(Probably) Not Your Parent’s Holiday Jams

With the holiday season in full swing, you might be looking for the perfect selection of songs to play in the car, at a party, or just on your own. If you’re like me, then you know that holiday themed music is a staple during the colder months. Because I cannot wait for this time of year, I began listening to “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” in August, but I have come to realize that there are more than those generic songs you hear on loop in commercials for Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas. Even the most iconic of songs have been redone in different ways by your favorite artists, so take a listen to some of these and they just may end up on your holiday playlist for years to come!

  • “Finally It’s Christmas” – Hanson
    • Years before the Jonas Brothers, the world had Hanson: the young, long-haired, MMMBoppin’ brothers who took over MTV and radios in 1997. Fast forward twenty years and the brothers are still writing and releasing their own songs that are sure to become timeless. This title track off their new Christmas album has hints of sleigh bells, dashes of reindeer, and pop filled harmonies that will make you want to download the whole album.
  • “Girl of My Dreams” – Jonas Brothers
    • Speaking of the Jonas Brothers, if you’re nostalgic for simpler times, this song will be the perfect fix. Nick, Joe, and Kevin truly rock out on this infectious song as they sing about a crush, their presents, and an “awesome scarf” that their grandma made. Make it a tradition to listen to this song every time that the holidays roll around. I promise that you will not regret it.
  • “Fool’s Holiday” – All Time Low
    • Right off the bat – literally straight from the opening guitar riffs – this song hooks you in. ATL’s recognizable pop punk sound pulls you in and does not let you go for the four minutes that it plays. Although the connotation of the song seems negative, it’s just as warming and honest as many of your famous holiday classics.
  • “Underneath the Tree” – Kelly Clarkson
    • Kelly Clarkson can do no wrong. I listen to this song all year long, as if it’s not off her holiday album and just on one of her regular, soulful pop albums. Insane vocals, a saxophone solo, and bells ringing only compliment the adorable lyrics and timeless vibe that the song effortlessly gives off.
  • “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” – John Lennon & Yoko Ono
    • This holiday staple doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, even though 106.7 Lite FM does include it on it’s Christmas rotation. Young people do know John Lennon, as well as this song, but surely not as well as they know “Frosty the Snowman.” With a message as relevant as this one, it really should be up there with Mariah and Mr. Bublé.
  • “Little Drummer Boy” – Pentatonix
    • Sticking true to the roots of the 1941 original, a cappella masters Pentatonix do “Little Drummer Boy” so much justice. Pentatonix are known for revamping songs with their own style and talent; this well-known track is just one of many that have been given a boost of modernity through intense harmonies and interchanging vocalists.
  • “Santa’s Coming For Us” – Sia
    • Fascinating lyrics and effortless vocals are expected from the uber-talented Sia and her new album Everyday is Christmas is no exception. This track has an exciting, yet intricate beat that doesn’t leave out an ounce of holiday spirit and will have you singing along, believing in Santa Claus, and dancing the night away all at once.
  • “Joy” – Chance the Rapper & Jeremih
    • Chance and Jeremih dropped their Christmas themed collaboration album, Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama, last December and it’s every bit as impressive as you would think. The nine track, Soundcloud released mixtape deserves it’s recognition, so take a listen. “Joy” just so happens to be my personal favorite track all around from it’s meaning to its beautiful layered vocals.
  • “If Everyday Was Christmas” – Cruz Beckham
    • Yes, that is David and Victoria Beckham’s preteen son; and yes, he has released music. I discovered this song last year and it is adorable. The 12 year old’s sweet, little voice is worth the purchase alone – not to mention that all the proceeds from it go to Global’s Make Some Noise foundation (http://www.makesomenoise.com).
  • “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey
    • Why this song is on this list is self explanatory. Seriously, is it really a holiday playlist is Mariah Carey isn’t included? (But, if you are actually sick of this song, maybe listen to the Glee Cast’s version, Hanson’s version, or My Chemical Romance’s version of it.)

Author: Katie Schafer

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