Top 25 Best-Selling Christmas Songs of All Time

Who sang the best Christmas songs ever?

Every band or vocalist worth their recording contract eventually releases a Christmas album. Even Bob Dylan has a Christmas album—it’s inevitable. But figuring out which particular Christmas songs are the best sellers is pretty tricky, especially with so many covers out there. Even worse, a lot of Christmas songs were written before anyone kept (or had the means to keep) comprehensive sales records.

Are you one who puts your favorite Christmas song on repeat every day in December? These 25 Christmas songs are without a doubt bestsellers of all time, though—every single one has been covered by Mariah Carey and was probably performed by the cast of “Glee” but we still love them.

Here are 25 best-selling Christmas songs of all time:

 

25.) I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day – Wizzard 

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by british band, Wizzard is one of the best Christmas songs of all time

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Wizzard released “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” in the U.K in late 1973.

It, however, didn’t hit No. 1, but No. 4 on the pop singles chart. It remains a Christmas favorite and still brings in £180,000 every year in royalties.

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24.) Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

This holiday favorite by Brendan lee is one of the best Christmas songs of all time

Christmas LPs to CD

This song was recorded in 1958 when Brenda Lee was 13 and only started doing well when she became a pop breakthrough in 1960; two years after it was released. It has been a holiday favorite ever since.

It peaked at No. 6 in the UK Charts and her original version had sold over 25 million copies with the 4th most digital downloads sold of any Christmas single.

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23.) This Christmas – Chris Brown

Chris Brown's This Christmas is one of the best Christmas songs certified Gold

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“This Christmas” is a song originally by R&B legend Donny Hathaway.  The cover of the song recorded by Chris Brown for the movie called, you guessed it – This Christmas.

“This Christmas” peaked at No. 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been certified Gold.

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22.) Mistletoe – Justin Bieber

Justin Beiber's "Mistletoe" song from the album "Under the Mistletoe" is one of the best Christmas songs of all time

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Just at the peak of his success, Mistletoe was released from his Christmas album titled “Under the Mistletoe” which debuted at No. 1 on the album chart and became a smash hit.

The song with reggae vibes peaked at No. 2 on the contemporary chart reaching Platinum with 1.1 million downloads.

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21.) Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi

Santa Claus is coming to town is one song that is one of the most popular Christmas songs

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“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” has been recorded by over 200 artists including Mariah Carey, Frank Sinatra, Justin Bieber, and Michael Bubble.

It was first performed on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in 1934 and was an instant hit. Then by The Supremes in 1965. Bruce Springsteen has made it a traditional part of his live concerts during the holidays.

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20.) All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey 

This is one of Mariah Carey greatest hits ever and one of the best Christmas songs of all time

This hit has always found itself on the charts every year since its release. Although it didn’t make it to No. 1 in the UK, it is now the most downloaded Christmas song of all time.

In 2013, it made the million-sales mark and has gone platinum twice. Now every time we hear this song we know Christmas season is here.

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19.) Fairytale of New York – The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl

Fairytale of Newyork was a Xmas hit in the late 80s and has remained one of the best chistmas songs of all time

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After Elvis Costello said the band wouldn’t be able to write a Christmas song that wasn’t “slushy”, Fairytale of New York was birth. The song was first abandoned after an exit from the band before MacColl was asked to sing on the actual recording.

It became a huge success and sold 1.18m copies. No less than £400,000 in royalties is being ranked each year for Fairytale of New York, even thirty years after its release.

 

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18.) Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley Country version of "Blue Christmas" became one of the best christmas songs of all time

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First recorded by Ernest Tubb and known as a Country Christmas song was No. 5 on the Top 50 Country Christmas Songs list, but each December, Elvis Presley’s rock n roll version with plenty of swag is the one we’ve come to count on for over 50 years now being a festive staple.

Blue Christmas is one of the most-covered Christmas classics with memorable versions by Porky Pig and Blake Shelton. Elvis Christmas Album still to this day remains the best-selling Christmas Album of all time.

