The holidays are finally here, and arriving with them is the dreaded shopping mall Christmas carols. Pop in your headphones for an alternative, but still spirited, holiday playlist.
White Christmas – Otis Redding
A playlist is never truly a playlist without one track by the sovereign of soul himself, Otis Redding. Play it during the big dinner on Christmas Day to uplift everybody’s spirits at that table, guaranteed. Pass the mashed potatoes and “may all your Christmases be so white.”
Baby It’s Cold Outside – Mac Miller (Larry Lovestein) and Ariana Grande
It would be a crime not to kick off the holidays with this tune. This is one of the most beautiful renditions I’ve ever heard of the old classic. And trust me, I’m not Grande’s biggest fan, but she absolutely kills it in this track (before her fame and kitty ears). Alongside her is Mac Miller, stripped all the way down.
While admittedly not a Christmas song, this track has all the right brass instruments and warm fuzzy lyrics to make it feel like one. Sometimes, over the holidays, you’ve just got to sit down and play a song like this one to remind yourself that yes, you do love your family, despite them pinching your cheeks off.
Decemberism– Man Overboard
I know I can’t be the only person in the world to get the holiday blues. It’s only for a day or two, but they inevitably roll in after the excitement washes away. Let your angst wash away too with this track.
Mistletoe– Justin Bieber
I am shamelessly recommending this song. No hate, people. This was Justin’s second studio album; because his pre-pubescent voice still lingers, it’s okay to love it—right? It’s the perfect track to listen to while nostalgically looking out the window, thinking about your new boyfriend at UVic.
All I Want For Christmas Is You (Kevin & Bean’s Christmastime In The 909)– My Chemical Romance
Does Gerard Way sing this better than Mariah Carey? Maybe not, but he does bring life into the track. This is your perfect jump-around-with-your-long-lost-cousin song, with all the spunk of My Chemical Romance but all the Christmas spirit of Mariah Carey.
I Have A Dream/Thank You For The Music (Mamma Mia! Soundtrack)– Amanda Seyfried
Starting with her pure, angelic voice, Seyfried croons the perfect Sunday evening tune. Next is a couple minutes of silence—just enough time for you fill up your glass of eggnog. Once you sit back down, “Thank You For The Music” has begun. It’s one of those songs your coiffed niece would play at the piano in your Grandma’s house —he perfect balance of cheesiness and actual family fun.