-a-longs, so add these to your mix and you’re well on your way to having the best Christmas of all time.
The 30 Best Christmas Songs In History Definitively Ranked:
30. The Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”
If you want something totally different than what your mom plays during Christmas dinner, then this classic, underrated gem from The Ramones is exactly what you need. Every holiday needs more Ramones. It’s just a fact.
29. Pentatonix – “Mary, Did You Know?”
Pentatonix is the newest group on the list, but if you’re familiar with them, it doesn’t come as any surprise. Vocally, they’re just incredible, and their rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?” gives them the perfect opportunity to highlight those skills.
28. The Jackson 5 – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus“
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives (Getty).
There’s never been a more casual holiday jingle about dealing with catching your mom making out with what you perceive to be a man other than your dad, but The Jackson 5 made it charming and endearing even if that kid in the song will have to deal with years of therapy as a result.
27. Taylor Swift – “Last Christmas“
Photo by Samir Hussein (Getty).
During Swift’s country phase of her career, she put out a Christmas album that was well received. But one track stood out above the rest and that was, of course, “Last Christmas.” It’s not quite as wonderful as the original, but it’s one of those tracks that’s not just a good Christmas song, but a good song in general.
26. Alvin & the Chipmunks – “The Chipmunk Song”
If there’s anything that should be loved and appreciated from “The Chipmunk Song,” it’s remembering a time when the only thing your kid wanted for Christmas was a plastic hula-hoop and not a $700 PlayStation Virtual Reality system. And of course, by “your kid,” I mean me. I want the PlayStation.
25. Thurl Ravenscroft – “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”
Have you ever listened to the words of this song? It’s the meanest diss track in existence: “Your heart’s an empty hole / Your brain is full of spiders / You’ve got garlic in your soul.” Good lord. No wonder he lived in the mountains away from all those mutants in Whoville.
24. The Beach Boys – “Little Saint Nick“
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives (Getty).
This is actually the only song on the list from a band that performed lyrics written by Charles Manson, unless there’s some major news that comes out about Taylor Swift within the next few months.
23. Dean Martin – “Let It Snow”
Photo: Martin Mills (Getty).
“Let It Snow” is a fantastic song for a couple cuddling together in front of a fire, but an absolutely disrespectful song for the road crews in charge of clearing highways of ice and snow. Nobody ever thinks of those guys, do they?
22. The Darkness – “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)”
If this one comes as a surprise to you, do yourself a favor and go listen to it immediately. The Darkness belts out their Christmas anthem with the same passion and falsetto as their other tracks, but making it about the holidays just stirs up that Christmas cheer, whatever the heck that means.
21. Elvis Presley – “Blue Christmas”
We all love this song, but it’s such a downer. It’s no wonder suicide rates go up so much around the holidays when we’re constantly reminding people how terrible their Christmas is going to be because no one loves them. Happy holidays!