Get Into the Holiday Spirit with These 2020 Christmas Originals
Tired of the overplayed Christmas classics? These stars got you covered.
This year, multiple artists across genres released Christmas tracks of their own — and we're not just talking about covers!
Chance The Rapper - "The Return"
Chance The Rapper's present is all (w)rapped up!
Chance dropped song "The Return" and its accompanying music video ahead of Dec. 11's deluxe edition of his Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama: The Gift That Keeps On Giving mixtapes with longtime friend Jeremih.
The laidback, retro-style music video follows the rapper throughout his holiday-decorated home.
It's the return of the gifted gifter / The secret Santa grab bag sifter / The Grinch, sleigh hangin' off the ledge deadlifter," he raps. "The best thrifter, the tear-jerker / The Santa's little help employee of the year worker."
Also appearing on the deluxe version of Merry Christmas Lil Mama is a new Christmas original titled "Who's To Say."
Paige Gold - "What Christmas Means"
From TikTok to the world!
It all started with a short video... and things took off from there. Meet Paige Gold, the young singer whose career is just getting started thanks to TikTok, where she posted a short snippet of her track "What Christmas Means" on before quickly going viral. (The post already has 1.1 million views!)
"2020 overall has been a crazy year and music has been the one thing that has gotten me through it! I started a TikTok in May and started writing these songs about life before COVID to hopefully bring some positivity to not only myself, but others," she tells PEOPLE. "At the beginning of December, I wrote a snippet of a Christmas song and in 48 hours it got 3 million views on TikTok. "
"A producer, Cameron Mcleod, reached out to me in the comments wanting to finish the song, and in three days we finished and released the song," she adds. "So far, my journey with music has been insane and I’m truly just excited to see where it goes!”
So far, the Christmas track has garnered more than 400,000 plays on Spotify. Gold's other song is called "Teenagers."
Willa Amai - "December"
December is here — and so is Willa Amai's "December!"
The "Trampled Flowers" songstress released this sad song about longing for someone who's not around for the holidays anymore.
"'December' is a Christmas song with a melancholy mood that battles with the acceptance of loneliness and remembrance in a time of joy and love," she tells PEOPLE. "It’s about learning to be okay with yourself and with being alone, and finding happiness in who you already are."
The track follows Amai as she accepts that this person she misses is gone and begins to come to terms with her loneliness during the cold, holiday season.
"I'll learn to love myself again / I'll learn to love the world when I'm alone," she sings. "Alone with my song."
Sabrina Claudio - "Warm December"
She's heating things off this Christmas!
Sabrina Claudio released her sultry holiday single "Warm December" — and its sexy music video — the weekend before Thanksgiving.
"As we cuddle up next to the fireplace, mm / We'll be burnin up our own flames, oh, oh," she sings. "Hangin' like a thousand mistletoes, ah / So I can kiss you everywhere you go."
This is Claudio's first Christmas song — and it's sure one to remember.
"Get into this XMAS FANTASY ✨✨✨✨," she captioned a clip about the song. So happy you love. whats your fav look?"
Meghan Trainor ft. Earth, Wind & Fire - "Holidays"
Turn it up a lil bit!
Meghan Trainor joined none other than Earth, Wind & Fire for the upbeat and trumpet-filled song "Holidays" off of her Christmas album A Very Trainor Christmas.
"Lemme hear you say, 'I’m rеady for the holiday' / Call the family up, tell em we’re on our way," sings the iconic group.
"Tryna party ‘cause we goin crazy / You can feel it, you can feel it," sings Trainor.
Trainor told Kelly Clarkson on her NBC talk show about the new music video.
"Baby's first official music video is with @earthwindandfire coming soooooon😭🎁 HE'S ALREADY SO COOL!," Trainor wrote on Instagram, referring to the baby she's carrying. (She and Daryl Sabara are expecting a baby boy early next year.)
Lil Nas X - "Holiday"
He's got the reindeer in the back!
Lil Nas X released his first-ever Christmas single "Holiday" on Nov. 13 — and it features a cinematic music video and storyline set in 2220.
"I'm talking about the past year or whatever and all this s--- that's ... a couple of s--- that's been happening," he told Zane Lowe about the new track. "Just establishing where I'm going, where I'm moving — how I'm good no matter what."
"Man, I snuck into the game, came in on a horse / I pulled a gimmick, I admit it, I got no remorse / Nobody tried to let me in, nobody opened doors," he sings on the track. "I kicked them motherf—ers down, they didn't have a choice"
Ella Henderson and AJ Mitchell - "Blame It On The Mistletoe"
Something is in the air tonight!
