The 1980s brought us an array of Christmas songs that still fill the airwaves today with holiday cheer. It was a decade of bubbly pop beats, rock ballads, and heartfelt melodies that captured the essence of the holiday season. These tracks have stood the test of time, as their arrangements and lyrics continue to strike a chord with listeners.

Each song is a portal to reminiscing about the good old days, of Christmases past, and the hope for the future holidays yet to come. Let us take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and revisit some of the most beloved Christmas classics of the 80s.


“Last Christmas” – Wham!

Wham!’s “Last Christmas” is an 80s Christmas classic filled with synthesizers, festive bells, and sentimental lyrics that have made it a holiday staple. The song’s catchy melody and George Michael’s smooth vocals give it a timeless quality that still resonates with listeners today. From the iconic music video to the playful jingle bells, “Last Christmas” captures the spirit of the season and invites listeners to sing along with its cheerful chorus.


“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – Band Aid

One of the most consequential and momentous songs of the 1980s Christmas season was a charity single titled “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by a collective group known as Band Aid. The song’s main purpose was to raise funds and awareness for famine relief in Ethiopia, but it became a worldwide hit due to its catchy melody and rousing chorus.

Despite its controversial and problematic lyrics, the song came to symbolize the generosity and solidarity of the 1980s musical community in the face of global crises.


“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – Darlene Love

“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love is a festive and upbeat song that embodies the 1980s era with its lively and energetic tune. The soulful vocals of Darlene Love coupled with the pop-style music make the song an instant classic.

The lyrics express desire for a loved one to join in on the holiday festivities, and the overall atmosphere of the song is both nostalgic and hopeful. The track is sure to get you into the holiday mood and will leave you humming the tune all season long.


“Wonderful Christmastime” – Paul McCartney

” Wonderful Christmastime” is a joyous track that perfectly captures the festive mood of the holiday season. Paul McCartney’s signature sound is present in this upbeat and catchy tune, as he revels in the merry atmosphere and encourages listeners to join him in the celebration.

With its lively synthesizer melody and cheerful lyrics, “Wonderful Christmastime” is sure to put a smile on your face and get you into the holiday spirit.


“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” – John Lennon and Yoko Ono

Amidst the plethora of catchy 1980s Christmas carols, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono reflects the era with its peace-focused lyrics. The song calls for a change in political climate by challenging the way we approach warfare and promotes a new world of harmony and unity.

With its distinct melody, the song has remained a classic that embodies both the holiday spirit and its cultural roots.


“Little Saint Nick” – The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys’ “Little Saint Nick” is a groovy tune that’s sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Released in the early ’60s, this classic track has a timeless appeal that’s still as vibrant as ever.

With its upbeat melody, catchy chorus, and sunny harmonies, it’s the perfect song to blast while driving with the top down on a sunny Christmas day. The lyrics are filled with fun and festive imagery that capture the joy and excitement of the season.


“Father Christmas” – The Kinks

One gem from the crackling fire of ’80s Christmas tunes is “Father Christmas” by The Kinks. With its effervescent sound and lyrics taking on some of the more abrasive elements surrounding the holidays (like getting jingled by kids who are trying to swipe your money), the song remains a perennial playlist favorite over thirty years later.

It’s the perfect antidote to the saccharine nature of most Christmas music, and showcases The Kinks singular talent for blending social commentary with catchy melodies.


“Christmas in Hollis” – Run-DMC

“Christmas in Hollis” by Run-DMC is a true jingle-jam that grabs your attention from its beat-filled intro. With Run-DMC’s signature style and impeccable rhyming, they narrate a story about finding Santa’s wallet in Queens, NY. This 1987 hit caters to those who love hip-hop and R&B music, providing a unique twist on Christmas cheer. It’s a timeless classic that will get you up and moving every time you play it.


“Same Old Lang Syne” – Dan Fogelberg

Number 9 on the list is a melancholic tune about reconnecting with an old flame during the holiday season. The song exhibits a unique fusion of rock and folk elements that is characteristic of the 80s era music. The artist’s vocal delivery is soulful, conveying emotions of longing and regret. This track stands out as an introspective take on the typical upbeat Christmas song, making it a nostalgic musical experience.


“Sleigh Ride” – The Ronettes

Coming in at number 10, “Sleigh Ride” by The Ronettes was a jolly 1980s Christmas tune with exuberant rhythms, rich melodies, and cheerful vocals. The song’s infectious beat is perfect for getting anyone in the holiday spirit, as it mixes classical instrumentation with rock rhythms while still retaining a nostalgic and wistful charm.

The Ronettes’ rendition of “Sleigh Ride” is a must-have on Christmas playlists that aim to capture the upbeat spirit of the 1980s.


“Christmas Wrapping” – The Waitresses

“Christmas Wrapping” is a song by The Waitresses that was originally released in 1981 and has since become an 80s holiday classic. With its catchy beat and quirky lyrics about a woman’s year-long search for love coming to fruition during the holiday season, “Christmas Wrapping” perfectly encapsulates the upbeat, bright spirit of 80s Christmas music.

The song showcases an interesting mix of electronic and traditional instruments, with the lead singer’s unique vocals adding an extra layer of fun. It continues to be a favorite among both old and new fans of the genre.


“Step Into Christmas” – Elton John

Amidst an era characterized by its glitzy persona and self-indulgent melodies, Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas” presented a refreshing addition to the 1980s Christmas songs realm. Boasting an upbeat tempo, jubilant lyrics, and contagious keyboard hooks, the song captures the spirit of Christmas in a way that resonates with the listener.

