The holiday season has finally arrived, which means Christmas songs are being played at nearly every store you go to. Even though the market of holiday songs is saturated and overplayed, there are still gems of Christmas songs that have stood the test of time.
The best Christmas songs transcend time and perfectly encapsulate the feeling of the holiday spirit, no matter when they are played. Even though big family gatherings are not happening due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, we can still listen to some of the best Christmas songs from the comfort of our homes.
"Last Christmas" and "Everything She Wants"
“Last Christmas” and “Everything She Wants” by Wham! are two songs that still hold up as Christmas classics, even 30 years after their release.
“Last Christmas” is a quintessential dance-pop song with a holiday spirit and is a perfect song to decorate your Christmas tree or enjoy any of the standard holiday festivities.
The song carries a melancholy tone, but promotes a beautiful message through the vocals and percussive elements. Its downtempo feel and pop-inspired vocal performance is a great way to kick off any holiday get-together.
“Everything She Wants” revolves around the story of a man disillusioned by his girlfriend who loves material items. While the song is not specifically written for Christmas, its release at the same time as "Last Christmas" automatically makes listeners associate this song with the holidays.
The use of the Juno-60 synthesizer is evident by the song’s prominent synth bass and chord progression. The emotional weight of Michael’s lyrics make this song both powerful and perfect for the holidays.
“All I Want For Christmas Is You”
Mariah Carey’s 1994 hit, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is a staple of Christmas which has almost transcended the holiday itself. The impeccable tune guarantees her hefty royalties every December, and television executives still invite Carey to perform for holiday specials 26 years after the song came out.
The upbeat Christmas song’s lyrical content focuses on a woman uninterested in the usual prospects of the holidays, and instead just wants the company of her lover. The use of bells and other percussive chimes make the song feel very happy and cheerful in tone, and Carey’s vocal harmonies and whistle notes send the song to an incredible level.
Carey’s popularity and star-studded vocals lead this song to sell more than 16 million copies and has become a Christmas standard in American culture.
Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” is another Christmas standard that is perfect for when you need to wind down on your festivities. The slow tempo ballad and deeply pronounced vocals are perfect for truly simmering down and enjoying the moment, and it really allows you to reflect on this year and moments with your family.
While "White Christmas" has been covered by countless artists since its release, none of them reach the sentimentality and vibe of the original 1942 recording.
Allotting time to enjoy yourself is extremely important given the events of this year. It's easy to get caught up in anxiety and fear, but doing something as simple as playing wonderful Christmas songs is a simple way to create a happy and supportive environment.
These songs are both testaments to the importance of music in our lives and an indication of the power of a great recording. This December should be a positive month in our lives, and these songs help create a canvas for beautiful memories.