Ella Henderson tapped AJ Mitchell for this new holiday song "Blame It On The Mistletoe" about love during the holiday season, kissing a lover... and not having to let anyone know.
“I’m not just getting socks for Christmas this year, because I also get to drop my very first Christmas record," Mitchell said in a press release. "I’m so excited to be a part of this amazing song with Ella and I know this will be one that comes around every Christmas.”
“Writing and recording this song was a lot of fun, and having AJ involved is amazing!" Henderson added. "I wanted to share something festive with my fans to sign off 2020. Sending so much love to everyone at this time and wishing you all Happy Holidays.”
Dan + Shay - "Take Me Home For Christmas"
Show them 'round your town!
Dan + Shay shared their sweet, original holiday track "Take Me Home For Christmas" on Nov. 6 — and it has all the ingredients of the perfect love story.
"Baby, won't you take me home for Christmas / Show me 'round your town / Take me where you used to watch the snow come down," the duo sings. "Honor your traditions, I wanna know 'em all / You'll check every box off of my list / If you take me home for Christmas."
While this is Dan + Shay's first original Christmas song, they previously released a rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in 2014.
"We had a blast writing and recording it," Dan Smyers said in a press release of the new song. "It was cool to get in the holiday spirit a little early this year, because I think we could all use some extra positivity and cheer."
"Our fans have asked for Christmas music every year, so I hope you all have as much fun listening to it as we did making it," he added.
Liam Payne & Dixie D'Amelio - "Naughty List"
Looks like these two are getting coal for Christmas!
"Underneath the mistletoe / We were s'posed to take it slow / Baby, you're my favorite gift / Now we're on the naughty list," Payne sings in the chorus.
This isn't the singer's first Christmas-themed track, he also dropped the melancholic ballad "All I Want (For Christmas)" last year. D'Amelio, on the other hand, is a music newcomer, having dropped her debut song "Be Happy" earlier this year.
"It feels good to share new music with you after so long, especially something so fun after the crazy year we’ve all had!" Payne wrote on Instagram after the song's release.
Mandy Moore - "How Could This Be Christmas"
Put on the fuzzy socks, sit by the fireplace — and take a deep sigh.
Mandy Moore released her Christmas ballad "How Could This Be Christmas" on Nov. 12 with some sweet, nostalgic lyrics perfect for this year's quarantined holiday season.
"At the top of my wishlist / How could this be Christmas / Without you?" she sings.
"The holidays are certainly going to feel verifiably different this year and in this vein, I challenged myself to write a song that hinted at the acknowledgment of something missing without being too specific," the "Only Hope" star said in a press release.
"Because if we've learned anything in this season of change, it's the recognition that those we love and cherish are what's most important and worth celebrating. And that felt like a message to get behind during this special time of year.”
Along with this holiday original, she dropped a sweet rendition of the classic "It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year."
Ava Max - "Christmas Without You"
She's missing her lover this holiday.
Ava Max released her sweet, original holiday track "Christmas Without You" in mid-October, well ahead of the holiday season.
"Christmas came early 🎁," she captioned her post about the track.
"Wherever you are, you brighten the moon / I hope that you'll make it back home soon / 'Cause it won't feel like Christmas without you," she sings.
Kelly Clarkson & Brett Eldredge - "Under The Mistletoe"
It's fair to call Kelly Clarkson the Christmas Queen runner-up after Mariah Carey.
The Voice coach — who has dropped several Christmas singles since her 2014 holiday album Wrapped In Red — paired with country star Brett Eldredge for "Under the Mistletoe" this year.
"It's here!! My brand new Christmas duet #UnderTheMistletoe with @bretteldredge is available everywhere now. 🎅🎄," she wrote on Instagram when the duet dropped. "I know it's a little early, but I just couldn't wait to release this one! Hope y'all love it!"
Alaina Castillo - "wishlist"
A song like this was on our "wishlist."
Alaina Castillo dropped her first-ever Christmas song "wishlist," and the music video features an e-girl look through the years via a Christmas countdown calendar.
"Wanna be your ho-ho-ho this Christmas / Gonna be thе one thing on your wishlist," she sings. "Let you eat the candy, boy, don't kiss it / Wanna be your ho-ho-ho."
Castillo said the track is her own take on spending the holidays "with your boo."
