After many years of working in record stores, and therefore being forced to listen to Christmas music starting the day after Thanksgiving through January 1, I’ve become extremely picky when it comes to holiday tunes. If you’re like me, and don’t enjoy every single holiday song coming out of your speakers, here is a list of tolerable music to play at upcoming holidays parties, during tree decorating, or just hanging out at home with your loved ones:
Chuck Berry – “Run Rudolph Run”
No one does the most popular reindeer justice better than the legendary Chuck Berry. First released by Chess Records during the 1958 Christmas season, this song is perfect to get the party going.
Cheap Trick – “I Want You For Christmas”
I love this rockin’ Christmas take on their hit “I Want You To Want Me.” Very clever, creative, and celebratory.
Eric Clapton – “Merry Christmas Baby”
His unmistakable bluesy guitar makes this song as rock and roll as it is festive.
Def Leppard – “We All Need Christmas”
Although this song is a bit slower than many of Def Leppard’s hits, it is an excellent acoustic rock choice for the holidays.
Aretha Franklin – “Winter Wonderland”
The Queen of Soul does such a fantastic job lending her vocals to this Christmas classic, I would listen to it on repeat.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Christmas All Over Again”
As far as I’m concerned, Tom Petty’s voice is perfect for any occasion and this song is no exception.
The Ronettes – “Frosty the Snowman”
While this tune has been covered by a variety of singers over the past six decades, the Ronettes provide a little something extra.
Run-D.M.C. – “Christmas Is”
Leave it to one of the best rap groups of all time to put a fun spin on a holiday song.
Adam Sandler – “Chanukah Song”
Even though Chanukah has already come and gone this year, I had to include this track because it’s been one of my favorites since its 1994 release. I still love that he talks about David Lee Roth lighting the menorah and points out the OJ Simpson is definitely not a Jew.
Frank Sinatra & Cyndi Lauper – “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”
While this duo is unexpected, the song works. Sinatra’s smooth vocals paired with Lauper’s higher register makes for a fun song to get you into the holiday spirit.