It might be the time of year for mouth-watering food and heart-warming family get-togethers, but it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without a playlist or two dedicated to the best festive tunes.
It goes without saying that classic songs like “Fairytale of New York” and “All I Want for Christmas” are going to be at the top of plenty of people’s music playlists for this most wonderful time of the year, but what if you want a playlist tailored to specific Christmas activities?
Using a combination of Spotify, Playlist Miner, and Sort Your Music, we delved into Christmas playlists marked:
- Opening Presents
- Christmas Dinner
- Christmas Cooking
- Driving Home for Christmas
- NYE Party
- Dinner Party
We then took this data and compared a variety of stats to find which songs were most commonly featured.
Thanks to this data, we can now help you get started prepping your music for the big day by revealing the topmost popular Christmas songs to play so you can nail that Christmas spirit all day long.
The top 5 most popular Christmas cooking songs
For many people, the best part of Christmas is the food. So, naturally, you’ll want that perfect cooking playlist of top songs to make tackling those tricky parts of the Christmas dinner an absolute breeze. These top songs have a high BPM, giving you fast-paced music to sing to as you hit each recipe’s timings.
According to our research, and perhaps to no one’s surprise, the number one Christmas song for any cooking playlist is Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’. An all-time classic, there’s no better song to start prepping the turkey too.
Next up, we have Ariana Grande’s ‘Santa Tell Me’. While a more modern take on a Christmas song, it still manages to capture the festive feeling.
And for our third top cooking song, you can’t go wrong with Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’, an absolute bop for when you need to juggle wrapping the pigs in blankets and stuffing the turkey.
Finally, our fourth and fifth songs are also popular choices to maintain a steady cooking pace. Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’ and Michael Bublé’s ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’ are bursting with the exact sort of festive feeling you can sing along to while you close the oven and turn to tackle all that washing up
The top 5 most popular Christmas dinner songs
With the cooking out of the way, it’s time to gather the whole family around the dinner table and tuck in. Get the gravy boat ready and dish up a healthy portion or two so everyone can indulge in their favourite foods. Compared to cooking, our top dinner songs are low-energy and acoustic-styled, because we all know you can’t rush Christmas dinner.
Again, to no one’s surprise, spots one and two are taken up by Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé classics, but in the third spot we have a new contender – Andy Williams’ ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’. Slow but much loved, it’s the exact type of song you need to relax to after going back for seconds.
In fourth, we have Nat King Cole’s ‘Merry Christmas to You’, followed again by Brenda Lee’s classic tune. However, outside of our top five, we see favourites like Elvis Presley’s ‘Blue Christmas’ and Frank Sinatra’s ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, two songs that are exactly what you need to add variety to your dinner playlist.
The Top 5 most popular Christmas cleaning songs
We know it’s not everyone’s favourite part of the day, but when the cooking’s done and dinner’s been demolished, you want to get the washing up out of the way as soon as possible – no one wants to face a dirty kitchen on Boxing Day morning.
Interestingly, our research actually showed that most cleaning songs have a much higher energy than our other playlists, making it clear that we all want something upbeat and motivational to help us wipe down the worktops quickly.
First up, we have Mark Ronson and Bruno Mar’s ‘Uptown Funk’ – an absolute banger that will have you strutting around the kitchen as you store all the leftovers in the fridge. And if you follow it up with WALK THE MOON’S ‘Shut Up and Dance’, you’ll be blasting out some killer moves as you stack everything in the sink.
Following these up, we have Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance with Sombody’, TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’, and Spice Girl’s ‘Wannabe’. Of course, there are plenty of other songs out there with the kind of energy you need to power through degreasing the turkey tray and filling the dishwasher.
Okay, so they might not technically be Christmas songs, but who says you can’t enjoy some all-time music classics alongside the best songs Christmas has to offer?
The top 5 driving home for Christmas songs
Going back to see the family for Christmas? Although you need to be safe and focused on the road at this time of the year, you can still sneak on a few high-energy Christmas songs to get you excited for the big day.
Just like our top cooking song list, Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande, Brenda Lee, and Michael Bublé all make the top five for this type of playlist, but they’re also joined by John Lennon with ‘Happy Xmas’, lending a classic Beatles feel to your playlist.
Other good driving songs for Christmas include Ed Sheeran’s ‘Merry Christmas’, and Coldplay’s ‘Christmas Lights’, two modern songs that still manage to nail the festive vibe flawlessly.
Other popular Christmas songs to add to your playlist
With the top five songs for the most important playlists sorted, you might curious as to what other songs are popular this time of year.
For anyone hosting a Christmas dinner party, John Mayer’s ‘New Light’ and The Temptation’s ‘My Girl’ are an absolute must to set the mood. And Bobby Helm’s ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ is the perfect song for present opening.
And, of course, New Year is just around the corner. If you want to bring in the New Year with some high energy, you can’t go wrong with The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’, Sam Smith’s ‘Unholy’, and Flo Rida’s ‘Low’. In fact, it seems that most New Year playlists are crammed full of pop songs, all designed to help you celebrate the next year.
The most popular artists featured on festive playlists
With all our playlists to hand, you might be able to guess the most popular artists featured on people’s Christmas playlists. But, with that being said, the number one artist might surprise you.
Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ might be the most popular Christmas song of all time, with over 1.1 billion streams on Spotify, but the most common artist to feature on festive playlists was actually Frank Sinatra. His 15 million monthly listeners might be lower than other popular Christmas artists, but it seems he always gets a boost in the festive season.
As for other commonly featured artists, Michael Bublé and Bing Crosby came in second and third respectively, with Dean Martin in fourth. In fact, Mariah Carey only placed fifth among the most featured festive artists, despite her 26 million monthly listeners.
So, with all these well-known songs to hand, you have everything you need to start making a set of spectacular Christmas playlists. Of course, you don’t have to choose them all, and no matter your favourite Christmas music, you should focus on making playlists that boost your mood and set the festive atmosphere.