The Current’s 2020 Holiday Playlist


Clay Turner, Arts and Entertainment Editor

With the holiday season quickly arriving, it’s a bummer that the most wonderful time of the year won’t be the same. Between missing extended family at holiday celebrations and the head-spinning back-and-forth between orange, yellow, modified yellow, and red modes, we all need our spirits lifted with a little festive music. So, here is a definitive ranking of my top ten holiday tunes that you should consider adding to your playlist this December.

  1. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” — Gene Autry

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” encourages us to celebrate our differences. Rudolph was ridiculed for the thing that set him apart from all the other reindeer, and that very rarity was what ended up working to his advantage. A perfect sing-along option, this one is a must for your holiday playlist.

  1. “Feliz Navidad” — José Feliciano

We all at one point learned the lyrics of “Feliz Navidad.” I think it’s safe to say that it will always have a soft spot in our hearts. Not to mention, it even taught me a little Spanish!

  1. “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” — Brenda Lee

Recorded when she was just thirteen years old, Brenda Lee has wowed generations with her hit song. As evidently shown in the 1990 film Home Alone, this tune is perfect for a holiday hop.

  1. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” — Frank Sinatra

A fun fact I guarantee you didn’t know is that this song was written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne in July 1945. amidst a Hollywood heatwave, caused by their longing for cooler conditions. Frank Sinatra’s collaboration with the Swanson Quartet is still quite worth a listen.

  1. “Jingle Bell Rock” — Bobby Helms

When “Jingle Bell Rock” starts playing, it’s pretty difficult to keep yourself from singing and dancing along.

  1. “Sleigh Ride” — Leroy Anderson/The Andrew Sisters

First written as an orchestral piece in 1948 with lyrics added two years later by Mitchell Parish, “Sleigh Ride” is one of the more fast-paced holiday songs. This song celebrates the wonderful winter upon us and details the endless possibilities that come with it.

  1. “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” — The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5’s take on this holiday classic is possibly the most notable of all. T3. 

  1. “Underneath the Tree” — Kelly Clarkson

While I am well aware that there are individuals who aren’t into recent holiday songs, I couldn’t in good conscience go without adding this one to the lineup. In one of the most upbeat and cheerful Christmas songs, Kelly Clarkson reminds us that it isn’t the material things that are of utmost importance and that someone’s presence can mean so much more than their presents. 

  1. “Last Christmas” — Wham!

Wham!’s 1984  classic breaks the mold With lines such as, “I thought you were someone to rely on. Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on,” and the 2019 film of the same name that takes the title and twists it into more than a metaphor, “Last Christmas” is a bit of a downer. But the reason it scored such a high spot is because of its ability to bring together people of all ages, due to the power of nostalgia.

  1. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” — Mariah Carey

What song could be worthy of taking the top spot if not Mariah Carey’s nearly 30-year-old beloved hit? Some may even claim that Mariah has rightfully secured the title as the Queen of Christmas. With a similar message as the aforementioned “Underneath the Tree,” Mariah nudges the belief that our loved ones being with us is what matters most. Plus, I can’t really think of a song to get me more in the holiday mood, and I definitely suggest that you consider adding this one to your shuffle.