"It’s about the classic Christmas vibes while adding a suggestive twist to make it a song that talks about fun ‘love’ during wintertime and all the risqué things one might think during cuddle season," she said in a statement about the song."I wanted my fans to have a xmas song from me that they could feel the holiday vibes from while also bopping to a sexy twist of the classics.😌🎄"
A Great Big World - "Wrap Me Up Under the Christmas Tree"
A Great Big World knows one thing: I'm your best present!
The duo –comprising Ian Axel and Chad King — dropped their upbeat holiday track "Wrap Me Up Under the Christmas Tree."
The song's loving lyrics serve as a reminder that there's no need for luxury this Christmas as long as you're in the company of the person you love.
"As the holidays approach, it’s more apparent (this year more than ever) that family and our health are really the greatest gifts in life," they wrote on Instagram. "We wanted to do some fun things with our Christmas song in the coming weeks. Get into the (early) 2020 holiday spirit with 'Wrap Me Up Under the Christmas Tree' :) 🎄 ✨."
Ally Brooke - "Baby, I'm Coming Home"
Hey, Mrs. Claus!
Ally Brooke has always loved Christmas, and now she has a holiday song to call her own: "Baby, I'm Coming Home."
"This has so much meaning, especially during this time," she wrote on Instagram after its release. "I hope this song can bring you that Christmas spirit and joy, I know we all could use some of that❤️."
"Don't worry this holiday, 'cause / Your present is on the way and / This year you're not alone / Oh, baby, I'm coming home," the Dancing with the Stars alum sings on the electro-pop track.
The former Fifth Harmony member last dropped a modern rendition of Wham!'s "Last Christmas," which she performed at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade that same year. She also hit the stage at Disney's Holiday Celebration last year to perform "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."
Tori Kelly - "25th"
A holiday special!
Tori Kelly dropped her Christmas album A Tori Kelly Christmas on Oct. 30 — and while it featured several covers of traditional holiday tracks, it also featured some songs penned by Kelly herself, including "25th."
"Don't you know that Christmas would be incomplete / If you're not here with me / Sugar plums ain't half as sweet as you / Someone go tell Santa I don't need no gifts / Got nothing on my list," she sings. "Don't you know my only wish is to hold you on the 25th?"
Kelly — who dropped her EP Solitude in August — teased her holiday album for weeks.
"This is something I’ve been wanting to do for SO long & now i get to finally share these songs with you (some classics, & maybe a few originals🥰)!!" she captioned her album announcement in early October on Instagram.
Ingrid Andress - "Christmas Always Finds Me"
Somehow, Christmas always finds her.
Rising country star Ingrid Andress dropped her melancholic holiday ballad "Christmas Always Finds Me" on Oct. 30 — along with a sweet lyric video.
"Through the years I've moved a lot / Different doors with different locks / But somehow Christmas always finds me / It's been a while since I wished / For all the blades and pixie sticks / But somehow Christmas always finds me," she sings on the track.
Andress, who released her debut album Lady Like earlier this year, opened up about penning the song herself on Instagram.
"i wrote this while thinking about how weird/different the holidays will be this year for everyone," she wrote. "but at the end of the day, there's always room for enjoying the holidays. especially Xmas. or whatever u celebrate."
Jonas Brothers - "I Need You Christmas"
Lean back and relax while the bros serenade you.
"With having such a crazy year, we all really need something to look forward to ... the holidays is a time that brings us together and is something that brings us joy in the darkest of times," the trio captioned their post about their new song — and they also shared some adorable family photos.
"I Need You Christmas" isn't the band's first holiday song. Last year, they released "Like It's Christmas." During the Jonas Brothers' time on Disney Channel, they also released seasonal songs "Joyful Kings" and "Girl of My Dreams."
Carly Rae Jepson - "It's Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries"
I mean, she's not wrong?
"Everybody made it home for Christmas Eve/Tried to keep it cool around the Christmas tree," sings Jepsen, before listing why she can't actually "keep it cool" this year: an uncle talking politics, a vegan boyfriend being served fish and grandpa eating some gummies not intended for him.
This isn't the Canadian singer's first festive track. Back in 2015, she released a cover of Wham!'s "Last Christmas." She also wrote and recorded the wintery song "Mittens" in 2010.
"I love the old fashioned movies and the family traditions and the excitement of gifting presents and decorating the tree and and and... my list is endless," said Jepsen in a statement. "But each year the pressure to have the perfect Christmas always ends in tears. I call it Christmas versus expectation."
Scotty Sire (ft. Toddy Smith) - "25 Christmas Trees"
It all started with a massive purchase...
