20 Easy Christmas Piano Songs

Piano Sheet Music Christmas Tree

Christmas is a time of year that sparkles with magic and nostalgia, particularly for musicians. The festive season is steeped in a rich musical tradition, making it the most special time for those who find joy in melodies and harmonies. Singing and playing Christmas songs is not just a pastime; it's a way to connect with history, celebrate culture, and create memories. Historically, Christmas music has roots that intertwine with various cultural and religious traditions, evolving over centuries to form the soundtrack of the holiday season. This article will introduce you to 20 easy Christmas piano songs, each a timeless classic that can add a touch of magic to your holiday celebrations. Learning these tunes is not only enjoyable but also a way to keep the spirit of the season alive in your home.

1. Jingle Bells

Key: G Major
Difficulty: Beginner
Chord Progression: G C G D7 | G C D7 G

A quintessential Christmas tune with an unexpected origin. Composed by James Lord Pierpont in 1857, it was initially titled "One Horse Open Sleigh" for a Thanksgiving church service. The song's catchy, upbeat melody quickly made it a popular choice for Christmas celebrations, despite its original context. Interestingly, "Jingle Bells" also holds the distinction of being the first song broadcast from space, played by Gemini 6 astronauts in a playful Christmas-themed prank in 1965. Its simple, repetitive structure and joyful rhythm make it an ideal choice for beginner pianists. The song's widespread popularity and ease of play make it a must-learn for those wishing to spread holiday cheer, whether it's at a family sing-along or a festive community event.

Jingle Bells Plaque
Plaque at the Simpson Tavern in Medford, Massachusetts, commemorating the authorship of the song "Jingle Bells" by James Pierpont

2. Silent Night

Key: C Major
Difficulty: Beginner
Chord Progression: C F C | C G7 C

"Silent Night" is a carol that evokes a profound sense of peace and reverence. Its creation in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber, to the lyrics of Joseph Mohr, in Oberndorf, Austria, is a story of serendipity and inspiration. Originally performed with a guitar at St. Nicholas Church, this carol's journey to becoming a global Christmas anthem is as tranquil as its melody. It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011. The simplicity of its composition makes it accessible to pianists of all skill levels, allowing even beginners to convey its serene message. Playing "Silent Night" on the piano can bring a moment of calm to any festive gathering, making it a valuable addition to the holiday repertoire.

3. We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Key: A Major
Difficulty: Beginner
Chord Progression: A E A | D A E A

A lively English folk song from the 16th century, steeped in the tradition of caroling. This song was sung by joyful carolers who visited homes in the hope of receiving treats, such as the famous "figgy pudding" mentioned in the lyrics. The song's historical context reflects a time when community and sharing were integral to holiday celebrations. Its straightforward melody and repetitive chorus make it easy for beginner pianists to learn and play. This song's cheerful rhythm and communal spirit make it an excellent choice for holiday gatherings, encouraging a shared sense of joy and festivity.

4. Deck the Halls

Key: F Major
Difficulty: Beginner
Chord Progression: F Bb F C7 | F C7 F Bb F

This easy Christmas piano song has its origins in a Welsh winter song named "Nos Galan," dating back to the 16th century. The English lyrics we sing today, celebrating the joy of decorating for the Christmas season, were added in the 19th century. This carol's association with Christmas decorations and its lively "fa la la" chorus capture the essence of the holiday's cheer and festivity. The melody is straightforward and repetitive, making it an easy and enjoyable piece for pianists to learn. Playing "Deck the Halls" can infuse any Christmas gathering with an atmosphere of joy and merriment, making it a popular choice for holiday performances.

