Happy holidays! Originally, this post was going to highlight my top 5 favorite holiday songs until I started looking and realized there was no way I could keep it to only 5. So, here’s a bunch of my favorites that no matter how many times they play, I never get tired of hearing them.

“A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives

Written by Johnny Marks in 1965 who was responsible for many holiday songs we all know and love.

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams

Also, covered by artists such as Johnny Mathis, Garth Brooks, Patti LaBelle, and Harry Connick Jr., who can’t smile when they hear Andy’s original version being played on the radio?

“Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson

Leroy Anderson had the original idea for the piece during a heat wave in July 1946 and finished the work in February 1948. The original recordings were instrumental versions. The lyrics, about riding in a sleigh and other fun wintertime activities, were written by Mitchell Parish in 1950.

“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney

Including royalties from cover versions, it was estimated in 2010 that Paul makes $400,000 a year from this song, which puts its cumulative earnings at over $15 million.

“Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy

Written by Randy Brooks, the song was originally performed by the husband-and-wife duo of Elmo and Patsy Trigg Shropshire in 1979.

“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid

Written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia, the song includes vocals by mega-stars Sting, Bono, George Michael and Phil Collins.

“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” by Bruce Springsteen

Recorded live at C. W. Post College in Brookville, New York on December 12, 1975, this version borrows the chorus refrain from the 1963 version by The Crystals, although it’s definitely my favorite version of this 1934 J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie song.

“Last Christmas” by Wham!

As folklore has it, “Last Christmas” had its beginnings in 1984, while George and bandmate Andrew Ridgeley were visiting Michael’s parents. It was written by Michael in his childhood bedroom. As this writing, the music video has received over 500 million views on the official Wham! YouTube channel.

To be continued next December with more of my Christmas favorites. Wishing you the happiest of holidays and all my best in 2020!

My Favorite Holiday Songs During the Christmas Season