16 Easy Christmas Songs on Acoustic Guitar to Bring Joy to Your Family

By | Updated

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase we may earn commission. Learn more >>

Pinterest hidden image

Music is one of the best parts of the winter season. There’s nothing like a good Christmas song to get you into the holiday spirit, and it’s an even bigger boost if you can play the song yourself.

Whether you woke up on Christmas Day to some awesome guitar gifts underneath the Christmas tree, or you’re just preparing to entertain your friends and family at a holiday party, learning some easy Christmas songs on guitar is a whole lot of fun.

And many Christmas songs on acoustic guitar are easy to play, with simple guitar chords that most beginners can learn. No matter the level of your guitar skills, you can add some Christmas cheer with your playing.

From classics like “White Christmas” and “Silent Night,” to modern hits like “All I Want for Christmas is You,” we’ve assembled a jam list of the best Christmas songs to play on guitar. With a bit of practice, you can rock out on these easy Christmas songs, with your loved ones singing along.

What You’ll Need To Play These Easy Christmas Songs on Acoustic Guitar

Most Christmas songs include basic and repeated melodies and simple chord progressions ideal for guitar students.

Christmas songs use a lot of 7th chords, so it’s a bonus if you know how to play some of these guitar chords already. If not, 7th chords are fairly simple to learn. Or you could just substitute the standard version of each chord.

One of the joys of playing easy Christmas songs is that there are so many versions of them around you’ll be sure to find one in a key that suits your voice. And you can always use a guitar capo to change the key to something more suitable for your singing range.

There’s also plenty of chord charts and YouTube lessons with simplified versions of just about every acoustic guitar Christmas song for beginners. Once you’ve mastered those versions, you can move on to more advanced arrangements. In any case, Christmas is supposed to be a joyous occasion, so have fun with it.

Spread Some Yuletide Cheer with these Easy Christmas Songs (Acoustic Guitar Versions)

Jingle Bells (G, C, D7)

“Jingle Bells” has to be one of the most recognizable songs ever written, and that’s not just including Christmas carols. First released as “One Horse Open Sleigh,” it’s also one of the easiest to play Christmas songs out there.

The only guitar chords you need to know to play a simple version of this song are G, C, and D7. You could also just play a standard D and the song will still sound great. 

You get bonus points if you can strap some sleigh bells to your leg and tap it in time when playing this song. This song was inspired by the sound that horses made throughout the winter season, since they often had bells strapped to their harnesses.

Click here for the full chords.

We Wish You A Merry Christmas (C, F, D, G, E7, Am, Em)

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is one of the easiest Christmas songs” to learn on the guitar. It uses a few more chords than “Jingle Bells”, but they are all chords you should be familiar with if you’ve been playing guitar for a few months.

You can play this song using C, F, D, G, E7, Am, and Em chords. Although this Christmas song does include the dreaded F chord, you can use one of the easier versions if you’re having trouble with barre chords. 

The fast changes around the “happy new year” lyrics may stump some beginner players. You can hang on the F a little longer rather than switching to the G in between if that makes it a little easier for you.

Click here for the full chords.

White Christmas (A, D, E7)

There’s something unapologetically romantic about the popular Christmas song “White Christmas”. Maybe it’s the nostalgia-inducing lyrics, or all the wonderful versions recorded throughout the years, or the two classic holiday films starring Bing Crosby that featured this song.

“White Christmas” was written by the great Irving Berlin, and originally recorded by Bing Crosby for the movie Holiday Inn. Crosby’s version is still the best known (although Dean Martin gives him a run for his money), and you’ve certainly heard it dozens of times every Christmas season. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own, because “White Christmas” is actually a pretty easy Christmas song to play on the guitar.

In the video we linked, you’ll see that you can play a simplified version of this song with just three basic chords that you probably already know A, D, & E7. If you’re a slightly more advanced player, check out the tab for a more complex (but more accurate) version.

Click here for the full chords.

Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano (G, C, D, Em)

Want to practice your Spanish pronunciation at the same time as learning one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time?

Despite its Spanish origins, this famous holiday song is regarded as one of the most beloved Christmas tunes in the English-speaking world. Even better, it’s simple to play on guitar, and adds joy to any festive occassion. 

You only need four open chords to play this holiday classic in its original key – G, C, D, and Em.

