You can check out the first half of our list here.

10. Vince Guaraldi Trio “Christmas Time Is Here”

Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people, but one thing common to all are the memories. We all have them. In fact, ask many people and some of their earliest memories revolve around Christmas. Gifts they received, places they went, traditions their families held……Christmas is where memories are made. I place my memories into 3 distinct categories, Christmas past, present and future. Original, right? One song holds a place in each category for me, and that song is “Christmas Time is Here”, by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. The song is true Christmas cool, just as capable of being the soundtrack to your office Christmas party as it is being so to your favorite holiday TV special. It is that diversity that allows “Christmas Time Is Here” to be a part of all Christmas memories for me…..even the unknown future ones. Today, I see my kids, watching ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’, excited as can be for the big day….and ‘Christmas Time’ is in the background….just as it was when I was their age watching and wishing the same. In the future I see my wife and I, along in years sitting by the fire. Snow is falling as we gaze out of the window, reminiscing while the dual glow of the Christmas tree and blazing flames light the room. It is December 24th, two thousand and something, and in the background plays the Vince Guaraldi Trio, Christmas Time Is Here… it always has been. (Chuck)

9. The Pogues with Kirsty Maccoll “Fairytale Of New York”

Released in December 1987, “Fairytale of New York” was originally designed to be a duet between Pogues frontman Shane McGowan and bassist Cait O’Roirdan. After O’Roirdan left the band, Kirsty MacColl stepped up. The song tells the tale of an Irishman stuck in a New York holding cell after too much boozing, looking back at past Christmases and dreaming of his woman. It’s a rowdy back-and-forth argument wrapped in a majestic Irish folk ballad that’s a refreshing change from a lot of the saccharine stuff you hear this time of year. Of course, it doesn’t get played on too many radio stations anymore because a certain f-word (rhymes with maggot) uttered by MacColl, but that doesn’t detract from its greatness. A must for any holiday mix. (Jay Kumar)

8. John Lennon & Yoko Ono “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)”

I love the presents, I love the food, I love the beverages, I love the get-togethers, I love the trees, I love the ornaments…but it is John and Yoko’s 1971 holiday single that for me, best sums up the meaning of Christmas. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas, the commercialism, the rush, the pressure, the stress. And while it’s certainly a time for celebrating, John and Yoko remind us that it’s also a time for reflection. It’s a time to consider the economic, political and social disparity that exists in the world, the inequity, the injustice. It’s a time to consider our own privilege (“I hope you had fun”), while also evaluating or complicity in or efforts alleviate the above ills (“And what have you done?”). Although the song never really went out of vogue (as the bounty of cover versions can attest), it regained currency earlier this decade as the War On Terror dawned, and “War is Over (If You Want It)” seemed an apt sentiment. Indeed, Yoko cut a new version of the video for the Lennon Legend DVD in 2003 that incorporated fresh footage of the world’s may plights. The effect is a powerful message that reinforces the sentiment that I think Lennon and Ono were after in the song – think / be aware of macro, act micro. (Dr. Gonzo)

7. David Bowie & Bing Crosby “Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy”

I bet if someone had told people prior to 1977 that one day, glam rocker, David Bowie, and crooner, Bing Crosby, would someday record a duet together, they’d probably all laugh. However, in 1977, the unlikely duo performed for the television special, “Bing Crosby’s Merrie Old Christmas.” Crosby opens “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” by singing the classic Christmas standard, “The Little Drummer Boy”, while Bowie chimes in singing, “Peace on Earth”, an original Christmas song written specifically for this duet. The beautiful thing about this song, and why it’s one of my personal favorites, is that we get to hear David Bowie’s stripped down vocals, which are actually quite lovely- particularly paired with Bing Croby’s silky voice. Again, though the idea of Bowie and Crosby recording a Christmas song together seems far out, it’s a winning combination, and the harmony of their two voices, as well as the two songs paired together, make the track a modern Christmas classic. (Brittany)

6. The Waitresses “Christmas Wrapping”

It’s not often that a band has a bigger hit with a Christmas song than with anything else it released, but the Waitresses did just that. The Akron-based act led by guitarist/songwriter Chris Butler and snarky singer Patty Donahue had a quirky minor hit with “I Know What Boys Like” and recorded the theme to short-lived (but eventual cult favorite) TV show Square Pegs. But it was “Christmas Wrapping,” which featured Donahue sardonically talk-singing her way through a tale of Christmas frustration, that is the band’s lasting legacy. Ironically, the song never even charted when it was first released in 1981 on a Christmas compilation. But it started getting airplay on rock radio every Christmas and grew into a holiday music staple. The band broke up in 1984 and sadly, Donahue died at the age of 40 in 1996, but every year at this time, the Waitresses are a welcome presence. (Jay Kumar)

