By Dom Serafini

During the 20th Century — specifically from 1934 to 1964 — Jewish artists created more than an estimated 50 percent of America’s classic Christmas songs and tunes.

Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas, a 76-minute documentary that aired on Canada’s CBC in 2017, documented this rather surprising phenomenon. And with 20 Christmas songs to his name, Johnny Marks (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer) was the most prolific.

Some criticism has been directed at Jewish artists for not composing an equal number of tunes celebrating Hanukkah, but it has been pointed out that the inspiration for many Christmas songs actually came from Yiddish folk songs or Jewish stereotypes (such as Rudolph’s famed “Jewish” nose).

In addition, as pointed out during a 2017 video lecture at the New York City-based Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, in many of those Christmas tunes penned by Jews, religious spirituality was often replaced by secular spirituality, and in the YouTube video A Very Jewish Christmas, it was pointed out that none of those popular Christmas tunes mentioned Jesus, who was a Jew.

Below is a partial list of Christmas songs created by Jews by year of release:

Carol of the Bells
Written by Peter J. Wilhousky and Mykola Leontovich (1919)

Winter Wonderland
Written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith (1934)

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Written by Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie (1934)

White Christmas
Written by Irving Berlin (1942)

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Written by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin (1943)

I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Written by Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, and Buck Ram (1943)

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
Written by Mel Tormé and Robert Wells (1945)

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne (1945)

Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)
Written by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman (1947)

Sleigh Ride
Written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish (1948)

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Written by Johnny Marks (1949)

Silver Bells
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans (1950)

Frosty the Snowman
Written by Steve Nelson and Walter E. Rollins (1950)

It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas
Written by Meredith Willson (1951)

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Written by Tommie Connor (1952)

Santa Baby
Written by Joan Javits and Phil Springer (1953)

(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays
Written by Bob Allen and Al Stillman (1954)

Jingle Bell Rock
Written by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe (1957)

Blue Christmas
Written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson (1957)

Little Drummer Boy
Written by Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, and Harry Simeone (1958)

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Written by Johnny Marks (1958)

Do You Hear What I Hear?
Written by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker (1962)

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Written by Edward Pola and George Wyle (1963)

A Holly Jolly Christmas
Written by Johnny Marks (1964)

Silver and Gold
Written by Johnny Marks (1964)

Wonderful Christmastime
Written by Paul McCartney (1979)

Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Feed the World)
Written by Midge Ure and Bob Geldof (1984)

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