Jolly tunes: 10 best Christmas songs for kids

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By Tamara

Ah, Christmas — the time of year when cozy sweaters, twinkling lights and the scent of freshly baked cookies fill the air. But what truly brings that magical touch to the holiday season is music. In this merry article, unwrap the 15 top Christmas songs for kids that will have them jingling all the way.

Two girls playing the piano singing best Christmas songs for kids with more family members in the background.
Photo credit: YayImages.

Christmas songs are like a special key that unlocks holiday happiness. When you hear those tunes you know so well, you step into a warm and happy world. They make you feel all cozy and excited for the holidays. 

Whether you’re singing the old favorites or making up your own versions, Christmas music brings you closer as a family and makes you laugh and remember good times.

Top Christmas songs for kids to have on repeat 

So, gather around the fireplace, sip on some hot cocoa or winter cocktails and dive into the festive world of jolly tunes with these cheerful Christmas songs for kids

1. “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” — Brenda Lee, 1958

Kicking off this list is a true classic. “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” is the kind of song that makes kids want to jump up and start twirling. With its upbeat rhythm and catchy lyrics, this song perfectly captures the joy and excitement of the holiday season. And let’s not forget that scene in “Home Alone” where Kevin orchestrates the ultimate house party to this tune — iconic.

2. “Jingle Bells” — James Lord Pierpont, 1857

Is it really Christmas without “Jingle Bells?” Originally composed by James Lord Pierpont in 1857, this timeless tune is like the official soundtrack of the holiday season. Children around the world know and love the lyrics. The only downside of the song is that your kids will be singing it way past Christmas. It’s the perfect song to kick off the holiday celebrations with a sleighload of cheer.

3. Frosty the Snowman — Gene Autry, 1950

Picture this: a snowy winter’s day, kids bundled up in their warmest clothes and a snowman that comes to life. That’s the magic of “Frosty the Snowman.” This cheerful and whimsical song, recorded by Gene Autry in 1950, has been captivating the hearts of kids and families for decades.

A snowman is sitting in the snow next to a christmas tree.
Photo credit: YayImages.

With this song, the kid in you never dies. Plus, it sparks kids’ imaginations about winter adventures. It’s truly, one of the best Christmas songs for kids.

‘‘Our favorite is the classic ‘Frosty the Snowman.’ It helps us get into the Christmas mood as we think of all the fun things we can do in the snow that’s coming.”

— Shelby, Fit As A Mama Bear

4. “The Little Drummer Boy” — Katherine Kennicott Davis, 1941

This timeless song carries a beautiful story of an orphan boy with a drum in hand marching to attend the birth of Jesus. Being too poor to have a gift wrapped in bows, the drummer boy has his own gift — the gift of music and love. He plays his heart out for the newborn son of God. This song teaches kids that even the simplest gestures can have the biggest value. 

“‘We all love ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ because it has a great rhythm and it is an easy one to memorize. We will start listening to it after Thanksgiving. It is always fun to hear the different versions singers have made.”

—  Gena, Ginger Casa

5. “Jingle Bell Rock” — Bobby Helms, 1957

Next up, a tune that’s as cool as a December breeze. “Jingle Bell Rock” is a fun and festive song that’s impossible not to sing along to. The mix of rock and jingle bells creates an infectious rhythm that’ll have the whole family tapping their feet. It’s a wonderful blend of traditional and modern sounds, making it a hit across generations.

6. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” — Mariah Carey, 1994

Now to a modern classic. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has become a holiday staple. Its joyful and optimistic vibe is perfect for creating a cozy atmosphere during family gatherings. This song teaches kids that the best gift isn’t found under the tree — it’s the love and togetherness that truly matter.

7. “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” — The Chipmunks, 1958

Get ready for some high-pitched fun. Alvin, Simon and Theodore bring their unique charm to the song. This playful tune is a hit with kids due to its funny, speedy delivery and adorable chipmunk voices. It’s a lighthearted addition to any Christmas playlist.

Alvin and the chipmunks at the Hollywood walk of fame.
Photo credit: YayImages.

8. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” — Gene Autry, 1949

Here comes Rudolph, with his nose so bright. This song teaches kids the value of uniqueness and acceptance, wrapped in a catchy melody. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is not just a song; it’s a heartwarming story that has been cherished for generations. And remember, no foggy night can dim Rudolph’s light.

9. “Feliz Navidad” — José Feliciano, 1970

It’s time to add a touch of Latin flair. “Feliz Navidad” is not only catchy but also a fantastic way to introduce kids to different cultures and languages. The repetition of the title line makes it easy for young ones to sing along in Spanish, spreading holiday cheer across borders.

10. “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” — Thurl Ravenscroft, 1966

This playful song adds a mischievous touch to Christmas, celebrating the grumpy green guy we all love to hate around the holidays. It reminds us that even amid the festive cheer, a touch of mischief and laughter is a must. The song is no less iconic than the kid-favorite Christmas movie it’s been written for  — “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

One last thing

So, there you have it — a sleigh full of the best Christmas songs for kids that will have them singing, dancing and spreading holiday cheer. Whether you’re rocking around the Christmas tree or belting out “Feliz Navidad,” these songs are the perfect soundtrack for a season filled with joy, love and togetherness. Happy holidays and jolly tunes to all.

Tamara is a blogger at Thriving In Parenting, where she shares simple tips for busy parents – easy and healthy recipes, home decor ideas, self-care for moms and all things parenting.

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