By: Riley Alexander

Happy Holidays everyone!  As we enter the last weeks of 2020 and we can find solace from the madness of this year in our winter traditions.  Although, you’ve likely already made your Christmas playlist feel free to take some of my tips and tricks for creating a well balanced Christmas playlist.

First we must address the elephant in the room; despite being the number one song every December, “All I Want for Christmas is You” is not Mariah Carey’s best song on her 1994 Album Merry Christmas.  That honor has to go to “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”.  Don’t get me wrong, “All I Want for Christmas is You” is a holiday classic and a staple for anyone’s Christmas playlist. However, for those looking to get away from overexposed songs, Carey’s version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” gives you everything you could want in a Christmas Song sung by Mariah Carey.

Now let’s talk about the composition of your playlist.  If you are religious, there should be an even mix of secular and religious music.  This can fluctuate within reason according to your own taste.  At most however, the divide between secular and religious music or vice versa is 60-40.  An example of a secular Christmas song would be “Santa Baby”.  Secular songs are songs that are more about the Christmas season and gift giving rather than the birth of Jesus Christ.  Conversely, an example of a religious Christmas song would be “Hark! The Herald Angel Sings!”.  Religious songs are songs that celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  A great Christmas list should have both.

Next to address repeats because there are only so many Christmas songs that exist unfortunately.  Repeats of songs are absolutely fine! In fact, I encourage repeats.  What’s important is that the different versions sound distinct from each other.  In order to achieve this it’s best to listen to an artist’s full Christmas Album and choose your favorites rather than choose the most popular Christmas songs.  That way every addition has earned its place on your playlist.  Eartha Kitt’s version of “Santa Baby” sounds completely different from Ariana Grande and Elizabeth Gillies version, but both are one of the best songs on their respective albums so they both made it onto my Christmas playlist.

Finally, I want to put you all on a hidden gem of a song and an underrated Christmas album.  First, if you don’t have a version of Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) on your playlist add it immediately.  It breaks the monotony of Christmas Songs with it’s nod to Hawaiian music and gives you a nice break in playlists that tend to be multiple hours long.  Next, take a listen to Tinashe’s Comfort & Joy Christmas EP.  It was released this year, and in my opinion is an instant classic.

In all honesty, Christmas playlists are all about what makes you feel good and gets you into the Christmas spirit.  So take from me what you vibe with and leave what you don’t; just make sure to have safe and happy holidays!

P.S. If you want to see my Christmas Playlist, you can follow it here on Spotify: