Mariah Carey performing at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. Carey's hit song "All I Want for Christmas is You" is stillDISNEY ABC TELEVISION GROUP/FLICKR VIA CC BY-ND 2.0
Mariah Carey performing at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. Carey’s hit song “All I Want for Christmas is You” reached number 11 on the Hot 100 last year, over a decade after its initial release. DISNEY ABC TELEVISION GROUP/FLICKR VIA CC BY-ND 2.0

All of the Thanksgiving leftovers are eaten and the calendar reads “December,” so it’s time for some festive holiday tunes to get people in the Christmas spirit.

Around the world, people are changing their household decorations and playing their favorite holiday songs. Spotify has classified over 1.3 million tracks as Christmas music, and users have created nearly 16 million Christmas-themed playlists.

“I love Christmas songs,” Danielle Dostaly, senior social work major, said. “They’re really fun, spread the holiday cheer, remind me of being little growing up. They unite people because the popular ones, almost everyone knows the words.”

In the United States, 92 percent of people said they celebrate Christmas and 87 percent of non-religiously affiliated citizens did too, according to PewResearch.


Spotify gathered data from 2015 and found that users in the U.S. began listening to Christmas music on Nov. 29, nearly a month before the holiday. Other countries got into the Christmas spirit even earlier. The Philippines saw its first spike in holiday songs on Sept. 1.

“I get annoyed,” Katarina Norte, faculty advisor for Students Helping Honduras, said. “Especially when they start playing right after Thanksgiving. It’s like you still have a month to go…and there are radio stations that’ll play it non-stop too, so to me it’s just like, alright I get it, it’s Christmas.”

Many of the most played Christmas songs have become classics and have held spots on the music charts for years. In 2015, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” was number one on Billboard’s Holiday 100 chart on Christmas day. It also reached number 11 on the Hot 100 chart, its highest peak since the song’s release in 1994, according to Billboard.

“I feel like they’re outdated,” Kyle Arendt, senior math major, said. “They don’t write new ones, they just do remixes.”


Second on the Holiday 100 chart last year was the original “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee, which was first released in 1958 when the singer was only 13 years old. The 58-year-old song had been on the chart for 23 weeks already by the time Christmas came around.

Jumping up to number three just in time for Christmas was the Pentatonix cover of “Mary Did You Know.” The American group added their a cappella twist to the song that was originally released 25 years ago by Michael English.

Although many of the tracks have outlived their singers and are older than their listeners, people like Dostaly enjoy the holiday jingles and she said the songs never get old.

Katarina Delgado

Katarina is a junior journalism major. She joined The Statesman during her freshman year and has written for the Arts & Entertainment section ever since. After spending a summer writing in Spain, she is sure journalism will allow her to wander the world and explore her love of alliteration. Contact Katarina at: [email protected]


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