Public domain Christmas jingles like "Deck the Halls" and "Joy to the World" are good and all, but there's nothing like a good, and original, pop track to celebrate the holiday season. But with so many artists with so many Christmas albums, which ones are the best of the best?
From Britney to Destiny's Child to Ariana Grande to the Queen of Christmas herself Mariah Carey, here's PRIDE's ranking of the top 10 pop XMas tunes of all time!
Any Scrooge will probably tell you that Katy's very underrated Christmas bop (which was used as a part of clothing retailer H&M's 2015 holiday campaign) has a slightly cheesy message ("Every day is a holiday, when you're the reason to celebrate,"), but it's freakin' Christmas! This is exactly the kind of song pop stans want during this time of year! You must be truly soulless if and by the time the Gospel chorus joins Katy towards the end of the track, you're not up on your feet, clapping your hands, dancing around, and singing along!
Like a lot of their other, non-holiday hits, Boyz II Men's "Let It Snow" is a smooth, soulful ode to being in love with someone special and wanting to spend all your time with them. For all the hopeless romantics out there who also love this time of year, this is the holiday track for you!
Although Lady Gaga's debut album The Fame had all the spotlight back in 2008 (and for good reason), she also managed to release a super fun Christmas song with her producer Space Cowboy. The lyrics aren't going to win a Pulitzer Prize or anything, but tbh, the track slaps, and proves that you don't have to take the holiday season too seriously.
We'll let you decipher what Gaga means when she sings "Light me up, put me on top, let's fa la la la la, la la la la..."
This DC3 smash, which was released on their 2001 holiday album of the same, is a fun, sexy spin on "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Instead of true love giving you useless things like a partridge in a pear tree or some turtle doves, Beyoncé, Kelly, and Michelle are getting showered with gifts like Chloé shades, belly rings, keys to a Mercedes, and quality T-I-M-E. Much, much better gifts, IMO!
The lyrics for the Bieb's 2011 release "Mistletoe" are as sugary sweet as a frosted sugar cookie you leave by the chimney for Santa on Christmas Eve, but if we're being honest here, that's precisely why we love it! Be cynical the rest of the year! It's Christmas, godamnit! (Sidenote: it's very hard to try and not sing along with Justin when he sings the "with youuuuu" part in the chorus.)
Speaking of uber-sweet pop Christmas songs, it'd be a shame not to include *NSYNC's "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" on this list. Past and present, there are a bunch of boybands out there with a bunch of original Christmas songs, but with lyrics like "It's a wonderful feeling, feel the love in the room from the floor to the ceiling," this one feels so forcefully joyous and over-the-top, it's hard not to enjoy it (even if you're enjoying it in an ironic way).
In this 2000 track from the Platinum Christmas compilation, Britney takes a page directly out of Mariah's playbook and asks good 'ole Saint Nick to forego giving her any tangible, materialistic presents in exchange for what she really wants: her true love. It's a formula that works for so many pop artists who want a timeless Christmas hit, and for Britney, it worked!
Sometimes Christmas isn't all sugarplums and candy canes and smiles and rainbows. Sometimes we get our hearts broken during what is supposed to be "the most special time of year" and all we want to do is be sad about it. But does that mean we shouldn't keep celebrating the holiday season? That's where Wham!'s "Last Christmas" comes in! The juxtaposition of lyrics about getting your heart broken with the music's happy-sounding, holiday jingle bells make the 1986 track oddly relatable, and it injects the perfect amount of realism into what is an otherwise super-saccharine time of year (but without being a total downer).
"All I Want For Christmas Is You" is an all-time classic, don't get us wrong, but it is not the be-all, end-all when it comes to love-themed holiday jams. Pop Princess™ Ariana Grande's 2013 release, "Santa Tell Me," captures that same spirit of wanting a special someone to love during the holiday season (and wanting some help from Santa to make it happen), but in a fun, upbeat way that makes for a total bop! It's not quite legendary, charts-every-year, makes millions and millions and millions of dollars in royaltites status (yet), but one of these days I am willing to bet Ari's "Santa Tell Me" will be just as ubiquitous to the holiday season as any of the other pop classics on this list!
From the moment you clicked on this list, you probably already damn well knew that "All I Want For Christmas Is You" was going to be sitting at the top spot. Why wouldn't it be? The track from Mimi's 1994 album Merry Christmas is synonymous with the holiday season, and in one way or another has always managed to get back on the Billboard charts even all these years later.
"All I Want For Christmas Is You" is the definition of what a pop Christmas song is, and no matter how annoyed you are of hearing it when the holiday season is over, by the time Christmastime comes back the following year, you find yourself singing along again.