Playlist: The Tunes of Christmas Past

Last year, I put together a collection of my favorite holiday (read: Christmas) songs of all time, and they ranged from hip-hop to (Mexican) instrumental to Stevie Wonder. But this year, the Holigays are partnered with a strong sense of nostalgia – so I’m going back to basics (and back to the classics.) You should play this playlist at your Holigay party and make everyone wear retro gear. Or, you could light a gingerbread candle and listen to all of them at home – coupled with a fireplace video on loop in the background.

This is a judgement-free zone.


Playlist: The Tunes of Christmas Past


Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Lena Horne
Twinkle Twinkle Little Me – The Supremes
Christmas Ain’t Christmas (Without The One You Love) – The O’Jays
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Four Seasons
Christmas Day With Me – Laura Vane & the Vipertones
Jingle Bells Cha Cha Cha – Pearl Bailey
Merry Christmas All – Denise Montana & The Salsoul Orchestra
The Little Drummer Boy – Johnny Cash
The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle – Burt Bacharach
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Moss
Blue Holiday – The Shirelles
It Snowed – Meaghan Smith
Happy New Year Baby – Jo-Ann Campbell
Winter Wonderland – Peggy Lee
Run Rudolph Run – Chuck Berry
Sleigh Ride – Ferrante & Teicher
Here Comes Santa Claus – The Mills Brothers
My Little Drum – Vince Guaraldi
Hungover Boxing Day – The Gasoline Brothers
Comfort and Joy – Simon & Garfunkel
Angels We Have Heard On High – Aretha Franklin
Christmas Songs – Dean Martin
The Christmas Song – Smokey Robinson & The Temptations
Happy Holidays – Andy Williams
Jingle Bells – Frank Sinatra
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer – The Cadillacs
The Christmas Waltz – Nancy Wilson
Sleigh Ride – Johnny Mathis
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
Merry Christmas Darling – The Carpenters
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer – The Melodeers
Twistin’ Bells – Santo & Johnny
If It Doesn’t Snow on Christmas Day – Gene Autry
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Lou Rawls
Kissin’ By The Mistletoe – Aretha Franklin
This Christmas – Gladys Night & the Pips
Let it Snow (Christmas Jazz) – Ella Fitzgerald

Tunes of Christmas Past from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Stef up and someone on the team might make it for you.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 920 articles for us.


  1. really nice list, Carmen. Brownie points for Gladys’ version of “This Christmas.” I had to go horse and buggy a few years back to get her holiday album “That Special Time of Year” and buy it on CD.

    From your choices I suspect somebody used to play “A Soulful Christmas” in your house during the season…me too. But if you’re going 60/70’s R&B, The Whispers should totally be on this list. Their versions of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “This Christmas” are awesome.

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