How to Avoid Clichés in Writing Christmas Songs

 by Scott Ashley

XmasMusic - Edited

Avoiding clichés in writing Christmas songs can be a challenge, as many of the traditional themes and imagery associated with the holiday have been used countless times before. However, with some effort and creativity, it is possible to create a fresh and original Christmas song that avoids the most common clichés. Here are some tips:

  1. Look for unique perspectives: Instead of writing about the same old themes and ideas, try to find a unique perspective on the holiday season. Think about your own experiences and memories, or consider how different cultures or religions celebrate the season. This can help you find fresh ideas and angles for your song.

  2. Use fresh language: Instead of relying on tired old phrases and expressions, try to use fresh and original language in your lyrics. Try to make it sound less predictable or derivative. Avoid overused phrases like "jingle bells" or "chestnuts roasting," and instead focus on creating a new unique imagery and use of words that you do not usually use.

  3. Experiment with different musical styles: Traditional Christmas songs often follow a particular musical style, such as a carol or a hymn. However, there are many different musical genres and styles that can be used to create a Christmas song, from Rock and Pop to Jazz and Hip-Hop. Experiment with different musical styles to find a fresh sound for your song.

  4. Focus on emotions and feelings: Instead of relying solely on traditional holiday themes and imagery, try to focus on the emotions and feelings associated with the season. Write about the joy of spending time with loved ones, the magic of the season, or the hope and optimism that comes with the start of a new year. Try recalling an event at Christmas either recently or a few years ago. Stories like that in a song can be interesting.

  5. Avoid the obvious rhymes: Many traditional Christmas songs rely on obvious rhymes, such as "snow" and "glow," or "sleigh" and "day." Instead of relying on these obvious rhymes, try to use more complex and unexpected rhymes to make your lyrics stand out.

By following these tips, you can avoid the most common clichés in Christmas songwriting and create a fresh and original holiday classic. Remember to stay true to your own voice and style, and don't be afraid to take risks and try new ways to write your songs (music, lyrics and overall idea).

Crafting a Christmas song that avoids clichés requires a blend of creativity, courage, and a commitment to originality. By seeking unique perspectives, embracing fresh use of words, experimenting with musical styles, focusing on emotions, and avoiding obvious rhymes, you can create a holiday classic that resonates with listeners and stands the test of time. Remember to experiment with fresh lens of your artistic voices, take more risks that you don't usually do, and infuse your unique style into every aspect of your songwriting – from the music to the lyrics and overall concept. Unwrap the gift of originality and share the joy of a new, distinct holiday anthem with the world.



Scott Ashley is a songwriter and graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is a voting member of the Recording Academy (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences). He is currently working as the Artist Relations director with the USA Songwriting Competition and IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards). His book "How to Write Better Songs" hit #1 on the Amazon Best Seller Books Charts last year. Click here to purchase Scott Ashley's book on Amazon:


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