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The 50 best songs for your holiday party playlist

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Last year we threw a holiday party and wanted to avoid the season’s musical dead horses. Don’t get us wrong: we’re suckers for anything Burl Ives or Andy Williams around this time of year, but for a festive get-together of friends we wanted something slightly more unexpected: a mix of both new and old but not too traditional. We spent a loooooong time searching the internet and our music files for the best ear tinsel, weeding out the downer or jarring numbers from each album, to create the perfect 50-song, 2-and-a-half hour holiday party mix (well, perfect for us). So consider this our gift to you — let us know what we forgot…and what you’d like to return. (FYI: Songs are ordered by album, but you’d just hit “shuffle”):

The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs (entire compilation):

  • Winter Song by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
  • Frosty the Snowman by Fiona Apple
  • The Heartache Can Wait by Brandi Carlile
  • All My Bells Are Ringing by Lenka
  • Silent Night by Priscilla Ahn
  • The Christmas Song by Catherine Feeny
  • Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song) by Meiko
  • White Christmas by Katy Perry
  • Blue Christmas by Nicole Atkins
  • Winter Wonderland by Kate Havnevik
  • I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Holly Conlan
  • Silver Bells by Alice Smith
  • Mistletoe by Colbie Caillat
  • Auld Lang Syne by Jesca Hoop, Butch Walker, Buddy, Anya Marina, Cary Brothers, Greg Laswell Lenka, Holly Conlan, Ingrid Michaelson, Jim Bianco, Jonah Matranga, Joshua Radin, Laura Jansen, Meiko, Sara Bareilles & Tim Jones

Django Bells by The Gypsy Hombres (entire album):

  • Blue Christmas/Let It Snow
  • Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
  • You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
  • Sleigh Ride
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Whose Child Is This
  • Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

Alternative Rock Xmas (selections from compilation):

  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus by The Thrills
  • Holiday Fortnight (2002 Digital Remaster) by The Specials
  • In Like a Lion (Always Winter) by Relient k
  • Let It Snow by Luscious Jackson
  • Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas) by The Decemberists
  • My Baby Fell for Ol’ St. Nick by Dada Ante Portas

It’s Not Like Christmas (selections from compilation):

  • Just Like Christmas by Ingo Star Cruiser featuring Gaby Fröden
  • White Christmas by Amazing Pilots

Oy to the World – a Klezmer Christmas by The Klezmonauts (selections from album):

  • Joy to the World
  • Deck the Halls

Yulestride by Butch Thompson (selections from compilation):

  • I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  • Jingle Bells
  • White Christmas

This Warm December: Brushfire Holiday’s, Vol. 1 (selections from compilation):

  • Stuck At the Airport by Money Mark
  • No Christmas for Me by Zee Avi
  • Christmas Baby by G. Love
  • Christmas Time by ALO

Love Actually Soundtrack (selections from compilation):

  • White Christmas by Otis Redding
  • All I Want for Christmas Is You by Olivia Olsen (a bit cheesy, yes, but a crowd pleaser, and infinitely better than Mariah’s version)


Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) Single
by The Darkness

Wishing You a Rave Christmas: Come On Santa by The Raveonettes

Pretenders’ Holiday EP: Blue Christmas by Pretenders

Number 1′s: Christmas: Cool Yule by Louis Armstrong & The Commanders

A Very Special Christmas: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by U2 (again, a bit cliche, but an undeniably rocking classic)

A Great Big Sled Single by The Killers

Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas: Good Morning Blues by Ella Fitzgerald

Banjo Christmas: Auld Lang Syne by Pine Street Musicians

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