11 Cool ’90s Alt-Rock Songs That Will Get You Into The Holiday Spirit

Because Celine Dion, Kenny G., and Hanson weren’t the only ones releasing Christmas songs in the 1990s.

1. Sonic Youth, “Santa Doesn’t Cop Out on Dope”

Sonic Youth covered this Martin Mull track for the all-too-cool Christmas album Just Say Noël.

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2. Harvey Danger, “Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas (Sometimes)”

While Harvey Danger might be considered a one-hit wonder — who could forget their late ’90s monster hit “Flagpole Sitta”? — they’ve actually recorded a lots of great music, and this Christmas song is no expectation.

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3. Fiona Apple, “Frosty the Snowman”

Fiona is one of those rare artists who can take any song and turn it into something hauntingly beautiful, as her cover of “Pure Imagination” proved. But for this cover of “Frosty,” she actually keeps it light and cheerful — and still perfectly her.

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4. Blink-182, “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas”

The pop-punk trio originally released this track as a radio-only single in 1997 and officially released it the following year as a B-side to their breakout hit single “Josie.”

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5. No Doubt, “Oi to the World”

No Doubt’s cover of this Vandals’ track first appeared as a B-side to their 1997 single “Happy Now?” It was also included on A Very Special Christmas 3 that same year.

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6. Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “Xmas Time (It Sure Doesn’t Feel Like It)”

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones wrote the perfect Christmas song for anyone who just can’t get into the holiday spirit.

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7. Save Ferris, “Christmas Wrapping”

Save Ferris took The Waitresses’ classic New Wave Christmas song and — in a genius twist — rewrote it from a Jewish perspective.

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8. Beck, “Little Drum Machine Boy”

Only Beck could have written the funkiest Hanukkah song of the ’90s! He took the traditional — but boring — song “Little Drummer Boy” and dropped “some Hanukkah science” on it.

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9. Pixies, “Winterlong”

OK, so this Neil Young cover isn’t really a Christmas song, but the song works well for anyone going through their first post-breakup Christmas.

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10. Travis, “River”

No song better captures the emotion of reflecting on a past relationship during the holidays than Joni Mitchell’s “River.”

This is the saddest Christmas song ever written, and Travis does a great job with this cover.

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11. Smashing Pumpkins, “Christmastime”

So the Smashing Pumpkins might not be the first band you think of when you think Christmas music, but, their song “Christmastime” does an excellent job at capturing a sorta childhood innocence that we adults miss most about the holiday.

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