Christmas songs that don't get played enough

Update your Christmas playlists accordingly.

The trend for classic Christmas songs returning to the charts every year is a relatively recent one. It started in 2007, when downloading had fully established itself as the favourite way to purchase singles, therefore making it easier for old singles to re-enter the Top 40.  

Looking back at the Official Chart that week in 2007, Mariah Carey, Wham! and The Pogues led the charge with their festive tunes, while Wizzard, Slade, Shakin' Stevens, Band Aid, Chris Rea and Bing Crosby were among those featuring further down the Top 100. 

A similar pattern has emerged every year since - Mariah, Wham! and The Pogues once again lead the way for the deluge of returning Christmas classics on the latest singles chart - and the evolution into streaming and Christmas playlists ensures new life is breathed into them every December.

The sheer amount of festive songs released since chart records began in 1952 means that only so many can make it into the hall of fame. If you're already maxed out on Mariah or weary of Wham's Last Christmas, here are some of the standout festive songs that have slipped under the radar. 

George Michael - December Song (I Dreamed Of Christmas) 

George was always going to struggle to top Last Christmas, but the wistful, soul-drenched December Song - a Top 20 hit when it was released in 2009 - is a classic George ballad. Fun fact: it was originally written with Spice Girls in mind and later Michael Buble before George decided to keep it for himself.

MORE: Look back at every Official Christmas Number 1 ever

Kate Winslet - What If

In an interview last year, Kate cringed at recalling her first and only foray into music in 2001, but the track itself still stands as a wonderful slice of noughties nostalgia. The star recorded What If for Christmas Carol: The Movie and was it thrown in as a contender for that year’s Official Christmas Number 1. It reached a very respectable Number 6 in the end, beaten to the top by Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman's Somethin' Stupid. 

Charles Brown/Eagles/Bon Jovi – Please Come Home For Christmas

Despite two hugely successful acts scoring Top 40 hits with a cover of this bluesy track, originally released by Charles Brown in 1960, it rarely makes an appearance at Christmas.

Sugababes - New Year 

Don't be fooled by the title, this single from 2000 by Sugababes is as much about Christmas as it is about January 1. The teenage angst and sullen aura of the original lineup is a welcome contrast to the overload (geddit?) of festive cheer in December playlists. In fact, New Year manages the rare feat of being a Christmas song that doesn't feel at all contrived. 

Prince - Another Lonely Christmas

Released as the B-side to his Purple Rain single I Would Die 4 U in 1984, Another Lonely Christmas is the equivalent of a booze-fuelled outburst by a distant relative over your roast dinner - so why isn't it a Christmas staple? Much of Prince's catalogue has been added to streaming services this year, so perhaps this will find a following in years to come.

MORE: The songs that just missed out on the Christmas Number 1 - every Xmas Number 2 revealed

Gabriella Cilmi - Warm This Winter

This remake of Connie Francis' single from 1962 was recorded by the Australian singer for Co-Op's Christmas advert in 2008. It peaked at Number 22 on the Official Singles Chart that year and snuck into the Top 100 the year after, but hasn't appeared since. 

Hurts - All I Want For Christmas Is New Year's Day

The title of the synthpop duo's festive offering may bare some similarities to one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time, but that hasn't helped it on the charts, where it has yet to reach the singles Top 100. It's a shame, because this tearjerker-into-joyful ballad really captures the essence of the season. 

Mariah Carey - Oh Santa! 

History dictates that artists are only allowed one smash Christmas single, but an exception should be made for the Queen of Christmas. Oh Santa! is a joyful, '60s-styled affair that is essentially OutKast's Hey Ya! with sleigh bells. 

Pet Shop Boys - It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas 

20 years after landing the Christmas Number 1 in 1987 with a remake of Brenda Lee's Always On My Mind, Pet Shop Boys released this synth-laden festive song exclusively to members of their fan club. It was given a wider release in 2009 as part of their Christmas EP, reaching Number 40 on the chart.   

Cheeky Girls - Have A Cheeky Christmas

Novelty records usually have the shelf life of a dairy product, but Cheeky Girls' fourth and final Top 10 single from 2003 veers dangerously close to being quite good as far as Christmas songs go. Give this one another chance and let the spirit of Christmas take over.  

What have we missed? Tell us in the comments below.