Best Apple Music playlists and radio stations to celebrate the holidays

Apple Music holiday
Apple Music holiday (Image credit: Joseph Keller/iMore)

Music is as much a part of the holiday season as any other tradition. Whether it's contemporary classics like 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' or old reliable standards like 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,' this time of year is filled with music (one of the best parts about it, really). If you're an Apple Music subscriber, you've got all of this music right at your fingertips.

Here are some of the best playlists and radio stations to listen to on Apple Music this holiday season.

Playlists for the holidays

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Apple continually updates its playlists, and its holiday lists are no exception. But however they are updated, these collections are always on point, sure to deliver just the holiday feeling you're looking for.

  • Essential Christmas - If you only use one playlist this Christmas, make it this one. Spanning multiple musical generations with artists like Eartha Kitt, Paul McCartney, Judy Garland, and Mariah Carey, this list is sure to have something to fit your holiday taste. - Check it out!
  • Holiday Pop Hits - This list features several contemporary (and not so contemporary) songs centered around the holidays. Like most Apple Music playlists, it's continually updated, and currently has music from the likes of Sia, Pentatonix, Sam Smith, The Killers, and more. - Check it out!
  • Holiday Cheer - Combining holiday favorites old and new, this shorter playlist has something for everyone, from Brenda Lee's "Rockin' around the Christmas Tree" to Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You". - Check it out!
  • Holiday Cocktail Party - The holidays are a great time to gather with friends and family, and this collection of jazzy holiday tracks will set the perfect mood for your party as people dip into the eggnog. Listen to the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, and more. - Check it out!
  • Hanukkah Classics - Christmas isn't the only holiday this season, and this playlist, featuring artists like Adam Sandler, Barenaked Ladies, Jay Levy, Debbie Friedman, and many more, will help you celebrate the Festival of Lights. - Check it out!
  • A Soulful Christmas - This list combines both soulful Christmas classics and more originals tracks tailored to the holiday, with work from artists like Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, and Sharon Jones - Check it out!
  • Jingle Bell Rock - Featuring holiday songs with a rock n' roll heart, this playlist features an alternative spin on the season with tracks from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, the Eagles, and Joan Jett. - Check it out!

Holiday radio

Tune into one of Apple Music's many holiday radio stations and just let the stream go, themed to your favorite kind of music to listen to during this time of year, be it contemporary pop or timeless classics.

  • Holiday Hits - Check out this station for a continual stream of pop and R&B holiday hits. - Tune in!
  • Country Holiday - If you're a fan of both older and contemporary country, this station might just be for you with its blend of more traditional and modern tunes. - Tune in!
  • Classical Holiday - If more modern holiday music just doesn't do it for you, get into the holiday spirit with these timeless Holiday classics - Tune in!
  • Children's Holiday Sing-Along - This station is all about making the holidays fun for the whole family, full of fun songs that everyone can sing along to, whether it's about a red-nosed reindeer or a sentient snowman. - Tune in!
  • Soulful Holiday - This mix of soul and R&B hits will put a different spin on anyone's holiday celebrations. - Tune in!

Your favorites

Do you have any favorite Apple Music playlists for this time of year? Let us know in the comments.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.