The Best Christmas Songs Over The Years

Published on December 16, 2019

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” might be 25 years old, but that didn’t stop the holiday hit from finally topping the Billboard Hot 100.

The Christmas classic was originally released in 1994 on Carey’s album “Merry Christmas.” According to Billboard, the song reached the Hot 100’s top 10 the past two years, and it finally reached No. 1 this past week.

It’s not uncommon for Christmas songs to rise up on the charts this time of year. However, it is extremely rare for a Christmas song to top the Hot 100. “All I Want for Christmas is You” is the first holiday song to reach No. 1 on the list in over 60 years.

Many would argue Carey’s original Christmas classic is one of, if not, the best Christmas song of all time. To celebrate this momentous day, I wanted to round up some of the past few decades’ greatest holiday hits.

“Santa Baby”

This Christmas tune was released in 1953 and has remained one of the most recognizable holiday songs to ever exist. In the song, Eartha Kitt sings about wanting expensive gifts such as yachts and a convertible. Many artists such as Madonna and Michael Buble have covered this sweet, yet seductive, tune in one way or another. Though it’s over 60 years old, it is still a hit on many people’s Christmas playlists.

“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”

This is the oldest Christmas song on the list. It was written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie, and it was first performed on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in 1934. Banjoist Harry Reser and his band recorded the earliest known recording of the song with Tom Stacks on vocal. Since then there have been over 200 artists that have rerecorded the hit song. Michael Buble’s version of the song is probably the most recognizable. He released the song in 2011 with his beloved “Christmas” album. 

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”

This is another cute classic that most everyone has heard. The song was first sung by Jimmy Boyd in 1952. Like “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” this song has also been covered by numerous other artists. The Jackson 5’s version is probably one of the most recognizable . They covered the song in 1970, and it was released on their Christmas album. The song also inspired a made-for-TV movie in 2001.

“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”

This silly Christmas tune was originally written and composed for the 1966 cartoon “Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” In 2000, the song was featured on the live-action remake of the film. It’s catchy, yet silly lyrics make for a fun holiday song that is super unique. Though there isn’t any real mention of Christmas in the song, it will always be a classic holiday tune.

“Santa Tell Me”

This is the newest Christmas song on the list, and it’s definitely much different than the other four songs. Ariana Grande released the holiday R&B tune in 2014. They lyrics depict Grande asking Santa if an unnamed boy “really cares.” She asks him not to let her fall in love with him if he won’t be with her next year. Grande is one of the biggest names in music right now, so I’m positive this song will be played for years to come.

Ashli Ellerman is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. A graduate of University of Missouri's Columbia School of Journalism, she's a former editor at Vox. She covers music brands and breaking consumer news at Grit Daily.

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