Tired of hearing the same regurgitation of traditional Christmas carols and tunes every festive season? It’s time to check out some alternative Christmas songs.
As great as the chart toppers might be, they can also get a little grinding after a while. Most people can only hearing “All I want for Christmas” so many times before they throw their radio out of the window.
If you prefer Rockin’ around the Christmas tree to Santa Baby, then it might be time to shake up your holiday routine. There are plenty of great alternative rock Christmas anthems out there, from iconic artists like Def Leppard, Weezer, and Newfound Glory.
Today, we’re going to help you find the ultimate Xmas playlist, with a list of our favorite alternative Christmas songs.
1. New Found Glory – Nothing for Christmas
A slightly slower song than some of the tunes we’ll be covering today, New Found Glory’s “Nothing for Christmas” is a romantic tune about finding exactly what you need in the holiday season.
The song was released via Spotify and Rdio to begin with, making it a lesser-known tune from an otherwise extremely popular band. You can also find the song on a host of different alt-rock Christmas albums.
2. All Time Low – Fool’s Holiday
Another excellent example of alternative Xmas music for your punk pop party, All Time Low’s song “Fool’s Holiday” is incredibly catchy, with a few carol-like sections thrown in to mix things up.
We love the romantic element of this Christmas themed song, which appeared on the amazing album “Punk Goes Christmas”, featuring songs recreated by Punk bands.
Make sure you check out “Merry Christmas, Kiss my Ass” by All Time Low too.
3. Fall Out Boy – Yule Shoot Your Eye Out
Written to mimic some of the elements of the traditional carol “Twelve Days of Christmas”, Fall Out Boy released “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out” in 2009, in the album, Believer’s Never Die – Greatest Hits.
This is a fantastic song if you’re already a fan of Fall Out Boy, as it follows their traditional style quite closely. Although this song may not appeal as much to those who prefer the newer songs by the same band.
4. Real Friends – I Had a Heart
Produced as part of the Punk Goes Christmas album by Fearless Records, Real Friend’s “I Had a Heart” is another Christmas-themed tune for your list of alt Christmas songs. This is a song likely to appeal to anyone who loves the more emotional side of the alternative scene.
5. Blink 182 – I Won’t Be Home for Christmas
Regarded by many punk pop fans to be the ultimate Christmas song, Blink 182’s “I Won’t be Home for Christmas” is a fantastic tune to sing along to. In classic Blink style, you’ll get a lot of amazing guitar riffs and fun drum sections.
This tune comes from 2005, when the original lineup for Blink was still active, including Mark, Tom, and Travis, rather than Matt Skiba.
6. Weezer – We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Any alternative music lover is likely to have a place in their heart for Weezer. The band delivered the “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” cover in 2008 as a short but fun tune for Xmas lovers.
The album for this song, “Christmas with Weezer” is definitely worth checking out if you want to hear some Christmas carols in a new way. The full collection of songs includes “O Come all ye Faithful”, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, “O Holy Night” and many others.
7. Smashing Pumpkins – Christmastime
This is one of the older songs to appear in our list of alternative Christmas music. Originally recorded during the band’s sessions for their fourth album, the tune also appeared on the “A Very Special Christmas” charity compilation album.
8. Ramones – Merry Christmas
Another popular choice among the best alternative Christmas songs, this Ramones tune will definitely get people singing along for your Xmas party. Otherwise known as “I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight”, the fast-paced song is fun and festive in equal measure.
There’s even an official music video to go with it. The tune first appeared during 1989.
9. No Doubt – Oi to the World
Want to add a little Ska to your alternative Christmas music? No Doubt has you covered. This is a truly infectious song from the popular band, offering a skin-head style salute to all things Christmassy.
Originally, Oi to the World appeared in 1997 on the B-Side to the “Happy Now?” song from Tragic Kingdom.
10. Def Leppard – We All Need Christmas
If you’re aching for a little classic rock to drown out the sound of “Wham” on the radio, Def Leppard has its very own Christmas song. The tune “We All Need Christmas” will appeal to all kinds of alternative music lovers, like punks and alt-rockers.
The song is one of the finest acoustic ballads from the band, complete with an amazing final coda.
11. Queen – A Winter’s Tale
Let’s face it, you just can’t have a list of alternative Christmas songs without paying some homage to the icons of rock: Queen. Freddie Mercury definitely transforms this classic song, “A Winter’s Tale,” with his unforgettable voice.
The song appeared on the post-humous Queen album for 1995, known as “Made in Heaven”.
12. David Bowie – Little Drummer Boy
You might argue the “Little Drummer Boy” song is more of a classic tune for the Christmas season, particularly because it features the amazing Bing Crosby. However, the transcendent version of the song is definitely unique thanks to the vocals from Bowie too.
The track has also been covered by a number of different artists over the years, such as Pentatonix and there’s even an alternative version created by Beck called the Little Drum Machine Boy.
13. Sunrise Skater Kids – 12 Days of a Punk-Pop Christmas
This interesting song by the lesser-known punk-pop band Sunrise Skater Kids, delivers a funky tune for the holiday season that’s equal parts memorable and novel.
The song goes through the twelve days of Christmas like the traditional carol, but with references to things like pizzas, pairs of Vans, and other punk-pop icons.
14. Yellow Card – Christmas Lights
Yellow Card’s cover of the song “Christmas Lights” is a must-have if you’re a lover of alternative Christmas music. The unique sound of Yellow Card really adds something special to this famous tune, and it’s great for anyone who wants to feel a swell of joy during the Christmas season.
Definitely a worthwhile alternative to the original song by Coldplay.
15. The Kinks – Father Christmas
Father Christmas, created by the Kinks (and re-recorded by artists like Man Overboard), is an excellent tune for any alternative Christmas playlist. This fantastic song threatens to beat up Father Christmas if he doesn’t give his dad a job.
Design your alternative Christmas song playlist
Alternative Christmas songs are everywhere if you know where to look for them. Hopefully, this list has given you an excellent starting point to start bringing together your own collection of punk-pop, alternative, and indie music for the festive holidays.
Remember, you can also find other guides to radio channels, songs and Christmas music here on Radio Fidelity.
Radio Fidelity: For the love of radio.