Christmas is by far my favorite holiday. I love everything about it. First and foremost, I enjoy celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. As Christian, you could say that I’m a super fan of celebrating Christ. But I also love going from store to store to buy gifts for loved ones. I love putting up the tree and all the decorations. I love the smell of my grandma’s stuffing and pies, my mom’s macaroni and cheese, my aunt’s cookies, and all the other food that will certainly have me working overtime in the gym. And of course there is the music.
I absolutely love listening to Christmas music. Each year shortly after Thanksgiving, my playlist changes to include some classic holiday hits from Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, and others. There are certain songs and artists I have to hear during the weeks between that Thanksgiving Thursday and December 25th. In fact, I have ten must-hear songs. See if your fav made my cut. FYI, trying to make a top ten list was hard for me. There are plenty of songs I love that didn’t make it on here.
- “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by the Jackson 5
Let this song be a precursor to the many Motown artists on this list. We all know that Motown is synonymous with the holidays. And where would we all be without this hit by little Mike and his brothers. Funny story, it took me a while to figure out that Santa was the dad. I know what you’re thinking, but I was young and just singing the words, and not analyzing the lyrics. One of those moments where my occasional lack of common sense back in the day outshined my book smarts. LOL.
- “Someday at Christmas” by Stevie Wonder
This isn’t the most upbeat of songs, but I like it nonetheless. It reminds me of the spirit of Christmas. Stevie has remade the track a few times, featuring a few artists, but I’ve actually liked each remake. Especially the one with Andra Day. This classic is definitely a holiday must.
- “O’ Come All Ye Faithful” by Luther Vandross
I don’t care what anyone says, Luther Vandross in my opinion is the BEST male vocalist to ever pick up a mic and sing r&b. EVER. In the words of Nene Leakes “I said what I said, and I ain’t changing.” As is the case, him making this list was inevitable. Out of all the Christmas tracks he’s recorded, I like this one the most because of the showcased talent of his runs and grandness of the choir and instruments. A must-hear for sure.
- “What Christmas Means to Me” by Stevie Wonder
It’s going to sound corny, but this song makes me want to do “the Carlton”. You know the dance made famous by Alfonso Ribeiro from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It just puts me in the most upbeat and jolly mood. If ever you needed a song to jumpstart your Christmas attitude, this is it.
- “O Holy Night” by Mariah Carey
Now I like a good soprano note. A lot. That one note that Mariah sings toward the end of the song alone earned it a spot on this list. Because of her, I don’t want to hear pop or r&b artist even attempt to sing this song if they can’t hit that note. And let’s face it, most people cannot. Something about hearing Mariah belt out this song gives me chills.
- “Mary Did You Know?” by India Arie, Joe Sample, and Gene Moore, Jr.
Out of all the songs on this list, this is probably the one that people may not be as familiar with. I could hype this track up til I’m blue in the face, but it’s best to check it out for yourself to see why I’m a fan of it.
- “Silent Night” by the Temptations
Now this oldie but goodie is one of Motown’s finest. It definitely isn’t Christmas if I haven’t heard it. It reminds me of when I was little in the kitchen with my grandma while she preparing Christmas dinner. She loves this song as much as I do. She used to have an old radio cassette player she used to play the song on. Precious times!
- “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey
How could this song not be on everyone’s list? It’s the number one selling Christmas song of all time. Heck, even if Mariah didn’t have her extensive catalog of music which includes hits like “One Sweet Day”, “Fantasy”, and “We Belong Together”, she could be bankrolled for the rest of her life on this holiday classic alone.
- “Joy to the World” by Whitney Houston
It can take you all day to go through all the recorded covers of “Joy to the World”. It seems like everybody and their mama has created their own version. However, since the moment I heard this rendition from the movie The Preacher’s Wife, and then immediately wore out the tape cassette of the movie soundtrack, I became a fan of the Houston performance. In fact, it’s the only cover I want to hear. No lie.
- “This Christmas” by Donny Hathaway
Hands down, this is my favorite Christmas song. And I prefer to hear the version recorded by its co-creator Donny Hathaway. I understand the song has been covered by Mary J., Chris Brown, and a host of others. But, I’ve yet to hear a rendition of the song that I like better than Donny’s, and I doubt I ever will. In fact, I wish people stop trying to sing it. It’s kind of like Whitney Houston singing “I Will Always Love You.” Yeah she may not have written the song, but we all know there is no one who sung it better.