Playlist for the holidays

I love making gift tags or baking Christmas cookies when I'm listening to festive music. It doesn't hurt to have a candle burning either (I'm loving this new fragrance from Yankee Candle. Or, try the amazing Frasier Fir candle from Minnesota company Thymes).

Here are some whimsical, yuletide tunes that are worth a listen:
  • Breath of Heaven. Amy Grant's beautiful song that envisions Mary's thoughts and feelings during the first Christmas.
  • Silver Bells. Andy Williams does a simply sweet version that makes me want to shop in a charming downtown.
  • Up on the Housetop. This song details children's Christmas wishes and American Idol contestant Kimberley Locke did a rollicking version of it.
  • O Holy Night. This song captures the peaceful essence of Christmas better than most and it's just gorgeous.
  • Sleigh Ride. I haven't heard a bad version of this song, but I like Deborah Gibson's version.
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Remember the magic of Christmas as a child? Bruce Springsteen clearly does.
  • ANYTHING from A Charlie Brown Christmas. I love everything about Charles Schulz's Peanuts, including the music. "Do they even make wooden Christmas trees anymore?" Classic.
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas. My personal favorite is the version by John Denver and the Muppets: "Did you say Piggy pudding?" 
  • Silver and Gold. This is the perfect song to play while decorating the tree during a blizzard when you have no other place to go. Burl Ives' voice is iconic.
  • 2000 Miles. I can listen to this song by the Pretenders any time of the year, but it's particularly poignant at Christmas. 
What are your must-listen-to Christmas songs?


Icky songs of the season (revisited)

Last year, I wrote about my least favorite Christmas songs. Recently, I discovered that I omitted a few and in good conscience, I cannot let the travesty stand. Here is my addendum to last year's list.*
  • The Chipmunk Song. Here's all I'll say about this one: it's a good thing that Alvin, Simon and Theodore aren't relying on me to purchase that hula hoop for them. (Sort of in the same way that my nieces are relying on me to buy them Bratz dolls.)
  • The Chimney Song. San-ta's de-com-pos-ing in my chimney and isn't it CUTE? My rational self always asks, "Where are this kid's parents and why don't they do something about this?" Are they just running around, spraying Lysol to cover up the problem?
  • The Christmas Shoes. This represents the cheapest theatrics of the holiday season. It's emotional manipulation, pure and simple. I have perfected the technique of changing the radio station in fewer than three seconds when this dud comes on.
  • ANY version of the 12 Days of Christmas--and that including (and especially) parodies. There's only so far jokes can take you when a song isn't that great in the first place.
  • Cherry, Cherry Christmas by Neil Diamond. Full disclosure: I am not a Neil Diamond fan, but this song is just...strange. Add in the blatant self-promotion and it's a recipe for holiday nausea.
  • Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney. It's fitting that this song--complete with Casio keyboard sound effects--made the list, since John Lennon made the list last year. Is there any redeeming musical value in this song?
I don't want to be a Grinch this holiday season, so tomorrow, I'll post my favorite songs that put me in the mood for shopping, gift wrapping and tree trimming. :)
    *If this list is used for evil like last year, you're looking at 2025.