6 Songs to Kick Off Your Classic Christmas Playlist

Classic Christmas Playlist

When you’re ready to start feeling festive, this playlist will put you in the merriest of moods. Pull out the decorations and whip up your favorite holiday cocktail, or just get settled on your sofa under a cozy throw, and crank up the volume on our favorite classic Christmas songs!

“All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey

The most recent release on our list, Mariah’s song from 1994 instantly became a classic. Its infectious enthusiasm for the season is a must-listen when you’re dancing around with your friends, trimming the tree in your apartment or sipping on eggnog. Written and produced by Mariah herself in collaboration with her longtime partner Walter Afanasieff, “All I Want for Christmas is You” definitely deserves a spot on your playlist.

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Jackson 5

While the original recording of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” traces its roots back to the 1930s, the 1970s Motown rendition by the Jackson 5 is such an enjoyable version of this classic carol. Layered instrumentation, an upbeat tempo and a young Michael Jackson’s strong, melodic voice create an instant atmosphere of cheer wherever it’s on. This is a great song to listen to while you’re hanging stockings with the kids to get them in the spirit.

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Frank Sinatra

This is the perfect anthem for snuggling up to the people you love and sipping a cozy mug of hot chocolate. The “happy golden days” Sinatra sings about in the song are a good reminder that, no matter what’s going on around us, Christmas is a season for love and happiness.

“Christmas Time is Here” by Vince Guaraldi Trio

This jazzy instrumental classic endures as a seasonal favorite in large part thanks to the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” special. Though “Christmas Time is Here” is part of that TV special’s soundtrack, the song plays beautifully on its own, reflecting the sentimental and emotionally meaningful elements of the Christmas season. If you’re a fan of the classic cartoon, this is the perfect nostalgic addition to your soundtrack for holiday cocktail parties and other seasonal events.

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee

Fun, upbeat and carefree, Brenda Lee’s 1960 Christmas is a definite hit, with it’s a catchy tune and easy-to-follow lyrics. This is the kind of song that can inspire the whole family to get up and dance – maybe not literally around the tree, but certainly around the living room!

“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” by The Drifters

As one of the most well-known songs of the holiday season, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” has been sung by many stars. This upbeat, soulful version from The Drifters is one of our favorites. Featured in the Christmas blockbuster Home Alone, this cover has a charming Motown feel that’s ideal for tree decorating parties and waking up to freshly fallen snow.

“Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt’s songs have a delightfully cheeky sensibility, and this lyrical letter to Mr. Claus is no different. Released in 1953, “Santa Baby” feels both charmingly retro and timelessly relevant at the same time. Who hasn’t wanted to wish for everything they want after a year of doing their best to be good?