Merry Swiftmas: A Look at Taylor Swift’s holiday songs

Taylor Swift Switches On Westfield Shopping Centre Christmas Lights, London, Britain - 06 Nov 2012, Taylor Swift (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)
Taylor Swift Switches On Westfield Shopping Centre Christmas Lights, London, Britain - 06 Nov 2012, Taylor Swift (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images) /

December is Taylor Swift’s month, we all know it. It’s partly because she was born on December 13 and partly because she loves everything that has to do with the holidays and Christmas.

She even released a Christmas album all the way back in October 2007, just short of a year after her debut album Taylor Swift. The holiday EP included country covers of holiday classics like Last Christmas, Santa Baby, and Silent Night, as well as original tracks written by Taylor Christmases When You Were Mine and Christmas Must Be Something More.

We don’t talk too much about The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection because it belongs to Big Machine Records, so we have been trying our best not to stream those songs for the past couple of years.

However, thankfully, Taylor is really into Christmas. As we know, she is the queen of autumn, but also winter, and the holidays appear quite often in many of her songs that are not specifically about Christmas. So much drama happening in December! Ready to stream these throughout the holiday period?

Here are all the Christmas references Taylor Swift has made in her songs – so far!

The Moment I Knew – Red (Taylor’s Version)

Christmas lights glisten
I’ve got my eye on the door
Just waiting for you to walk in
But the time is ticking

This song is set on Taylor’s birthday, so there are various references to holiday spirit and decorations. It’s the night of her 21st birthday and everything should be perfect, and yet her love ruins it by not being there.

Begin Again – Red (Taylor’s Version)

And I almost brought him up
But you start to talk about the movies
That your family watches every single Christmas
And I wanna talk about that
And for the first time, what’s past is past

This song is about rebirth, about starting new, and about new love blossoming. Taylor is about to mention her ex love, the one who broke her heart, but she can sense that this is the start of something beautiful and she’s happy to leave the past behind.

champagne problems – evermore

How evergreen, our group of friends
Don’t think we’ll say that word again
And soon they’ll have the nerve to deck the halls
That we once walked through

Champagne Problems is, like many songs on its evermore and folklore, a story that lives in a world that is not quite our own. It’s not, at any rate, a story about Taylor’s life, as far as we know, but rather one she made up. In the universe of the song, the disastrous public proposal takes place at the beginning of winter, because the protagonist hints at Christmas decorations being put up soon after the inevitable breakup.

Lover – Lover

We could leave the Christmas lights up ’til January

Many jokes have been thrown around the casual first line of this song because doesn’t everyone leave the Christmas lights up until January? But that is exactly the point. Taylor is dreaming of living with her lover in a house that is theirs, where they get to do whatever they want, including all the mundane and regular things normal couples do. We know Taylor does not take love for granted, and even something as silly as putting up Christmas decorations deserves to be celebrated.

right where you left me – evermore (deluxe edition)

I stayed there
Dust collected on my pinned-up hair
I’m sure that you got a wife out there
Kids and Christmas, but I’m unaware

This is one of the most heart-breaking song in a heartbreaking album. It’s about a girl who metaphorically stayed in the restaurant where she and her partner broke up, haunting it like a ghost, because she is unable to move on from the moment her life turned upside down. In this verse, it’s clear that she hasn’t kept in touch with her ex love, not even on social media; she believes her has a wife and children and that they celebrate Christmas like families do, but she doesn’t know, because she’s stuck at that restaurant, unable to leave, cursed to stay there forever.

Back To December – Speak Now

And then the cold came, the dark days when fear crept into my mind
You gave me all your love and all I gave you was “Goodbye”
So this is me swallowing my pride
Standing in front of you, saying, “I’m sorry for that night.”
And I go back to December all the time

December is a time for breakups as much as it is a time for celebrations, it seems. Back To December is still one of Taylor’s rawest songs, where her regret take center stage. Here, the pain and the cold and the loneliness overshadow even the holidays and Taylor’s birthday. It’s the perfect song to cry to after a breakup, and I for one can’t wait to hear Taylor’s version of it.

New Year’s Day – Reputation

Don’t read the last page
But I stay when it’s hard, or it’s wrong
Or we’re making mistakes
I want your midnights
But I’ll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year’s Day

This is by far one of my favorite songs on Reputation as well as one of my favorite album closers of all time. It’s about a New Year’s Day party symbolizing the rest of her life. As Taylor stays behind with her love to clean after everything has gone quiet and the celebrations have ended, she vows to stay by him forever. I cannot wait to finally play Taylor’s Version of this song, hopefully soon.

evermore – evermore

Hey December
Guess I’m feeling unmoored
Can’t remember
What I used to fight for

This isn’t another break-up song, I promise. Rather than the falling out itself, Evermore is about the depression that ensues, or even that caused the break. It’s about those times when we forget our purpose, our reasons, all our plans and dreams and wishes because the pain is so intense it feels like it will last forever. But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – and it isn’t Christmas lights this time. It’s that peculiar feeling, that survival instinct, telling us that one way or the other, we will be all right.

‘tis the damn season – evermore

We could call it even
Even though I’m leaving
And I’ll be yours for the weekend
‘Tis the damn season

This song is one we can all relate to. It’s about that ‘what if’ relationship in our lives. It’s the one that got away, or rather, that we got away from. Taylor sings about a girl being back home for Christmas, staying at her parents’ house when the holidays linger like bad perfume and thinking about that ex-love she left behind when she moved to the city. All roads lead to them, they could rekindle that spark, but it would only last for the weekend because, after the holidays, they’d be going their separate ways again. The road not taken looks real good now. Doesn’t it always?

Welcome To New York – 1989

Walking through a crowd
The village is aglow
Kaleidoscope of loud
Heartbeats under coats

The lights are so bright
But they never blind me
Welcome to New York

This is a subtle one, but it’s about spending the holidays in New York for the first time after moving there. The City is aglow with Christmas lights, Christmas songs playing, in New York’s cold… but the excitement, the feeling of community Taylor found there are enough to keep her warm and drunk on life.

All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (From The Vault) – Red (Taylor’s Version)

‘Cause in this city’s barren cold
I still remember the first fall of snow
And how it glistened as it fell
I remember it all too well

The same soul-crushing breakup described in the first song on this list took place after Taylor celebrated her birthday on December 13. The cold and snow remind us this is all happening during the holiday period, but they are also outward manifestations of Taylor’s mood, the weather reflecting the frozen wasteland she feels inside.

Christmas Tree Farm – single

Under the mistletoe
Watching the fire glow
And telling me, “I love you”

This list was full of festive spirit and sadness alike. If you want to feel the Christmas vibe with a Taylor original, just play her 2019 track Christmas Tree Farm on repeat for some upbeat and nostalgic holiday magic, which she also re-recorded this year, a new version with a 70-piece orchestra sounding a bit cozier and old-timey.

Next. Ranking all the songs on Taylor Swift's Evermore. dark

What are your favorite Taylor holiday songs? Sound off below in the comments! We would love to know.