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25 Christmas Party Songs for Your Holiday Playlist

Sara is not a huge fan of the 3 months of Xmas, but she is very passionate about music. She also enjoys making lists and spreading cheer.

Check out this eclectic holiday playlist!

Check out this eclectic holiday playlist!

The Merriest Playlist of All

Looking for some Christmas music that won't put you to sleep? Here is an excellent mix of songs for a holiday party, with plenty of selections to dance to. Your guests won't feel as if they are in church or sitting around at an old folks' home.

Some of these songs are originals, some of them are more traditional and have been covered by artists from different genres, and some of them are classics that have been remade. They range from slow, fast, and somewhere in between, so there's a good mix to keep the vibe upbeat without being too wild. The moods range from cheery to silly to heartwarming. Not all of the tunes are specifically Christmas ("The Chanukah Song"), but none of them are boring.

1. "Christmas is the Time to Say 'I Love You'" (Billy Squier)

If you have fond memories of the '80s, this video is sure to make you feel nostalgic, as it's filled with big hair, ugly sweaters, and some of the original MTV VJs, not to mention enough genuine and unabashed good cheer to make you wonder what was going on behind the scenes in this 1981 video.

2. "Merry Christmas, Baby" (Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band)

Originally recorded in 1947, this song has been covered by everyone from Chuck Berry to Melissa Etheridge. Here's The Boss and his E Street Band giving a great 2002 live performance on Conan O'Brien's show.

3. "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" (U2)

This is the 1987 U2 version, but the song was originally recorded by Darlene Love in the early 1960s. (She later sang backup on the U2 version, though.) In 2011, Mariah Carey also did a cover. Darlene Love's version is featured in the movie Gremlins as the opening credits roll.

4. "Wonderful Christmastime" (Paul McCartney)

Originally recorded in 1979, this one has been covered by an array of artists in subsequent years, but nobody does it better than Sir Paul McCartney. The video is pretty weird, but that was how most music videos were; the weirder, the better.

5. "Little Saint Nick" (The Beach Boys)

Released in early December of 1963, this song is about Santa and his sled, the little St. Nick. Maybe it's just conditioning, but when you listen to the Beach Boys, it magically feels like summer is in full swing.

6. "Christmas All Over Again" (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)

Petty informs us that "Christmas is a rocking time," and he's right; it doesn't have to be stuffy and boring, which is what this list is all about. There's a touch of realism in the lyrics in reference to relatives not seen in a long time, "Yeah, I kind of missed them, I just don't want to kiss them." Yeah, we know the feeling, Tom.

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7. "Jingle Bell Rock" (Hall & Oates)

The song was made popular by Bobby Helms after its release in 1957. Daryl Hall and John Oates produced a fantastic cover, but this is one of the goofiest videos I've ever seen. Watch at your own risk.

8. "Rock and Roll Christmas" (George Thorogood and the Destroyers)

Here's a fast, lively number that's perfect when everyone has fallen into a lull. The title pretty much sums it up; you can't go wrong with this one. It was released in the early '80s, but it's George Thorogood, so it's got some bite to it rather than having that gratuitous 1980s sound.

9. "Merry Christmas, Everybody" (Slade)

This 1973 number is full of optimism and good cheer, although it's not a good one to dance to. It doesn't have a fast beat, yet it's not quite slow enough for a slow dance. No matter, it helps add the right ambience to any x-mas party.

10. "All I Want for Christmas is You" (Foghat)

Not to be confused with the popular 1994 Mariah Carey carol or the Vince Vance and the Valiants ditty of the same title; although all three are worth a listen, they are completely different songs. The Foghat carol is fast-paced and carefree.

11. "The Chanukah Song" (Adam Sandler)

A fun way to be a little more inclusive of other faiths (okay, well, at least one other faith) during the holiday season, "The Chanukah Song" has parts I, II, and III, each with slightly different lyrics and celebrity name dropping. Here is part one, which was originally part of a Saturday Night Live skit from 1994.

12. "Please Come Home for Christmas" (Eagles)

Good for a slow dance, this one is not exactly cheerful. His baby's gone, he has no friends, he's got the blues, you know how it is. Originally released in 1960 by Charles Brown, it has been covered by the likes of John Bon Jovi, B.B. King, and Edgar & Johnny Winter. I chose the 1978 Eagles single for this list because it's the prettiest.

