An image of a folder of holiday music. (David Beale)
An image of a folder of holiday music.

David Beale



December 21, 2022

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s inevitable you’ll hear the same classic Christmas songs for another year. There’s nothing wrong with tradition, or scream-singing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” to get in the holiday spirit. But, for those bored of the typical holiday music, here’s a few songs to add to your rotation.


“Blue Christmas” – The Lumineers 

This version of “Blue Christmas” is the perfect sad yet happy winter tune. With the moving vocals of lead singer Wesley Shultz and the occasional tambourine hit, the song is convincing in its message. 


“Present Without Bow” – Kacey Musgraves, Leon Bridges

This song manages to fuse the country style of Kacey Musgraves with the soulful voice of Leon Bridges flawlessly, along with the imagery of the holiday season. 


“Angel (Holiday)” – Jack Johnson 

This song supplies a calmness typically absent from the bustle of the holiday season. With beautiful imagery, Jack Johnson tells the story of his angel who “doesn’t wear any wings.” 


“Wonderful Christmastime” – The Shins 

The Shins make Paul McCartney’s Christmas tune their own, keeping the song familiar yet adding their own style. 


“Deck The Halls (With Boughs of Holly)”  – Langhorne Slim 

A new take on the classic, this rendition of “Deck The Halls” is fun and upbeat. It has a funk bassline, melodious background vocals, and is the perfect song to do your holiday decorating.


“If We Make It Through December” – Phoebe Bridgers 

It’s often alluded to in holiday tunes that December is the best time of year. For some, it’s the coldest, and most unbearable time of winter. Phoebe Bridgers’ cover of “If We Make It Through December” by Merle Haggard is a peaceful reminder of the sadness that Christmastime can bring, in addition to the joy. 


“Christmas Wrapping” – The Waitresses 

A more popular alternative Christmas tune, “Christmas Wrapping” is a song wrapped in the cheer and sadness of the holidays and tied with a bow. It’s lyrically interesting and almost rapped instead of sung. The catchy horn arrangement throughout the song adds to the fun. 


“Christmas Time Is Here” – Khruangbin 

Kruangbin’s quiet vocals and impressive guitar riffs are sure to put listeners in a trance when hearing this rendition of the Charlie Brown classic.


For these songs and more, check out my holiday themed Spotify playlist here.

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About the Contributor
Gabriella Salvucci is a senior music major at Lincoln Park who writes the In Queue Music Review column. This is her first year writing for The Siren. She enjoys writing songs, playing gigs, and reading.

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