Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happiness is...Christmas music!

Today marks the beginning of the 12 Days of Christmas. Okay, so historically the 12 Days of Christmas begins the day after Christmas and ends with Epiphany or 3 Kings Day on the 6th of January but as we like to do in our modern world we've twisted tradition to fit our needs and wants. We've kind of morphed it into a pre-Christmas celebration by doing sub for Santas and anonymous gift giving and such in the days leading up to Christmas, and depending on who you ask the 12th day could be Christmas itself or the day before, so it's really sort of a fuzzy logic. But since I didn't post this yesterday I'm declaring that it starts today and ends on the 25th, and if you don't like that, well, I have a couple of names for you prefer Scrooge? Or Grinch? I'll let you pick.  :)

Now that that's over with let's celebrate with a little Christmas cheer, shall we?

I’m one of those people who starts listening to Christmas music on November 1st. I don’t put up the decorations until after Thanksgiving, but if I wait that long to start in on the music I find I don’t have time to get it all in and I’m left with a deeper feeling of post-holiday let down when it comes time to put it all away, which for me is just after my birthday on January 2nd.

There are a host of songs I feel embody the season of Christmas, many of them I only need to hear once to have had my fill (as much as I hate Feliz Navidad and Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, it just isn’t Christmas without them…once, and only once!) while there are others I need to hear a dozen or more times to truly reach my limits, if even then.

So, here, in no particular order are a few of my favorite songs (specific versions of course, for not all renditions are created equal) narrowed down to 12 in keeping with the spirit of things and making it a bit more manageable because I could go on for days, making up my ultimate Christmas far.

Barbra Streisand-Jingle Bells
Bing Crosby-White Christmas
Nat King Cole-The Christmas Song (his is the ultimate Christmas album!)
The King's Singers-Es Ist Ein Rose Entsprungen
Ella Fitzgerald-Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Julie Andrews-Wexford Carol
The Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan-God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Frank Sinatra-The Christmas Waltz
Mel Torme-Good King Wenceslas
Harry Connick, Jr.-It Must've Been 'Ol Santa Claus
Andy Williams-It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Practically any version of Let it Snow! but Michael Buble's is my current favorite (though not this live version, sorry)

Hmm, 12 songs just isn't enough. That is in no way a proper sampling and it's much more heavy in the secular music than I would have thought. I really do love the religious songs as well, I promise! I also obviously tend to stick more toward the traditional sounds as my absolute favorites. But here are a few recent discoveries that are quickly finding their way on to this list!

I'd also kill for a great version of Gesu Bambino or Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella...I find most of them are instrumental and I've yet to run across a vocal version I'm in love with enough to pay the 99 cents for on iTunes! Any suggestions?

What are your favorite holiday tunes? Bonus points to anyone who actually responds in the comments! (That means Santa will be watching and you're guaranteed to get everything on your list this year...yes, I have that kind of power.)

*Also, if favorites are going to be mentioned I suppose I should give a tiny shout out to the song I love to hate. It's found its way onto nearly every holiday album ever and is one of the most cringe-inducing songs I know. I just can't stand it! (Though some versions do rater higher on the hate scale than others.) Let's give a nice round of applause for The Little Drummer Boy...

Clap louder! I can still hear those blasted 'pa rumpa pum pums'!


  1. such a great list!

    we are quite partial to the sarah mclachlan Christmas cd. i must confess that i listen to parts of it year round.

  2. Best version of Little Drummer Boy? Has to be the men of the early 90's SNL (Chris Farley, Rob Snyder, Chris Rock, David Spade, et. al.) playing it on their bellies.

    But this one ain't bad either.

  3. Look at you guys making a last ditch effort for Santa's 'nice' list. Well done! Kim-love her In the Bleak Midwinter, so beautiful! (And I hear congrats/condolences are in order for the new bishop at your house. Why didn't you say something?!?!) Nate-wish I could see the belly version. And actually the real Bing/Bowie version is one of the few I can stomach. Good call!