Tunes for the Christmas spirit

Santa’s Day Off by Magdalena Roeseler under CC BY 2.0.
Santa’s Day Off by Magdalena Roeseler under CC BY 2.0.

Classics have their time and place, but if you are curious to hear something different than the same old Christmas songs each season, or are simply looking to soak up in a different tune – you might want to give these renditions a listen.

25 Christmas songs to make you BeLeave

Link to the playlist on Spotify: BeLeave in Christmas


  1. Baby Come Find me at Christmas, Rachel Yamagata
    “Baby Come Find me at Christmas, When the trees are sleeping (…) Times makes a fool of the faithful”. Christmas is a time for family and friends to gather up, but it’s also the time of year when we often reminiscence lost loves and might dream of reuniting by New Years Eve. I‘m in love with the poetic lyrics of a fragile love long lost, and the hearty belief that a connection is only as far away as the distance between two people.
  2. Best Time of The Year, Nick & Simon
    In this song she’s already around, he’s as excited and the merry tune is so jolly happy holiday as can be! “Children singing especially for you, They’re singing let it snow, And tell us where to go, Under the mistletoe, Baby let me glow, It’s Christmas, Best time of the year”
  3. Christmas Dreams, Francesca Battistelli
    In America and other places, Christmas and presents and that whole shebang is celebrated on the 25th (in Denmark we celebrate Christmas on the 24th) No matter if you’re waiting for the morning on the 25th or for the evening on the 24th it’s a magic time full of expectations of what’s to come. Christmas Dreams describes a mothers reflections the night leading up to Christmas morning as she sings: “it’s a wonder that they at all fall asleep”.
  4. Christmas in our Hearts, Simon, Sandra van Nieuwland
    They never cared much for Christmas but now they know all the songs are about them. Happy tune, sarcastic lyrics. Only wish we could help them with some real trees: “The only tree I’ve ever had was a fake one, with shiny balls that break, but now there’s you, my dear”.
  5. Christmas in the sand, Colbie Caillat
    Dreaming of a warm December? “Candy cane of peppermint, a hint of cocoa on my lips” –the mood of Hawaii is set. Christmas in the Sand is a cute little ukulele tune and the lyrics say it all: “I saw Santa in his bathing suit, Trying to catch a wave, but he tried too soon. He laughed so hard that he could barely breathe and washed up next to me”.
  6. Christmas to Christmas, Tanya Tucker
    Just a little country song on love: “Christmas to Christmas, wrapped in your arms, love is always in the season, and always so warm”.
  7. Christmas Tonight, Dave Barnes & Hillary Scott
    Very cute duet. Reminds me a lot of “Baby it’s cold outside” except in here the couple is trying to figure out whether to stay in and ditch their friends and do go out for Christmas Tonight . “You lookin’ too good to share, And maybe our friends won’t care, Baby, we always got next year, Baby, let’s just light the fire, I’ll get the matches”.
  8. Hard Candy Christmas, Dolly Parton
    Most of you might already know this country tune. Carol Hall originally wrote it for the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which premiered in 1978. Apart from the connotations that may arrive from hearing the musical title, the lyrics are ironically subtle yet heartrending, reminding us that a hard candy Christmas might in fact not be as fine and dandy.
  9. Home for Christmas, Maria Mena
    A delicate little story from the beautifully fragile voice of Maria Mena, who has tucked her broken heart away under her sleeve and finds the courage to go home for Christmas. “I don’t know what my future holds, or who I’ll choose to love me. But I can tell you where I’m from and who loved me to life”.
  10. Meet me at the mistletoe, Dave Barnes
    Dave Barnes has a smooth voice; the kind of voice that is soft but gets crisp around the corners of the words. Like a perfect roasted marshmallow over a jazzy fireplace. The song describes the little things like ‘a wink form across the room’, ‘a smile right back’ and a ‘rendezvous to sneak a kiss’ under the mistletoe.
  11. My Grown Up Christmas List, Kelly Clarkson
    The worldly anthem of Christmas song by the voice of an angel.  The grown up Christmas list: “No more lives torn apart. That wars would never start. And time would heal all hearts. And everyone would have a friend. And right would always win. And love would never end”.
  12. Something about December, Christina Perri
    “Let all your memories. Hold you close. No matter where you are” It’s a song with a simple message, yet one of those songs for which we all make our own interpretation and reminiscences:  “Who really needs a gift. When love is meant to give. I can still recall. Carry with me always. Every Christmas dream. They live in you and me”.
