So here’s the thing – as cynical as I can be about Christmas, over-commercialization of holidays, etc., there is one thing that I absolutely adore about this time of year. Okay, maybe two or three. But still, the thing that gets me excited each December is something that cannot be wrapped in shiny paper and placed under the tree. (Okay wait…technically that is not true, since it can come in the form of iTunes gift cards, new earbuds, and mP3 players).
What I am trying to say – or perhaps I should sing it – is music. Music in and of itself is a marvelous thing. But there is something about Christmas music that adds an element of magic to the entire holiday season. Thanks to iTunes and Pandora, I now have around a dozen different holiday playlists, just ready to blast out as a festive soundtrack for whatever I am doing. Studying? I’ll throw on some Christmas Smooth Jazz, or Peaceful Solstice tunes. Washing dishes? Time to pump up the rhythm with contemporary radio Xmas hits. Wrapping gifts? Ahh, the perfect time for Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and the gang. And we can’t leave out my extensive collection of children’s holiday tunes.
(Real Conversation in My House):
Kids: But Mom, we’re too old for Raffi and Sesame Street Christmas songs!
Me: Please. No one is ever too old for Raffi or the Sesame Street cast. (Turns up the volume and sings Must Be Santa at top of lungs).
My only complaint about Christmas music is the lack of originality lately. After hearing the twentieth version of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree within one hour, I am somewhat inclined to turn off the radio. In fact, I suppose I should add that to my own personal Grown-Up Christmas List: a few thoughtful and well-written new holiday tunes to add to the collection. Oh, plus live Christmas carolers wassailing in front of my house, just like in books and movies.
My kids enjoy Christmas songs, too. But sadly, none of them has inherited my
obsession fierce passion for holiday music. They listen and sometimes sing along, sure. But when I was a kid, I used to lug around my portable plastic record player from room to room, so that I could pop on one of my many kids’ Christmas albums on the fly. (Yes, I still have a couple). My favorite childhood Christmas song was by the Disneyland Chorus, called, I Wish it Could Be Christmas All Year Long. It gave me such a warm, fluttery feeling in the cockles of my heart, that I literally used to sing it all year long. I am not even kidding.
Today, it is a little harder to pick a favorite Christmas song. There are so many wonderful songs, performed by a myriad of very talented artists. But there are a few special ones, which I feel compelled to listen to each December, in the same way that many of us are compelled to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas or A Christmas Story each year (You know you do).
MY TOP 10 CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST
- The Gift – Aeslin Debison
- Grown-Up Christmas List – Amy Grant
- Breath of Heaven – Amy Grant
- Happy Holidays – Andy Williams
- It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
- Every single Bing Crosby Christmas song
- The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
- I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas – Gayla Peevey
- Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy – Bing Crosby and David Bowie
- Let There Be Peace on Earth – Vince Gill
- Christmas Canon – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- Carol of the Bells – David Foster
(Okay fine. Top Twelve).