Deck the Hall by Thomas Oliphant
Thomas Oliphant's original English words for Deck the Hall published in 1862

5. O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum)

Key: F Major
Difficulty: Beginner
Chord Progression: F C7 F | Bb F C7 F

Known originally as "O Tannenbaum," this German folk song dates back to the 1820s. The melody, which is older than the lyrics, was harmonized by Ernst Anschütz, who also added lyrics that celebrate the evergreen's enduring beauty and faithfulness. This song has become synonymous with the Christmas tree tradition, emblematic of the holiday's enduring spirit. Its melody is elegant yet simple, making it a delightful piece for pianists of all levels to learn. The song's connection to one of the most iconic symbols of Christmas makes playing it a special addition to any holiday occasion.

6. The First Noel

Key: D Major
Difficulty: Beginner
Chord Progression: D A7 D | G D A7 D

An English carol dating back to at least the 17th century, possibly earlier. It narrates the story of the Nativity and the term “Noel” itself, derived from the French word for Christmas, originating from the Latin word for birth. This carol's rise in modern popularity can be traced back to its inclusion in the collection "Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern" (1823) by William Sandys. The melody is simple and stately, making it accessible for beginner pianists. Playing "The First Noel" is a way to connect with historical Christmas traditions and share the story of the Nativity in a melodious form.

7. Away in a Manger

Key: F Major
Difficulty: Beginner
Chord Progression: F C7 F | Bb F C F

This is a beloved Christmas carol with a somewhat mysterious origin. Though often misattributed to Martin Luther, the carol first appeared in print in the late 19th century in America. Its gentle, lullaby-like melody beautifully captures the serene scene of the Nativity. This song's simplicity makes it a perfect choice for beginner pianists, allowing them to add a touch of tranquility to their holiday repertoire. The carol's soothing tune is ideal for creating a peaceful atmosphere during Christmas celebrations, making it a cherished piece for family gatherings.

8. Joy to the World

Key: D Major
Difficulty: Beginner
Chord Progression: D A D | G D A D

A hymn with a jubilant message, created by Isaac Watts in 1719 and set to music by Lowell Mason in 1839, inspired by themes from Handel's Messiah. This hymn, initially intended as a celebration of Christ's second coming rather than His birth, has become one of the most famous Christmas carols worldwide. Its uplifting melody and triumphant lyrics are surprisingly straightforward to play, making it a satisfying choice for pianists of all skill levels. Playing "Joy to the World" is a way to share the spirit of Christmas joy and celebration, making it a popular piece during the holiday season.

493px Isaac Watts from NPG
Painting of Isaac Watts, the author of the lyrics to "Joy to the World"

9. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Key: F Major
Difficulty: Intermediate
Chord Progression: F C F | Bb F C F

A blend of deep theological insight and jubilant celebration. Originally composed by Charles Wesley in 1739, it was later adapted by George Whitefield and set to music by Felix Mendelssohn. This carol has undergone several revisions to reach the form we know today. The combination of Wesley's powerful lyrics and Mendelssohn's dynamic melody creates a carol that is both profound and uplifting. Its piano arrangement is manageable for beginners yet rich enough to be engaging for more advanced players. This song is a favorite for its ability to convey the joy and significance of the Christmas story, making it a meaningful addition to any holiday music collection.

10. O Holy Night

Key: C Major
Difficulty: Intermediate
Chord Progression: C C7 F | C G C

This is a classic carol that resonates with a sense of awe and wonder, was composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem "Minuit, chrétiens" by Placide Cappeau. This song's journey from a small French town to an international Christmas staple is a story of musical adaptation and cultural resonance. Its performance during the Christmas Eve truce of 1914 amidst the trenches of World War I speaks volumes about its power to bring hope and peace. The soaring melody and profound lyrics have been covered by countless artists, each adding their unique touch to this timeless piece. For piano players, "O Holy Night" presents a slightly more challenging yet deeply rewarding experience. Its emotive power and intricate melody make it a favorite for holiday performances, often chosen to highlight the peak of Christmas Eve services.

