christmas decorations to go with top holidays songs from movies

The 5 Best Holiday Film Songs….Ever

As the holidays approach, we run headlong into those serialized holiday movie classics. What A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street  are great, but we live in modern times, and any top five list should encompass a wide range of media.

In our Top Five Holiday Film Songs list, we included some truly iconic performances, along with pieces that we believe will age well over time. What do you think?


1. Bing Crosby – “White Christmas” as appears in the film White Christmas

How many of you find yourself humming this iconic tune as you walk down freshly powdered nighttime streets? Quite possibly one of the most popular Christmas tunes of all time—and from the famous Christmas movie of the same name and yes, starring Bing Crosby—this song has become an almost American folk piece with its presence within the great American songbook.

What gives this song its enduring quality is its sentimentality. The melodic lines instill quite simply an “emotional” tone, which gives the tune legs either in sad or happy contexts. In our opinion, it just makes you feel more Christmas-y.


2. Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone – “Baby It’s Cold Outside” as appears in Elf

While not necessary second place, this classic—written in 1944 by Frank Loesser—is a redo perfect in time and place. Deschanel’s whispy vocals are a truly negative complement to Redbone’s iconic raspy drawl.

From what we know of the personalities of its singers, being placed in Elf also gives this version credit. Quirky, sometimes uncomfortable, but altogether with a good heart, the film, Deschanel, and Redbone all unite under these pillars of identity.

Note: If you’re unfamiliar with Leon Redbone, you have to listen to “The Sheik of Araby.”


3. Mariah Carey – “All I Want for Christmas is You” as appears in Love Actually

Putting a strictly 90’s pop holiday classic can be a bit… well… cheesy. But, for the open-minded person this is quite possibly one of the best modern holiday songs ever written.

As sung by Olivia Olson, who played Joanna Anderson in Love Actually, the tune is played by a bunch of children—which is always super cute—along with a full choral ensemble. It’s cheery, good-natured, and the definition of comedic feel-good.


4. Bing Crosby – “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” as appears on A Christmas Story

The great thing about this song is that, along with being a classic performed by a classic crooner, it’s on perhaps one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, A Christmas Story.

The great thing about Bing Crosby is that his signature tone and low-end but tight delivery has become synonymous with Christmas, the holidays, and great cheer.


5. Danny Elfman – “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” as appears on The Nightmare Before Christmas

For a Christmas movie, anybody born after 1990 can’t deny that The Nightmare Before Christmas is quite possibly one of the greatest of all time. With its interesting Christmas-via-Halloween perspective, both in the movie and in the song itself, it’s been a memorable part of any millennial’s life since before they can remember.

It’s also a truly comedic triumph for Danny Elfman, who has literally done anything and everything when it comes to cinematic themes. A veritable genius in all things he touches, Elfman spared no jokes and grace in this piece.

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