One of the best things about the holidays is the music. It’s also the only time of the year that I can use McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime as a ringtone and not look like a total weirdo. And while I don’t generally like music rankings, here is my list of the best Christmas songs.

A couple of points first, though. I’m not going to number the listing since once songs achieve this level of awesomeness, comparing them is much like comparing infinite sets and thus requires the application of Cantor set theory which I really don’t understand well enough to actually apply in any way at all. And while I’m not presenting this list as definitive, any disagreements with the content are necessarily wrong.

So without further ado…the greatest Christmas songs EVER!

Linus and Lucy – Vince Guaraldi: We bought the Charlie Brown Christmas special on dvd a couple of years ago, so I got to see the whole show for the first time in ages. Once I got over the fact that the animation was really not very good, I came to the realization that the soundtrack to the show was easily the best thing about it. I don’t have any stats to back this up, but I’m going to say it’s the most popular jazz album for a animated Christmas special of all time. And while several tunes from the show are killer, Linus and Lucy is the best of the bunch. The walking bass intro hooks you and never lets go.

Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives: While the holiday classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, teaches kids some very questionable lessons, on the plus side it also gives us this marvelous tune by Mr. Ives. What’s so great about it? Well for starters, it’s one of the few holiday songs that I can sing along to without my voice giving out on me. Plus it’s just so happy.

Santa Claus is Back in Town – Elvis: When most people think of Elvis and Christmas, I suppose they think of Blue Christmas or maybe Here Comes Santa Claus. While those are both perfectly predictable and mediocre choices, the only Elvis Christmas tune of any importance is the rollicking Santa Claus is Back in Town. It’s got just the right mixture of naughty and nice topped off with a spicy dash of stocking and chimney double-entendres.

Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney: And last but certainly not least, we have the coolest synth-pop Christmas tune ever (yes, even better than Do They Know It’s Christmas). This tune is one of the primary reasons that Paul is my favorite Beatle (other than George, of course). Every time I hear it, I get the urge to put on a bowler and scarf and bop on over to the pub for a pint.

And there you have it.