Why We Love Holiday Songs


A festive eighth note. Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock Images.

Nadia Khazei, Journalist

As the weather grows colder and the decorations start to be put up, holiday songs reach their annual spike in popularity and relevance. Regardless of the religion, tradition, or lack thereof that one celebrates during December, most are still connected to the phenomena of holiday songs, carols, and melodies. Whether it be playing out of tinny department store speakers or on a laptop, holiday music surrounds people everywhere during this time of year.


CdM students are no different from the norm, all having different songs that they enjoy the most. Eighth-grader Skylar Foster loves “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey, excitedly stating that “it’s kinda the [Christmas] song.” Foster isn’t alone in this sentiment. Music streaming service Spotify details that Carey’s hit is the most popular holiday song in their database, beating out classic titles like Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” and Elvis Prestley’s “Blue Christmas.”


Full-length songs aren’t the only way that people engage with holiday music. Caroling is a popular activity around this time of year as both professional and amateur groups travel around their communities and spread holiday cheer. Though carols are typically written with Christian traditions and theology in mind, Hanukkah songs are also popular among caroling groups. The CdM Madrigal Singers learn and perform a set of carols annually for the greater Newport Beach community, having just kicked off their season at the Newport Beach Tennis Club Tree lighting on November 29.


Sofia Workman, a senior and member of Madrigals, says that caroling “shows [holiday] spirit…you put away all your worries…” She also named “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” as her favorite holiday song, excited to be singing it in this year’s winter choir concert, A Charlie Brown Christmas.


Even if someone is not religious and has never engaged with a tradition or specific winter holiday, these songs are so ubiquitous and beloved that it would be difficult to avoid them completely. Holiday songs evoke feelings of warmth and nostalgia in many, as they can bring back good memories of time spent with loved ones and celebration. Music is a universal language that connects everybody together that, truly, makes the season bright.