Prior to 2014 song charts were measured via the number of sales. Artists competed in both albums and single charts to sell the most possible records and reach the much elusive top spot. This often meant domination by mass media outlets such as X Factor and The Voice, touting that year’s show winner as the all too predictable Christmas number one. 

Come 2014 however and the Official Chart Company switched to a streaming metric, radically changing the Christmas number one landscape. Instead of that year’s hit new music, older Christmas classics flourished from the shadows into the limelight as they play on repeat in homes and businesses throughout December. This move was only cemented in 2018 when video downloads and streams were also incorporated into the metric. 

So 2020 comes along and what does it mean to hold a Christmas number one anymore? Is it contemporary popularity or are we staying true to the earworms that continue to hold onto our festive hearts? 

Mariah Carey – All I want for Christmas is you 

An unsurprising number one this year has been Mariah Carey’s iconic ‘All I want for Christmas is You’. Originally released in 1994, the song has been going strong as a yuletide classic for 16 years, continuing to peak in the chart each festive season. 

Bing Crosby / Michael Bubble – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Another Christmas classic set to get even the biggest scrooge in the mood is the historic tune ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’. Often used to set a festive tone to the beginning of the season, Bing Crosby’s 1951 hit has been immortalised with its further popularisation by crooner Michael Bubble’s 2015 cover. 

Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
One for being in the full swing of Christmas, Brenda Lee went head to head with Bing Crosby in 1951 with her Christmas release of ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’. With its upbeat and jolly melody the classic yuletide continues to inspire us with festive cheer well into the 21st century.