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Preparing the perfect Christmas playlist is one of the most important parts of celebrating the holiday season. Since you’ve got to shop for unique Christmas gifts and deck the halls with our Christmas decoration ideas — you’ll want to make these holiday activities absolutely incredible by playing a seasonal soundtrack of holiday tunes in the background.
To get you started with tracks to include on your playlist, we’ve found the best new Christmas songs from artists like Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande, John Legend and more. These modern Christmas songs will certainly get everyone dancing and singing along as you spruce up the tree or bake a batch of cookies! Whether you want to settle in with a chill ballad and a cup of hot cocoa or shine like your favorite female vocalist (on stage in the living room), we’ve got your back with new holiday hits to fill you with Christmas cheer. And even those these songs are newer, the lyrics are still just as fun and meaningful as the classic Christmas tunes you grew up with.
“Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande
Is it possible for a song to be an instant classic? In 2014, Ariana Grande released this holiday single, explaining that it’s “sort of about being fed up with Santa because he doesn’t necessarily pull through all the time.” In it, she asks St. Nick not to have her fall in love if the guy won’t be in her life the next Christmas.
“All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey
“Like It’s Christmas” by the Jonas Brothers
“Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber
This song, from Justin Bieber’s first Christmas album, Under the Mistletoe (2011), will inspire you to get up and dance. In 2011, Bieber told MTV News,”It’s something that I feel like they’re going to be singing every Christmas.” Turns out, he was totally right.
“8 Days of Christmas” by Destiny’s Child
“My Gift Is You” by Gwen Stefani
Listen to this song once and it’ll be stuck in your ear the entire holiday season (but in a good way). The festive jingle is about choosing love over gifts on Christmas — a sweet message everyone should hear.
“Snow in California” by Ariana Grande
In some places, a white Christmas is just not probable — no matter how much we want one. In this song from Ariana Grande’s album Christmas Kisses (2013), the singer asks Santa for snow in California.
“Where Are You Christmas” by Faith Hill
Every ’90s kid at your party will sing along to this classic hit from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Hold our drink while we do our best Faith Hill impression.
“Auld Lang Syne” by James Taylor
After Christmas comes New Years, which means putting the NYE anthem on your holiday playlist is a no-brainer. With this stunning rendition, you’ll be able to cheers to all the good times past and present.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé
Micheal Bublé’s version of this song has been a longtime classic. But when he and Idina Menzel went in on a duet in 2014 — well, there’s a new favorite in town. Cue up this one for Christmas karaoke with your beau.
“The Christmas Song” by Ne-Yo
Ne-Yo puts an R&B spin on several Christmas classics in his debut holiday album, Another Kind of Christmas (2019). Our favorite is this rendition of “The Christmas Song.” The album also includes five original holiday tracks.
“I Am the Grinch” by Tyler, The Creator [feat. Fletcher Jones]
Tyler, the Creator contributed two songs to the soundtrack of The Grinch (2018), including this funky rap from the perspective of everyone’s favorite Christmas villain.
“Candy Cane Lane” by Sia
“Candy Cane Lane” is an upbeat jingle from Sia’s first holiday album, Every Day is Christmas (2017), which features 10 original Christmas songs from the famed “Chandelier” singer.
“Carol Of The Bells” by Lindsey Stirling
Violinist and YouTube star Lindsey Stirling is best known for her stunning choreographed musical performances. And while you can’t see her play in this 2017 rendition of “Carol of the Bells,” the track is just as mesmerizing as the music videos that made her famous.
“Make It To Christmas” by Alessia Cara
Christmas is a magical time, but it can also be tough on relationships. In this song, Alessia Cara sings about hoping her longtime romance will make it through the holiday season.
“What Christmas Means to Me” by John Legend
John Legend’s cover of this festive jingle is already great — but the fact that it features Stevie Wonder on the harmonica makes it absolutely awesome. Wonder first covered the song on his album Someday at Christmas (1967), and so we love that Legend kept him on the track in his 2018 version.
“Hey Sis, It’s Christmas” by RuPaul [feat. Markaholic]
There’s no better way to get the party started than by adding a few RuPaul songs to your playlist. “Hey Sis, It’s Christmas” is a holiday standout, and features lyrics like “Hey sis, it’s Christmas / You can cross me off of your wish list / Call Santa Claus and the Missus / We gon’ have the best Christmas that ever existed.”
“Believe” by Josh Groban
From the film soundtrack for The Polar Express (2004), Josh Groban’s “Believe” received a Grammy in 2006 and was nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards in 2005. It’s a stunning ballad about everything you can accomplish if you believe in yourself.
“You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Pentatonix
A cappella group Pentatonix is famous for their beat-boxing holiday albums. However, this standout from their collection The Best of Pentatonix Christmas (2019) showcases their impressive skills like no other.
“All I Want (For Christmas)” by Liam Payne
Although it’s got the same name as Mariah Carey’s upbeat holiday anthem, Liam Payne’s 2019 “All I Want (For Christmas)” is a tearjerking ballad about a relationship that’s unlikely to make it through the season.
“Winter Things” by Ariana Grande
This sweet song is about doing some “winter things” to celebrate the holiday season — even if there isn’t wonderful wintery weather where you live! Ariana’s lyrics will inspire you to get out and enjoy the whimsy of Christmas — no matter where you are.
“Oh Come All Ye Faithful” by Jess and Gabriel
This charming duet by husband and wife pair Jess and Gabriel Conte might be your new favorite song to stream while you sip hot cocoa by the fire.
