The Official Top 20 biggest selling Christmas hits

We count down Christmas Number 1s and festive smashes by Band Aid, the Beatles, Mariah and more.

The Official Top 20 biggest selling Christmas hits

Christmas music gets the party going, but some of the festive season's biggest hits don't mention so much as a snowflake, let alone a big jolly bloke in a red suit and some serious beard issues. 

A mere 12 Official Christmas Number 1s have been about the festive season, with the rest of them simply being the big songs that everybody loved at that time of year. In recognition of the fact that there's more to Christmas than jingle bells, we count down the best selling songs associated with the most wonderful time of the year, be they a Christmas Number 1 or a seasonal fave.

Here are some highlights before we list the full 20:

Do They Know It's Christmas?

Despite its rather sad overtones, our top seller has the honour of being both Christmas-themed AND a Christmas Number 1. Band Aid and their clanging chimes of doom might not feel the obvious festive favourite, but it's sold 3.79 million copies since its release in 1984, spawning three successful cover versions.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Holding the great honour of scoring the Christmas Number 1 twice with the exact same version, Queen's masterpiece topped the Christmas chart in 1975 and 1991, following the death of lead singer Freddie Mercury. 2.52 million copies later, and it's one of the biggest selling songs of all time.

MORE: See all Queen's massive hit albums and singles

Mull of Kintyre

The '70s were a time when all kinds of records could get to Number 1, and 1977's Christmas Number 1 was the mega-selling Mull of Kintyre from Wings, led by none other than former Beatle Paul McCartney. With over two million copies sold, it's Macca's top selling single, more than any of his Beatles hits. What's the Christmas connection? Well, bagpipes and a Beatle – perfect for any grandparents as they trim the tree.

MORE: Take a look at Wings' UK chart history

Mary's Boy Child – Oh My Lord

In fourth place, a real Christmas smash packed with glitz, campery and an uplifting Christmas message, one of two times Mary's Boy Child hit Christmas Number 1. Boney M's disco-lite version from 1978 – see what we mean about the '70s – is the biggest, though, with 1.88 million sales. Harry's version is at 15, on 1.18 million.

MORE: See all Boney M's UK hit singles and albums – including two million-sellers

Last Christmas

Wham's classic was thwarted by Band Aid in 1984 in the Christmas Number 1 and holds the distinction of the biggest selling Number 2 single of all time, with 1.8 million sales. Rumours that sales are so high because people bought this song and then the very next day they gave it away are unfounded. (The whispered "Merry Christmas" is the ONE when it comes to iconic Christmas lyrics, isn't it?)

MORE: All Wham's big ones are in their chart archive

I Will Always Love You

The biggest selling Christmas Number 1 from a female solo artist, Whitney's gorgeous version of Dolly Parton's ballad was taken from the movie The Bodyguard and topped the charts for an incredible 10 weeks. 1.63 million of you swayed to this one next to the Christmas tree, overcome with emotion – and perhaps brandy.

MORE: We will always love Whitney's hits – relive them all in her archive

Hallelujah

This relatively Christmassy Leonard Cohen cover from Alexandra Burke holds the distinction of being The X Factor's most successful winner's single of them all and ruled the festive rundown in 2008. The first X Factor single to be released on download right after the final, Hallelujah has sold 1.29 million copies and its nearest competition for Christmas Number 1 was another cover of the same song, this time by Jeff Buckley.

MORE: See all Alexandra's hits in her archive

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Were you worried she wouldn't be here? Don't worry, Mariah Christmas is never far away. Beaten to Christmas Number 1 by East 17's Stay Another Day, Mariah hit the million-sales mark in 2013, after returning to the Top 40 every year since 2007. Now *that* is a commitment to Christmas we can get behind!

MORE: Look back over Mariah's UK hit singles and albums

2 Become 1

While the girls look pretty cold in the video, this isn't a Christmas-themed song as such, but thanks to topping the seasonal chart in 1996 at the height of Spice Mania, Spice Girls' 2 Become 1 is as traditional a Christmas favourite as roast turkey and arguing over the soft centres in Quality Street.

MORE: Classic Christmas Number 1s: Spice Girls

The Official Top 20 biggest selling Christmas hits:

  TRACK ARTIST YEAR
1 DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS? BAND AID 1984
2 BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY QUEEN 1975/1991
3 MULL OF KINTYRE/GIRLS' SCHOOL WINGS 1977
4 MARY'S BOY CHILD/OH MY LORD BONEY M 1978
5 I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND THE BEATLES 1963
6 LAST CHRISTMAS/EVERYTHING SHE WANTS WHAM! 1984
7 DON'T YOU WANT ME? HUMAN LEAGUE 1981
8 I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU WHITNEY HOUSTON 1992
9 I FEEL FINE THE BEATLES 1964
10 WE CAN WORK IT OUT/DAY TRIPPER THE BEATLES 1964
11 MERRY XMAS EVERYBODY SLADE 1973
12 HALLELUJAH ALEXANDRA BURKE 2008
13 GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME TOM JONES 1966
14 EARTH SONG MICHAEL JACKSON 1995
15 MARY'S BOY CHILD HARRY BELAFONTE 1957
16 FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK POGUES FT KIRSTY MACCOLL 1987
17 DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS? BAND AID 20 2004
18 ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL (PART 2) PINK FLOYD 1979
19 ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU MARIAH CAREY 1994
20 2 BECOME 1 SPICE GIRLS 1996

©2016 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Take a look at every Christmas Number 1 ever in our gallery of amazing artwork:

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NHS Choir A Bridge Over You 2015