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17.) Mistletoe and Wine – Cliff Richard

A copy of Cliff Richard's Mistletoe & Wine - One of the best Christmas songs ever

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Mistletoe and Wine is Cliff’s second song to make it to the bestselling Christmas songs of all time. This song was originally written for “The Little Match Girl” show in 1986 before Cliff jumped on it. His version secured the No. 1 spot in four weeks making it his 12th No. 1 in total.

He sold over 750,000 units of Mistletoe and Wine and earned £100,000 from this tune alone.

 

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16.) Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms 

Bobby Helms version of "Jingle Bells" is considered the best and one of the all-time favorite Christmas songs

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This song is an extension of “Jingle Bells” that has been performed by many, but Bobby Helms version is best known. After it was released in 1957, it topped the Christmas chart five years in a row which made it a holiday classics.

To date, it still retains a huge presence in the Christmas canon with over 780,000 downloads according to Nielsen SoundScan.

 

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15.) Happy Christmas (War is Over) – John Lennon/Yoko Ono

Happy Christmas War is one of the best Christmas songs by John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band

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Tired of ‘White Christmas’, Lennon wrote a song with an anti-Vietnam war purpose promoting the activism that he and Yoko did in previous years. This Christmas tune wasn’t an immediate hit and failed to chart in the U.S upon its first release.

On its release the following year, it reached No. 4 in the U.K and was then re-released in 1980 after the death of the former Beatle. This time, it climbed to No. 2 and re-emerged on the charts in 2003 and 2007.

 

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14.) When a Child is Born – Johnny Mathis

When a child is born is another Christmas classic and it sold over 800k copies

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Johnny Mathis, the third best-selling recording artist of the 20th century released “When a Child is Born” in 1976. This song secured Mathis with his only No. 1 which remained No. 1 for three weeks when released.

The peaceful tune sold an incredible 885,000 copies.

 

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13.) The Millennium Prayer – Cliff Richard

A CD of the millennium prayer by Cliff Richard - one of the best Christmas songs ever

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Just like Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas’, The Millennium Prayer was for a good cause. It was released in 1999 as a charity single and its proceeds went to aid the charity Children’s Promise. After 40 years back in 1999, Cliff left his record label EMI when they were opposing of the Lord’s Prayer, sung to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne”.

Fortunately for him, the song reached the top spot and became his 14th song to do so. However, the song has been voted in several polls as the UK’s worst No. 1 ever!

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12.) Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Christmas eve performed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is on the list of the best Xmas songs

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The writing of this classic was inspired by the Bosnian War that took place between 1992 -1995. The song which is an Instrumental medley of   “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” and “Shchedryk”.

The song debuted on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Track chart at No 34.

In 2016, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the song had 1.3 million downloads making it the third on the list of all-time best-selling Christmas/holiday digital singles in SoundScan history.

 

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11.) Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade

Merry Xmas everybody

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This is said to be the most played classic in the world which has sold over 1.2 million copies.
“Merry Xmas Everybody” was Slade’s 6th No. 1 hit in the UK and it remained No. 1 from Christmas 1995 till January 1974.

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10.) Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid 20 

The Band Air re-released version of 'Do they Know It's Xmas" is still one of the best Xmas songs of all time

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After the release of “Do They Know Christmas” in 1984, Band Aid did the 20th-anniversary version in 2004. This version returned at No. 6 selling over 1.17 million copies.

It became UK’s biggest selling single of the year as well as Christmas No. 1.

 

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9.) Mary’s Boy Child – Harry Belafonte

Harry's Belanfonte's "Marys boy child" is also another Xmas classic on the list of best

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Harry Belafonte, American calypso star first released Mary’s Boy Child in the 1950s and before Boney M did his version.

The only song to ever hit Christmas No. 1 twice. Harry’s version started it all being a massive hit that still delivers.

 

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8.) Last Christmas – Wham!

Wham - Last Christmas is one of the best-sellling #2 single of all t

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When “Last Christmas” was released, it failed to reach No. 1  in the UK due to the “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid. It was the biggest selling #2 single of all time, shifting a whopping 1.82 million sales back in 1984, and only missing out on the top spot because of the colossal Band Aid single.

