Over the years there have been so many Christmas songs that I have enjoyed and that added special meaning to the holidays. When I sat down to compile this list I had envisioned doing my favorite 40, then 50, then 60. I finally had to stop at 65 so that I could finish the list and go enjoy the songs!
So here is a countdown of my favorite Christmas songs of all time – all 65 of them!
65. “Joy to the world”– Patty Loveless.
64. “Merry Christmas Darling”– The Carpenters.
63. “Happy New year” – Abba.
62. “Christmas times a comin'”– Rhonda Vincent. A country/bluegrass classic done well by Rhona Vincent, the premier female bluegrass vocalist today.
61. “Santa got lost in Texas” – Michael Landon. In addition to being a great actor (and tear-jerker), Michael Landon could sing very well. This is a nice little song from the Bonanza Christmas album.
60. “The most wonderful time of the year“ – Andy Williams. A few years back Staples used this song in a back to school commercial showing a Dad ecstatic that his children were going back to school.
59. “My favorite things”– Julie Andrews. Herb Alpert and the We Five both did very nice covers of this song.
58. “Little Drummer Boy”– Harry Simone Chorale.
57. “Mr. Santa“ – Suzy Bogguss. A very clever song done to the tune of Mr. Sandman, the Chordettes big hit from 1954.
56. “Feliz Navidad“ – Jose Feliciano.
55. “Frosty the Snowman“ – Jimmy Durante. Those silly snowmen. When they come to life they don’t know nothin’.
54. “Jingle Bells”– Brian Setzer Orchestra. A great Christmas dance tune from the former lead singer of the Stray Cats.
53. “Happy Holiday”– Percy Faith. For those who remember “elevator” music, this was a popular song during the holidays. By the way, there is NOTHING wrong about liking elevator music. Some of it is great!
52. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” – Bing Crosby. What were the popular gifts of yester-year? A pair of hop-a-long boots and a pistol that shoots for the boys and a doll that would talk and go for a walk for the girls.
51. “Peppermint Stick Parade” – Bobby Vinton. This is a great song that few people have probably heard. It should definitely be in your Christmas playlist.
50. “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”– Rhonda Vincent.
49. “Here we come a-caroling”– Ray Conniff. Speaking of some great elevator music…
48. “The Christmas Waltz” – Frank Sinatra. While I am not a huge fan of Sinatra, he did do some great Christmas music.
47. “Jingle Bell rock”– Bobby Helms.
46. “Sleigh Ride” – Leroy Anderson.
45. “Winter Wonderland”– Andrew Sisters. A great tune from what I consider to be THE BEST girl group of all time.
44. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” – Gene Autry. Although this song was recorded in 1949, Rudolph’s creation came about as an ad campaign for Montgomery Ward’s department store ten years earlier in 1939. You can find more information on it here:
43. “Christmas Is A-Comin’ (May God Bless You)” – Lorne Greene. A humorous song from the Bonanza Christmas soundtrack. The Cartwrights knew how to throw a great Christmas party!
42. “Because it’s Christmas”– Barry Manilow. The man who wrote the songs the whole world sings also did some great Christmas music. This song reminds us of being a child at Christmas.
41. “White Christmas”– Bing Crosby.
40. “Up on the housetop” – Gene Autry.
39. “The most wonderful time of the year” – From the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Soundtrack. Sung by the toys on the Island of Misfit Toys. I am still trying to figure out exactly what was “misfit” about the dolly named Sue.
38. “Chipmunk song” – Chipmunks. Hula Hoops were all the rage in 1958 when this song was released. Did you know that Alvin, Simon, and Theodore were named after Liberty executives Alvin Bennett, Simon Waronker, and Theodore Keep?
37. “Linus and Lucy“ – Vince Guraldi.
36. “Santa Clause is watching you” – Ray Stevens. How can you not like a song featuring Clyde the Camel substituting for Rudolph (who was all stowed up in the hospital after dislocating his hip in a twist contest).
35. “I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus” – Brenda Lee. Cute song recorded in 1956.
34. “Jingle Bells” – Bing Crosby with the Andrew Sisters. Combining the talent of Bing Crosby with the Andrew Sisters was a stroke of genius.
33. “A cradle in Bethlehem”– Nat King Cole.
32. “Hark! The herald angel sings”– Jewel.
31. “Silent Night“– Bing Crosby. Several years ago I heard one of the live broadcast Bing Crosby did for our troops during WW2 and he ended with this song. It was very moving.
