Rolling in the Holiday Music: Must-Haves for Creating the Perfect Festive Playlist


Photo provided by Ryan Wright

Classic vinyls captured in the holiday spirit.

Written by Annie Gilbert, Ryan Wilkinson, and Ryan Wright

It’s the hap-happiest season of all! A time for giving, spending time with loved ones, and most importantly, listening to some festive holiday jams. This year, The Woodgrove Outlander is sharing some must-have holiday tunes to help readers reminisce in the joys of the season.   

The Classics:

Oldies but goodies like “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “Up On the Housetop” by Gene Autry, and Frank Sinatra’s “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” are all timeless must-haves on any festive playlist. Listen to these classics on vinyl, curled up with a cup of cocoa and a crackling fireside view; jazzy holiday tunes are the perfect way to bring in the nostalgia of a traditional holiday season. “My favorite genre of holiday music is either classic or jazz. There is nothing more comforting to me than a 1940’s Christmas song; a cocktail jazz can get me into the Christmas spirit like no other,” says senior Julia Hubbuch. The holiday classics and jazz genres set the scene for a serene evening and help to make the season bright.

Writers’ Suggestions: 

  • The Christmas Waltz – Frank Sinatra
  • The Christmas Song – Mel Tormé 
  • Christmas Night in Harlem – Louis Armstrong

Pop/Rap and R&B:

Since the early 2000’s, holiday music has been revamped from its traditional sound. Artists like Mariah Carey with “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” Micheal Bublé’s rendition of “It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas,” and every Belieber’s favorite, “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber, have been some of the most prominent examples of this. With the constant reinvention of household classics using new methods of production, the 21st century has presented an onslaught of holiday songs that may feel like classics, but have only recently been released. “I love ‘The Grinch’ by Tyler the Creator! It’s a great modern Christmas song,” says junior Maddie Izzo. As a fan of traditional festive classics, Izzo represents the balance between today’s contemporary creations and the timeless essence of past holiday music.  

Writers’ Suggestions:

  • Glittery – Kacey Musgraves (feat. Troye Sivan)
  • Happy Xmas (War is Over) – Miley Cyrus & Mark Ronson 
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Merry Christmas – Phoebe Bridgers\

Classic Rock and Mistletoe-llaneous:

There is nothing more eclectic than the evolution of classic rock throughout the years. The addition of the occasional holiday oddball can tie in the holiday spirit in an unorthodox way. This kind of genre holds deep sentimental value, like the holiday mix-tape your dad made your mom back in ‘85, featuring artists like The Eagles’ “Please Come Home for Christmas,” John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over),” and “Step Into Christmas” by Elton John. “‘Do They Know it’s Christmas’ by Band Aid is my favorite Christmas song. I really like this song because it has some of my favorite musicians from the ‘80s on it, and was made for a really good cause,” says junior Madigan Voss. 

Writers’ Suggestions:

  • Father Christmas – The Kinks 
  • Someday at Christmas – Stevie Wonder 
  • Snoopy’s Christmas – The Royal Guardsmen


For festive playlists curated for Apple Music and Spotify listeners, click here: