Winter Playlist: Pop Christmas Favorites

Once Thanksgiving passes and December 1st rolls around, the Christmas spirit is in full swing. Freeform (aka the new ABCfamily) begins playing all of your favorite holiday movies on rotation and all of your neighbors start digging out their Christmas lights. At this point, it also becomes socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music without anyone telling you “it’s too early!” Between classic favorites and versions by today’s artists, there’s always a perfect song to get you into the Christmas mood.


Here are some of my favorites to add to your list to help kick off the season:



    No matter what your opinion of Justin Bieber may be, there is no denying that his Christmas albums is definitely a hit. “Mistletoe,” the lead single off of the album, serves as Justin’s take on the Christmas love song. With lyrics like “I should be playin' in the winter snow, but I'ma be under the mistletoe, with you,” you’ll want to spend your cold winter nights by a fire with a significant other. Though “Drummer Boy” is an old Christmas classic, the Busta Rhymes feature on Justin’s version gives it its current day vibe. Those who are familiar with the song are lying if they say they haven’t tried to tackle the rap star’s verse.



    Okay, I know everyone is familiar with this song, but it needed to be included for obvious reasons. I don’t think any Christmas song will ever top this Mariah Carey classic from her album Merry Christmas. As soon as you here the intro of this song, there is no doubt that your inner diva comes alive for the next four minutes. This will always be a song that you are required to belt at the top of your lungs, with over the top pointing every time she sings the line “all I want for Christmas is you, you, baby.” It’s a must.



    Ariana Grande is another artist whose songs require you to belt them out at the top of your lungs. In 2014, she released “Santa Tell Me,” a song along the same lines as “Last Christmas,” featuring her classic killer vocals. The track acts as a plead to Santa to help her avoid making another love mistake during the holiday season, with lines like “Santa tell me if you're really there, don’t make me fall in love again, If he won't be here next year.” It’s also one of the cutest holiday music videos, featuring Grande and her pals goofing off in their best Christmas gear. 



    If you were a big Disney Channel fan like me in the early 2000s, then you’ll definitely remember when Hilary Duff was TV royalty. However, as Christmas rolls around each year, it seems like most people forget that she released a Christmas album in 2002. I will admit that I have a physical copy of the CD that I pull out every year to blast in my car, no shame. “Santa Claus Lane” is the title track from the album and it chronicles Duff’s journey to the perfect Christmas wonderland. The catchy beat and fun lyrics will make you want to take your own trip to Santa Claus Lane. It was also feature on The Santa Clause 2 soundtrack. Another track off the album is “Tell Me a Story” featuring Lil Romeo. Although the collaboration may seem a little odd, it represents everything that the early 2000s were about. The track narrates Lil Romeo’s own version of the story ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, with Duff bringing in the chorus.



    Sister duo Aly & AJ were also Disney royalty in the 2000s. They released their own Christmas album in 2006 called Acoustic Heart of Winter which features “Greatest Time of Year” as the opening track. The sisters put their pop rock flair on this classic Christmas tune, making you want to rock the guitar in your own girl band. Like Duff’s single “Santa Claus Lane,” Aly & AJ’s track was featured in The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.

Mika Matias