Pulling off Christmas songs is not an easy thing to do. According to one study, holiday themes make for some of the most unappealing music ever. New Christmas songs are usually pretty horrible and worthless, and covering the classics that we’ve all heard a million times just seems pointless most of the time. But this kind of talk is for the grinches.

Every now and then, a band gets it right, and since it’s Christmas, we’ve put together a few holiday songs that we actually enjoyed. From Zooey in a little red dress doing “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree” to  Bright Eyes’ slightly emo take on “Blue Christmas,” here’s a handful of indie Christmas covers done right.

Merry Christmas!

Love, P&P

She & Him – “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree”

She & Him are proficient Christmas song coverers, but Zooey in her little Christmas get-up makes this one double the fun.


The Raveonettes – “The Christmas Song”

It’s an original track with a definite modern feel to it, but its simple melody and timeless lyrics make it work well. If you’re getting tired of hearing “Santa Got Run Over By A Reindeer” played on repeat, “The Christmas Song” can style up your playlist a bit.


Death Cab For Cutie – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”

With Ben’s warm vocals, Death Cab doing Christmas music just works. Their version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” sounds like it would be perfect for a holiday commercial, but we mean that in the best kind of way, because honestly, what’s Christmas without commercialization?


Pedro the Lion – “I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day”

For a lot of us, Christmas day is a lazy one–lots of couch-sitting, post-meal napping, and responsibility avoiding. Pedro the Lion’s “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” is a nice, lumbering soundtrack to match our high calorie intake and low rate of movement.


Lisa Hannigan – “Silent Night”

While the lyrics for this cover of “Silent Night” are different from the original, Lisa Hannigan’s version sticks to the melody but reinvents the song for a haunting rendition. This isn’t the one to play when you’re opening the Christmas presents or sipping on some ‘nog, but it’s a beautiful take on the classic nonetheless.


Bright Eyes – “Blue Christmas”

Missing someone on the holidays? Bright Eyes knows the feeling, and his quivering delivery of the classic “Blue Christmas” captures it perfectly without getting too emo. That’s a good thing, because getting too emo on Christmas is not a good look. Save that for Valentine’s Day.


Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Enjoy.