- “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey
For some reason, I can’t help but try (and fail) to hit the runs and high notes of this famous tune. The song and lyrics are catchy, and I find myself singing along without even realizing it. Mariah Carey’s famous Christmas tune is from her 1994 album “Merry Christmas,” which has sold over 15 million copies worldwide, making it the most successful Christmas album ever. Over the years there have been many covers of the song, including those by Fifth Harmony and Michael Bublé.
- “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano
With its simple lyrics and catchy tune, “Feliz Navidad” is one of the most popular Christmas songs in the United States and Canada. The song was written in 1970 by José Feliciano, a Puerto Rican singer and songwriter. The song features the traditional Spanish greeting for the season, “Feliz Navidad, prospero ano y felicidad,” which means “Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness.” The song didn’t actually reach popularity in the United States until 1998, when it reached number 70 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It returned to the charts last Christmas season, peaking at number 44.
- “Last Christmas” by Wham!
“Last Christmas” came out in 1985 and is one of my favorite Christmas tunes. It reached number two in the UK during its debut Christmas season and has been on the charts in many other countries as well. It places at number 10 on the list of all-time best-selling Christmas singles in US history. In the mid-1980s, Wham! was accused of stealing the tune of “Can’t Smile Without You” by the Carpenters. The case was settled, and it was never determined if it was actually plagiarized.
- “I Saw Mommy Kissin’ Santa Claus” by Jimmy Boyd
Although many people may recognize the Jackson 5 or Ronettes versions of this tune, the original version was created by Tommie Connor and sang by Jimmy Boyd when he was 13 years old. It reached number one on the Billboard pop singles chart in December of 1952 and number three on the UK charts when it was released there in 1953. Saks Fifth Avenue paid Conner to write the song to promote their Christmas card for the year. The song was also banned by the Catholic church in Boston shortly after its release because they said it mixed kissing and Christmas. After the singer met with the church to explain the song, the ban was lifted.
- “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by Gayla Peevey
This quirky tune was written by John Rox and sang by child star Gayla Peevey, who was only 10 years old when the song was recorded. The song peaked at number 24 on the Billboard charts in 1953. Peevey was gifted a hippopotamus for Christmas that year by a local promoter. She donated the hippo to her city’s zoo, and the hippo lived for almost 50 years.
- “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt
“Santa Baby,” the most famous song by Eartha Kitt, is a list of expensive gifts a woman wants from Santa Claus. It was originally recorded in 1953, but was re-recorded in 1954 and 1963. The song is certified gold in the United States and is featured in a number of Christmas movies. The song was covered by many artists such as Madonna, Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift.