The 2016 Christmas Number 1 contenders ranked

Mince pies waiting by the chimney for Santa; a satsuma in the kids’ stocking; serenading your street with the finest festive carols.

There are plenty of traditions over Christmas, but not many quite as important as the British institution that is the Christmas Number 1 single. Whether it’s Slade wishing everybody a merry Xmas or Band Aid joining music’s greatest forces to fight poverty, we’ve had a fair few Christmas corkers over the years.

However, since the turn of the millennium, The X Factor’s winning single has had a firm stranglehold on the Number 1 race. This isn’t without a couple of exceptions – most notably Rage Against The Machine’s ferociously heavy Killing In The Name shocking the charts back in 2009.

Last year also threw up another major surprise after runaway leader Justin Bieber ceded victory by urging his army of followers to support The Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir. It was the perfect gesture to epitomise the joyous festive season.

Now with Christmas merely days away, one big question remains: Who will take the crown this year? Have a read (and listen) through all of the biggest contenders below and then let us know who you’re backing by voting in our poll.

Don’t forget to tune into your Pure digital radio on Friday 23 December when the Official Christmas Number 1 winner is crowned.

Matt Terry - When Christmas Comes Around

This year’s X Factor winner’s single is by no means a foregone conclusion for the Chrimbo crown, but this Ed Sheeran penned track still stands a very good chance. Ben Haenow was the show’s last festive chart-topper in 2014, so it will be interesting to see whether Matt Terry can reclaim the mantle.

Our verdict: 2/5 baubles

While Ed Sheeran is certainly a dab hand when it comes to songwriting, it just can’t save Matt Terry’s uninspiring vocals from turning this track into a Christmas turkey.

Friends of Jo Cox - You Can't Always Get What You Want

Like last year's winner, this contender is aiming to snatch the Number 1 accolade from Simon Cowell and The X Factor’s clutches. Following the tragic murder of MP Jo Cox in June, her nearest and dearest (plus a host of musicians like David Gray and KT Tunstall) have banded together to record this heart-warming rendition of a Rolling Stones classic. Best of all, it’s completely in aid of The Jo Cox Foundation. Mick Jagger and co have also kindly waived all royalty fees – although that’s probably just loose change for them!

Verdict: 5/5 baubles

If ever there was a song that embodied what Christmas is all about, it’s this wonderfully sentimental effort. Bravo!

Clean Bandit - Rockabye

Could the winner already be in the mix? The chart’s incumbent Number 1 for the past five weeks comes courtesy of Cambridge’s Clean Bandit – with a little help from guest stars Sean Paul and Anne-Marie. By the looks of things, this dance-floor filler could be tricky to topple from the chart’s lofty summit.

Verdict: 3/5 baubles

Yes, this is undeniably a great song, but where’s the Christmas spirit in Sean Paul rapping nonsensically over a dancehall track? It’s a big lump of coal from us.

The London Hospices Choir - The Living Years

Inspired by the NHS’ festive exploits last year, this choir made up of patients, staff and volunteers from 18 hospices in the capital have hit the recording studio with the aim of making serious money for a great cause. Their cover of Mike & The Mechanics’ The Living Years is pretty easy on the ears, too.

Verdict: 4/5 baubles

This delightful track is so heart-warming, it will melt your snowballs. Another worthy Christmas contender!

Louis Tomlinson and Steve Aoki - Just Hold On

Somewhat of a last-ditch contender for the title; this A-list collaboration is the One Direction singer’s first solo outing. Making its debut on last week’s X Factor final, the uplifting track elicits fond memories of summer afternoons by the pool. Santa would disapprove, but this stands a huge chance of hitting the top spot.

Verdict: 3/5 baubles

Much like Clean Bandit’s effort, there’s just not enough yuletide joy in this admittedly fun EDM banger. Sorry, chaps.

Cruz Beckham - If Every Day Was Christmas

It’s been an incredibly busy few weeks for Victoria and David’s youngest son. Immediately after being recruited by Justin Bieber’s management team, the 11-year-old launched a promising music career with this single – all in aid of Global’s Make Some Noise foundation. As you’d expect, the results are adorable.  

Verdict: 4/5 baubles

Cruz Beckham’s first foray into music is certainly promising. While this year’s competition may be a bit too strong to fend off, we’re certain to see a lot more of this talented tween in years to come. 

Now it's time to have your say! Vote for your favourite below: