Essential Christmas playlist:


Silent Night- “Temptations” “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

TLC –“Sleigh Ride”

Jackson 5 – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

Whitney Houston – “Joy to the World” “Do You Hear” “The First Noel”

Mariah Carey – “All I Want For Christmas Is You” “When Christmas Comes” f/ John Legend “O Come All Ye Faithful” w/ Patricia Carey

Celine Dion – “O Holy Night”

Wham – “Last Christmas”

Paul McCartney –“Wonderful Christmas Time”

John Lennon – “So This Is Christmas”

Cee-lo f/ Christina Aguilera – “Baby It’s Cold Outside”

Michael Buble –“Blue Christmas” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

Boyz II Men – “Let it Snow”

Mario or Stevie Wonder – “Someday At Christmas”

Monica or Ruben/ Mel Torme and Tamyra Gray  – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Nat King Cole – “The Christmas Song/ Chestnuts Roasting”

Faith Hill – “Where Are You Christmas”

“12 Day of Christmas” some ensemble group

Hanson or Fantasia – “What Christmas Means to Me”

Donny Hathaway – “This Christmas”

Emeli Sande – Winter Wonderland

The Drifters – “White Christmas”

Home Alone soundtrack – Carol of the Bells

In honor of the holiday season, I’ve compiled a list of what I feel is the essential Christmas playlist. Now everyone under the sun has released a Christmas album, some greater than others, so in addition to the must-play tunes, I’m going to let you know whose version is superior. Let’s get started!


TLC –“Sleigh Ride”

Year: 1993

Album: A Laface Family Christmas

Back in 1993 midway between their transition from tomboys to sex-sirens, TLC released their version of ‘Sleigh Ride.’ What makes this version stand out is Left-eye’s feel good rap.


The Temptations –“Silent Night”

Although the Temptations had more line-ups than your favorite barbershop, their version of “Silent Night” set the standard by which all other versions are measured. Now, don’t get confused; there are two version of “Silent Night” from the quintet. The 1970 version helmed by Eddie Kendrick and the soulful standard we’ve come to know and love led by Dennis Edwards. The latter appears on the 1980 album, Best of the Temptations Christmas.


Wham – “Last Christmas”

Year: 1984

Not every song about Christmas has an uplifting message and Wham’s” Last Christmas” proves just that. For all those who have been dumped after Christmas, this goes out to you! And you! The UK duo, which introduced the world to George Michael, reminds us that it’s not all presents and kisses under the mistletoe! The holidays bring heartache and pain!


Paul McCartney –“Wonderful Christmas Time”

Year: 1979


Although this song is more of an homage to synthesizer, than sweet little Baby Jesus, it’s a feel-good classic by a Beatle, so it wins. Although voted the “Worst Christmas Song of All Time,” you can’t deny its staying power and ability to make you sing-a-long and smile.


John Lennon – “So This Is Christmas”

Year: 1971


Back in 1971 John Lennon & Yoko Ono decided to write a Christmas song as a protest against the Vietnam War. Their purpose was to take the goodwill, peaceful themes and the holiday spirit and combine it with a sense of political purpose.


Donny Hathaway – “This Christmas”

Year: 1970


“This Christmas” is one of the most popular original Christmas songs of the past 40 years. The remakes are endless, yet the original version is still the greatest.


Boyz II Men f/ Brian McKnight – “Let It Snow”

Year: 1993

Album: Christmas Interpretations

In the 90s there was no other male group more dominant than Boyz II Men. From “End of the Road” to “Bended Knee” the quartet from Philly became the highest selling R&B group of all time. It was only right for them to make a contribution to the holiday season with the Brian McKnight assisted “Let It Snow.”


Nat King Cole – “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)”

Nat King Cole recorded four versions of “The Christmas song,” the 1961 take being the definitive version.  This might be one of the greatest seasonal songs of all,


Mariah Carey – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

Not many original Christmas songs made in the 90s have stood the test of time, but there is one that continues to rise above all – Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas is You.

Carey holds the esteemed honor of having the highest selling Christmas album of all time AND one of the most popular track of the past 30 years. This song charts annually and why many call Mimi the “Queen of Christmas.”

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