The lyrics are also super repetitive, so it’s effortless to sing along once you figure out how to pronounce the Spanish words. Since you’ve probably heard the song 5000+ times during the December period, that shouldn’t take too long either.

This combination of simple chords and easy lyrics makes “Feliz Navidad” one of the best Christmas songs for beginners to play on guitar.

Click here for the full chords.

Christmas Time – Bryan Adams (C, G, Am, E7, F, E7, Am7, D, D7, Dm, Dm7)

It’s certainly not the first song everyone thinks of when they think of Christmas carols. But, “Christmas Time” is still a well-known song with a big chorus that everyone can sing along to.

This classic song by Bryan Adams uses quite a lot of transitions between standard major chords and 7ths, so a beginner may have some trouble with this song. However, these are common chord changes that you will have to get used to, so it won’t hurt practicing these by learning “Christmas Time”.

The recorded version of this song has two key changes, which dramatically increases the number of chords you need to know to play this song. But, to make things easier, you can always just skip the key changes and continue the song with the original chord progression.

Click here for the full chords.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (G, C, Em, Am7, D7, G7, A7, D)

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is an often-covered classic with roots all the way back to 1934. Therefore, you’ll be able to find plenty of versions to play and sing along to.

Surprise, surprise, this easy Christmas song also uses plenty of 7th chords. Again, you could play the standard version instead of the 7th, and the song will still sound plenty good enough to sing along with.

For the tab version here, you will need to know how to play a G, C, Em, Am7, D7, G7, A7, & D. If that seems like too many, follow the video lesson above instead.

Click here for the full chords.

Silent Night (G, D, D7, G7, C, Em)

“Silent Night” is a gentle and peaceful song, and is an excellent option if you’re seeking a more relaxed track to play.

The chords and the chord transitions in “Silent Night” are relatively easy to nail down. “Silent Night” features a repeating chord sequence of G, D, D7, G7, C, and Em. Apart from the 7th chords, these are all classic beginner chords, so you should have no trouble learning this one, even without guitar tabs.

If you’re up for a challenge, learning a fingerpicking version of “Silent Night” will really impress your friends and family with some heavenly peace of your own.

Click here for the full chords.

The First Noel (G, D, C, Bm)

“The First Noel” is a popular English carol with Cornish origins. While the author’s identity is unknown, a published version became popular in the 1800s.

The simplified version of this song is very accessible to newer guitarists since it consists of just four chords. You’ll notice that the tab version we linked features a pesky Bm barre chord, but you could just play a B7 to get around it.

The video lesson above makes it even simpler. Take note of how straightforward the strumming pattern is, too. Since there are so many versions of this song and it has a down-tempo feel, you can experiment with how you want to play this one to make it your own.

Click here for the full chords.

Deck the Halls (G, D, A, Em, E)

“Deck the Halls” is a classic Christmas carol that works really well as an easy guitar song, since it features some of the easiest chords for new guitarists. Because this Christmas song is quite energetic, you can get away with playing straight quarter notes or eighth notes, whatever works best for you.

You’re in luck if you want to surprise your friends and family with this song. With chords as simple as D, A, G, Em, and E, this is probably one of the most accessible Christmas songs for beginners to play on the guitar, since it doesn’t feature any 7th chords.

Click here for the full chords.

Last Christmas – Wham (D, Bm, Em, A)

“Last Christmas” is a pop song by the British group Wham!, but it became a holiday favorite due to its catchy melody line and sympathetic lyrics. While it is a song about heartbreak, it also has a glimmer of optimism about meeting new love around the holiday season.

The duo released the song in 1984, and it has since become a Christmas classic, with renditions by pop musicians such as Ashley Tisdale, Ariana Grande, and Carly Rae Jepsen, to mention a few. Like a few other easy songs on this list, you could find a version to play along with from an artist that suits your voice.

The original version features a Bm chord, which can be pretty tricky for new players. But, if you put a capo on the 5th fret, you can play the easy chord shapes of G, Em, Am, & D and still sing along with the WHAM! version of this tune.

Click here for the full chords.

All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey (G, Em, C, D, G/B, Cm/Eb, B7, G/D, E7, Am7, Cm6/D, Eb6, Cm6/Eb, Am7/D)

This is the song that all retail workers hate because it’s played so many times throughout the Christmas season. Yet, there’s no denying it is a banger of a Christmas tune, and a great love song to boot.

