Whether you're at an ugly Christmas sweater party with friends or celebrating at your grandma's house, whoever the designated DJ is for the night is bound to have soulful, R&B holiday songs on the playlist. If you're in charge of compiling the tracks, but it's been a while since last Christmas and you can't remember which ones are best, I've got you covered!
1. "The Christmas Song" - Nat King Cole
While it's the oldest masterpiece on this playlist, "The Christmas Song" is definitely the most iconic. Many have added their vocal creativity to the song, but there is no other that can compare to the warmth one feels upon hearing Nat King Cole's version, that is perhaps older than many of our own parents. And if you forget the name of the song, you'll never forget the words.
2. "8 Days of Christmas" - Destiny's Child
3. "Let It Snow" - Boyz II Men & Brian McKnight
If you aren't bumping this all the way in early November on your holiday playlist, you're the true epitome of the Grinch. Nothing gets me in the Christmas mood more than hearing Boyz II Men and Brian McKnight serenade my ears in one of the most popular holiday classics to date.
4. "This Christmas" - Donny Hathaway AND Chris Brown
No matter the genre, from rock n' roll to soul, just about every musical artist at some point has covered this joyful classic. In my opinion, no one does a better job than no other than the original, Donny Hathaway, and a young Chris Brown, who sang a rendition of the song for the holiday family dramedy titled after the song, This Christmas.
5. "Someday at Christmas" - Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder's music has always had a way of stopping us in our tracks and turning our ears. The wonderful songs that he has recorded lives with us through the generations. This holiday melody is no different. Whereas most Christmas tunes invite us to revel in spending time with family and opening presents, Wonder reminds us to remember the reason for the season and make one of the most memorable holiday wishes of all: peace on earth.
6. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" - The Jackson 5
7. "All I Want for Christmas" - Mariah Carey
Just about every year, Mariah Carey takes the stage at some televised holiday special to remind us exactly why we can't get this song out of our heads. But no matter how sick of it you swear you may be, it's worth the listen every time.
8. "Silent Night" - The Temptations
9. "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" - The Jackson 5
10. "Joy to the World" - Whitney Houston
The Preacher's Wife was one of the most watched films in my household growing up, and not just around Christmas. One of the greatest scenes in the film was listening to the goddess herself, Whitney Houston, sing the tune that would soon become the most performed song by your church's choir on Christmas Eve.
11. "Sleigh Ride" - TLC
12. "What Christmas Means to Me" - Stevie Wonder
What soulful, holiday jams get you in the holiday spirit? Let us know below in the comments!