Twelve Best Christmas and Holiday Songs from the 1990s

Throwback holidays! The 1990s brought us Beanie Babies, AOL Instant Messenger, Crystal Pepsi, Clueless — and some of the catchiest Christmas songs ever! From Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” to Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song,” let’s go retro and flash back to the top 12 original holiday tunes of that decade.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey on November 27, 2012 in New York City. James Devaney/WireImage

1. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (1994)

From James Corden’s epic Carpool Karaoke mashup of Mariah Carey singing her holiday classic with everyone from Adele to Selena Gomez, to New York City’s Empire State Building doing a choreographed light show to the song, all anyone wants for Christmas is to belt this 1990s hit.

2. 'NSYNC’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” (1998)

The only thing better than Chris Kirkpatrick’s dreadlocks in this video is Gary Coleman’s waterproof green outfit. Then again, there is also Santa’s autographed 8×10 photo of the band.

3. Backstreet Boys’ “Christmas Time” (1997)

Not to be confused with the Backstreet Boys’ 2012 “It’s Christmas Time Again,” the 1997 song “Christmas Time” was first released on the Christmas edition of their “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” single… back when there were singles!

4. Hanson’s “Everybody Knows The Claus” (1997)

Just six months after Hanson’s debut Middle of Nowhere, the brothers released a Christmas album, Snowed In, which included a handful of original tunes — include the almost-as-catch-as-MMMBop “Everybody Knows the Claus.”

NSync
NSync

5. 98 Degrees’ “This Gift” (1999)

This sounds like, well, any other 98 Degrees ballad, except it contains Christmas words.

6. TLC’s “Sleigh Ride” (1992)

Chill, T-Boz, and Left Eye (RIP) got in the Christmas business too — with this original song featured on the Home Alone 2: Lost in New York soundtrack.

7. Amy Grant’s “Grown-Up Christmas List” (1992)

Although David Foster and Linda Thompson-Jenner technically wrote the song for Natalie Cole in 1990, the ballad didn’t take off until Amy Grant added her own verse in 1992. Kelly Clarkson also paid homage to the song on an American Idol Christmas special. 

8. Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song” (1994)

“When I was a kid, this time of year always made me feel a little left out because in school there were so many Christmas songs and all us Jewish kids had was the song, ‘Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel,’”Adam Sadler lamented on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update before premiering the humorous ditty in 1994.

9. Gloria Estefan’s “Christmas Through Your Eyes” (1993)

The Latin-American singer wrote the title track from her 1993 Christmas album with Diane Warren.

10. Carnie and Wendy Wilson’s “Hey Santa!” (1993)

This was the title track of the first album from Carnie Wilson and Wendy Wilson after Wilson Phillips went on hiatus. 

11. LeAnn Rimes’ “Put A Little Holiday In Your Heart” (1997)

The ballad came from a 1997 made-for-television movie on ABC called Holiday In Your Heart — which was based on a story co-written by a then 15-year-old LeAnn Rimes.

12. Boyz II Men and Brian McKnight’s “Let It Snow” (1993)

Nice and slow snowfall: Nineties R&B royalty united for this song containing super-90s phrases like “You are my everything.” 

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