5. Stevie Wonder “What Christmas Means To Me”

From his 1967 holiday disc Someday at Christmas, Stevie’s “What Christmas Means to Me” captures the sheer joy of the season – not just the traditions (“lots of mistletoe” / “choirs singin’ carols,” “trim the tree with angel hair”), the weather (“lots of snow and ice”) and the anticipation (“go to sleep and wake up just before daylight”) but also the love (“even though I love you madly, each day I love you more”). Its classic Stevie as boisterous as he ever was in the early period of his career, and its as if Wonder somehow pressed happiness directly into this slab of vinyl. If you can listen to this and still be a Grinch, abandon all hope. (Dr. Gonzo)

4. Wham! “Last Christmas”

If there’s any Christmas song on this list that you’d be likely to hear at a club and dance to, it’d probably be this one. Say what you will about the campiness of Wham!/George Michael, but “Last Christmas” (originally released in 1984) is an undeniably fun and catchy song. Sure, the subject matter (about a brokenhearted and bitter man getting over a breakup from the Christmas before) isn’t exactly full of yule-tide joy, but the jingling bells that play along with the beat in the background paired with the addictive chorus make it a memorable Christmas hit, nearly 30 years later. And now, upon realizing that it’s been almost 30 years since this song was released, don’t you feel old? (Brittany)

3. Mariah Carey “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

In my town, a local radio station devotes the entire month of December to playing non-stop Christmas music. And I’m pretty sure they play Mariah Carey’s, “All I Want For Christmas is You” at least once every twenty minutes. Still, surprisingly enough, I’ve never once gotten tired of this song. The track was released in 1994 as the lead single from Carey’s Christmas album, “Merry Christmas”, and it still stands as one of the most popular Christmas songs ever recorded. There’s something so perfect about it: Carey’s soaring vocals that open the track (not to mention that AMAZING high note she hits towards the end), the jolly, toe-tapping melody; even the way that everyone feels the need to sing along even though no one can ever hit those insane high notes. And if you’ve ever yearned to spend Christmas with that one special someone, you’ll definitely relate to the sentiment of wanting them over any other items on your X-mas list. (Brittany)

2. Nat “King” Cole “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)”

There are certain songs, that although tackled by many great artists, belong to one transcendant voice, one transcendant performance. That being said, Nat King Cole OWNS The Christmas Song. His classic rendition has blessed families for generations and has provided the background music for countless celebrations. What separates Cole’s version from the pack is simple…’s his voice. THE voice. Dynamic, smooth, strong and sweet. Set perfectly against the accompaniment of soft, demure piano and strings, Cole’s majestic voice brings absolute joy. Personally, Christmas doesn’t begin until the Nat King Cole CD comes out. Its been that way since I was a kid and its how my family does it today. We throw it on for Thanksgiving dinner and keep it in heavy rotation until December 25th. It may have been sung many times and many ways, but Nat does it best! (Chuck)

1. Run-DMC “Christmas In Hollis”

“It was December 24th on Hollis Ave. after dark, when I seen a man chillin’ with his dog in the park”. Game. Set. Match. Had me the first time I heard the first verse of the track off the “A Very Special Christmas” album. I always loved Christmas music, but remember from young wishing there were some songs for ‘me’. I loved the oldies but wanted something that represented me and the sound I really loved. Christmas in Hollis was the hook up. The beat was so funky….blaring horns, great bassline and classic scratches from JMJ, a far departure from Christmas songs of old. Lyrically, Christmas in Hollis was golden as well. From Run’s story of running into Santa in the park to DMC’s setting the scene of a typical Christmas in his family’s home, the pioneering emcees showed a side of Christmas unheard of before by many, yet so familiar at the same time. Remember, Hip Hop at the time was still in full blown criticism mode, as in constantly being vilified in many circles. The song brought people together and gave kids (just like me) something that was their own, a very special Christmas gift indeed. “Christmas in Hollis”, both in content and in form was groundbreaking and Run DMC’s contribution to the genre of Christmas music is undeniable. “Rhymes so loud and proud to hear it, its Christmas time and we’ve got the spirit.” Thank you Run DMC, R.I.P. JMJ. (Chuck)

Of course, the Popblerd! staff wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season, and as our gift to you, check out this Spotify playlist containing most of the songs featured in this countdown! Feliz Navidad!!

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