Whether we’re shopping at Macy’s and hear it on the speakers, or are ordering a holiday themed coffee from Starbucks, Christmas music is inescapable. These classic yuletide anthems always seem to find a collective balance between timelessness and nostalgia, helping us gather up all those warm and fuzzy feelings to balance out the cold winter and survive the holiday season.
As music is the fruit of life, it is also the number one reliever of the holiday stress and anxiety that hits all of us. By creating a simple festive playlist, you can not only decrease anxiety and your body’s stress hormone levels, but lower your blood pressure—so says science. But enough about science! Finding that perfect tune that will either play in the background of your Christmas party, bounce off the walls in your car as you fiddle with the heating or simply kick back with a good book by the fireplace doesn’t have to be difficult list to compile. Sure it can be sort of overwhelming as there are a dozen-and-one different renditions of every holiday song and one is always more ear-worthy than the other, but it can be easy—especially if you know what you’re looking for.
To get you in the festive spirit, here are 12 of my favorite Christmas tracks from artists new and old.