Cherished Christmas Songs Written by Jews

Some of our most beloved Christmas songs are written by our Jewish brothers, to the chagrin of Garrison Keillor.

  • The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
  • Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Feed the World)
  • Holly Jolly Christmas
  • I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  • It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  • Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  • Santa Baby
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  • Silver Bells
  • Sleigh Ride
  • There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays
  • White Christmas


  • Kenton

    Is it just me, or do none of those songs get the *real* meaning of Christmas.

  • Jo Ann W. Goodson

    Thanks for this information. These are some of my very favorites. Have a wonderful Christmas !!!

  • Chris Miller

    These “Christmas” songs reflect a sentimental joy (IMO) — a yearning for something more. They are hints or in Philip Yancey’s word ‘rumours’ of another world — pointers perhaps to the joy of Jesus. They are possible means pointing to the real ‘end.’

  • Andrew

    They are common songs, but would be among the secular songs of the season as opposed to those that retell the biblical story of Jesus’ birth.

    A good question to toss around would be how should we witness to Jews in this season so that they see the true role of Jesus as the prophesied messiah? Driscoll (attributing the source rather than pretending I’m more intelligent than I actually am) said that perhaps ask how they were supposed to worship God properly without temple, priesthood, sacrifices as they had been absent from Jewish religious life since the fall of the temple. To pose the concept that the need for those activities was no longer required given their fulfilment in Jesus. I’m not a Jewish scholar, but it seemed an interesting approach.

    • Sara

      Yes, clearly you aren’t a Jewish scholar, as the Jewish answer to your question is readily found in the Talmud and several books of the prophets (Isaiah among them). And your assertion about Jesus is contradicted by Deuteronomy 4:2, which precludes the idea of Jewish law being done away with by Jesus or anyone else.

      Jews don’t go around thinking up ways to proselytize to Christians, despite the fact that any educated Jew could smack down every supposed “proof text” of Jesus with the text of the Tanakh itself without breaking a sweat, because our religion doesn’t condone treating others in ways we ourselves wouldn’t like to be treated. Please show us the same courtesy. Focus on the beam in your own eye and leave us alone.

  • Tom

    Songwriters write songs in the hope that it will sell and they receive royalties. It’s their vocation. I’m not criticizing them; I’m saying, let’s not read too much into this.

    • Art

      This is America. People would sell their grandmothers to make a buck. Do we really think Irving Berlin would be sitting around thinking..but writing White Christmas conflicts with my religious beliefs. More likely he’d be saying..another way to make a buck. Only the ACLU and a few deranged (aka – extremists) really care about religious correctness.

  • Peter Carey+

    Not much of a surprise that these secular songs wouldn’t be written by Christians…they are fun and sentimental songs, however they don’t do much for spreading the gospel, therefore, not much of a surprise . . .

  • rick bennett

    I am telling you we need to encourage Christians to return the favor and write Hanukkah songs. I know we can do better than Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel.

  • Cameron

    As a card carrying Australian, I have to say that most of these songs leave me feeling a little cold. Songs about snow and sleigh bells do nothing to make me feel better on a day that’s going to be about 34C (92 F for my American friends).

    And don’t get me started on ‘White Christmas.’

    Let me point you to the ‘Aussie Jingle Bells’ which is something of a favourite amongst Aussie kids at Christmas time. This is somewhat off-topic, though, because the author is very well known as a Christian.

  • Andrew

    As a kiwi in exile in Brisbane, I have sympathy for Cameron – we still have the stupidity of heavy hot dinners when it is baking outside.

    Some NZ christmas carols that I miss from back home are:

    Although they’re listed as folk songs, the content of the songs makes them carols, in my opinion.

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  • Laneta

    kUhqeo Home run! Great slugging with that answer!