I've listened to A LOT of Christmas music in my twenty-six years of life, which naturally makes me... no more an authority on the subject than anyone else. *shrugs* Still, here are the songs that occupy their own playlist in my iPod.
  1. Disclaimer: This picture has nothing to do with this list. It just makes me happy.
  2. "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Darlene Love
    This is my favorite Christmas song ever, which is why the season never officially starts for me until I hear it. Not to mention that staying up to watch her sing it on The Late Show with David Letterman was a holiday tradition in my house.
  3. "All I Want For Christmas" by Dave Barnes
    I know Mariah Carey's version reigns supreme and nothing will ever top it and blah, blah, blah but the beauty of Dave's version is that it's not trying to replicate the magic of Mariah's. It's smooth, it's soulful and it'll have you falling in love if you give it a chance. (And even if it doesn't we can still be friends because I heart the original, too.)
  4. "Please Come Home For Christmas" by The Eagles
    I just love this one, plain and simple.
  5. "Santa Baby" by Jane Krakowski
    Honestly, *I* wanted to buy her the yacht and the ring after hearing this one.
  6. "White Christmas" by the Drifters
    A Christmas classic given a little bit of doo-wop flair.
  7. "Sleigh Ride" by The Ronettes
    The entire "A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector" album is brilliant until the last track of Phil talking. When he starts talking, things get a lil creepy for a moment.
  8. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Vince Vance and the Valiants
    I'll admit that I love to belt this one out when it comes on.
  9. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" by Bruce Springsteen
    Because only The Boss and the E Street Band can take a song about Santa and make it sound cool as hell. (Song starts at about the 1:55 mark in the video.)
  10. "Blue Christmas" by Elvis Presley and Martina McBride
    I kind of roll my eyes at the whole remaking songs with a deceased artist thing but in this case, I actually kind of heart it a lot. (Fun fact: The clip of Elvis singing "Blue Christmas" is from his '68 Comeback special, which of course didn't actually feature Martina McBride. It did, however, feature Darlene Love as one of the backup singers. )
  11. "Winter Wonderland" by Jason Mraz
    My love for this lies in its mellow simplicity.
  12. "All I Want For Christmas Is a Real Good Tan" by Kenny Chesney
    Just once in my life, I would like to spend Christmas sipping a boozy drink on an island somewhere.
  13. "Be There For Christmas" by Ledisi
    Just a fun song to dance around the tree or kitchen to.
  14. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Darlene Love and Ronnie Spector
    I don't hate the Brenda Lee version per se, but eight(ish) years of listening to it on an almost continuous loop while standing out in the cold every night for four weeks straight doesn't make one eager to listen to it.** So this is a nice alternative. (**- the reason for this could probably be a list of its own)
  15. "The Christmas Song" by She and Him
    It's like this song was written for Zooey Deschanel to wrap her vocals around.
  16. "Maybe Baby (New Year's Day)" Sugarland
    This was one of the original songs written for their holiday album, Gold and Green and a definite love at first listen for me.
  17. "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones
    This usually goes into the playlist somewhere between having to figure out how to wrap yet another oddly shaped gift, the 58th holiday party I've had to attend, and the third consecutive hour I've spent around kids hyped up on presents and Christmas cheer (sugar).