YouTube star Scotty Sire decided to purchase 25 Christmas trees, hit up his friend Toddy Smith — and, well, wrote a song! What came out was the silly, catchy — and aptly named — holiday track "25 Christmas Trees." (And the video is funny and kinda cute!)
“I bought 25 Christmas trees, created a winter wonderland in my front yard, and had a blast writing a song about it with my best friend Toddy Smith," Sire tells PEOPLE. “This song was loosely inspired by a childhood holiday memory of my dad driving over two hours to find snow at Big Bear Mountain in California and bringing it all the way back to our house, to give my family a white Christmas — it was awesome."
"2020 has been a really hard year overall and the holidays are definitely different this year, I hope when people listen to '25 Christmas Trees' or watch the video they smile, even just a little bit," he adds. "Happy Holidays and Cheers to 2021!”
Grouplove - "A Grouplove Christmas"
"I just want to spend Christmas with you!"
Grouplove — the alt-rock group comprising Hannah Hooper, Christian Zucconi, Andrew Wessen, Daniel Gleason and Benjamin Homola — dropped their first-ever holiday track "A Grouplove Christmas" featuring relatable lyrics about longing with your lover during the holiday season.
"Let's just forget about the presents / And the things we need to do / Let's just snuggle by the fire / We can drink up all the booze /'Cause baby, I wanna spend Christmas with you," the group sings in the track's chorus.
The new holiday song comes months after the group released their fourth album Healer back in March.
Gwen Stefani - "Here This Christmas"
The No Doubt alum released original "Here This Christmas" last month as part of Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas. The track — written by Stefani, Ryan Tedder and Brent Kultze — was added to the reissue of her You Make It Feel Like Christmas album.
"My new holiday song #HereThisChristmas is out now on the special #YouMakeItFeelLikeChristmas Deluxe edition & will be the theme to @hallmarkchannel’s #CountdowntoChristmas!!🥰," she wrote on social media. "Grateful to have worked w @RyanTedder on this one. Link in bio! 🎄🎁🎄 gx."
In 2018, she dropped the deluxe edition of her Christmas album with five tracks, including covers for "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "Winter Wonderland" and "Feliz Navidad," which features Chilean star Mon Laferte.
“Don’t need presents under the tree/Don’t need snow and caroling/I don’t need a lot of wishes/I just need you here this Christmas," she sings on the track.
Pentatonix - "Thank You"
Thank you, Pentatonix.
As part of their Nov. 13 Christmas album We Need A Little Christmas, the quintet — comprising Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado, Kevin Olusola and Matt Sallee — dropped "Thank You" an original holiday song with hints of "Jingle Bells."
"We know it's been quite a year, but we hope our new album of Christmas songs will bring some comfort to you and your family during the holiday season!" the group wrote on Instagram.
The group is no stranger to releasing holiday tracks. Their first came in 2012 with PITXmas followed my That's Christmas To Me in 2015 and A Pentatonix Christmas in 2017. They also released Christmas Is Here! in 2018 and The Best of Pentatonix Christmas last year.
Tayler Holder, Kelianne Stankus & Nate Wyatt - "Feels Like Christmas"
A hyped Christmas!
You can count on The Trio to "keep you warm in the Christmas snow" this year. The Triller Compound's Tayler Holder joined close friends Kelianne Stankus and Nate Wyatt to release their song "Feels Like Christmas" to get us ready for the holiday season.
"SO EXCITED TO FINALLY ANNOUNCE THAT THE TRIO IS RELEASING A ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS SONG," Holder wrote on Instagram under a photo of the three. "We have been working so hard on this and I can not wait until you guys hear what we have been working on ❤️ ."
Since dropping the song, the three stars have shared several holiday-themed TikTok videos with each other.
Twenty One Pilots - "Christmas Saves The Year"
Even if the world is crumbling down, "Christmas Saves The Year."
Twenty One Pilots — the duo comprising Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun — released their first-ever original holiday song and it's the perfect soundtrack to the end of 2020.
"wrote and recorded this christmas song in my basement. be safe. love on. from me and mine, to you and yours, merry Christmas," Joseph tweeted about the track.
The song's accompanying visualizer shares throwback photos of the duo along with clips from some classic holiday cartoons.
"'Cause everybody wants to makе it home this year / Even if thе world is crumblin' down. 'Cause everybody's got somebody who's got their name on a shelf / With cheap décor and flavored cheer / You rest assured that Christmas saves the year," Joseph sings on the track.