The staff picks Christmas Songs by Decade

Five Rebellion staff members chose Christmas favorites, each from a different decade. From timeless classics to chart toppers to pop-culture nostalgia, there’s something here for everyone.

1960s: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams

Andy Williams “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” has been covered over 253 times, but a favorite is the original released in 1963.

Williams is an American singer with 43 recorded albums and 15 gold certified and 3 platinum.

He wrote “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” for his first Christmas album “The Andy Williams Christmas Album.”

The song feels like Christmas with the instruments used like the trumpet, soprano, and tenor voice.

The song talks about Christmas cheer, jingle bells and winter being the happiest time of the year.

He has a very classical sounding voice that goes with the Christmas sound, and that’s the part of the song that makes people get in the spirit and excited about Christmas.

This song has been a Christmas favorite for many years, and it will always be.

1970s: Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano

José Feliciano made this bilingual Christmas song into a true Christmas classic with a unique twist.

Christmas carols usually have an old sound to them, but “Feliz Navidad” is full of life and gives a new spin to the usual carols.

Feliciano’s Puerto Rican accent gives the track an authenticity while using a traditional Spanish holiday greeting as the chorus. Feliciano sings this song at a fast pace and uses a laugh-like sound to lift spirits.

The song isn’t like all the normal carols heard throughout the holiday season. The mixture of instruments and the pop-like feel just makes the listeners want to dance.

With the mixture of his merry voice and the swinging trumpet, listeners cannot help but smile.

1980s: Carol of the Bells by George Winston

More than 150 recordings of “Carol of the Bells” have been released since the song’s creation in the early twentieth century, but George Winston’s solo piano rendition stands out for it’s delicate, hypnotic beauty.

The fifth track on Winston’s triple-platinum album “December,” the song has been a hit since it’s release in late 1982.

Like all the tracks on the album, it’s just solo piano with no words or accompanying instruments, but Winston uses the piano to create a version of the song that is both hypnotic and melodic.

The song swells and ebbs in volume and intensity, offering sequences that are alternately delicate and sharp.

The repetition is comforting and perhaps even reminiscent of falling snow, but before it can grow stale, Winton injects just enough variety to keep it surprising.

1990s: All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

With estimated sales of over 17 million copies, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” By Mariah Carey is the best selling Christmas single by a female artist and one of the best-selling singles of all time. “The New Yorker” described it as “one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon.”

By 2017, it had reportedly earned 60 million in royalties and had gone platinum eight times. In 2019, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time, 25 years after its original release, thus breaking several records.

Carey’s dynamic vocals, catchy melody, and up-tempo beat makes the song so addictive that it’s hard to stop listening to. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is definitely a feel good Christmas song.

The song has become a Christmas standard and continues to surge in popularity each holiday season.

2000s: Very First Christmas by SpongeBob SquarePants

SpongeBob’s” “Very First Christmas” is a favorite for many Gen Z kids. The song premiered on Dec. 6, 2000 in an episode of the same name and enamored a generation.

What makes Christmas so magical is how it plays into nostalgia, and for those who grew up on SpongeBob, “Very First Christmas,” does just that—it’s nostalgia heaven.

“Very First Christmas” is fun, catchy, hilarious, and most importantly, it’s from “SpongeBob,” one of the most iconic television shows of the 2000’s. If you grew up on Nickelodeon, you know this song and probably love it.

From Mr. Krab’s falsetto to SpongeBob and Patrick’s antics—and Squidward’s subsequent disdain for said antics—the song just hits all the right spots.

What makes a Christmas song so good is its memorability, and “Very First Christmas” is just too great to forget.