HONOLULU Staff Favorites: 14 Christmas Songs That Put Us in the Holiday Spirit

Have yourself a merry little playlist.


Published:

MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS

NSYNC​

 

“The greatest Christmas song of all time. Fight me.”

Katrina Valcourt, managing editor

 

RUDOLPH THE RED NOSE REINDEER

DMX, DIVINE BARS

 

“I love genre benders, and this hip-hop cover is one of my holiday favorites. In this rendition, DMX spreads Christmas cheer doing what he does best: angry-shouting lyrics over a catchy hook. The combo of wholesome bell jingles and X’s aggressive vocal delivery is almost too much … almost.”

Marisa Heung, special projects editor

 

O HOLY NIGHT

WILLIE K

 

“Willie K’s version of ‘O Holy Night.’  It always brings tears … the good kind.”

—Susan Eichor, President and COO of aio

 

HALLELUJAH

PENTATONIX​

 

THE CHRISTMAS SONG

MICHAEL BUBLÉ​

 

“Both make me want to get cozy, drink hot cocoa and hug everyone (shocker!).”

Stacey Makiya, senior fashion editor

 

I NEED A SILENT NIGHT

Amy Grant

 

“My modern sentimental favorite holiday song is I Need a Silent Night by Amy Grant. Our dear friend Roslyn Catracchia shared this song with our family when she asked my daughter, Samantha, to sing it as part of a church program years ago. I know it’s really corny, but for me, it was unforgettable. Plus the song reminds us to slow down to appreciate what’s most important:

I need a silent night, a holy night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a silent night”

Robbie Dingeman, editor at large

 

SEE ALSO: HONOLULU Staff Favorites: Movies and TV Specials to Stream Online This Christmas

 

WINTER WONDERLAND

TONY BENNETT           

 

“Hands down, I love ‘Winter Wonderland, every and all renditions. There are so many great covers by artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Elvis Presley, from Aretha Franklin to Jason Mraz. I love the Tony Bennett version, first recorded in 1968. It’s a song I remember hearing as a kid, growing up in literally the opposite of a "Winter Wonderland." It made Christmas so magical and wondrous to me.”

Catherine Toth Fox, food and dining editor

 

WHITE CHRISTMAS

BING CROSBY

 

“My all-time favorite holiday song is Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by NSYNC. But a close second is White Christmas by Bing Crosby. I’ve always dreamt of a white Christmas but never got one yet (even after all of those years living in the mainland during college).”

Jayna Omaye, staff writer

 

FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK

THE POGUES​

 

HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS

SAM SMITH

 

“It’s a toss-up between The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York and Sam Smith’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Oh, and the entire Ally McBeal Christmas album, ‘A Very Ally Christmas.’ I will just have all of my eclectic choices on a continuous loop.”

—Katie Kenny, digital editorial specialist

 

GOOD CHRISTIAN SOLDIER

BILLY JOE SHAVER

 

“We’re a caroling family, when gathered around the piano, and also irredeemable free-thinking wiseacres: So we love ‘Good Christian Soldier’ because of the imagery but also the social justice theme. As an antidote to all the hollow ‘thank you for your service’ sentiments, when soldiers are deployed in the 17th year of a war without end, now extended to the Mexican border, join the chorus with one of country music’s real legends, Billy Joe Shaver: ‘But we’re playin’ cards writin’ home ain’t we had fun/Turnin’ on and learning how to die.’ Then let’s put an end to it in 2019.”

Don Wallace, senior editor

 

HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER)

JOHN LENNON

 

“John Lennon’s ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’ looping over Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life on mute. Perfect way to spend any holiday!”

—James Nakamura, creative director

 

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

ANDY WILLIAMS

 

THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

STRAIGHT NO CHASER

 

Andy Williams is my standard opening song for the season. His joyfully smooth baritone takes me back to small-kid time with my family, when Williams, The Carpenters and the Brothers Cazimero’s Christmas albums were our holiday playlist. Straight No Chaser’s version of this classic countdown is inventive and hysterical (complete with references to Hanukkah and the band Toto). Plus, I love a capella and Stacey already added Pentatonix to the list.

—Christi Young, editorial director

 

Get the full HONOLULU Magazine-approved holiday playlist on YouTube!

 

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