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Localiiz recommends: Our favourite Christmas songs

By Catharina Cheung 7 December 2019

What even is Christmas without the constant blasting of some good Christmas tunes? The Localiiz team has gathered their favourite Christmas songs for your enjoyment; make sure you’ve already got these modern and classic tracks added to your festive playlists! Who’s ready to go for a jolly Christmas sing-a-long with us?

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Michael Bublé

This tune by everyone’s favourite Canadian crooner is our content director Jen’s go-to at the start of the festive season when you’re first starting to blast the Christmas songs. It’s a true classic that sets the mood and really gets you into the holiday state of mind.

It’s a shame that Bublé has been relegat⇨ed to only reappearing over the festive season each year like some sort of furtive Christmas gnome who hibernates the rest of the time, as his honeyed vocals are as warm and soothing as a good cup of cocoa.

Our finance manager Ivy has also cast her vote for this song because it’s a joyful melody that perfectly announces the arrival of the best season. Blast this song with Jen and Ivy to immediately be transported into a winter wonderland!

All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey

Our business development manager Eunice immediately jumped in with what is possibly the ultimate Christmas banger, mainly because she thinks it’s hilarious when her drunk friends try to out-belt Mariah after a few too many tipples.

While we adore the Olivia Olson version from the classic Christmas film Love, Actually, there can be no doubt in anyone’s minds that Mariah Carey’s original is the one worth being preserved in holiday canon. Despite being released a quarter of a century ago (!), it still consistently tops charts for being one of the most festive songs ever made.

Jingle Bell Rock – Glee

Our general manager of sales Danny is clearly a sentimental man because he’s chosen this track for the jolly childhood memories that it evokes for him. We’d also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the iconic performance of this song in Mean Girls, where Regina George and posse absolutely smashed their winter talent show (unfortunately—or fortunately?—also smashing skeezy Jason’s face in with their boombox). Can you guess which of us in the Localiiz team knows the Jingle Bell Rock dance routine off by heart?

Get into the Christmas mood!

White Christmas – Michael Bublé and Shania Twain

Yet another vote for the undisputed king of Christmas songs. Jen is of the opinion that the original White Christmas sounds “almost like a funeral march,” so she much prefers this jazzed-up version featuring the sultry vocals of the queen of country-pop, Shania Twain. This is definitely a win for Canada!

Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt

This tongue-in-cheek song has been widely covered by big-name singers including Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Ariana Grande, and Michael Bublé (in a bizarre version where he refers to Santa repeatedly as “dude” and “buddy”, and requests a “steel blue” convertible—tragic).

Our editor Inés, however, is always going to love Eartha Kitt’s classic original more for its inimitably seductive tones. Christmas is a time for giving, and we’re all writing Santa on the off chance he gifts us with a ‘54 convertible—in light blue, obviously.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Christina Aguilera

Our travel editorial director Nicole has always been a fan of Xtina’s voice, which she feels lends this Christmas classic a soulful and sensual touch, and encompasses the season’s overall bittersweet vibe. It’s the end of the year, it’s cold, and people are excited for the festivities but also feeling nostalgic at the same time. The end of the year is a time for reflection, but also anticipation for renewal, and this song makes for the perfect accompaniment to these feelings.

Here are some more Christmas articles:

By Stephanie Lown 29 November 2019
By Catharina Cheung 22 November 2019

Last Christmas – Wham!

We’ve had three people vote for this Wham! hit, so you can imagine how often this track comes up on the Localiiz office playlist. Surprisingly, they’re all from our sales team: Yvonne fell in love with it because the catchy melody and bittersweet lyrics impressed her, and this is also Sharifa’s go-to tune while listening to Christmas music year-round on the sly, even at the gym! Finally, Danny’s reason for recommending this song was simply, “Doesn’t everybody just love Wham?!”

What Christmas Means to Me – Stevie Wonder

To our editor Ching, Christmas means glitter, cinnamon, and light shows. This song calls for everyone who loves the festive season to think about their own Christmas traditions and how everyone celebrates in their own way.

