Posted: Nov 16, 2014 6:00 PM
The boxes of holiday decorations are stacked up in the garage just waiting for the right weekend. The fancy wrapping paper is appearing at the craft stores. But do you feel very merry and bright yet? Our playlist might help.

Raise your hand if, despite your exasperated New Year's resolution, you still managed to go all year without shopping early for the holidays. Keep 'em up if you have an adorable daughter just dying to go into cookie-baking mode with you and a husband who is less than thrilled to climb the ladder and start hanging lights.

Breathe, lady. Just like all those years before: You can handle it. And we're here to help. Behold, 30 songs of holiday bliss. We even included a few somber ones so you can take a moment to wallow in whatever that one thing is that always makes the season a little bit of a bummer. (Miss you, Papaw!)

Our favorite tracks:

"I'll Be Home For Christmas" — She & Him

There are (roughly) a million recordings of this Christmas classic. For us, though, Zooey Deschanel's voice and Mark Ronson's guitar add just an edge of modernity to the song. Plus, how can anyone resist that voice?

"Christmas In The Sand" — Colbie Caillat

Yes, please? If you live near the ocean already, this may not seem as magical for you. For all of us living significantly higher than sea level, Caillat's song feels like a three-minute escape from the cold. Would it be crazy to have a seashell-decorated tree this year? Can our cookies be shaped like fish? Please? Our toes are warming up already.

"Merry Christmas Darling" — The Carpenters

This song gets us right in the feels every time. For us, it brings up two particular emotions. On the one hand, we remember our moms singing along with smiles and telling us stories of their high school boyfriends. On the other, it does a fair amount of reminding us that we're "Christmasing" without someone special. Sigh.

"Up On The Housetop" — Jackson 5

From the moment this song starts, you know it's going to be the Jackson 5! Is there anything in the world that can bring a smile faster than a song from our favorite guys. Little Michael's voice is so freaking cute, too! If your kiddos haven't been properly exposed to the entire Jackson 5 discography, the Christmas album is a perfect place to start.

"White Christmas" — Bright Eyes

Bing Crosby's version of "White Christmas" is the ultimate, but we thought we'd change it up a little bit for you. While Crosby is, of course, sincere in his wishes, Bright Eyes' take just feels sweeter thanks to Maria Taylor's gorgeous vocals. Something about her voice reminds us of laying under the Christmas tree as little kids.

Everyone knows the best part of the holidays is being with family. You get so overwhelmed in nostalgia for "the good old days" that it's practically impossible not to smile through the spilled gravy and obnoxious in-laws in order to create those same golden memories for the new generation. Hopefully our playlist full of classics and modern twists on old favorites will be the perfect soundtrack to a happy holiday season. Enjoy!

Photo credit: Mike Kemp/Getty Images

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