The holiday season has begun—here’s a list of Christmas songs that sleigh

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A small Christmas tree sitting next to a record player, the perfect setup to listen to these songs if you have them on vinyl

I used to be one of the people shouting over the early-November merry holiday tunes, “what about Thanksgiving!” However, as I’ve matured, I’ve decided that Thanksgiving isn’t really that interesting. Completely regarding its history for this festive article, Thanksgiving is a nice holiday to be grateful for your loved ones and other blessings and eat some delectable food. 

Apart from that, Thanksgiving lacks the it-factor of the other more favorable holidays. The fun, the aesthetic, and last—but certainly not least—the music. 

This brings me back to the present (pun intended), where I am shamelessly one of the people blasting Mariah Carey on November first. Even with forty-three days until December 25th, I am listening to my Christmas playlist on repeat. The selection process for this compilation isn’t too demanding; all I require are joyful lyrics and perhaps some sleigh bells. Even with these loose requirements, some songs rise above others in my mental ranking. Here are my top ten favorite Christmas songs, in no particular order. 

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

Starting off strong, one of the most iconic Christmas songs ever has made this list. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” sung by the queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey. This is the first song that comes to mind when I think of Christmas in general. I can’t come up with the words to describe it, other than the blueprint for all Christmas tunes to follow.

“Holly Jolly Christmas” by Michael Bublé

“Holly Jolly Christmas” paints the perfect scene of a joyful snowy December day. This song makes me feel like I’ve entered a holiday-themed commercial, with the main character who will “say hello to friends you know” and “have a cup of cheer”. On top of the warm friendly lyrics, I adore the guitar solo in the middle. A guitar solo doesn’t scream Christmas to most, however, Bublé turns it into a merry section of the song. 

“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney 

At first, “Wonderful Christmastime” doesn’t feel like a Christmas song. Then, roughly eleven seconds into the song, the beloved sleigh bells I mentioned earlier chime in. My favorite aspect of this song is the retro feel that accompanies the amusingly simple lyrics. In the chorus, McCartney repeats “simply having a wonderful Christmas time” a multitude of times, and it truly is simple, in the best way.

“Christmases When You Were Mine” by Taylor Swift

To be honest, I am biased toward any Taylor Swift song. Now that that’s out of the way, I feel like this song reminds me more of a Taylor Swift song than a holiday song. Regardless, the reminiscent aura and seasonal lyrics still blend into a sorrowful festive tune that’s fitting for the holiday. 

“Last Christmas” by Wham!

“Last Christmas” has grown to be one of the most covered Christmas songs there are. Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, and various others have all released their own versions of the song. Nonetheless, the original version by Wham! has continued to be my favorite. Something about the retro energy of the music with the dejected lyrics—and the occasional sleigh bell making an appearance—creates the quintessential Christmas song.

“Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson

Even though it’s the only song without the word ‘Christmas’ in its title, “Underneath the Tree” still captures the spirit of the holiday precisely. This song feels like waking up on Christmas day with a joyful attitude and the privilege of seeing gifts underneath the tree in the living room. It’s the excitement when everything falls into place at the right time, and you feel the whimsical joy of the holiday that doesn’t come all too often.

“Christmas Tree Farm” by Taylor Swift

Regardless of any biases previously mentioned, “Christmas Tree Farm” without a doubt deserves its spot on this list. The essence of unmatched, pure holiday joy overtakes the senses with Christmas lights, the warmth of the fire, and “that little farm / where every wish comes true”. My thoughts are clouded by specific lyrics and the festive background music until all that’s left is the pure merry anticipation of the holidays. 

While listening to this song, I feel as though I should be in a snow globe as Carey sings about watching the snowfall”

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas” by Michael Bublé

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas,” as I see it, illustrates another avid joy-filled scene of warm fireplaces and the advent of the holiday season. The first snow, the first holiday ads on TV, and all the other firsts of the season are embodied by the hopeful sound of this song ringing in the new winter.

“White Christmas” by Taylor Swift

To be honest, “White Christmas” itself isn’t one of my favorite Christmas songs. It doesn’t feel exceptionally special. However, this is a song where that aforementioned bias comes into play. Any Christmas song covered by Swift has an increased appeal to me, giving this song bonus points in my book.

“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Mariah Carey

To wrap it up, I’m ending where I started, with the queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey. Here, Carey depicts missing a significant person in her life on Christmas, which is a common theme throughout these songs. While listening to this song, I feel as though I should be in a snow globe as Carey sings about watching the snowfall. The vocalists repeating “Christmas” in the back are a formative facet of the song as they give it its title, and set the mood of yearning, but festively.

It may be the start of November, but for me just one listen to these songs is enough to be transported to mid-December. Happy Holidays, everyone.