’Tis the season to be caught rocking out to holiday tunes from everyone from Britney Spears and ’NSync to Run-DMC and Lady Gaga.
1. Britney Spears, “My Only Wish (This Year)” (2000)
Arguably, this may be the poor man’s version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (no shame in loving that tune!), but the catchiness of the melody is just as infectious, with the same brand of sing-along holiday cheer.
2. ’NSync, “Home for Christmas” (1998)
Emotional overload: If the five-part harmonies over the organ aren’t enough to tug at your heartstrings, the bittersweet lyrics about learning “the real meaning of Christmas” because of being “on my own for too many years” should give you all the holiday feels.
3. Hanson, “What Christmas Means to Me” (1997)
What Christmas means to me? Playing Hanson’s 1997 Snowed In album on repeat for 25 days in a row.
4. Run-DMC, “Christmas in Hollis” (1987)
Cheesy video? Check! (Complete with a Simon Says naughty-or-nice game board!) Lyrics about collard greens? Check! And most important: A Mickey Mouse Club cover of the song? Big-time check! And they weren’t the only ones who liked the song. The rap has also appeared in Die Hard, How to Be Single and Orange Is the New Black.
5. Justin Bieber, “Mistletoe” (2011)
Only the Biebs can pull off a holiday song with “shawty” in the chorus and still make it sound like a sweet little Christmas tune.
6. Mariah Carey, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” (1994)
While there’s no shame in jamming out to “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” this honorable mention gets a solid A-minus for effort.
7. Straight No Chaser, featuring Kristen Bell, “Text Me Merry Christmas” (2014)
Yes, Kristen Bell boasts featured vocals on this a cappella group’s single. The reason for a Christmas text? “I need more from @you than just a Tweet / A Snap on Snapchat doesn’t last.”
8. Destiny’s Child, “8 Days of Christmas” (2001)
Sleighing it! Beyoncé, Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland released a 2001 holiday album with this title track, which counts down fewer than 12 days but has a heck of a lot more attitude. Among the items received from “my baby”? Chloé shades, diamond belly ring, and a nice back rub.
9. Lady Gaga, “Christmas Tree” (2008)
Sample lyrics: “Ho-ho-ho under the mistletoe, yes everybody knows, we will take off our clothes.” Yet the dance-pop beats of Gaga’s collaboration with Space Cowboy will have you rockin’ around the Christmas tree.
10. Ariana Grande, “Santa Tell Me” (2013)
Five little girls jumping on the bed in pajamas and fuzzy animal hats? Sounds about right.
11. Simple Plan, “Christmas Every Day” (2016)
The Canadian pop-punk band of the 2000s, famous for hits like “Welcome to My Life” and “Perfect,” have never wavered from their trademark sound, making their new holiday song, “Christmas Every Day,” just the right amount of retro and rock.
12. Backstreet Boys, “It’s Christmas Time Again” (2012)
The again in the title is a nod to the fact that the boy band released another (superior) Christmas song back in 1996 called simply “Christmastime.” But Backstreet’s always back and so are their holiday tunes.
13. Jose Feliciano, “Feliz Navidad” (1970)
The beauty of this song? The only lyrics are “I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart” in English and Spanish!
14. No Doubt, “Oi to the World” (1997)
So SoCal! Originally written by the Vandals, their fellow Orange County punk rockers, No Doubt covered the song for A Very Special Christmas 3 compilation.