Featuring Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, George Michael and more.

Christmas music pretty much has a monopoly over the December song market, meaning songs that don’t necessarily scream “Fa la la la la” can be overlooked during the final month of the year.

But December is so much more than the holiday season, and there’s a treasure trove of music to prove it. There’s Sara Bareilles’ “December,” on which she sings about the all-too-familiar end-of-year loneliness many folks face as the new year approaches. On “Back to December,” Taylor Swift poetically wishes she could turn back time to the month she broke a certain someone’s heart, her own heart having defrosted too late from the winter cold. Side note: many of music’s biggest legends were born in December — including Bareilles and Swift as well as Jay-Z, all three of whom are featured on this list.

That’s not to say there’s any shame in the Christmas song game, though. The commercial holiday is rightfully a staple of the calendar year’s 12th month, which is why Xmas hits continue to dominate the December charts year after year. So in the good name of mistletoe, gingerbread and chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Christmastime odes to December from the likes of Ariana Grande and the late George Michael are also included.

Whether you need a break from “All I Want For Christmas” or “Jingle Bell Rock,” or you’re just looking for something more subdued to celebrate the final month of the year in all its cold, contemplative glory, keep reading to see Billboard‘s top December song picks below:



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