You’ve heard all the usual songs, with jangling bells and presents for pretty girls and angels on high. Below, a few other songs I’ve collected over the years. I’d love to hear about the songs you enjoy, as well.

When you’re caught in traffic… try Driving Home for Christmas:

“I’m driving home for Christmas
Well I’m moving down that line
And it’s been so long
But I will be there
I sing this song to pass the time…” – Chris Rea

For an energetic take on the classics, The Piano Guys’ Carol of the Bells:

 When you’re feeling sweet but melancholy, there’s Sister Winter:

“Now my heart is
Returned to sister winter
Now my heart is
As cold as ice” – Sufjan Stevens

If you’re the one who enjoys distant family, try It’s a Big Country:

“Got some folks in Oklahoma
Never been out there myself
But Aunt Ruby bakes some bread at least
And sends it East
To help the celebration” –  Davitt Sigerson

For a little 1970s bounce, try some Boney M:

If you need some hope in dark times, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day:

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men…”  

When it’s not going so well on the home front, there are still Christmas Lights:

“Christmas night, another fight / Tears we cried, a flood”

When you’re holding on to unlikely hopes and dreams, try a Hard Candy Christmas:

“Hey, maybe I’ll dye my hair
Maybe I’ll move somewhere…
Maybe I’ll just get drunk on apple wine
Me, I’ll be just fine and dandy
Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas” – Dolly Parton

For reliably soaring vocals, Who Would Imagine a King:

“Mommies and daddies always believe
That their little angels are special indeed
And you could grow up to be anything
But who would imagine a king?” – Whitney Houston

For a rather cultish music videoGabriel’s Message

For an odd but pretty round, White Winter Hymnal:

“I was following the pack
all swallowed in their coats
with scarves of red tied round their throats
to keep their little heads
from fallin’ in the snow” – Fleet Foxes

If you’re feeling that yuletide disillusionment, I Believe in Father Christmas:

“They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a silent night
And they told me a fairy story
‘Till I believed in the Israelite
And I believed in father Christmas
And I looked to the sky with excited eyes…” – Greg Lake

If you’re an angry, lovelorn snowman, I… I guess there’s Pentatonix’ Coldest Winter:

For a gentler hymn: Love Came Down at Christmas

“Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign” – High Street Hymns
 

If you’ve forgotten how a calendar works, it’s now the Last Month of the Year:

“Tell me when was Jesus born in? Last month of the year…
Wasn’t January, February, March, April or May
Wasn’t June, July, August, September, October, November
The 25th day of December… last month of the year”   – The Blind Boys of Alabama

When you’re missing someone long gone, Covered in Snow:

“We’re holding out for you
Covered in snow
We’ll keep the lights on low…
We’ll do this every year
‘Till Christmas finds you here” –  William Fitzsimmons

For when you’ve finally found that hipster someone:

“You knew I’d been with dirty dogs / and kissed some frogs…
Underneath the mistletoe and stars / you know you set my senses reeling”

For a haunting contemplation on passing time: Last Snowfall

“If this were the last snowfall
No more halos on evergreen
If this were the last glimpse of winter
What would these eyes see?” – Vienna Teng

If you’re dreaming of a 1950s romance, see Perry Como’s Magic Moments:

Finding it hard to be in the 1 percent? We’ve got you covered with a Spotlight on Christmas:

“People say they love the maid who
Sweats and toils just like a slave but
Don’t forget all the diamonds and pearls
Never could fix the poor little rich girls” –   Rufus Wainwright 

When there’s too much to do, know that Even Santa Gets the Blues:

“Lost my favorite reindeer in a hurricane
Got soaking wet, on account of rain
Countin’ my troubles by threes and by twos
Even Santa Claus gets the blues” – Marty Stuart

Been jilted like Mrs. Claus? Well, Don’t Call Me Mrs. Christmas:

“I feel my love is dying
Outside the reindeer flying
Don’t call me Christmas, I don’t love you any more…
Go spread your happiness, around the globe
But you should know that I won’t wait for you
You’ll have to get a new, Mrs. Christmas” – Emmy the Great 

When remembering a former love:

“And this is how I see you
In the snow on Christmas morning
Love and happiness surround you
As you throw your arms up to the sky…”

For a swirling rhythm:     Celia Cruz’ Feliz Navidad

“En los distintos bazares                [In various markets
Los reyes han de buscar                 The three kings have to seek
Juguetitos para los niñitos            Toys for little children
Que con alegría regalarán”          Which with joy they will give]

When you’re wanting connection with loved onesWishing for This:

“It’s obvious that I’m hoping for something different
So drop your hands into this heart of mine…
I want to forgive and I need to be forgiven
I want to let live, and I need to do some living
I want to find a light this Christmas night with you” – Leigh Nash

For a reminder of what matters, Love is Christmas:

“I don’t care if the carpet’s stained, we’ve got food upon our table
I don’t care if it’s gonna rain, our little room is warm and stable
Love is who we are, and no season can contain it…
Let love lead us, love is Christmas.” – Sara Bareilles

And wishing everyone well in the coming year, there’s Someday at Christmas:

“Someday at Christmas men won’t be boys
Playing with bombs like kids play with toys…” – Stevie Wonder

 

And of course there are many, many more… 

Christmas Songs You Haven’t Heard Before

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