Classic Christmas songs like “White Christmas,” “Silver Bells,” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” will always remain favorites of the season, but some new ones have cropped up over the last decade that are sure to become tomorrow’s standards.
There have been a few misses, most notably the modernized “woke” version of the 1953 Dean Martin classic, “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” with the lyrics changed to accommodate the age of #MeToo.
Today’s classics should always remain untouched, just as tomorrow’s should also.
Here is Newsmax’s list of the top 10 new Christmas songs of the last decade listed by release date. They’re songs that are sure to be considered tomorrow’s classics of the season.
1. “Oh Santa” (2010) by Mariah Carey is from her second Christmas album, “Merry Christmas II You,” and debuted at number 12 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and peaked at number one the following week and stayed there for four weeks.
It’s a plea to Santa, delivered in an upbeat tempo, to bring her boyfriend back to her in time for the Christmas holidays.
Referring to Carey as “the undisputed Queen of Christmas,” reviewer Mike Nied writes, “the festive release paid tribute to her earlier successes without directly replicating them. Making clever use of ringing bells and a sing-along chorus, Mimi seemed destined for another massive hit.”
2. “Christmastime” (2010) by pop group Wilson Phillips, is from their fourth studio album, “Christmas in Harmony.”
Written jointly by Chynna Phillips and Glen Ballard, it’s a joyful, upbeat song that highlights both the group’s spot-on perfect harmony as well as each lady’s individual solo performances.
3. “Grateful for Christmas” (2011) by Hayes Carll, was a selection from his fourth studio album KMAG YOYO (& other American Stories). Don’t let the album title throw you — it’s a military acronym for "Kiss My A** Guys, You’re on Your Own."
The song itself is a quirky, humorous tale of Christmas in his family, akin to Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant,” which has become something of a staple for Thanksgiving in many families.
Anna Pele for Rolling Stone calls it “A tender and funny sketch of a yuletide family gathering that doesn’t get too sentimental.” Examples include, “Dad and the TV are startin’ to fight,” and “I wish I had a drink or maybe a dozen/Lord, what I’d give for one good-lookin’ cousin.”
4. “Underneath the Tree” (2013) by Kelly Clarkson, was a cut from her first Christmas album, “Wrapped in Red,” and was written by Clarkson in collaboration with Greg Kurstin.
Like the modern-day Mariah Carey classic. “All I want For Christmas Is You,” it emphasizes that what makes the holiday season special is that “special someone” to share it with.
Slant magazine predicted the tune is “likely to become Clarkson's very own contemporary standard.”
5. "Santa Tell Me" (2014) by Ariana Grande, was released on Billboard’s Hot 100 List at 65 and later peaked at 42, but enjoyed much greater success internationally.
Robbie Daw, reviewing the song for Idolator, called it a "cute, harmless stocking stuffer that ticks all the necessary boxes, in that there’s classic instrumentation, a hummable chorus and lyrics that reflect a mixture of the festive season with the possibility of heartbreak at the holidays."
6. “A Willie Nice Christmas” (2016) by country singer Kacey Musgraves with Willie Nelson, is from her album “A Very Kacey Christmas.” This marked her first Christmas album, her third studio album and her sixth overall.
It’s a fun song filled with homages to the country legend’s own repertoire, including, “I'm going to wrap my presents up in red bandanas and leave some special cookies out for Santa. Throw my troubles to the wind till we're back on the road again.”
Says Ken Tucker for NPR, “You get the feeling that once she came up with the phrase, ‘a willie nice Christmas,’ it was only a matter of time before she put in a call to Willie Nelson to get his blessing and a backup vocal to put the finishing touches on this woozy tune about, quote, ‘staying higher than the angel on the top of the tree.’”
7. “You Make It Feel Like Christmas” (2017) by Gwen Stefani, is the title song of an album of the same name.
It has a catchy beat and Stefani sings with her real-life boyfriend, country artist Blake Shelton. It marked the second duet by the couple, the first being “Go Ahead and Break My Heart.”
Like most new Christmas-themed songs, it failed to make the Billboard Top 100, but nonetheless received critical acclaim.
8. “8 Days (of Hanukkah)” (2018) was released by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings on their album, “It’s A Holiday Soul Party.” While perhaps thousands of Christmas songs have been released over the years, this is one of the few that celebrates the Jewish festival of lights.
“8 Days (of Hanukkah)” is the opening track of the album, and provides a snappy explanation of each of the season’s days.
Says Ben Kaye, writing for Consequence of Sound, “It’s the kind of spot-on recounting of exactly what the Hanukkah experience is like and delivered with such soulful sincerity ('Talking about that menorah!') that you can’t help but laugh a little.”
9. “Like It’s Christmas” (2019) by the Jonas Brothers, was released in early November, and is the boy band’s third Christmas song of their career. It follows their 2007 contribution, “Girl of My Dreams,” to Disney Channel Holiday, and “Joyful Kings” for the album “All Wrapped Up” in 2008.
“You make every day feel like it’s Christmas; Never wanna stop,” Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas sing during the chorus. “Feeling like the first thing on your wish list; Right up at the top.”
Writes Brittany Spanos for Rolling Stone, “Over hand claps, the married JoBros tell a love story about how the people they’re with make it feel like the holiday season even when it’s not.”
10. "Make It To Christmas” (2019) by Alessia Cara reminds us that while the holidays are a joyous occasion for most, it can also be a lonely time when separated from those we love.
Reviewer EnJanae Taylor, writing for Reveille, calls it “a beautiful song about wanting a relationship to last until Christmas,” adding it “has a unique sound while still sounding like it’s made for the occasion.”
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