Listen to This: Christmas 2018

Listen, I’m not gonna lie: I started listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween. And I wish I could say it’s just to be able to put together this annual playlist for you, and not because…well, because basically the other 10 months of the year are just me waiting for it to be holiday music season.

I’ve been making these playlists every year since at least 2009, which means we’re nearing a decade of festive tracks compiled with love, from me to you. And I really do enjoy it. Some years are easier than others, and sometimes I worry I’ve used up all the good Christmas songs. But new holiday albums are about as predictable as the countdown on New Year’s Eve: they’re bound to happen every year, it’s just a matter of time. 

This year sees a whole new batch of holiday albums hit the airwaves, from Eric Clapton (I selected his take on Away in a Manger for this year’s playlist) and Karmin (her pop-heavy take on Sleigh Ride is a blast!) to John Legend and Gwen Stefani (neither of which have any tracks I felt made the cut. Bummer.). Between all the new music I discovered and a few classics in the mix (I see you, Mariah Carey), I managed to put together a compilation 19 tracks deep. Not too bad!

After settling on some of the new music I wanted to be sure to include, I also found a few classics to fit in at just the right moments; keep an ear out for Elvis Presley and Bing Crosby, among others. You’ll also hear from some indie artists like The Maine and My Bubba, plus a few unexpected entries from the likes of DMX and Sia. I always recommend listening to the playlist in order, but feel free to hit shuffle, too. Any way you slice it, I think it’s another strong list of holiday hits.

As always, I create the playlist in Spotify; you shouldn’t need an account to play it from this link. I’ve also embedded the playlist below. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

Oh, and if you’re interested, you can find Holiday Playlists from years gone by here: 20172016201520142013 and 2012.