Mariah Carey announces christmas with a christmas tree and a makeup version of I'm mister white Christmas.

A Rundown Of TikTok's Favorite Christmas Songs

If the whole birth of Jesus thing hadn’t come thousands of years before the advent of short-form video, you would swear Christmas was made with TikTok in mind. The cheerful tackiness of our modern-day festivities provides the perfect excuse for the platform of the moment to do the showing off it’s famous for.

One distinct parallel between TikTok and the holiday season is that they treat their music unlike anywhere else. Tried-and-true classics can gain as much attention as the newest chart-toppers, and their success is often based on their novelty factor. After four years in the game, TikTok is a more powerful music tastemaker than ever — and seasonal songs are no exception. Let's dig into a few of its Christmas favorites, past and present.

"Snowmiser / Heatmiser"

Year of Origin: 1974 | Year Popular on TikTok: 2018

This is a combination of two songs featured in the beloved TV special The Year Without Santa Claus. Aside from tacking the two together, there isn’t much of an edit here as the premise for the videos they inspire is taken from the songs themselves. Miming the song, the user puts their makeup skills into practice as they transform themselves into the two characters who perform the songs, one for each side of their face.

It’s definitely one for the wannabe theater kid side of TikTok, which, in fairness, is a fairly large proportion of users. In this way, it’s comparable to the Snowman Challenge from this year, which has users try and sing a verse from Sia’s eponymous song in one breath.


"Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree" (Remix)

Year of Origin: 1958 | Year Popular on TikTok: 2019

TikTok’s take on Brenda Lee’s perennial hit gives it a distinct EDM flavor — but not before an unorthodox introduction that announces “fire in the hole.” This is another song that got paired with a gimmick, this time being the "Tactical Christmas" challenge. A bauble gets thrown into a normal room like a hand grenade (hence the soldier intro) and it prompts a festive explosion that decks the halls.

Overall, it offered a fun way to spice up your standard holiday transformation video. Taking a standard in terms of song and format, it jazzes it up with the kind of quirky setup and reveal structure that TikTok has made inescapable.


"You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" (Tyler the Creator version)

Year of Origin: 1966 / 2018 | Year Popular on TikTok: 2018

A more unexpected hit, Tyler the Creator covered this for the movie reboot of The Grinch and inadvertently created one of the biggest festive TikTok tracks. The most contemporary song on the list, the song acts as an alternative take on Christmas.

"You’re A Mean One" corresponds nicely with TikTok’s obsession with all things Grinch — since the character is one of its most beloved weird cosplays (not dissimilar to its Johnny Depp-era Willy Wonka impersonator). It provides the perfect soundtrack to themed prank videos, dress-ups and even movie factoids, in a more mischievous approach to the holiday.

https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6797195129842076934


"It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" (Perry Como version)

Year of Origin: 1951 | Year Popular on TikTok: 2020

At 4.5 million videos and counting, this song has been gifted the rare honor of TikTok acclaim without any serious reworks.

A big part of the reason is its nostalgia factor, as it ticks all the boxes as a soundtrack for your regular festive spirit-type videos. Out of all the big TikTok Christmas songs, it’s probably one of the most vanilla, used as a backdrop for putting up a tree or baking cookies.

Also, the key to its popularity is that it represents escapism. The song saw an uptick in popularity this year around the time voting started for the presidential election, a not so subtle indicator that people were ready to leave behind the 24/7 discourse cycle for something a little more pleasant.

https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6866271862842756358


"Last Christmas"

Year of Origin: 1984 | Year Popular on TikTok: 2019

This song first enjoyed a slice of viral fame in the early 2010s. Mixing the Rickroll-inspired tradition of memeing '80s pop songs with the annoyance of The Game, Whamageddon challenged participants to avoid hearing the song all month before Christmas.

Its reputation on TikTok is a stark contrast to its origins as a meme. Instead, Last Christmas videos are more in tune with the song’s angsty lyrics, with many using it to complain about scenarios in their lives — although many more simply use it as an excuse for a selfie video.

They’re almost always accompanied by a specific set of hand movements, which were started in a video by TikToker victorjohnart. It makes the song a kind of dance challenge for people who can’t really dance and/or are too beautiful to make a TikTok that doesn’t focus on their face.


"All I Want For Christmas Is You" (original and remixes)

Year of Origin: 1994 | Year Popular on TikTok: 2019 and 2020

Another classic, it’s also possibly the strongest example of a popular TikTok Christmas song. This reputation has been helped by Ms. Carey herself, who has used her own account to cement her reputation as the "queen of Christmas" — as proved by what she uploaded on November 1st.

A crucial element to the TikTok success of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is that there is a version to appeal to every side of TikTok. The original version allows for that comfortable, festive department store feeling we’ve come to expect, give or take a delivery driver performing a heartfelt cover version. Last year’s use of the inspired mashup with "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" led the way for a dance craze, but it also worked as a standalone phenomenon that transcended the platform. For anyone who wants to signal a kind of offbeat, meme-friendly Christmas, there’s the "All I Want For Christmas Is You" distorted version. In short, it sucks to be a retail worker on TikTok right now because you’re getting a double dose of this contentious song.

https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6890175654755634438


All in all, it doesn’t look like TikTok will run out of enthusiasm for the holidays any time soon. From October onwards, you have to do some serious curating to make sure it doesn’t come up on your For You page — but why would you? This isn’t exactly the kind of place for Scrooge.



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