“Feliz Navidad” by El Vez
Mexican-American singer El Vez mixes the styles of Elvis Presley and other American rock artists with the sounds of his native Latin America. His take on the classic “Feliz Navidad” is guaranteed to get the party started.
“Santa’s Coming For Us” by Sia
Another hit from Sia’s Everyday Is Christmas album, “Santa’s Coming for Us” is a modern, upbeat take on the classic “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”
“One More Sleep” by Leona Lewis
This modern Christmas love song is all about counting down the days until you see your partner for the holidays. The chorus tracks the days ’til Christmas: “I’ve got five more nights of sleeping on my own / Four more days until you’re coming home / Three more dreams of you and mistletoe / Two more reasons why I love you so.”
“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas” by Michael Bublé
Michael Bublé’s cover of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” became an instant classic, and so did the rest of his holiday album. The year it was released, Christmas (2011) spent five weeks in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 album sales chart.
“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Mariah Carey
Second only to “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” this hit song from Mariah Carey’s 1994 album will get everyone on their feet before the lyrics even start.
“Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson
With its swelling instrumentals and moving message, Kelly’s Clarkson’s original Christmas song, “Underneath the Tree,” is as iconic as they come. In the years since its release, Clarkson has performed it everywhere from The Today Show and The Voice to The Ellen Degeneres Show and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
“Drummer Boy” by Justin Bieber [feat. Busta Rhymes]
This song is an absolute bop, but it’s also got a pretty inspiring message. The rap includes verses like, “It’s crazy how some people say they, say they don’t care / When there’s people on the street with no food, it’s not fair / It’s about time for you to act merrily / It’s about time for you to give to charity / Rarely do people even wanna help at all / ‘Cause they’re warm by the fire getting toys and their dolls.”
“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” by Bruce Sprinsteen
Every December, you’ll hear this classic Bruce Springsteen track, which was recorded live at C.W. Post College in 1975. While it’s a few decades old at this point, it’s got a modern feel and is the perfect party anthem for any festive get-together.
“Last Christmas” by Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen’s cover of Wham!’s Christmas classic “Last Christmas” is here to soothe anyone with a bad case of holiday heartache. Turn it up for some chill ’80s vibes and a reminder that there’s way more to the Christmas season than finding love.
“Christmas In Harlem” by Kanye West [feat. Prynce Cy Hi & Teyana Taylor]
Rolling Stone included this 2010 holiday rap on its list of “The Greatest Rock & Roll Christmas Songs.” It includes verses like, “Though it’s 40 below the wind chill and we wipin’ snow off the windshield / It’s still a wonderful night to be alive, baby / And I’m so happy I’m with my baby.”
“Looks Like A Cold, Cold Winter” by Ingrid Michaelson
Ingrid Michaelson’s annual “Holiday Hop” Christmas concert is known for selling out in minutes — and so if you can’t see her in person, listening to her holiday album Songs for the Season (2018) is the next best thing. “Looks Like a Cold, Cold Winter” was the first single she released from the record.
“We Three Gentlemen (Medley)” by Lindsey Stirling
Another hit from violinist Lindsey Stirling, this medley is a mix of “We Three Kings,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Carol of the Bells.”
“Christmases When You Were Mine” by Taylor Swift
This 2007 holiday ballad is sure to please anyone who loves late-2000s Taylor Swift. The song chronicles exactly what it feels like to experience your first holiday without someone you love.
“This Christmas” by PJ Morton
Grammy award-winning producer and Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton released his take on Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” in 2018. It was the second single from his album Christmas With PJ Morton.
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by Sam Smith
No one is better at serenading listeners than Sam Smith. This angelic 2014 cover of the holiday standard “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is sure to get anyone on board with adding a few modern Christmas songs to their playlist.
“Silent Night” by Destiny’s Child
There’s no better gift this holiday season than the sound of Beyonce singing “Silent Night.” Blasting this ballad will get every member of the Beyhive singing alone (and probably everyone else, too).
“Christmas Cookies” by George Strait
Christmas cookies are one of the best parts of the holiday season — and yet there are hardly any songs that celebrate them. George Strait changed that with this sweet tune dedicated to everyone’s favorite treats.
“Holly Jolly Christmas” by Michael Bublé
No matter where you are when you play this song, you’ll instantly feel like you’re at the mall the week before Christmas. And who’s to say that’s a bad thing? We love these best holiday shopping tips — and the fun Christmas songs that come with them.
“My Only Wish (This Year)” by Britney Spears
Lots of us dream of finding love during the holiday season, and this bouncy pop song by Britney Spears perfectly captures those wishes. At this point, the 2000 Christmas song is practically a classic.
“Merry Christmas Baby” by Hunter Hayes
Hunter Hayers first performed this song at the 2014 CMA Country Christmas show. “I’m always looking for bluesy Christmas songs,” he said of the song. “When I heard it, I was like, ‘That’s perfect!'” Give it a listen and you’ll probably agree.
“Jingle Bells” by Gwen Stefani
By the time December 25 rolls around, you might be sick of “Jingle Bells.” However, Gwen Stefani’s cover of the classic tune is so upbeat and original, it’ll get you on your feet and dancing around no matter how many times you’ve sworn off this song.
“Christmas Lights” by Coldplay
Coldplay took on the Christmas genre with this 2010 song about a breakup during the holiday season. It’s a melancholy love song that still manages to channel the magic of Christmas.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
From their 1998 album, Home for Christmas, this festive track has stood the test of time and is still a tune that will make any ’90s kid get up and sing.
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