13. "Snoopy's Christmas" (The Royal Guardsmen)

This nostalgic 1967 song tells the story of how Snoopy flew out to fight the bloody Red Baron. It turns out to have a happy ending, because . . . well, x-mas magic. Good will to man, and all that stuff.

14. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (Brenda Lee)

A good song to dance to for all ages; this one is not fast, but it has a good beat to it. It's very cheerful and will put everyone in a good mood. Especially if they've been into the eggnog.

15. "Run, Rudolph, Run" (Chuck Berry)

Run Rudolph Run is a tribute to everyone's favorite reindeer. It was released by Berry in 1958 and later covered by a plethora of other artists. However, Chuck Berry is the master, and he got it right the first time.

16. "Mele Kalikimaka" (Jimmy Buffet)

Written in 1949, the song inspired cover versions by numerous artists over the years. It's only fitting that Jimmy Buffet would cover a tune with a title translating to "Merry Christmas" in Hawaiian.

17. "The Little Drummer Boy" (Bob Seger)

Written in 1941, this one has been covered so many times I could write an entire article on all of the artists who have recorded it. This is the only version of this song I've ever fallen in love with. What an awesome voice!

18. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (Bob and Doug McKenzie, 1982)

Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas were the McKenzie brothers, and their spoof of this song is too silly not to elicit at least a few smiles.

19. "2000 Miles" (The Pretenders)

Possibly the prettiest song on the playlist, this is perfect for a slow dance. It was released in the early 1980s, and it's a bit of an unexpected gem from The Pretenders.

20. "Christmas Blues" (Canned Heat)

Yes, it's another lonely-at-Christmas, missing-my-baby ditty. It's just so good, though, it has to be included. Don't play the blues songs back to back, and everything will work out alright.

21. "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" (John Lennon and Yoko Ono)

Has anyone ever listened to this and not felt emotional? While acknowledging that "the world is so wrong," it's filled with so much hope and positivity.

22. "White Christmas" (The Drifters)

Bing Crosby's version of this was probably the most popular, and the song dates back to 1942 with the original Irving Berlin score. I chose the 1954 update by the Drifters to add some doo-wop flavor to the mix. It's a fun number to sing along to.

23. "Step Into Christmas" (Elton John)

Here is another ultra-cheery, positive carol that you can dance to. It was released in 1973. Give it a listen, and see if it doesn't brighten your mood.

24. "Thank God It's Christmas" (Queen)

This is a Queen original, written by Brian May and Roger Taylor, and it is a beautiful song. It's perfect for a slow dance, and it's not about being lonely or depressed.

25. "Santa Claus and His Old Lady" (Cheech & Chong)

While not quite as silly as Bob & Doug's "12 Days of Christmas," this isn't so much a song as it is Cheech Marin telling Tommy Chong the story of Santa and his wife. It's an excellent choice to end a playlist because it leaves everyone with a smile on their faces.

Happy Holidays!

Even if you don't use them for your own playlist, I hope you at least enjoyed listening to the songs and watching the videos. It's a pretty good mix for alternating the pace and mood of your holiday party.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

© 2011 Sara Krentz

If you want to leave a comment, this is the place to do so:

myspace9 on December 27, 2012:

super songs and a wonderful lens. Thank you so much for liking one of my lenses.

VspaBotanicals on December 22, 2012:

Super songs here.

Sara Krentz (author) from USA on November 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Ah, how could I forget Stevie Nicks? I've added Silent Night to a link list that can be added on to. Thank you for visiting my lens : )

anonymous on November 07, 2012:

You have one of my favorite songs on here - The Little Drummer Boy and I love Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band's version better than anyone else's. One that I don't see on here is Silent Night by Stevie Nicks, which would be my second all-time favorite Christmas song. There is something really magical about listening to Christmas music, although by the end of December I have usually had enough of

Takkhis on November 06, 2012:

Really nice songs and they suit for Christmas.

Two Crafty Paws on November 03, 2012:

Festive list :) Jingle Bell Rock is my fav. Just a little bit longer and these will come in handy.

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