Once upon a Christmas, there was no choice. The only way you could create a festive soundtrack to accompany your driving was to fill your dashboard and door compartments with compilation CDs, each containing maybe just one or two tracks you actually wanted to hear. Hardly ideal, especially for owners of small city cars and 5 door hatchbacks with limited storage space.

More compact than Santa’s elves
But today’s onboard technologies make it super-easy to stream play-lists from your smart-phone or other compact mobile device direct to the sound system in your new small car. So why not take your favourite Christmas music with you on all your Yuletide travels? Here are 12 selections to inspire your own.

Sugar-candy treats
• Eight Days of Christmas, Destiny’s Child – Beyoncé’s crew count-down the gifts required from their men. Sure to spark a spending spree if you’re driving to the stores.
• Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, The Jackson Five – Motown-wrapped Michael and brothers relate the man in red’s run, partnering and revving-up your own.
• Winter Wonderland, Darlene Love – 1963 classic with layered strings, brass and vocals cutting a sparkling swathe like your tyre tracks through the snow.

Soulful interludes
• Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto, James Brown – when you’re stuck in Yuletide traffic, this socially-conscious groove helps soothe the urge to road rage.
• Merry Christmas Baby (Otis Redding). The King of Soul at his impassioned best, plus added sleigh bells. Ideal for driving home to your sweetheart.
• Ave Maria (Luciano Pavarotti). Latin prayer set to Schubert’s beautiful melody. Sweeping, majestic and nuanced – like snowfields, sunset-tinged, through your windscreen.

Raucous celebrations
• I Won’t Be Home For Christmas, Blink-182 – frenzied tale of a rampaging grinch with a baseball bat. Certain to get the thumbs up from any angsty teens you’re carrying.
• Run Rudolph Run, Chuck Berry – reindeers hit the highway with the President of Rock and Roll at the reigns. A must-play for telescoping the time between stops.
• Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight), The Ramones – sneering plea for seasonal harmony from 1987. Great for waking up kids in the back after a long drive.

Mellow moments
• White Christmas, Lady Gaga – if junior passengers get over-tired or over-excited, trust their favourite’s breathy take on history’s biggest single to restore some seasonal calm.
• Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt – the original material girl name-checks what she expects to find in her sack. Ideal inspiration if you’re driving to shop for premium presents.
• The Christmas Song, Nat King Cole – did ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…’ ever sound more inviting than when, after a long winter trip, you make that last turn for home?