As the days get shorter and the snow begins to fall, many people long to hear the Christmas songs they grew up with. Nat King Cole, Burl Ives, and Andy Williams are the singers of some of the popular Christmas songs of all time. However, it is Mariah Carey's 1993 hit "All I Want for Christmas" that continues to top the Billboard Holiday 100, proving that not all tastes turn towards yesteryear. In fact, for many people the holiday season hasn't truly begun until they have dipped into genres not traditionally thought to be Christmas-friendly, like punk, new wave, and hip-hop.

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Here are five of the best non-traditional Christmas songs, and the stories behind each one.

1. 'Christmas in Hollis' by Run D.M.C

When it was first released in 1987, rap music by African American artists was still very much on the fringe of American society.

Up until that point, the biggest commercial hip-hop success had been the Beastie Boys' "Licensed to Ill" and the people at the forefront of the genre were seeing very little payoff for their work. In fact, "Christmas in Hollis" didn't even reach the Billboard charts, despite the song being featured in the film "Die Hard [VIDEO]" and on the charity compilation "A Very Special Christmas." Now 30 years on, Darryl McDaniels, (a.k.a. "DMC" of the group) recently told the New York Post that he is constantly stopped in grocery stores by people to talk about at the song around the holidays.

2. 'Put a Little Love in Your Heart' by Annie Lennox and Al Green

Originally performed by Jackie DeShannon and released in 1969, "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" was never meant to be a Christmas song. It wasn't until Lennox and Green re-recorded it in 1987 to be included in the Bill Murray film "Scrooged" that the song found longevity -- and a permanent connection to Christmas.

The song has become so closely linked to the holiday that it appears in multiple commercials airing this season. Since being featured at the end of "Scrooged," the song has been covered by music luminaries like Dolly Parton and was even sung by several cast members of TV's "The Flash" and "Supergirl" during a cross-over episode between the series.

3. 'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues

A crass and occasionally off-key Irish folk-ballad, "Fairytale of New York" is the most unlikely of Christmas success stories. According to musical lore, the song was only written by the traditionally Celtic-punk band because their studio producer bet them they would not be able to write a Christmas hit single -- something that is seen as being especially lucrative in the U.K. Taking nearly 3 years to complete, the song clearly depicts a life and relationship torn apart by alcohol and drug addiction. According to the band's singer, Shane McGowan, he wrote most of the lyrics while recovering from the fevers of double-pneumonia and the bulk of the song features, "these old Irish-American Broadway stars who are sitting around at Christmas talking about whether things are going okay."

Released in November 1987, the song has gone on to top multiple holiday song polls and, in 2013, was named the U.K.'s second favorite single to not reach the "Christmas number 1" spot.

Do you have a favorite non-traditional Christmas hit? Post about it in the comments below!