It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when Mimi’s inescapable ear worm was just a forgotten novelty song from yet another standard-issue pop-singer holiday album. Now, in a post Love Actually world, hearing ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ for the first time in a year is one of the most reliable signs that the holidays are here. The song came and went when released in 1995, but snowballed in cultural cachet in the aughts, slowly climbing in popularity every year before finally topping US charts in 2019 and the UK charts in 2020. Complaining about its ubiquity has become a pastime for killjoys at pubs, but it’s their loss: From the twinkly intro to Mariah’s tour-de-force delivery, everything here is as timeless as it is flawless.
Love them, hate them, or just accept them as a sort of immutable fact of life, it's officially Christmas song season in 2023. And although there’s been a fair amount of disposable novelty rubbish written over the years, the reality is that a lot of Christmas songs are bangers.
There are plenty of keepers from the ‘40s-‘70s heyday of the Christmas record as an art form, for example, but even more cynical later generations of pop have produced plenty of gold. Festive cheer has found its way into pop, hip-hop, R&B, metal, punk, indie… you name it. So as a gift, we've rounded up the very best Christmas songs going. Ho ho ho.
Written by Andrzej Lukowski, Oliver Keens, James Manning, Alim Kheraj, Ed Cunningham, Liv Kelly and Ella Doyle. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.