Ranking Holiday Songs


Photo by Kirstin Palasz

Left to right, Wham!’s Last Christmas, José Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad, Adam Sandler’s The Chanukah Song, Mariah Care’s All I Want For Christmas Is You

Kirstin Palasz and Mimi Osborne

Over the past few years, holiday songs have become increasingly popular among people of all ages; Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, and many other artists have become staples throughout the winter months. Despite having different tastes, music serves as a connection between people of varying ethnic and cultural backgrounds. At Lake Forest Academy, there is an extremely diverse student body; each individual brings a unique musical taste to the community. Therefore, the holiday songs listened to differ for each student. As everything in life is a competition, the holiday season does not fall short of this: seeing who has the brightest lights, flashiest decorations, jolliest spirit, and most importantly, the best holiday song. In order to determine what song is truly the best, a series of rigorous criteria were taken into consideration when judging the student body’s favorite songs. On a survey sent out school wide, with over 115 responses and 60 different songs, the top twelve were meticulously selected with regards to the following standards: if it is catchy, if it is overplayed, and, finally, if it makes the listener feel as if they are walking in a winter wonderland. Without further ado, the top twelve songs are as follows: 


1. All I want for Christmas is You: Mariah Carey 

To no avail, the most submitted song this holiday season is All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey. Eighteen people said that this was their most joyous song to listen to and, under expert review, is ranked 4/5 snowflakes. This song is catchy and teleports one into a beautiful winter wonderland; however, it is overplayed in most stores throughout the entirety of winter and, for this reason, is only given 4/5 snowflakes. 

2. White Christmas 

Bing Crosby’s White Christmasa song with no religious affiliationranked second with five student votes. This song is very catchy and upbeat, however has a very sorrowful backstory. The song was written to mourn the loss of his son and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, just three weeks prior. Though having melancholic lyrics, the beautiful and mellifluous tune gives this song 5/5 snowflakes. 

3. Feliz Navidad

Also with five student votes, is one of the most iconic Hispanic holiday songs: Feliz Navidad. Having an incredibly catchy melody and beat that one cannot help but tap their feet to, this well-crafted song earns 5/5 snowflakes. 

4. Silent Night 

Played in nearly every Christian church on Christmas Eve, Silent Night is one of the most soothing and euphonious songs played during the holiday season. One student even noted that the song is best played during the midnight candle service. However, for the amount this song is played, it earns 4/5 snowflakes. 

5. Last Christmas: Wham!

Having over 750,000 digital downloads, Last Christmas by Wham! is one of the most well-known songs for the holiday season. The iconic chorus allows for people of all ages to sing along and simply bask in the winter glory (most likely whilst sipping on a hot chocolate). The overplayed nature of this song, similarly, gives it a mere 4/5 snowflakes. 

6. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Few things beat the dulcet sounds of child Christmas carolers: hot chocolate, snow, and the melodious sound of Michael Bublé. His song Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is one of the most played songs during the holiday season, topping over one million streams each year. Its elegant nature truly makes one feel as if they are in NYC, watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. However, its high play count gives the song 4/5 snowflakes. 

7. Baby It’s Cold Outside 

Place yourself in Gimbel’s Department Store bathroom early in the morning as Buddy the Elf sings along in this unforgettable scene from one of the most famous Christmas movies of all time: Elf. Baby It’s Cold Outside creates the chilly feeling that makes the taste of hot chocolate fill the mouth. With its catchiness and the fact that this song is not overplayed, it earns a high ranking. Although not ranked in the top 5 of LFA students, the song has earned 5/5 snowflakes that will absolutely bring the holiday spirit. 

8. The Christmas Song: Nat King Cole

Although the name might deceive, this is one of the most famous Christmas songs of all time and will transport you into holiday spirit any time of the year. With only four students claiming this as the best Christmas song, it earns 4/5 snowflakes. The song is well-crafted and will make you feel the warmth of winter fire, but the song lacks that catchiness that many Christmas tunes leave stuck within the mind.

9. The Chanukah Song: Adam Sandler

This song has an unexpected loveliness that is sure to bring a smile to any face. Its originality is truly what makes the song bring the spirit of Hanukkah to any listener. The song has been rewarded with 4/5 snowflakes as it is very catchy with its various rhymes, but falls short at truly transporting a listener into the holiday spirit. After all, who knew Adam Sandler could sing?


10. Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Played in numerous Christmas movies, Santa Claus is Coming to Town is one of the most popular songs seen throughout the holiday season. No song can compare to the excitement that it brings to children on Christmas Eve. This song has been rewarded with 3/5 snowflakes as it is sure to stick in the mind, however it is very overplayed. During any time in the year, this song will transport the listener into a holiday state of mind with the image of placing cookies out for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. If this song doesn’t make you believe in Santa Claus, nothing will.

11. Mistletoe: Justin Bieber 

Stand under the Mistletoe and get a quick kiss. Justin Bieber is sure to get listeners into the holiday spirit with one of the most catchy Christmas songs. Earning a spot on Billboard’s Hot Digital Songs, the song will have listeners singing out for days. However, with its spot on the charts, it is simply too overplayed earning the song 4/5 snowflakes. 

12. Jingle Bell Rock

Once again, Jingle Bell Rock is seen across various Holiday movies that is sure to get listeners into the holiday spirit. The originality of the songs separating from the classic Christmas trees and Santa Claus, brings any listener into a holiday mood. Although only 2 students found this to be their favorite Christmas song, it receives 4/5 snowflakes because it is underplayed and has a stand-out rhythm that will leave listeners singing “that’s the jingle bell rock” everyday during the holiday season.