  13. Santa’s Just A Hippie With A Beard, Caleb Hawley
    Caleb Hawley makes a funny contribution to a much too serious holiday season. “Could it be that Santa Claus is not Santa at all? He’s just a big old hippie with a beard. High on weed and alcohol (…) cause Santa is high on something and im not sure what but it makes him the jolliest fool in town”.
  14. Tell Me When, Alexander Rybak
    You might remember the Norwegian composer and violinist Alexander Rybak from when he won the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Fairytale. There’s a whole album to choose from, but his own songs somehow fit him best. Anticipation can be hard; especially when in love and losing your mind, as Rybak sings in Tell me when.
  15. Underneath the Tree, Kelly Clarkson
    Upbeat contribution from Kelly Clarkson when love’s gone right and you realize the contrast from having tried, to being alone on Christmas day: “Presents, what a beautiful sight. Don’t mean a thing if you ain’t holding me tight. You’re all that I need. Underneath the tree”
  16. What Would Christmas Be Like, Mia Rose
    Even though snow is mentioned the tune is more reminiscent of palm trees and Bounty beaches. “And we walk in the snow, letting our troubles go to a faraway place so that we may embrace Christmas spirit all around and I say”.
  17. Wrapped In Red, Kelly Clarkson
    Loving someone from a distance and not letting it show seems to be a reoccurring theme. But if you can’t say it at Christmas, when can you? “In all this white, you’ll see me like you’ve never seen me: Wrapped in red. I’ll never feel you. If I don’t tell you”.
  18. Heaven In My Arms, Calora
    Underrated singer Carola sings brilliantly: “Who has lit the starlight that’s shining bright in your
    eyes? Shining like a diamond over little Bethlehem”. The lyrics gives the old tale a tangible feel that a mother would recognize: Why do your tiny fingers hold so tightly momma’s hair? See the dancing shadows, feel how soft the wind blows. It’s following an angel that was only just there”
  19. Joni  Mitchell, Both Sides Now
    A bit of an oldie, but not the typical jolly tune. Captivatingly picturesque lyrics that go straight for the heart. Clouds turn into love, which turns into life. And these are the illusions that we recall. We really don’t know clouds, love or life at all.
  20. David Bisbal, Lucía
    Lucía isn’t exactly a Christmas song, but celebrating Lucía during Christmas somehow gives it the right to exist on this list even though this describes the love for a woman long lost. The Spanish singer David Bisbal sings with an intensity that we might only find in Spain and Portugal, and the lyrics are very poetic:  Nada más amado. Que lo que perdí. Perdóname si. Hoy busco en la arena. Esa luna llena. Que arañaba el mar” – there isn’t anything more loved than all I’ve lost. Forgive me if today I’m searching in the sand for that full moon that scratched the sea.
  21. Tom Odell, Real love
    Major and minor intertwined in his snowflake universe like love during Christmas time. All my little plans and schemes. Lost like some forgotten dream. Seems like all I really was doing. Was waiting for you. It’s real love”.
  22. Someday at Christmas, Jack Johnson
    Not a new tune, but it’s nice to hear a more laidback harmony. Regardless of your position on the subject; a political song as well. “Someday at Christmas, men won’t be boys. Playing with bombs like boys play with toys. One warm December, our hearts will see. A world where men are free”.
  23. Sting, Lullaby For An Anxious Child
    The lullaby is captivating and fits Sting’s melancholy and haunting vein. Love the way Sting always finishes his storytelling: “Hush child. Let me soothe the shining tears that gather in your eyes (…)Hush child. All the strength I’ll need to fight, I’ll find inside your eyes. In your eyes”.
  24. No Christmas For Me, Zee Avi
    Another song about love and how they get to eventually spend it together: “I haven’t sent him his Christmas card ’cause that would mean we really are apart. The Christmas stockings are as empty as my heart”.
  25. Another Lonely Christmas in New York, Chrissi Poland
    According to Chrissi Poland this song is for the Christmas Chinese-food-restaurant dwellers, who might not be having the best holiday season, but still look to the city for some sort of inspiration: “The city’s full of joy but I’m just stuck here in my bed. Guess I’ll just watch the snow instead”. It does have a moody past-love-glow about it.



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Santa’s Day Off by Magdalena Roeseler under CC BY 2.0


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