John’s soaring vocal prowess melds splendidly with the song’s harmony, making “Step Into Christmas” a cherished addition of the generation.


“Blue Christmas” – Elvis Presley

“Blue Christmas,” a perennial Christmas classic, was originally recorded by Elvis Presley in the 1950s but achieved greater popularity in the 1980s. With its melancholic melody and lyrics about spending the holidays alone, the song captures the bittersweet sentiments often associated with the season.

Its inclusion on many Christmas albums and playlists ensures that it continues to be a cherished part of the festive soundtrack year after year.”


“Carol of the Bells” – David Foster

David Foster’s “Carol of the Bells” is a beloved instrumental song that captures the pure essence of Christmas. With its intricate, highly-arranged melodies, it showcases the beauty of the season with a burst of complexity that is bound to fascinate and captivate.

As one of the most recognizable songs of the 1980s, “Carol of the Bells” is sure to give listeners a jolly and festive feeling, making it a must-listen for any holiday fan.


“The Christmas Song” – Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole’s Christmas classic “The Christmas Song” may seem like a relic from a bygone era, but it actually had a resurgence in the 1980s. With its timeless lyrics and Cole’s rich, smooth vocals, it’s no surprise that this song has stood the test of time and is still beloved today.

Its inclusion in any Christmas playlist is practically essential, ensuring feelings of warmth, nostalgia, and holiday cheer every time it is heard.


“Jingle Bell Rock” – Bobby Helms

“Jingle Bell Rock” is an upbeat and playful Christmas song that became popular in the 1980s thanks to its memorable opening guitar riff and catchy melodies. The song features a swing-style beat that gets listeners tapping their feet and singing along in no time.

With its bouncy rhythms and exuberant vocals, “Jingle Bell Rock” has become a holiday classic that captures the fun and merriment of the season. Whether you’re listening to it on the car radio or singing along with friends at a holiday party, this song is sure to get you in the festive spirit.


“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – Brenda Lee

One of the most iconic tunes of the 1980s holiday season is a lively classic rock n’ roll number that will get you up on your feet! This jazzy and upbeat melody is a must-play at any Christmas party and encapsulates the electrifying energy of the time period like no other. Whether young or old, this song is sure to get you grooving along with its catchy lyrics and festive feel.


“Feliz Navidad” – Jose Feliciano

“Featuring upbeat and cheerful Latino rhythms, ‘Feliz Navidad’ is a feel-good Christmas song from the 1980s that still resonates with listeners today. Jose Feliciano’s smooth and soulful voice brilliantly captures the festive spirit of the season as he sings in both English and Spanish, making this track all the more memorable.

It’s no wonder that this classic tune has been covered countless of times since its release, solidifying its status as a beloved Christmas staple.”


“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – Burl Ives

“Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano is a festive and lively song that will transport you to a warm and merry Christmas celebration. The song features Feliciano’s exceptional guitar skills and is sung in Spanish and English, adding to its unique charm.

“Feliz Navidad” became an instant classic and a popular choice for holiday playlists during the 1980s. Its catchy melody and joyful atmosphere will make you want to sing and dance along, making it a perfect addition to any Christmas party playlist.


“Frosty the Snowman” – Jimmy Durante

“Frosty the Snowman” is a classic Christmas tune that has been around since the 1950s, but it gained a popular resurgence in the 1980s due to numerous covers and adaptations. The song’s catchy melody and upbeat tempo make it a great tune for holiday parties and get-togethers.

It has been covered by various artists such as Jimmy Durante and The Ronettes, and has made its way into many Christmas movies and television specials. Its whimsical lyrics and cheerful tone perfectly capture the spirit of the holiday season.


“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” – John Mellencamp

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by John Mellencamp is a classic Christmas song with an intriguing narrative. The song follows a child who witnesses their mother kissing Santa Claus on Christmas Eve and wonders how to reconcile this behavior with the traditional Christmas values.

Mellencamp infuses a rock and roll spin on the original version, adding a raw energy to the tale. This timeless song is sure to add some festive excitement to any 1980s Christmas playlist.


“Christmas Time is Here” – Vince Guaraldi Trio

“Christmas Time is Here” by Vince Guaraldi Trio is a beloved melody that captures the whimsical and lighthearted essence of the holiday season. The piano-led instrumentals are reminiscent of the peaceful and joyous feelings that come with a cozy winter night.

The gentle percussion and ethereal vocal harmonies are a perfect blend of classical and contemporary music, making it an enduring Christmas favorite that has withstood the test of time. If you’re looking for a song that exudes holiday cheer and captures the essence of the 80s Christmas era, this song is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


“All I Want for Christmas Is You” – Vince Vance & The Valiants

Vince Vance and The Valiants’ upbeat Christmas hit, “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” was released in 1989. The song features lively piano riffs and catchy lyrics that will have you tapping your feet and singing along in no time. With a fusion of pop, country, and rock, it’s a perfect representation of the diverse sounds of the ’80s.

Whether you’re young or old, this song is bound to fill you with joy and ignite the holiday spirit within you.


“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” – Bruce Springsteen

The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, adds a gritty rock and roll twist to the beloved Christmas tune, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” The energetic and upbeat tempo, coupled with Springsteen’s raspy voice, makes you want to dance around the Christmas tree. It’s the perfect song to get you in the holiday spirit while still maintaining that 80s edge.