We are suckers for old-school holiday music.
Once the dark days of December arrive, there are few things we'd rather do on a chilly night than pour ourselves a glass of red wine, roast a chicken in the oven, and listen to campy holiday songs by Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Judy Collins, and Mariah Carey.
There are, of course, plenty of examples of holiday songs gone wrong. Miss Piggy singing "I'm the Christmas Queen" may well be an extreme example of bad festive music, but it's indicative of a general mentality: a collective need to feel jolly, ramp up the nostalgia or enjoy songs ironically. When else could a Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey duet be feasibly acceptable? (Don't, whatever you do, google their version of "All I Want For Christmas is You".)
Thankfully, there are many definitively festive songs that are a force for good. The rousing spirit of a decent Christmas carol is undeniable, and there are age-old songs, which, let's face it, are great. The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" is always a favorite, especially when the mulled wine has kicked in.
But to find Christmas classics that work whatever your mind-set is a tricky thing. To help you in that search, we've put together a modern-day playlist to soundtrack your holiday season, whether you're wrapping presents, hosting a holiday party, or getting ready for night out on the town. Featuring everything from The Killer's "Don't Shoot Me Santa" to RUN D.M.C.'s "Christmas in Hollis" to Coldplay's "Christmas Lights", our list will help you feel some Christmas cheer...without the cheese.
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