“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” is a fun, catchy song that’s geared toward getting people in the holiday spirit. There’s magical, childlike wonder in the verses that describe “toys in every store” and “the holly that will be on your own front door.” The song was written in 1951 by Oscar-nominated composer and playwright, Meredith Willson, who wrote the Broadway play “The Music Man.” It has been covered by a multitude of talented artists over the years and even some treasured fictional characters like Alvin and the Chipmunks and Big Bird. Check out our ranking of the five best “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” covers below.
Legendary crooner Perry Como recorded his version of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” with famous vocal trio The Fontane Sisters and Mitchell Ayres & His Orchestra in 1951. As one of the earliest recorded versions of this Christmas classic, Como’s collaboration is widely-played. Overall, his version is jolly, merry and bright and the snappy orchestration pops.
Standards icon Johnny Mathis recorded his cover of the song as the first track to his 1986 Christmas Album, Christmas Eve with Johnny Mathis. His version became widely-known when it was featured in John Hughes’ classic 1992 holiday film “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.” Mathis’ rich vocals are in the same lane as great standards singers who are also known for Christmas songs like Perry Como and Bing Crosby. His rendition is lovely.
3. Bing Crosby
As mentioned above, Bing Crosby is pretty much a Christmas music legend. His warm, bass-baritone vocals glow in his version of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” The track appears on an LP reissue of his iconic holiday album, Merry Christmas. Crosby's version continues to be a popular version today.
Michael Bublé Included a cover of this song on his 2011 chart-topping seventh studio album, Christmas. His voice glides effortlessly through the opening verses, before picking up tempo when he sings of the “hop-along boots and a pistol that shoots” that are “the wish of Barney and Ben” in the third verse. Bublé’s version notably peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He ultimately delivers a classic song to a new generation of fans with this standout rendition, while still making it feel timeless.
1. Harry Connick Jr.
Harry Connick Jr. covered this song on his third holiday album, What a Night! A Christmas Album. The album was released in 2008 and topped Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums Chart. It also made the Top 10 in Billboard’s Top Holiday Albums chart, coming in at No. 5. Connick’s arrangement puts a fresh, jazz-infused spin on the cherished Christmas classic. It’s fresh, fun, and decidedly feel-good. As such, it earns the top spot in this holiday song ranking.