Christmas Song Madness: Editors' picks
Prediction brackets are central to the fun of March Madness, and we wanted to make them part of Christmas Madness too. You can vote live now, but the AOL team went on the record with our picks before voting started ... and also shared our festive holiday pics!
Torrey AndersonSchoepe, Managing Editor
Predicted winner: "The Little Drummer Boy" – This is such a fun song to sing for both young and old, plus it's a song you can sing no matter how bad you think your voice is! I don't know of anyone who doesn't like it.
Personal favorite: Narrowing this down was pretty easy – anything from Josh Groban's Christmas album (Noel). But picking just one song from it ... that's a tough decision. After listening to his album over and over, I think his rendition of "O Come All Ye Faithful" comes out on top. It's very powerfully sung and encompasses the true meaning of Christmas.
Emily Cegielski, Managing Editor
Predicted winner: The song that I am choosing to win is going to be "Away in a Manger," but I definitely think it will be a close call between a church favorite and a song from our traditional bracket.
Personal favorite: My personal favorite has got to be a tie between "Santa Baby" and "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." Are ties allowed? When I was younger, I desperately wanted a hippo as a pet, so that song always resonated with me, but nothing is quite as catchy and fun as "Santa Baby."
Isabelle Chapman, Associate Editor
Predicted Winner: I think "Jingle Bells" will win. It's a classic. Who doesn't love a classic?
Personal Favorite: I love "Carol of the Bells" because there's a really awesome moment in "Home Alone" where Macaulay Culkin decides to defend his house against the bad guys and it's playing in the background like it's his walk-up song.
Cristina Corvino, Video Programming Editor
Predicted winner: I think "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is going to win because it's traditional, sentimental and the lyrics are really simple and sweet.
Personal favorite: I personally love "Night of Silence." It's a really pretty song that's usually sung with "Silent Night."
Kelsey Driscoll, Photo Editor
Projected Winner: "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." It's become more than just a song, it's an actual phrase people start to use around this time, not to mention its use in commercials for years. I think it's an underdog, but it will get stuck in people's heads as they read through the bracket, and it will be a strong contender. And it's true, this definitely is the most wonderful time of the year, at least to me.
Personal Favorite: "Feliz Navidad!" It's my entire family's favorite. We mark the beginning of Christmas season by listening to a CD with only "Feliz Navidad" on it on the way home from Thanksgiving at my aunt's house. My dad found 14 different versions of it. It's amazing.
Ryan Gorman, Managing Editor
Predicted winner: "Jingle Bells." Everybody knows it and I've never met anyone that dislikes it -- the quintessential Christmas song. Happy, light and full of joy.
Personal favorite: My favorite one is actually the instrumental from "Charlie Brown Christmas" titled "Linus and Lucy." I laugh every time I hear that song.
Chelsea Huang, Associate Editor
Predicted winner: I'm rooting for "Sleigh Ride" to win because it's upbeat, a total classic and puts a smile on everyone's face. Plus, each year, my brother and I inevitably do a silly duet to the song in the car when it comes on the radio ... and anything that can get my brother to sing must be a crowd-pleaser.
Personal favorite: I love "Carol of the Bells" because it just gives me the chills every time, but "Let It Snow" makes me feel like I'm in a Christmas-y rom-com!
Sydney Levin, Director of Video Programming
Predicted winner: "Silent Night" – Fun, trendy songs come and go, but I think people look forward to -- and are soothed by -- the sound of a trusty old favorite. It's the comfortable, slightly haunting, audible embodiment of the Christmas season.
Personal favorite: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (don't tell Santa I'm a Jew!)
Nancy Lynch, Managing Editor
Predicted winner: "Silent Night"- I am really rooting for this one.
Personal favorite: "Silent Night" - Every year on Christmas Eve at our church, at the end of the service, the lights are dimmed, and the candles at the front of the church glow brightly. The congregation sings "Silent Night" as Santa solemnly walks down the aisle, hat in hand, and kneels at the altar to be blessed for a "safe journey." It breaks my heart wide open, every single year. (No kids, I'm not crying ... I have something in my eye) I also can't resist Stevie Nicks' version of the song, I find it so haunting in the very best way.
Peter Martinez, Managing Editor
Predicted winner: "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" will be the ultimate winner of our Christmas songs competition. It's a classic that speaks to anyone looking to celebrate the holidays with friends and loved ones (and well ... wish them a Merry Christmas!). Whether you're 1 or 92, this song transcends time.
Personal favorite: My favorite choice is "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree." It's short, spunky and full of holiday cheer! Any song that makes you hum all day while Christmas shopping for loved ones is a keeper in my book. Also, it's got "mistletoe," "caroling," "sentimental feeling" and "deck the halls" in the lyrics - all winners. Plus, I like pumpkin pie which gets a nod in the tune.
Eric Sandler, Managing Editor
Predicted winner: Definitely "Silent Night;" no way anything else wins. It's the most recorded Christmas song by far. Many people think Bing Crosby's is the best version. I disagree, it's a very good version, but I think the Christmas on Death Row version is totally underrated.
Personal favorite: Is "The Hanukkah Song" on this list? (Note: It's in honorable mentions.)
Alexis Shaw, Managing Editor
Predicted winner: "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - To me, this song sounds like how Christmas should feel – warm, safe, curled up at the fire in your living room with your family, sipping cocoa (or eggnog, or brandy) and reminiscing on the year. A perennial holiday classic.
Personal favorite: "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"
Andrew Tavani, Executive Editor
Predicted winner: I think voters will have some fun and send songs like 'Rudolph' and 'Santa Baby' deep into the tournament. I could even see a classic like 'White Christmas' reaching the final four. But in the end, I think a song that reflects the voters' faith will emerge victorious. My pick for America's favorite Christmas song is "Silent Night."
Personal favorite: Picking just one song is difficult. There are so many great Christmas songs, both light and passionate, that I love. I'm a huge fan of "You're a mean one Mr. Grinch," "What Child Is This?" and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." Above all else, I particularly love the Bing Crosby-David Bowie collaboration on "Little Drummer Boy" -- and Trans-Siberian Orchestra's hard rock version of "Carol of the Bells." Bing and Bowie are both legendary, but also polar opposites in terms of their sensibilities. Yet they were each the perfect complement for the other on that classic song, and the result is simply unforgettable. Trans-Siberian Orchestra really captured the intensity of "Carol of the Bells" and the whole Christmas season, for that matter, unlike anyone's been able to do sonically with that explosive arrangement. Plus, sensational guitar work is always going to score big points in my book.
Morgan Whitaker, Managing Editor
Predicted winner: "All I Want For Christmas Is You" -- The song turned 20 this year, and I think it's poised to win. I do think "Silent Night" has a strong shot too, and I definitely expect "White Christmas" to go far.
Personal favorite: It's not on the list because it's a mash-up of sorts, but the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan cover of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings" gets me every time. I'm also a huge sucker for almost any Motown take on the holidays, so Stevie Wonder's "What Christmas Means To Me" always makes me smile. And I think Bruce Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" is the best.
Did we miss your favorite song? Tell us about it in the comments. And if you haven't already, be sure to weigh in on your favorite in the brackets.