The 20 Best-Ever Christmas Songs—Ranked
With the Christmas season upon us, this is the perfect time to rank the top 20 Christmas songs of all time. See if you agree!
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Christmas music has evolved over time and the tunes are as popular as the holiday itself. Check out these Christmas songs to get you in the festive spirit. Think you know Christmas carols? This is the oldest Christmas carol that you may not know.
20. "Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms
This one turns up regularly in Christmas movies—and if you need to get in the spirit, there's nothing like Christmas movies filled with the best Christmas songs ever! First released by Bobby Helms in 1957, "Jingle Bell Rock" peaked at #29 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It was a play on the holiday standard "Jingle Bells" and the hit song "Rock Around The Clock," released a few years earlier in 1954. Over the years, the Christmas song gained massive popularity after appearing in hit movies, such as Jingle All The Way, Lethal Weapon, and Mean Girls. Check out the best Christmas movies for kids to get you in the holiday spirit.
19. "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano
Although the song was recorded in 1970, "Feliz Navidad" slowly gained popularity in the decades since. Believe it or not, the Christmas song didn't chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 until 1998. It was also covered by a number of top artists, such as Garth Brooks, Michael Bublé, and David Hasselhoff. You may know what "Feliz Navidad" means, but do you know what "Auld Lang Syne" means?
18. "Run Rudolph Run" by Chuck Berry
Written by Johnny Marks and Marvin Brodie, "Run Rudolph Run" was popularized by Chuck Berry in 1958, in the same year as his iconic hit "Johnny B. Goode." The Christmas song was also a hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Can you guess what the oldest Christmas carol is?
17. "Blue Christmas" by Elvis Presley
While the song was written in 1948, "Blue Christmas" wasn't popularized until Elvis Presley released his own version in 1957. Since then, it's been a rock and roll staple, as it was also covered by other recording artists, such as Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles, The Beach Boys, and Jon Bon Jovi.
16. "Christmas Time Is Here" by Vince Guaraldi Trio
When you're talking about classic Christmas movies, A Charlie Brown Christmas has to rank near the top. "Christmas Time Is Here" was written for the TV special by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi for the Vince Guaraldi Trio, and it became a hit due to the popularity of A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965. There's an instrumental version and vocal version (sung by a choir of children from St. Paul's Episcopal Church in San Rafael, California) of the song, as both versions create a sense of warmth and cheer for the holiday season. Check out the Christmas traditions from around the world to try out this year.
15. "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" by Alvin & The Chipmunks
In 1958, Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. wrote and performed (with three high-pitched chipmunk voices) "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" for fictional singing group Alvin and the Chipmunks. It later won three Grammy Awards, including Best Children's Recording and Best Comedy Performance.
14. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee
Your Christmas tree is the center of attention this time of year. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" was written by Johnny Marks for singer Brenda Lee, and it was first released in 1958. It sold over 25 million copies and appeared in a number of TV shows and movies, most notably Home Alone in 1990. Many recording artists have covered the Christmas song, such as Amy Grant, Cyndi Lauper, and Green Day. Learn the things your Christmas tree wishes it could tell you.
13. "Silent Night" by Bing Crosby
"Silent Night" is a very popular Christmas standard from composer Franz Xaver Gruber and lyricist Joseph Mohr in 1818. The song was written about a small town in Austria and popularized by Bing Crosby. In fact, his version of "Silent Night" is the third bestselling single in recorded music history.
12. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" by Jackson 5
The Jackson 5 released a Christmas album filled with holiday standards in 1970. From all of the songs recorded for the album, "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" was the biggest hit, as it peaked at #25 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Check out these heartwarming vintage letters to Santa from nearly 100 years ago.