30. “Same old Lang syne“ – Dan Fogelberg. This song is a classic tearjerker but once it starts it’s hard to pull yourself away from it. The line that is the killer is when he sings “And as I turned to make my way back home, the snow turned into rain.”
29. “Santa clause is coming to town”– Frank Sinatra.
28. “We need a little Christmas”– Percy Faith.
27. “We are the reason” – David Meece. A wonderful song that reminds us that WE are the real reason for the season and for whom Christ was born.
26. “The Marvelous Toy”– Peter, Paul, and Mary. “It went ‘zip’ when it moved and ‘bop’ when it stopped, and ‘whirr’ when it stood still. I never knew just what it was and I guess I never will.” As a kid I always tried to imagine what this toy looked like!
25. “Toyland” – Perry Como. Wouldn’t we all like to be kids again and visit toyland?
24. “Do you hear what I hear?” – Bing Crosby. Great song and I love the “Arabian” feel to this version.
23. “The Newborn King” – Pernell Roberts. In my opinion, Pernell Roberts could have had a great career as a singer had he focused on it. This is a great song and great vocals.
22. “Snoopy’s Christmas”– Royal Guardsmen. Be honest. When you hear this song, don’t you imagine Snoopy on his doghouse flying through the skies chasing the Red Baron? I do!
21. “Stille Nacht (Silent Night)” – Mannheim Steamroller.
20. “Holly Jolly Christmas”– Burl Ives. I remember this was included on one of the Firestone Christmas albums. Remember them?
19. “Away in a manger”– Andy Griffith & Elinor Donahue. Beautifully done from the classic Andy Griffith Show Christmas episode. I can still see ol’ Ben Weaver singing along.
18. “O Holy Night” – Michael Crawford (or Josh Groban). Both versions are the same arrangement and done very well.
17. “Christmastime is here”– Vince Guraldi. “Christmastime is here. Happiness and cheer.” What more could you ask for? The soundtrack for the Charlie Brown Christmas is a masterpiece, thanks to Vince Guraldi.
16. “Rockin’ around the Christmas tree” – Brenda Lee.
15. “Mele Kalikimaka” – Bing Crosby. Some nice Hawaiian Christmas music.
14. “Christmas is” – Jack Jones. This songs always makes me think of Christmas as a kid for some reason.
13. “Wonderful Christmastime”– Paul McCartney. A great Christmas party tune.
12. “Christmas Eve Sarajevo”– Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
11. “Believe” – Josh Groban.
10. “Morningtown ride to Christmas” – Seekers. This song was originally a hit for them simply as “Morningtown Ride” but the Seekers added Christmas lyrics to it. A great song from one of the best folk bands of all time.
9. “The Christmas Song”– Nat King Cole. It’s not really Christmas until this song comes on the radio.
8. “White Christmas”– Jose Feliciano. An awesome instrumental of Bing Crosby’s classic on a Spanish guitar. Jose Feliciano’s Christmas album is phenomenal.
7. “Have yourself a Merry little Christmas”– The Walton Sisters – Mary Ellen, Aaron, Elizabeth and Toni (she must have been in the Walton movies). These girls can sing! This is the best version of this song I have heard.
6. “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” – Gayla Peevey. One of the greatest novelty songs of all time. It was recorded in 1953 when Gayla was 10 years old. More information can be found on it here:
5. “Here comes Santa Clause” – Gene Autry. A classic that I never grow tired of hearing. I love the background “bop bop” voices.
4. “Still her little child” – Ray Boltz. A powerful tune about our Lord and Savior’s birth. life and ultimate sacrifice on the cross for us.
3. “O Holy Night” – Johnny Mathis. What I love about this version of the song is that Johnny sings the song in his own steady way. He does not attempt to oversing it as so many artists do (especially Celine Dion, who can’t sing a song without YELLING). In doing so, he masters the vocals and makes it sound heavenly – as he always does on all his songs.
2. “Ring Christmas Bells”– Ray Conniff. You wouldn’t think of the Ray Conniff singers doing a “powerful” Christmas song but this one is. “Ring Christmas bells, merrily ring, tell all the world Jesus is King.” Amen.
1. “Christmas Canon”– Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This arrangement is simply brilliant, taking a classical music piece and weaving it into a Christmas song. The children’s voices are heavenly. This has become my all time favorite Christmas song.