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Top Ten (But Actually Fifteen) Christmas Songs For 2020

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

Yes, this was originally supposed to be a Top 10 that turned into a Top 15. And about this being a Top 15 instead of a Top 10… It is way too hard for me to choose only ten songs to share, so fifteen of them made the cut.

#15: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – The Jackson 5. Don’t kill me, but there’s two very different versions of this song on here. But both are extremely essential for me. This song is the opening track of The Jackson 5’s 1970 Christmas album, and is essential for decorating the Christmas tree, opening presents, baking cookies, being together at my grandparents house, etc. My family introduced me to this album twenty-four years ago and I’ve been listening to it my entire life. Knowing every lyric, every solo, how beats go. This being the opening track of my favorite Christmas album, it’s sure to always put me in the holiday spirit. Also at the end of this song, The Jackson 5 put their own holiday twist to it.

#14: Linus & Lucy: - Vince Guaraldi Trio. Are you kidding me? How could I not have this classic, lyric-free, calming song on this playlist? If you don’t know who Linus and Lucy are, or what that even means, they are two characters from the comics strip, “Peanuts”, which then was turned into cartoon holiday specials, better known as “Charlie Brown”. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the most popular holiday special of the series, premiering in 1965, in which the Peanuts first made their television appearance.

#13: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – NSYNC: So NSYNC may not be my favorite boy band, but this song is on the end of one of my favorite holiday movies from 1999, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”.

Favorite lyrics:

“And with the blessings from above, God sends you his love, everything’s okay, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays”

#12: This Christmas – Donny Hathaway: I didn’t really know this song until a few years ago, but it’s really starting to become one of my favorites.

Favorite lyrics:

“And this Christmas will be a very special Christmas for me”

#11: My Grown-Up Christmas List – Natalie Cole: Like father, like daughter, am I right? Both of their voices are so beautiful and so important to me for this time of year. This song especially brings me to stop and think. Just put the world and life on pause during the chaos. I’ll let the lyrics do the explaining.

Favorite lyrics:

“No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start, and time would heal all hearts, and everyone would have a friend, and right will always win, and love would never end, this is my grown-up Christmas list”

#10: Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses: Although this song is probably more on the annoying side, the reason why it’s cracking my top ten is because it’s still fun to sing and dance to.

Favorite lyrics:

“Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, couldn’t miss this one this year”

#9: The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole: My absolute favorite version of this song. There’s just something about that opening note of this track. It feels like Christmas when I hear it. It makes me want to smell Christmas trees, bake cookies, hang lights, spread cheer.

Favorite lyrics:

“And so I’m offering this simple phrase to kids from one to ninety-two, although it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you”

#8: All I Want For Christmas Is You – Michael Buble: No Mariah Carey here. We only make room for Michael Buble. There’s something about this softer, slower, more calming version of this song that just makes it so much better for me. It’s the way he sings it as well.

Favorite lyrics:

“I just want you for my own, more than I could ever know, girl what can I do, you know that all I want for Christmas is you”

#7: Merry Christmas Baby – Hanson: A cover of Otis Redding’s 1967 classic Christmas hit, if you’ve seen Jack Frost (1998), then you’ve definitely heard this song before. Without going into deep details about it, Hanson was my first ever concert and the first band I ever really got “into” a band. “Merry Christmas Baby” is the first track off of Hanson’s 1998 Christmas album, “Snowed In” and lifts my spirits as soon as I hear it.

Favorite lyrics:

“Merry Christmas baby, sure did treat me nice, I got a lot of pretty presents , I feel like I’m in paradise”

#6: The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) – Alvin and the Chipmunks: No Christmas playlist of mine would ever exist without this song. The entire Chipmunks Christmas album is extremely cute, but there’s something about this one that really warms my heart. My grandpa always speaks about how all of his albums would break, and although the Chipmunks album was played constantly over and over again, it would never break.

Favorite lyrics:

“We can hardly stand the wait, please Christmas don’t be late”

#5: Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon: This song is so important to me. Especially this year. Every year, this song makes me reflect on the entire year. I ask myself “What have I done?”, as in what have I done for myself and the world? This track always makes me think of others and what I can do for people.

Favorite lyrics:

“So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, and a new one’s just begun.”

“War is over, if you want it.”

#4: Believe – Josh Groban: Any guesses what movie this song is from? You hear the music of it throughout the entire film, The Polar Express. I believe it was seventh or eighth grade when I got to sing this song in choir and I was extremely excited for it. I not only loved the movie, but I also was very fond of this song. The Polar Express is all about “believing”. Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.

Favorite lyrics:

“Believe in what your heart is saying hear the melody that’s playing, there’s no time to waste, there’s so much to celebrate”

“Believe in what you feel inside and give your dreams the wings to fly, you have everything you need, if you just believe”

#3: All I Want Is You – Justin Bieber: My FAVORITE album from The Biebs has to be his Christmas album, “Under The Mistletoe”. It was so hard to choose only one song from the album, but I think this one might touch my heart the most.

Favorite lyrics:

“And I don’t care if I don’t get anything all I need is you here with me, and I’m sorry if I hurt you, but I know that all I want is you this Christmas”

#2: Give Love On Christmas Day – The Jackson 5: When I was younger, this wasn’t one of the songs I listened to a lot on this album. I liked listening to the more fun, happy, upbeat songs. But this one is serious and very real for this year. Just the most simple statement in the world: give love on Christmas day.

Favorite lyrics:

“Why don’t you give love on Christmas day? Oh even the man who has everything would be so happy if you would bring him love on Christmas day, no greater gift is there than love”

“What the world needs is love, yes the world needs your love”

#1: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Judy Garland: The hardest part of this entire playlist was deciding which song would be number one. Not in 2020, yes that would be hard. But I actually knew exactly which song to pick. Judy Garland was one of my idols when I was super young, because I loved The Wizard Of Oz and she of course was Dorothy. But once I saw her in Meet Me In St. Louis, which is where she sings this song, I gained major respect. This song is my number one Christmas song this year because… Well… Look at this year. The lyrics get to my heart a little more this year than they normally would.

Favorite lyrics:

“Have yourself a merry little Christmas let your heart be light, next year all our troubles will be out of sight”

“Someday soon we all will be together if the fates allow, until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow, so have yourself a merry little Christmas this year”

*Bonus Track*:

Happy Holidays, You Bastard – Blink 182: An essential song for everyone on Christmas Eve.

Favorite lyrics:

“It’s Christmas Eve and I’ve only wrapped two fucking presents, Christmas Eve and I’ve only wrapped two fucking presents, and I hate, hate, hate your guts! I hate, hate, hate your guts! And I’ll never talk to you again….”

So there we have it. My Top Fifteen Christmas Songs for 2020. May next year be better for everyone.

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