Billboard's Top 10 Most Popular Holiday Songs
Certain songs become ubiquitous every December, especially if you're tuning into one of around 160 stations in the U.S. that play holiday music 24/7 this time of year (or stepping into just about any retail destination). Some songs, though, become even more inescapable than others -- a phenomenon that eventually led to the genesis of Billboard's Holiday 100 chart in 2011.
Below are the 10 most popular songs in that chart's history. Chances are, you've already heard all of them at least a dozen times this season, proving that holiday hits are truly the gifts that keep on giving (to songwriters, at least!).
10. "Last Christmas," Wham!
9. "White Christmas," Bing Crosby
"I want you to take down a song I wrote over the weekend. Not only is it the best song I ever wrote, it's the best song anybody ever wrote!" is what Tin Pan Alley legend Irving Berlin is reported to have told his secretary in 1940, just before writing "White Christmas" -- arguably as important to the American songbook as "God Bless America," which Berlin, a secular Jewish-American immigrant, also wrote. The song rose to prominence thanks to Crosby's performance in Holiday Inn, which earned it an Academy Award for best original song in 1943 and has been popular ever since: According to Guinness World Records, it's the best-selling single of all time.
8. "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)," Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The medley of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Carol of the Bells" was first released on the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's 1996 debut -- since then, they've become a holiday powerhouse.
7. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," Andy Williams
More than 50 years in, this 1963 Andy Williams staple shows no signs of fatigue: It's currently at No. 3 on the Holiday 100 songs chart.
6. "A Holly Jolly Christmas," Burl Ives
Burl Ives first sang the song as Sam the Snowman, narrator of the beloved 1964 stop-motion classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer -- since then, it's become one of country music's most-covered Christmas tunes.
5. "Feliz Navidad," Jose Feliciano
The Spanglish single has become one of the world's most popular Christmas songs -- no surprise given its endless sing-a-long potential.
4. "Jingle Bell Rock," Bobby Helms
The country classic, featuring the guitar of Nashville legend Hank Garland, was actually written by two ad men (think Don Draper, but in Atlantic City) in 1956 -- which might explain how catchy it is.
3. "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)," Nat King Cole
The legendary crooner found one of his most enduring hits in this Mel Torme composition -- originally written, according to Torme, as a mind-over-matter attempt to stay cool during a stifling summer day.
2. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," Brenda Lee
At just 13 years old, Brenda Lee instantly became a rockabilly legend with the recording of this Christmas party classic -- it's even featured in seminal holiday film Home Alone as Macaulay Culkin's pretend party soundtrack.
1. "All I Want for Christmas Is You," Mariah Carey
M.C. is the place to be, especially around the holidays -- "All I Want for Christmas Is You" takes the top spot, and is so popular that it re-enters the Billboard Hot 100 every December.
Billboard's Top 10 Holiday Songs are based on actual performance on Billboard's weekly Holiday 100 chart – which encompasses airplay, sales and streaming data – between its Dec. 10, 2011, inception and the chart dated Jan. 7, 2018 (the final holiday ranking of the season). Songs are ranked based on cumulative chart points earned over the ranking's five-year history.