But just in case you’ve realized it’s Christmas Eve and you don’t have a sweet Christmas playlist to listen to while you open presents tomorrow, I’ve got you covered.
Best Version of a Song I Normally Can’t Stand: Last Christmas, Jimmy Eat World
I don’t know why I hate this song so hard, but I’ve never liked it. Until I heard this version and thought, “Hey, that’s kind of catchy.” Damn you, Jimmy Eat World.
Best Medley: Angelic Proclamation, BarlowGirl
A Christmas medley! It’s all your favorite Christmas songs mashed together in the most amazing possible way. For best results, belt it out as loudly as you can in your car.
Best Duet, If You Can Get Past the Rape-y Lyrics: Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Glee Cast Version)
These guys can sing, man. This is, hands-down, the creepiest, most rape-y Christmas song ever written (“Hey, what’s in this drink?”) but if you can get past that, this is a really nice, kinda jazzy duet.
Best A Capella Christmas Song: Carol of the Bells, Pentatonix
I discovered the Pentatonix Christmas album last year, and this year they have a new one. I think about half of my Christmas playlist is Pentatonix. They’re amazing and everything they do makes me wish SO BADLY that I could sing.
Best Christmas Song by a Boy Band: The First Noel, N’SYNC
I’m a die-hard N’SYNC fan and I say that completely un-ironically. Their Christmas album is fantastic, and I also mean that un-ironically. It’s Justin Timberlake and 5-part harmony; how can you go wrong? Runner-up: Anything from the 98° Christmas album. I love me some late 90s pop.
Best Version of My Favorite Christmas Song Ever: 12-Way Tie
O Holy Night is indisputably the best Christmas song ever, and everyone has a different version on their own Christmas album. I can’t pick just one (there are at least six on my playlist), but Jewel, Third Day, N’SYNC and 98° (obviously!), and Point of Grace all have really nice versions.
Most Likely to Make Me Cry: Where Are You, Christmas?, Faith Hill
No I’m not crying, I just have something in my eye. GODDAMMIT FAITH I ALMOST KEPT IT TOGETHER THAT TIME.
Best Song with Made-up Words: Welcome Christmas, Glee Cast version
FA-WHO FOOOOOOOO-RAY, DA-WHO DOOOOOOOOOO-RAY. Don’t even pretend you don’t want to grab hands with the person standing next to you and sway in solidarity around a giant Christmas tree.
Most Disturbing Christmas Song But You Don’t Even Know It: Winter White Hymnal, Pentatonix
The first time I heard this song I got caught up in the harmonies and didn’t pay too much attention to what they were singing. The second time through I thought I must have heard wrong. And then I looked up the lyrics, and, huh…that’s odd. “I was following the pack / all swallowed in their coats / with scarves of red tied ’round their throats / to keep their little heads / from falling in the snow / and I turned round and there you go / and Michael you would fall / and turn the white snow red as strawberries in the summertime.” Oh…um…ok then. Beautiful song, weird lyrics.
Best Instrumental Christmas Song: Christmas Eve in Sarajevo, Trans-Siberian Orchestra
This is just such a fun song. Everything they do is awesome.
Best Alternative Christmas Song: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings, Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan
It’s got a fun beat AND it’s a medley. WIN WIN. If I ever did Christmas karaoke (is that even a thing?) I would totally pick this song.
Weirdest Christmas Song: Merry Christmas Darling, The Carpenters
“Logs on the fire fill me with desire.” Enough said. Weirdo.
Best Mash-Up: The 12 Days of Christmas, Straight No Chaser
Such a fun song. Just give it a listen if you haven’t already.
Best Electronic (?) Song: The First Noel, TobyMac feat. Owl City
I’m not quite sure what genre this falls under, so we’re just going to go with “electronic.” Definitely not your standard Christmas fare, especially with a rap breakdown in the middle of the song.
Best Christmas Song That’s Really About Something Else: This Gift, 98°
The first time my middle-school self realized this song was about a guy proposing to his girlfriend it was like POW mind blown (doesn’t take much when you’re 12). And then it was ALL THE FEELS, because, obviously: 13-year-old girl. PROPOSE TO ME NICK LACHEY.
Song So Annoying It Should Never Be On Any Playlist, EVER: Dominic the Donkey
I’m not even going to link to this one. If you go to the trouble of finding it, you deserve to have that godawful earworm stuck in your head forever. I’m serious, guys: this song is the WORST. And not even in a “so-bad-it’s-good” kind of way. NO. Do not believe that nonsense.
And here’s my playlist in its entirety if you’d like to take a peek at the whole thing. What’s the best version of your favorite Christmas song?