11. Angels We Have Heard on High

Key: F Major
Difficulty: Intermediate
Chord Progression: F C7 F | Bb F C F

"Angels We Have Heard on High" is a carol that encapsulates the joy and mystery of the Christmas story. Its origins are traced back to a traditional French carol, with the English lyrics written in the 18th century. The carol is renowned for its chorus “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” a Latin phrase meaning "Glory to God in the highest." This phrase, with its uplifting melody, has made the carol a staple in Christmas celebrations. The song’s popularity surged with various renditions by choirs and artists, each bringing a unique flavor to its angelic chorus. On the piano, this carol offers a mix of a jubilant chorus and a calm verse, making it an engaging yet accessible piece for players. Its ability to convey the heavenly announcement of Christ’s birth makes it a spiritually uplifting choice for holiday gatherings.

12. O Come, All Ye Faithful

Key: A Major
Difficulty: Intermediate
Chord Progression: A E D | A E A

A carol with a rich history, attributed to John Francis Wade, though its exact origins are a matter of debate. This hymn's Latin version, "Adeste Fideles," dates back to the 18th century. The carol has been a favorite in both Catholic and Protestant traditions, often sung during Christmas Mass and services. Its lyrics are a call to worship and celebrate the birth of Jesus, embodying the essence of Christmas devotion. Famous renditions have been performed by choirs and artists worldwide, each adding a layer of reverence and joy. The piano arrangement of this carol is both majestic and straightforward, allowing pianists of varying skills to capture its celebratory spirit. It's an excellent choice for bringing together people in song and celebration during the holiday season.

Adeste fideles earliest version
Adeste fideles, the earliest printed version of O Come, All Ye Faithful by John Francis Wade in 1751

13. O Little Town of Bethlehem

Key: F Major
Difficulty: Beginner
Chord Progression: F Bb F | C7 F

With its gentle melody and reflective lyrics, Phillips Brooks wrote this classic in 1868, inspired by his visit to Bethlehem. This carol is a poetic reflection on the Nativity, capturing the quiet anticipation and profound significance of Christ's birth. Over the years, it has been covered by numerous artists, each bringing their interpretation to this contemplative piece. The carol's simple melody and chord structure make it a fitting choice for beginner pianists, allowing them to convey its peaceful message. Playing this song during the holiday season offers a moment of reflection amid the festivities, reminding listeners of the humble origins of the Christmas story.

14. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Key: E Major
Difficulty: Intermediate
Chord Progression: E A B | E B E

This modern addition to the Christmas repertoire was written in 1951 by Meredith Willson. This song paints a vivid picture of the holiday season's hustle and bustle, capturing the excitement and anticipation that fills the air. Popularized by versions from artists like Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé, it has become synonymous with the onset of the festive season. The song's lively rhythm and cheerful melody make it a delightful piece for pianists to play, adding a touch of festive spirit to any occasion. Its popularity and easy arrangement make it an ideal choice for bringing the joy and energy of the season to life through music.

15. Frosty the Snowman

Key: C Major
Difficulty: Beginner
Chord Progression: C F G7 | C F G7 C

"Frosty the Snowman" is a beloved holiday song, was written by Walter "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson in 1950. Initially recorded by Gene Autry, it quickly became a Christmas favorite, telling the whimsical story of a snowman brought to life. This song's charm lies in its playful melody and enchanting narrative, capturing the imagination of children and adults alike. Over the years, it has been covered by various artists and featured in numerous adaptations, including animated films and TV specials. The piano version of "Frosty the Snowman" is playful and straightforward, making it an enjoyable piece for pianists of all ages. Its lighthearted nature and ease of play make it a fantastic addition to a family Christmas gathering, ensuring smiles and sing-alongs.

16. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Key: C Major
Difficulty: Beginner
Chord Progression: C Dm G7 | C F G7 C

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a song that has become a staple of Christmas folklore. Written by Johnny Marks in 1949, it narrates the story of Rudolph, a reindeer with a glowing red nose who guides Santa's sleigh. The song was initially recorded by Gene Autry and quickly soared in popularity, becoming a holiday classic. Its catchy melody and heartwarming story of triumph and acceptance have endeared it to generations. The song has been covered by a multitude of artists, each adding their touch to this tale of Christmas magic. On the piano, "Rudolph" is an easy and fun piece to play, perfect for engaging young audiences and adding a touch of whimsy to any Christmas event.

17. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

Key: C Major
Difficulty: Intermediate
Chord Progression: C A7 Dm G7 | C A7 Dm G7 C

"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" is a lively Christmas song that has captivated audiences since its introduction in 1934 by Haven Gillespie and J. Fred Coots. This song quickly became a holiday favorite, spreading the exciting message of Santa's impending visit. The song's catchy tune and playful lyrics have been brought to life by countless artists, including the iconic version by Bruce Springsteen. Its joyful melody and easy-to-learn chords make it a fun piece for pianists, ideal for creating a festive and anticipatory atmosphere. Whether played in a family setting or a larger gathering, this song is sure to bring smiles and encourage sing-alongs, making it a must-have in any Christmas piano collection.

Jackson 5 - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Official Video)

18. Winter Wonderland

Key: C Major
Difficulty: Intermediate
Chord Progression: C Am Dm G7 | E7 Am Dm G7 C


"Winter Wonderland," a song that captures the enchanting beauty of winter, was written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith in 1934. Despite not being a Christmas song per se, its winter-themed lyrics and cheerful melody have made it a holiday season favorite. The song has been covered by a diverse range of artists, each lending their unique style to this winter classic. Its playful lyrics about snowmen and winter romance have a universal appeal, bringing a sense of joy and whimsy. The piano arrangement of "Winter Wonderland" is lively and engaging, yet simple enough for beginners to master. This song is perfect for adding a touch of winter magic to any Christmas celebration, embodying the spirit of the season.

19. White Christmas

Key: G Major
Difficulty: Intermediate
Chord Progression: G Em Am D7 | G Em Am D7 G

"White Christmas," written by Irving Berlin, is one of the most iconic Christmas songs ever penned. Made famous by Bing Crosby's recording in 1942, it holds the Guinness World Record for the best-selling single of all time. This song, with its nostalgic lyrics longing for an idyllic Christmas setting, resonates with many, evoking memories and emotions of the holiday season. Its simple, elegant melody has been covered by numerous artists, each adding their interpretation to this timeless classic. On the piano, "White Christmas" is a beautiful, easy-to-play piece, ideal for creating a warm, reflective atmosphere. It's a song that speaks to the heart of Christmas, making it a valuable addition to any holiday music repertoire.

20. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Key: C Major
Difficulty: Intermediate
Chord Progression: C C7 F Fm | C A7 Dm G7 C

"Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!", with its cheerful and inviting lyrics, was written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne in 1945. This song, written during a California heatwave, captures the romanticism of a snowy winter day. Its popularity soared with recordings by artists like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, becoming a festive favorite despite its non-Christmas theme. The song's upbeat tempo and easy melody make it a fun and accessible piece for piano players. It's an excellent choice for livening up any holiday gathering, encapsulating the joy and warmth of the season, making it a perennial favorite in the easy Christmas piano songs category.

The Timeless Resonance of Christmas Music

In the tapestry of holiday traditions, music holds a place of honor, weaving through generations and across cultures. These 20 easy Christmas piano songs, each a story in itself, are not just tunes to be played; they are echoes of yuletides past, resonating with memories, joy, and the spirit of the season. As your fingers glide over the piano keys, bringing these melodies to life, you become part of a timeless celebration that transcends boundaries and unites hearts. This Christmas, let the magic of music fill your home and hearts, creating new memories and cherishing old ones. Remember, each note you play is a thread in the rich fabric of holiday heritage, a melody that joins the chorus of millions, singing in harmony the joyous song of Christmas.

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