XXXMAS: The Playlist

Around Christmastime, something just sort of happens to me. All of a sudden I wake up stringing small stocking with my friend’s rap names written on them up over our fireplace, or I find myself in the middle of the CVS seasonal aisle wearing a snowman ski hat and holding three packages of garland. Every year, from Thanksgiving to January 1, just like clockwork, I am a festive machine hellbent on bringing joy to others through forcible consumption of yuletide joyThis is no simple task, and to better accomplish it I began, in 2006, collecting Christmas music. Now, I have over 500 tracks on my laptop labeled “XXXMAS,” five versions of every staple holiday track and a couple really weird songs I don’t think many of us know exist (I see you, entirety of the Bright Eyes Christmas album).

This Christmas, I’m giving you the best of them.

ugh, y’all eli is so cute

XXXmas: The Playlist


Little Drummer Boy – The Dandy Warhols
Christmas In Harlem – Kanye West ft. Cam’ron, Jim Jones, CyHi Da Prynce, Pusha T, Big Sean, Teyana Taylor, Big Sean & Musiq Soulchild
Merry Christmas Baby – Otis Redding
O Holy Night – Musiq Soulchild
Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney & Wings
Christmas Tree – Lady GaGa ft. Space Cowboy
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – *NSYNC
Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade
Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
What Christmas Means To Me – Stevie Wonder
Give Love On Christmas Day – The Jackson 5
Doo-Wop Christmas – Kenny Vance & The Planotones
Last Christmas – Wham
This Christmas – Donny Hathaway
It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams
A Christmas Song – Shawn Phillips
Dashing Through The Snow – Jim Reeves
All I Want For Christmas – Mariah Carey
Step Into Christmas – Elton John
Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys
Love On Layaway – Gloria Estefan
Donde Esta Santa Claus – Augie Rios
Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid
Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen
A Great Big Sled – The Killers
Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
All Alone On Christmas – Darlene Love
Home For Christmas – Danity Kane
Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas – Carla Thomas
Carol Of The Bells – The Bird & The Bee
Sparkplug Minuet – Mark Mothersbaugh
Put the Lights On the Tree – Sufjan Stevens
Twelve Days Of Christmas – Mexicani Marimba Band
The First Noel – Little Things That Kill
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Death Cab for Cutie
Happy Christmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon
Christmas Vacation Theme – Orchestral
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Studio) – Tori Amos
7 O’Clock News/Silent Night – Simon & Garfunkel
The Christmas Song – The Raveonettes
Little Drummer Boy – The Tokens
White Christmas – The Drifters
Santa Baby – Marilyn Monroe
Skating – Vince Guaraldi
Last Christmas – Jimmy Eat World
When I Get Home for Christmas – Snow Patrol
Just Like Christmas – Low
Wonderful – Watashi Wa
2000 Miles – Pretenders
Sleigh Ride – The Ventures
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Little Drummer Boy & Peace On Earth – Bing Crosby & David Bowie
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Coldplay
My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year) – Regina Spektor
Wonderful Christmastime – Tom McRae

XXXMAS from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.

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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 921 articles for us.


  1. Carly

    THANK YOU SO MUCH I have been trying to remember the name and artist of “Christmas Wrapping” since I heard it in a Macy’s in November. This has made my day and it’s barely light outside.

    Now to put this on repeat for two weeks and have the most new wave christmas ever.

  2. Lanie

    I have 3 days worth of holiday music in my itunes, you’ve officially streamlined my “smiling’s my favorite” playlist just in time for me to go home and deck our halls if only for a few days :)Also I am in charge of music for the holiday party at my office and while I was going to just play Kenny G (alto saxxx wut!) I think this might make the party a little more fun for me.

  3. Carmen, this is one of the best Christmas playlists I’ve ever seen!

  4. amanda ling

    Carmen, you have two versions of little drummer boy on here, and ~neither of them are the Joan Jett versions, this perhaps needs remedy

  5. Must recommend Bob Dylan’s Christmas. For anyone who has yet to dope-smoked they self into fits of joy and paranoia at a xmas party/family reunion, its just like this:

  6. Madison

    I love this list! But if you haven’t heard of Straight No Chaser you should listen to their 12 Days of Christmas and Christmas Can-Can.

    If you have heard of them, then you just got even more awesome.

    • i have, i left them out just ’cause i didn’t think they’d fit in this particular arrangement. but i have! i own their music even! so i hope that makes it ok.

  7. e


  8. Alice

    Carmen Rios making the Yuletide gay! Love it!

    • a lot of it was to see what made the cut like an audition for middle school rendition of middle summer night’s dream but this is way more important

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