The album version is actually quite challenging to play, as you’ll see by the linked chord chart and all those unfamiliar chords in the title. But this is the modern Christmas song, and you can nail down a simplified version in an afternoon if you practice intently, just follow along with the video above.

The vocals are a different story. You have to be a pretty talented singer to sing the vocal runs and high notes that Mariah hits. But, you can also change the key with your capo and sing without the vocal runs to make this one a bit easier.

Click here for the full chords.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (C, D, Am, G, Bm7, A7, D7)

Aside from Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has to be the most recognized classic Christmas carol. It’s also perfect for those learning how to play the acoustic guitar.

Johnny Marks wrote the original song about poor Rudolph who wasn’t allowed to be a part of any reindeer games, which was first released in 1949, with hundreds of versions recorded since.

As with many other songs on this list, you can play an accurate version with the inclusion of some 7th chords. Or you can play a simplified version to keep it more straightforward if you’re an absolute beginner.

Click here for the full chords.

Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley (E, B7, E7, A, F#)

Blue Christmas is another perfect song for acoustic guitar playing. Anyone who has suffered grief over the holiday season will be able to associate with this song’s soothing music and devastating lyrics for an otherwise festive occasion.

Bill Hayes and Jay W. Johnson wrote Blue Christmas in 1948. But it wasn’t until 1957 that it got its big break when Elvis Presley recorded his rendition of the song. Elvis added a distinct country flavor to it and it’s been a hit ever since.

If you’re having trouble with the B7 or F# chords in this song, you could play a B and F# power chord instead.

Click here for the full chords.

Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens (G, Em, C, D, A)

If you’re looking for great rock and roll Christmas songs, “Merry Christmas Everyone” is an ideal tune for you. Shakin’ Stevens, a Welsh singer-songwriter, recorded the Christmas song “Merry Christmas Everyone.”

The song mainly uses down strums, so it’s suitable for those having trouble with their strumming patterns.

Merry Christmas Everyone is in the key of G and is a relatively simple melody to learn with only simple chords, G, Em, C, D, & A. So, it’s perfect for beginners.

Click here for the full chords.

A Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives (C, G7, F, Em, Dm, Am, D7, G)

Holly Jolly Christmas is a beautiful song for the Christmas Season. 

Johnny Marks wrote this song in 1962, but it wasn’t until 1964 that it became a great hit. It is due to Burl Ives’ famous voice, which brilliantly portrayed the song’s tale. 

Tap your toes, sing along, and have a good time. It’s a must-have for any entire collection of Christmas classics. 

This song is yet another one that can get more complicated depending on how accurate the original version you’d like to be. You can also add some stylistic flair to this song by hammering on the root notes of the chords to give a more bluesy feel.

Click here for the full chords.

Bonus Challenge – Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney and Wings (Amaj7, A6, E/A, A7, A, D6, Bm7, E7, C#m7, F#m9, D, Gadd9, E, A/C#, G, Bm/A)

Beatles member, Paul McCartney, wrote the Christmas tune “Wonderful Christmastime.” It was recorded for his second solo album, McCartney II, and released in 1980. The song was a decent success and remains famous over the Christmas season.

This song is NOT an easy one to play, so be prepared to spend some hours at the guitar hammering away at this one to get it right.

Click here for the full chords.

Some Other Great Christmas Songs for Acoustic Guitar

  • Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys (Am, G7, D, Gmaj7, G6, E7, G7, C)
  • O Little Town of Bethlemhim – Frank Sinatra (D, G, A, B, Em, Bm, F#, D7)
  • Good King Wenceslas – R.E.M (G, Em, C, Cadd9)
  • Merry Christmas Baby – Bruce Springsteen (G, C, D, A, E)
  • O Holy Night (C, F, G7, Em, B7, Am, Dm). View full chords.
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (G, D, C, Em, A7, D7, Am, E7). View full chords.
Photo of author
about the author
Gerrick Cass
Gerrick is nuts about all things guitar. From acoustic to electric, fingerstyle to metal, he's played it all, and can show you how to play it too. When he doesn't have a guitar in his hands, he spends his time writing, teaching, and hiking with his dog.