Bob Dylan, “Must Be Santa” – If watching Bob Dylan playing Santa in a curiously Tom Petty-ish wig isn’t enough of a reason to watch the video, the song is pretty catchy in its own right. This is the sort of party I’d like to throw every year. Classy, rockin’, people swinging from chandeliers and jumping out of windows. My kinda hootenanny.
Chuck Berry, “Run Rudolph Run”- The godfather of Rock and Roll here gives us the greatest song ever written about that little red-nosed reindeer. If you’re caught on a layover,, play this track and have some fun dodging those airport blues.
Louis Armstrong, “Zat You Santa Claus?” I love listening to EVERY Louis Armstrong song during the holidays. He’s warm and inviting, like every holiday party should be. This is one of the most Christmas-specific of his tracks.
Coldplay, “Christmas Lights” – The band that brought nostalgia and reflection back to music stuffs the stockings again with this little Christmas ditty.
Best Coast and Wavves, “Got Something For You” – The real life couple behind these two awesome bands come together for a Christmas track that is just perfect for that alternative Christmas eve on the sandy beach.
Eartha Kitt, “Santa Baby” – This is song, sung by one-time-Catwoman Eartha Kitt, is the Christmas cat’s meow. Still the best version after who knows how many covers. This is the one track on this list that might end up making grandma’s list, too.
Ryan Adams, “Hey Parker, It’s Christmas” – This is a beautiful track from my generation’s greatest lyricists. It was probably a love letter to then-girlfriend Parker Posey. It still rings true as a universal Christmas song.
Ron Sexsmith, “Maybe This Christmas” – If you were like me, you probably heard this track for the first time on Fox’s the O.C. It’s been on my Christmas playlist ever since. It has that indie 2000s vibe that is equal parts heart and spirit. Love it.
Bobby Helms, “Jingle Bell Rock” – It’s the version you all know, you just didn’t know who sang it. Jingle Bell Rock was the song I used to wait to hear on the radio as a kid because it was so much more fun than the slower, more reverent songs. I mean, this is a jam Yukon Cornelius could get down to. know what I mean?
Eels, “Christmas is Going to the Dogs” – Because even your pup needs a yuletide carol. This track is a Christmas song just for your family dog. It’s sort of genius. If you’re going to hang a stocking for them, the little beasts should at least get their own Christmas track.
Bonus: Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) – This song is the fun and ironic song for your shindig. If you don’t love the Chipmunks I just don’t know how to relate to you. Honestly. Have fun with this one. Hey, I think I see my Christmas tree on fire! ALVIINNNNNN!
And because I love you all, a special holiday greeting from Johnny Depp:
Have any other ideas about awesome Christmas tracks? Post the links. We’d love to jam out.