As the holiday season brings its special allure to Brooklyn, we can’t help but get a little festive. And what better way to celebrate the magic of New York City than with a playlist that crosses genres and bursts with holiday cheer and local flavor? Here at Garfield Realty, we’ve curated a special playlist of NYC Christmas songs that will make you feel the spirit of the city no matter where you are right now.
Though we’re only covering 13 of them in this post, you can find the rest on our New York City Christmas Spotify playlist.
With Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl’s enchanting voices, this timeless Irish folk-style classic blends heartwarming melodies with a touch of gritty realism, painting a vivid portrait of life in New York City with mentions of Broadway, Sinatra playing and kissing on a corner.
We’re so sad to have lost Queens native Tony Bennett earlier this year but happy to know his memory lives on in song. “Christmas Time is Here” evokes images of snowy Brooklyn streets, warmly lit brownstones and the magic of the season.
Unlike the many Christmas songs that revolve around privilege and getting gifts on your list, “Santa’s Rap” is an ’80s hip-hop gem that shows that not all kids are lucky enough to get everything on their lists.
This holiday tune by Long Island-born vocal powerhouse Mariah Carey is the topic of countless memes—the kind of song you might just love or hate. But no matter what you think of it, chances are you’ll hear it playing somewhere, sometime in November or December.
Record in Greenwich Village, “Christmas Wrapping” is a bit of an anti-Christmas holiday song that touches upon stress, missed connections and turning down party invites, but culminates in a Christmas miracle.
Recorded here in NYC with a little help from the Harlem Community Choir, this John Lennon hit embodies the diversity and hope that define the city’s holiday spirit. It’s a powerful reminder of the collective joy that permeates the streets.
NYC’s legendary Run-DMC infuses a soulful hip-hop twist into the holiday season with playful yet authentic track about Santa Claus dropping his wallet and then gifting its contents to the narrator, mom cooking soul food, watching the yule log on TV, snow, egg nog and Christmas decorations.
In case you haven’t seen the movie Home Alone 2, it’s the one where Kevin is lost in New York. Once you’ve seen it, this medley can take you on a musical journey through the heart of Manhattan during the holiday season, stopping at The Plaza hotel, Radio City Music Hall, World Trade Center, Central Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Center and all the other locations key to Kevin’s NYC journey.
Jazz trailblazer Ella Fitzgerald’s velvety voice takes center stage in “Holiday in Harlem,” an enchanting song that encapsulates the elegance and charm of NYC’s holiday season, with a special nod to the iconic neighborhood.
Long before Lizzo, Ian Anderson was belting out flute solos in his rock band Jethro Tull beginning in the late ’60s. In 2003, they recorded “First Snow on Brooklyn,” which paints a sonic picture of a winter wonderland in our beloved borough. This evocative melody is the perfect addition to your holiday playlist.
Originally released in 1981 by Blondie and hip-hop’s Fab 5 Freddy, “Yuletide Throwdown” was rereleased in 2021 thanks to a Cut Chemist remix. This energetic, electro-tinged track masterfully combines the old and the new, mirroring the ever-evolving NYC skyline and celebrating the city.
Technically a New Jersey native (whose mom was born in Brooklyn), Bruce Springsteen delivers a quintessential version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” capturing the working-class spirit that defines NYC during the holiday season.
Originating from Queens The Ramones offer a punk rock take on the holiday season with “Merry Christmas.” It’s a unique addition to the standard Christmas playlist, in that it reflects relationship woes while celebrating the unapologetic spirit of NYC’s streets.
Whether you’re sipping hot cocoa in your Brooklyn brownstone, taking a festive stroll through Prospect Park, or simply savoring the beauty of the city lights from your apartment, we hope these NYC Christmas songs will add a touch of local magic to your holiday celebration.
Listen to the rest of our Christmas in NYC playlist on Spotify:
From all of us at Garfield Realty, we wish you a joyful and happy holiday season. Enjoy the playlist, and if you’re ready to make Brooklyn your home, or you’re interested in selling or renting here in Brooklyn, our knowledgeable Park Slope-based real estate agents are here to help—give us a call today.