I’m a HUGE fan of Christmas songs. They are in my head all year-round. In the summertime, I’m on Spotify playing Christmas music. By the fall, it’s virtually all-Christmas songs in my room and in my car. If you don’t believe me, just check out my music blog, Metal Excess, I’ve hardly posted any new reviews at all in the last few months because I haven’t been listening to any hard rock or heavy metal!
As much as I love the Christmas carols that we all grew up singing in church, school or around the neighborhood and as amazing as the standards (sung by the likes of Crosby, Sinatra, Ives, Martin, Mathis, Williams, Como and Cole) are, there’s plenty of great modern Christmas songs as well.
When I say “modern”, I’m deciding that’s anything from 1990-onward. I think the era of classic Christmas songs runs from the late-1930’s up until the mid-1960’s (“White Christmas”, “Silver Bells”, “A Holly Jolly Christmas”, “A Marshmallow World”, “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas”, etc). Then you have a new wave of classics from the early-1970’s to the mid-1980’s (“Merry Christmas, Darling”, “Last Christmas”, “Wonderful Christmastime”, “Christmas Wrapping”, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, etc).
Well, without further ado, here are a few of modern holiday classics that receive frequent rotation from me each holiday season! I’ll be breaking this up into two different posts because no one wants to endlessly scroll through a post of YouTube videos.
“Breath of Heaven”
Home for Christmas (1992)
I’m not much of a religious person but there’s something really powerful, haunting even, about this song. Very beautiful.
“Fa La La”
Everyday Holidays (2013)
Kinda cheesy and at first I didn’t like this song. But it’s started to grow on me.
“Underneath the Tree”
Wrapped in Red (2013)
When I first heard this song, I had to double-check to make sure she wasn’t covering Mariah Carey. It has that same vibe as Mariah’s 1992 Christmas album.
Christmas Spirit (2012)
Richard Marx is a fantastic singer and songwriter so I was very happy to hear he was finally doing a Christmas album. Christmas Spirit does not disappoint and neither did the song of the same name!
Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
The Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs (2008)
Okay, maybe not so much of a Christmas or holiday tune as it is a winter song (hence the title of the song) and it’s kinda depressing, but I still love it.
“Christmas Time Again”
A Very Special Christmas 2 (1992)
Extreme is such a great band and they delivered a stone-cold modern classic Christmas song with this one. I’m surprised this one wasn’t a huge holiday hit.