Best Classic Christmas Songs for Your Driving Playlist
Some of us start cranking the Christmas carols on November 1st, and some of us don’t want to hear a single tune until Christmas Eve. Wherever you fall on the scale, chances are good you’ll be stuck in your car during some holiday traffic at some point this December, listening to Christmas music. You can go the traditional route and just listen to your town’s holiday station, or you can be proactive using your own personal music library or apps like Spotify to create the perfect Christmas playlist.
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Consider these classic songs for your playlist this year…
“O Holy Night”
Calling “O Holy Night” a classic is an understatement. The song has been around since 1855, when it was adapted from a French poem. Regardless of your religious affiliation, this classic Christmas song is beautiful when sung well. Plenty of famous singers have covered this one, including Josh Groban, Celine Dion, and Lea Michele for Glee.
Another old song, “Jingle Bells” was written in the 1800s, though it was originally published as “One Horse Open Sleigh.” Its famous tune is recognizable all around the world, and it is an easy song for children to remember.
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
Judy Garland made this song famous when she first sang it in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).
“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”
Dr. Seuss’ infamous Grinch is a character children and adults both love to hate each year during his Christmas special, but the song about him is so deliciously wonderful that it deserves recognition of its own. It’s got absolutely brilliant lyrics like “You’re a bad banana,” and “You’re a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce.”
You can’t talk about classic Christmas music without mention of “White Christmas,” and specifically Bing Crosby’s rendition. The song has been used in too many famous Christmas movies to name and can be heard on a Christmas radio station at least ten times a day—yet no one gets sick of it.
“Silent Night, Holy Night”
Songs like “Silent Night, Holy Night” and “The Little Drummer Boy” are also staples of the Christmas season. While they are sometimes deemed boring by younger listeners or non-Christians, they hold a special place in the hearts of believers.
“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”
Ten-year-old Gayla Peevey made this ridiculous but hilarious song an instant classic when it was released in 1953. The upbeat song covers the ridiculous wish list of a girl who wants nothing but a hippo from Santa for Christmas.
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There are literally thousands upon thousands of different songs and artists to choose from for your Christmas classic driving playlist. Don’t let the radio decide for you—celebrate Christmas with the music you love to hear.
- Timothy MooreManaging Editor
Timothy Moore got paid to write that thing you just read, so he thanks you kindly. He uses that money to pursue his other passions, like sitting on the couch with his dog and a good beer while watching reruns of The Office. See more articles by Timothy.