Dust off your Christmas playlist, connect to the Bluetooth speakers, and put it on max because it’s time to play all the holiday songs in full blast. If you want to add some new tunes to your playlist, we’ve got some picks for you.
Mariah Carey. Michael Bublé. Frank Sinatra. Pentatonix. These are all names synonymous with Christmas tunes. Songs like “Jingle Bells”, “Silent Night”, and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” are all songs you expect to hear during the holiday season. In fact, I’m betting all these songs and artists are on your Christmas playlist already.
And that’s why we won’t be talking about them. Don’t get us wrong, “All I Want For Christmas is You” remains a festive bop and Michael Bublé and Shania Twain’s “White Christmas” is iconic, but we’re here to give your holiday playlist new life with some lesser-known songs, or at least lesser-known versions of Christmas songs. Got your Spotify ready? Let’s go.
Add these lesser-known Christmas songs to your playlist—stat
“What Can You Get a Wookie For Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)?” by Meca Monardo
Nowadays, Star Wars is known for its festive Lego Christmas specials. But back in 1980, they actually released a full-fledged Christmas album. Anthony Daniels reprised his role as C-3PO and there are special “appearances” by R2-D2 and Chewbacca. The whole album is a joyous delight that puts a little “galaxy far, far away” in your Christmas, but my personal favourite is this song: What Can You Get a Wookie For Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)?
“Text Me Merry Christmas” by Straight No Chaser feat. Kristen Bell
Baby It’s Cold Outside is a classic Christmas duet (those of you who think it’s problematic can get out). But it’s the 2020s and we need a modern duet for the holidays. This is where acapella group Straight No Chaser comes in. They teamed up with Princess Anna herself, Kristen Bell, and gave us a Christmas duet for the 21st century that involves texting, selfies, and long-distance relationships—in other a words, a truly modern Christmas love story.
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Sam Smith
It’s a no-brainer that Sam Smith sings Christmas songs so it’s a travesty he hasn’t released a Christmas album as of yet. For now, you can put his iteration of this classic on repeat. It’s a song we’ve heard countless times before, but Sam’s soulful voice just gives it a little more oomph.
“Auld Lang Syne” by Leslie Odom Jr.
If you’ve watched Hamilton on Disney+ Hotstar or listened to the Original Broadway Cast recording, you know Leslie Odom Jr.’s vocal chops are no joke. The man’s velvety vocals are a thing of beauty, and while his performance as Aaron Burr is a masterclass, his Christmas record, aptly named The Christmas Album, is one that highlights just how vocally amazing he is. The album is replete with jazzy renditions of Christmas classics, but one that never fails to get me into a cosy and reflective Christmas mood is his rendition of Auld Lang Syne complete with a campfire ambient background.
“Home” by Blake Shelton feat. Michael Bublé
Michael Bublé’s Home is a song that hits right in the feels. Blake Shelton’s cover just multiplied that by five because that’s just what country songs do. But a Christmas version with both of them singing? Prepare to cry under your Christmas tree.
“Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses
Possibly the most popular least well-known Christmas song ever, this song is the perfect blend of indie rock and festive cheer. Released all the way back in 1982 by American New Wave band The Waitresses, it’s surprising that it might still be the most relatable Christmas song ever. “But all this year’s been a busy blur / Don’t think I have the energy.” Yeah, that’s definitely more relatable than “All is calm, all is bright.”
“Hark the Herald Angels Sing” by Hawk Nelson
The sound of early 2000s punk rock is one that brings a wave of nostalgia. Just look at the I’m Just a Kid trend on TikTok. So combining that sound with a classic Christmas carol is definitely a winning combo. Fortunately, Canadian rock band Hawk Nelson does just that with this Christmas classic. Who knew the word “hark” would make you want to headbang hard?
“Christmas in Hollis” by Run-DMC
American hip-hop group Run-DMC is iconic so their Christmas song definitely deserves a spot on your playlist. The song refers to a neighbourhood in Queens, which is actually where the group hails from. Christmas rap songs aren’t common (they definitely should be though) so this song is a special one. Fun fact: its music video was directed by a then-NYU film student and went on to win Rolling Stone’s Best Video of the Year award in 1987, which was a notable feat considering another video in the running was Michael Jackson’s Bad. Its director? Martin Scorcese.
“Vegetarian Christmas” by FEET
There’s lots of talk about turkey and honey-glazed ham around this season but hey, vegetarians celebrate Christmas too. This song asks a simple question: “What’s on your plate this Christmas?”, and tries to convince you to maybe try veggies for your festive feast—but you know, in a vibey indie band way and not in a let-me-throw-soup-on-this-painting way. Honestly, if there’s anything that will get you to eat vegetables on Christmas, it will most likely be this song.
Since we know it’s such a hassle to search these songs one by one, we’ve actually made a Spotify playlist for you. Hey, it’s the season of giving after all. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.