Thanksgiving is now officially over. Heck, we waited a few days after we ran out of leftovers to officially transition into full-on holiday spirit mode. The tree is up, the present buying has begun and what better way to get excited for Christmas, Hanukkah and other celebrations of the impending winter wonderland than some jams?
We've sifted through the ghosts of CDs past (along with some brand spankin' new songs!) and have compiled The Ultimate Holiday Playlist, packed with some of the biggest names in music, movies and TV. Grab some headphones and listen on:
"All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey
Forget the snow and the twinkling lights. Forget those plastic reindeer your neighbor attached to their roof. The real sign that Christmas is fast approaching is Ms. Carey stuffing herself into some skimpy spandex Santa costume. No sight is more comforting. And no song is more classic.
"Blue Christmas" by Blake Shelton and Pistol Annies
The Voice coach lends his signature twang to this rendition of the song, with hypnotic backing vocals by the trio of country gals (one of whom is wife Miranda Lambert). Add in some swingin' sax and you'll almost wish you were nursing a broken heart this holiday season as well. And if you already are, well, put this one on repeat!
"Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" by *NSYNC
Best blast from the past ever? A bleach blonde Justin Timberlake (aka the good Justin Timberlake) hits those seemingly pre-pubescent high notes as the overalls-wearing boy band learns the magic of green screen, feed homeless people (or coalminers, possibly) and raise the roof.
"Jingle Bells" by Barbra Streisand
This ain't your grandma's "Jingle Bells." Well, it might be, actually. But it's a Christmastime essential: The queen of show tunes lends her voice to this upbeat earworm which is sure to remain stuck in your head through Easter. Bonus points if you can successfully perform the whole number without messing up a single lyric.
"Baby, It's Cold Outside" by The Glee Cast
Surprisingly, Chris Colfer's Kurt and Darren Criss' Blaine didn't opt for a Barbara Streisand tune themselves. Instead, they're as tooth-achingly sweet as a bucket of candy canes while serenading each other in their matching schoolboy uniforms. Here's hoping Santa can swing some gay marriage legalization this year!
"My Only Wish (This Year)" by Britney Spears
In a more innocent time (aka before marriages one and two, and long before the promise of marriage three), Brit was just a single girl hoping to land a hunk under her Christmas tree. Maybe if that letter she sealed with a kiss had made it to the North Pole we'd all have avoided Kevin Federline.
"White Christmas" by Bing Crosby
Even if you're still able to hit the beach—like here in sunny Hollywood—just wrap yourself in the closest blanket, grab a hot cocoa (with a nip of some booze, if you're of age) and let your imagine run wild. This song with transport you to the perfect winter wonderland: The 1940's, apparently.
"Run Rudolph Run" by CeeLo Green
It's less reindeer and more hot chicks riding a convertible in the music video for CeeLo's reimagining of the jam, but what else would you expect from the "F--k You" singer? The swagger-filled rendition will leave you dancing and our wish for you is that you have a hot chick (or dude, as the case may be) to join you too.
"Christmas Eve" by Justin Bieber
"You leave some cookies out, I'mma eat 'em all," Swaggy croons on this hump-happy holiday tune. And that's really all you need to know. You can forget sitting by the fire and eating fondue. If you're bumping this track, you're more likely to be lickin' that melted chocolate off each other.
"Christmas Tree" by Lady Gaga
Another lady who takes her stocking stuffers with a side of sexy, the "Born This Way" songstress seems to be planning an XXXmas orgy complete with lighting her up and something about her Christmas tree being delicious (we're not positive what that even means but we have an idea). "Fa la la" never sounded so naughty.
"8 Days of Christmas" by Destiny's Child
You're guaranteed three things with a Christmas tune from Beyoncé's former girl group: 1. Complementing Santa outfits (we spot one dress, one pair of pants and a romper). 2. A list of presents you wouldn't even want anymore (a belly chain, anyone?) And 3. It's awesome.
"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Lady Antebellum
The country trio released a Christmas album this year (On This Winter's Night) and this standout track about love lost is sure to make you reflect on your mistletoe rendezvous of yesteryear. Plus, with the blarin' horns and tickled ivories, you might just land a smooch this year too.
"Deck the Halls" by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
Sandy and Danny Zuko are back! But old, and dueting on a Christmas album called This Christmas and "Fa la la"-ing the heck out of each other. Which isn't quite as fun as "You're The One That I Want," but if you spike your egg nog you could imagine them singing it to each other in a carnival fun house.
"Candlelight–Hanukkah" by The Maccabeats
We have now entered the Hanukkah portion of our program (grab the dreidel!) and what better way to light that menorah than with one of those trendy, a cappella covers so frequently found on YouTube? This one riffs on Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" and even comes with some Hebrew! Super legit!
"Hanukkah Song" by Adam Sandler
And what would a celebration of the Festival of Lights be without the comedian's seminal classic, simply and appropriately titled, "Hanukkah Song"? Not only is the guitar-backed song informative (how many of the famous chosen people can you name?) but it's funny. Much funnier than Jack & Jill.