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Best Christmas songs throughout the years

“Last Christmas” by Wham!, released in 1984, along with “Santa Baby,” “Feliz Navidad,” “White Christmas,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” and “All I Want for Christmas is You” are all popular Christmas songs for the season. Photo courtesy of Vevo/Youtube.

You might have already heard some Christmas songs on the radio station, through someone else, or maybe you are the one who is already getting in the spirit. 

As November is almost halfway done, that means that the Christmas season is getting closer.  

That being said, the music and tunes you hear once a year are coming back again, and before Christmas comes, let us rank some songs of the holiday season.  

 “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt  

Starting the list is an iconic song of the holiday season. Released in 1953, “Santa Baby” found success inside and outside of the U.S., topping charts in multiple countries. 

Initially, the song was deemed too suggestive for Christmas by certain critics, and was even temporarily banned from radio stations in the Southern U.S. However, it has been covered by multiple artists since then, including Madonna and Ariana Grande, and is recognized as one of the best Christmas songs of all time. Kitt’s light and playful voice, set with an orchestra background, combines to make it one of the most memorable songs. 

“Last Christmas” by Wham!  

It would seem impossible if you went up to someone and they said they did not know this next song. 

A synthpop hit from the ‘80s, “Last Christmas,” not only brings the Christmas feeling, but also brings heartache. Even though it just made it to the number one spot on the UK’s top singles chart in 2020, it has always been an unforgettable song of the season.   

Lyrically, it is probably the saddest song on the list, but that should not discourage you from listening. If you are going through tough times with a loved one during the holidays, then this is the song for you.  

“Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano   

The only entry on this list with a phrase in another language. “Feliz Navidad” is not only something commonly said during the holidays, but it is also one of the catchiest songs made for Christmas by a member of the Latinx community. Released in 1970, Feliciano, a Puerto Rican musician, wrote the song with his family in mind, as they were in New York City while he was in Los Angeles. A tune wishing a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, this song would become one of the most downloaded and played Christmas songs in the United States and Canada.  

“White Christmas” by Bing Crosby   

It is featured in dozens of Christmas movies and was originally for the musical film, “Holiday Inn.”  

“White Christmas,” or the version sung by Bing Crosby at least, is a staple of the Christmas season. Written by Irving Berlin, this song is the oldest on the list, with its first performance by Crosby being in 1941 Christmas Day, a few weeks after the Pearl Harbor Attack. Crosby’s version is the best-selling version of the Christmas song, having estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide.  

With a calm voice and soothing background vocals, this song makes you want to cover up with a warm blanket and sip hot chocolate.  

“A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives  

Now, this Christmas song ranking would not be complete without this iconic track. Released in 1965, “A Holly Jolly Christmas” was the title track in Ives’ Christmas album, released at the same time.  

With a mixed-gender chorus and, quite literally, a holly jolly vocal performance by Ives, this song makes you feel like a kid again waiting for Christmas day.  

Before we get to the best song on this ranking, we have some honorable mentions. People who responded to polls posted by The Prospector on Instagram said Chris Brown’s version of “This Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” and “Doughnut,” by K-pop girl group Twice are perfect for the season.  

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

You knew we would reach this point in the list eventually, and here it is. It should be common knowledge at this point, after this song has been certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and topped the charts in 26 countries at the time of its release in 1994, “All I Want for Christmas is You” is one of, if not the, most memorable and iconic music releases of all time.  

It is highly unlikely that anyone will not recognize this upbeat-tempo and exciting song.  

Taking inspo from a variety of musical genres, this song is a perfect blend of modern-day genres that take you for a ride during the Christmas season.  

Elisha Nunez is a staff reporter and may be reached through [email protected] 


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About the Contributor
Elisha Nuñez
Elisha Nuñez, Staff Reporter
Elisha Nuñez is a multimedia journalism student with a minor in marketing at the University of Texas at El Paso.  He works as a reporter for The Prospector, and loves to write about arts, culture, and people. This semester, he wishes to do more freelance work for publications in and outside of El Paso. After graduation, he would like to experience multiple positions at different places, and even has plans for continuing his current education outside of the U.S.
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Best Christmas songs throughout the years