An Alternative Christmas Playlist for People who Hate Holiday Music

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Maybe it’s not that you hate all holiday music; it’s just that you’re sick of hearing the same peppy-on-the-verge-of-cheesy songs with the same message year after year. You’re tired of hearing “Jingle Bell Rock” at every single Christmas party (and really, everywhere you turn) and getting “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” stuck in your head for weeks on end. That’s totally fair— the classics are great, but sometimes you just need a little something different.

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How about a holiday playlist that makes Christmas a little more indie, a little more angsty, and a little more fun and clever beyond your usual tunes? These songs—which range from alt rock and punk to rap and power pop (and even some not-so-traditional classics and a little a cappella thrown in)—are still full of holiday spirit, just, in a different way:

1. Summer Camp — “I Don’t Wanna Wait Til Christmas”

2. The Kinks — “Father Christmas”

3. The Killers — “A Great Big Sled”

4. The Waitresses — “Christmas Wrapping”

5. The Raveonettes — “The Christmas Song”

6. Julian Casablancas — “Christmas Treat”

7. Kanye West ft. Prynce Cyhi & Teyana Taylor — “Christmas in Harlem”

8. The Weepies — “All That I Want”

9. Los Campesinos! — “Kindle a Flame in Her Heart”

10. Straight No Chaser ft. Kristen Bell — “Text Me Merry Christmas”

11. Letters to Cleo — “(WTFAMP) The Christmas Song”

12. Run-D.M.C. — “Christmas in Hollis”

13. Weezer — “The Christmas Song”

14. John Lennon — “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”

15. Eels — “Christmas Is Going to the Dogs

16. Meiko — “Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song)

17. The Pretenders — “2000 Miles”

18. Ramones — “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)”

19. Misfits — “Blue Christmas”

20. The Smashing Pumpkins — “Christmastime”

21. My Morning Jacket — “Xmas Curtain”

22. The Wombats — “Is This Christmas?”

23. Low — “Just Like Christmas”

24. Mr. Little Jeans — “Dear Santa”

25. Relient K — “Boxing Day”

On Spotify?

We already dropped these songs into a playlist for you. You can start jamming out now, or open the playlist in Spotify and hit “follow” to save it for later.

Did we forget any of your favorites?