Sometimes you need a Christmas music playlist because it’s almost Christmas. And sometimes you need a Christmas music playlist because life is stressful and Christmas songs are upbeat, uplifting, and can pull you out of a funk. No one’s judging. So, if you’re looking get in the holiday spirit—or just get into better spirits in general—you’re probably looking for some modern Christmas songs. “Silent Night” isn’t going to cut it.
Below, you’ll find 14 newer Christmas classics for your holiday playlist. There’s some baby Justin Bieber. There’s noodle-haired Justin Timberlake. There’s Beyoncé singing about finding “Chloé shades and a diamond belly ring” under her tree. All this and more awaits.
“All I Want for Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey
How can we not start with the greatest modern Christmas song of all time?
“Santa Tell Me” – Ariana Grande
It is hard to come out with a Christmas song that becomes a new classic, but Ariana Grande made a valiant effort with “Santa Tell Me.” The song came out in 2014, but you’ll still hear it played while you’re doing your holiday shopping.
“Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” – *NSYNC
In 1998, a ramen-noodl-hair era Justin Timberlake and the rest of the guys released a Christmas album that included this catchy holiday song. The video is, in a word, chaotic.
“My Only Wish (This Year)” – Britney Spears
Obviously, Britney Spears released a Christmas song, too. In “My Only Wish (This Year)” the singer asks Santa to leave her a boyfriend under the tree.
“Christmas Tree Farm” – Taylor Swift
Did you know Taylor Swift spent part of her childhood living on a Christmas tree farm? You sure will after watching this video, which is full of clips of little Taylor roaming around in the snow.
“Mistletoe” – Justin Bieber
We’ve gone through a lot with Justin Bieber over the years, but back in 2011, he was just a teenager singing about kissing under the mistletoe while fake snow floated down on him.
“You Make It Feel Like Christmas” – Gwen Stefani featuring Blake Shelton
This duet is about both Christmas and Gwen Stefani finding love again with Blake Shelton after her divorce. “We’re gonna be a classic for all time,” she sings. But will this song be a classic for all time? We shall see.
“Christmas in Hollis” – Run-DMC
“Christmas in Hollis” is a rare hip hop Christmas classic. It’s a simple song about home-cooked food, snow on the ground, and Santa leaving a big bag of cash under the tree.
“What Christmas Means to Me” – John Legend featuring Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder’s “What Christmas Means to Me” is a classic—and a modern classic, if we’re comparing the 1967 song to, say, “Joy to the World.” But, if you want an even more recent version, John Legend recorded the song for his 2018 album A Legendary Christmas.
“8 Days of Christmas” – Destiny’s Child
Destiny’s Child recorded their own take on “The Twelve Days of Christmas” with lyrics that could not be more early aughts: “On the third day of Christmas, my baby gave to me/A gift certificate to get my favorite CDs.” A Christmas time capsule!!
“Christmas Makes Me Cry” – Kacey Musgraves
If you need to get some emotions out this Christmas, this song should do the trick. You and Kacey can cry together.
“Like It’s Christmas” – Jonas Brothers
The Jonas Brothers had a big comeback year in 2019, and that included the release of a Christmas single about everyday feeling like Christmas when you’re with the one you love. Aw.
“Christmas Wrapping” – The Waitresses
It’s that song that you hear in every grocery store during the holidays, but you just never knew the name of it. Well, it’s “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses. You’re welcome.
“Last Christmas” – Wham!
Wham!’s “Last Christmas” has an overwhelmingly ’80s music video, inspired an entire movie, and will be stuck in your head until the new year. Happy listening!
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