Ching will be going out of town for the holidays, but here in Hong Kong, the rest of us will be joining the festivities with lots of mulled wine, laughter, and as much good cheer as we can muster! How are you celebrating your Christmas?

O Christmas Tree – Aretha Franklin

Our general manager of sales Gloria recommends this classic song because she was impressed by its melodic atmosphere when she first heard it (though she refuses to reveal how long ago that was). Aretha’s cover is amazing, but we also enjoy the choral versions of the original song it’s based off, O Tannebaum.

Deck the halls with these next-level Christmas decorations!

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues

We all know it’s tough trying to make it in the big city, and our senior editor Catharina feels that this song truly exemplifies the loneliness and dark turns in life that come with the end-of-year blues. While not the most cheerful or festive subject matter (and with some controversial lyrics to boot), this classic song nevertheless manages to inject a slight sense of hope in looking forward to a better year to come.

Our managing director Tak has also cast his vote for what he calls “the drunk pub Christmas song”—a succinct and accurate assessment if there ever was one—adding that, “When people start singing it, you know it’s time to go home.”

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

The first song that came to mind for our marketing manager Stephanie was this one because it’s happy, feel-good, and also brings back memories of watching Home Alone. This much-loved film about a brave, cheeky kid who outsmarts a bunch of adults made Steph trust that anything is possible if you just believe—a lovely sentiment. While we’re on the topic of the Home Alone movies, Inés also recommends the track Carol of the Bells.

Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande

Santa, tell me if you’re really there. Whenever our curious editor Ching listens to this catchy bop, her mind immediately jumps to the question of whether or not Santa is real. If he is, then Ching would like him to also tell her how exactly he defines ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’. Sure would be handy to know where the lines are drawn so we never receive coal in our Christmas stockings!

If you dislike the cold, stay in with movies or go somewhere sunny!

We Are the World – Michael Jackson

Our business director Cynthia has chosen a rather unconventional song for celebrating Christmastime, but for her, it’s all about the beautiful message that the song conveys. Christmas is a time for sharing love and light with everybody, and this Michael Jackson classic really embodies that philosophy of sharing and empathy: “We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving.

Do They Know it’s Christmas – Band Aid

Carrying on the theme of giving, our leader and managing director Tak emphasises that the spirit of Christmas is really about giving what we can and helping others in need. Amongst all the Christmas songs out there, there is no better tune to spread such a message than this classic chart-topper by the biggest British and Irish musical acts of their time? It may have been made to aid the Ethiopian famine of the early 1980s, but its overarching message of love and generosity is unchanging.

O Holy Night – Josh Groban

As a Christian, our sales director Sharifa wants people to remember the origins of Christmas: that it is first and foremost a celebration of the birth of Jesus instead of just another cog in the machinery of capitalism. This song is soft and peaceful, then swells into a crescendo that truly brings to mind the awe and inspiration that the coming of Christ should evoke. We also enjoy the version performed by Il Divo, because four good voices are always better than one.

Here are some more Christmas recommendations from Localiiz:

This Christmas – Taeyeon

Our client services officer Daphne has provided the only non-English song on this list. Girl group member-turned-soloist Taeyeon is one of K-pop’s best female voices, and this track tells the story of reminiscing about a past love. Its melody sounds sad and melancholy, which truly matches the winter season, but it’s nevertheless a relaxing tune that’s more than easy on the ears.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Finally, we finish off our list with Ivy’s recommendation: the king of all Christmas songs that even two-year-olds can sing! From the Localiiz team to you, here’s wishing one and all a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

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Catharina Cheung

Senior editor

Catharina has recently returned to her hometown of Hong Kong after spending her formative years in Singapore and the UK. She enjoys scouring the city for under-the-radar things to do, see, and eat, and is committed to finding the perfect foundation that will withstand Hong Kong’s heat. She is also an aspiring polyglot, a firm advocate for feminist and LGBTQIA+ issues, and a huge lover of animals. You can find her belting out show-tunes in karaoke, or in bookstores adding new tomes to her ever-growing collection.