Each year the hit sells more and more copies and is currently sitting comfortably at #3 in the UK Singles Chart.

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7.) Mary’s Boy Child – Boney M

The Boney M's version of Mary's boy child recorded more success than Harry Belanfote's version but both are considered to be among the best Xmas songs

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This song remains true to the religious origins of Christmas and it is the only song ever to hit Christmas Number One twice, for two totally different artists. ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ was first recorded in1956 and it still delivers the Christmas magic nearly 60 years later.

Boney M’s 1978 disco revival version was the bigger hit, selling a huge 1.88 million sales.

 

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6.) Do They Know it’s Christmas? – Band Aid

A Vinyl of Do they know it's Christmas which is one of the best christmas songs of all time

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“Do They know it’s Christmas” was an impromptu project to provide aid for victims of a famine that was ravaging the people of Ethiopia.

So, being the best-selling song ever is satisfactory since it was for a good cause. Since its release in 1984, it has had over 3.8 million units sold.

Also, it has become a radio Christmas standard and one Christmas hit to sell over 3 million copies.

 

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5.) The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)

The title of this song is officially credited almost everywhere as “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)”. This is because without adding the first line of the song in parentheses no one would know what song was meant. The most successful version of the song was Nat “King” Cole’s 1946 cover, which was certified six times platinum by the RIAA in 2009.

Not only has that recording alone sold over six million copies, but some version is also included on the holiday album of nearly every major artist. Sadly, this song is unfairly blamed for triggering every television Christmas special to feature hosts sitting by a fireplace wearing bulky wool sweaters of questionable taste.

 

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4.) The Little Drummer Boy – The Harry Simeone Chorale

the little drummer boy christmas song

With music based on a traditional Spanish song, as recorded in 1958 by The Harry Simeone Chorale, “The Little Drummer Boy” is another Christmas classic of reasonably recent vintage.

When Simeone died in 2005, over 150 covers of Simeone’s arrangement of the song had sold a combined 25 million copies worldwide. The coolest version ever made, however, goes to David Bowie and Bing Crosby for their 1977 duet that mashed up the tune with the song “Peace on Earth.”

 

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3.) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Gene Autry

Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer

Back in 1939, one of Montgomery Ward’s copywriters, Robert May, wrote a story the department store could print in a coloring book and use as a promotional giveaway to customers. In a flash of nepotistic inspiration, May’s brother-in-law Johnny Marks decided to write a song about the little reindeer with a shiny nose. Gene Autry recorded the classic version of the song.

Twenty-five million copies and a couple of stop-motion animated features later, the song is a Christmas staple. The heart-warming anti-bullying tale has been told through song by Christmas-caroling artists ranging from surfer Jack Johnson to rapper DMX.

 

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2.) Silent Night – Bing Crosby

Christmas song silent night best christmas song

Unlike any other song on this list, “Silent Night” is a real classic. Written in 1818, this song is now in the public domain, which means anyone can record a version of it. They would not have to pay for the rights to use it—and modern artists have done just that.

Bing Crosby once again set the trend, and his version sold an estimated 30 million copies. This song has been covered by vocalists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Beyoncé Knowles, Brad Paisley, Rod Stewart and so on. If you set out to make a list of artists who hadn’t covered Silent Night at some point, your list would probably be shorter.

 

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1.) White Christmas – Bing Crosby

White Christmas christmas song cast

Bing Crosby’s 1947 version has the Guinness Book record for the best-selling Christmas song of all time with an estimated 50 million copies sold—and that’s just one version! That wasn’t even Crosby’s first recording of Irving Berlin’s now-classic Christmas tune. Cosby’s version has been covered by nearly every artist who decided the world needed to hear their version of it. You’d be hard-pressed to find a holiday album released any time in the past 60 years that doesn’t have some version of this song on it.

 

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What’s your favorite Christmas song to play every holiday season?

 

If you’re in a festive mood, you may enjoy reading articles on those ugly Christmas sweaters too!

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