Winter holidays are coming! It’s time to bring some magic and joy into the classroom. One of the best ways to do so is through holiday songs. They are a great source of inspiration and make students excited about learning. You can read here and here about how to use songs in the ESL classroom. In this article, we will present the best festive songs you can use to liven up your classes.

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Kelly Clarkson — My Grown Up Christmas List

This is an incredible Christmas song originally recorded by David Foster in the 1990s. In 2003, Kelly Clarkson performed «Grown-Up Christmas List» on the Christmas show. The song can be used as a discussion of Christmas wishes people usually have as a child and as an adult. The artist highlights the wishes she has not for herself, but the whole world, such as peace, love and humanity.

Questions for discussion:

What are the main things the singer wishes for Christmas?

What did you use to wish about when you were a child?

Have your wishes changed over time?

Do you believe in Christmas miracles? Has your wish ever come true on Christmas day?

CeeLo Green — White Christmas

The singer dreams of a white Christmas where children listen to sleigh bells in the snow, where he writes Christmas cards wishing everyone merry and bright days. The song can be used to discuss what type of Christmas students are dreaming of and why Christmas means something special for them.

Questions for discussion:

What type of Christmas is the singer dreaming of?

Do you send greeting cards at Christmas?

What do you prefer — handmade gifts or something expensive from a luxurious shop for Christmas?

Are you looking forward to this Christmas? Why? Why not?

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Colbie Caillat — Christmas In The Sand

The song is about a different way of Christmas celebration which can be unusual for many people. Here instead of white snow, there is the sand and the beach, instead of freezing cold we have scorching hot weather. Santa’s and elves’ outfits are different, though the colours are the same. They are wearing bathing suits and enjoying summer on the beach. However, there is no Christmas without presents. After listening to this song you can ask your students the following questions:

What can create a Christmas mood for you?

It is said that there is no Christmas without snow. Do you agree with it? Why? Why not?

Have you ever celebrated Christmas in a hot country? If not, would you like to?

What are the key ingredients of a perfect Christmas day?

The Florin Street Band — Christmas Song — My Favourite Time of Year

«My Favourite Time of Year» is a Christmas song performed by The Florin Street Band which was written and sung by British composer Leigh Haggerwood in 2010. His aim was to create a song that would match the classics, and bring back the Christmas magic that he felt had been missing from the UK charts for decades. The song depicts the best elements of Christmas Eve, such as the decorations, carols, snow, goodwill and peace on earth.

Questions for discussion:

What do you associate Christmas with?

What feelings did you have while listening to the song?

Would you like to have a similar Christmas in your city? Why? Why not?

How different is this year’s Christmas decoration in your city from the previous one? Has the pandemic influenced it?

Pentatonix — What Christmas Means To Me

This song is more about what Christmas means to the singer. Not only singing carols and burning candles matter, but also the singer’s partner and her smiling face.

Questions for discussion:

What does Christmas mean to the singers?

What does Christmas mean to you?

Do you have the ideal image of celebrating this Christmas? If so, could you please share it with us?

What matters to you the most — the people around you at Christmas or the place where you celebrate it?

Music plays a crucial role in people’s lives as it has the ability to change one’s mood and to provide a festive atmosphere. Hopefully, the songs mentioned in the article will turn out to be helpful for your holiday classes.

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Read more:

Christmas gifts (Lesson Plan)

Christmas Quiz: Which character are you?

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