Christmas Cheer

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

– Buddy the Elf

Those holiday ear-worms start assaulting us as early as November 1st.  You’ll be out looking for half-price Halloween candy, when you suddenly notice yourself humming along to a familiar tune, but  you’re not sure what it is immediately.  Then…it hits you – they’re playing Christmas music!

This is how most people react to Christmas music at first; they feel that they’re being assaulted and it annoys them.  Not this guy!  I have Christmas music on my iPod year-round.  I may not actively listen to it for most of the year, but it’s there and sometimes it pops up in my shuffled playlist.  And I love it.

An activity I’ve done a few times over the past 7-8 years is to make a mixed CD for my employees as a little holiday gift.  Each time I’ve done it, it’s been very well received, and some still pull it out year after year to listen to at Christmas.  While I opted to not do it this year (partly due to our computers at work no longer having CD drives, and partly due to the fact that more and more people don’t have CD players in an increasingly iPhone/iPod driven world), it hasn’t stopped me from enjoying my own Christmas music.

Each year, I try to purchase at least one new album to add to my collection.  This year, I opted for two albums:

  • Serena Ryder’s Christmas Kisses
  • Eric Clapton’s Happy Xmas (even if I loathe the use of Xmas)

But for the purposes of today’s post, I will list out some of my favourite Christmas songs.  Hopefully I’ll add a new song or two to your playlist. 

  • Christmas Vacation – Mavis Staples (the theme from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)
  • Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
  • With Bells On – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
  • All I Need is Love – Cee-Lo Green (featuring The Muppets)
  • Sleigh Ride – Ella Fitzgerald (there are many versions, but I think Ella’s jazzy, swingy version is my favourite)
  • Frosty the Snowman – Jimmy Durante (the classic version from the animated special)
  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside – She & Him (get over it Snowflakes…it’s not what you think it is!)
  • A Marshmallow World – Dean Martin (the live version with Frank Sinatra is a classic)
  • Douze jours de Noël – Les méchants maquereaux (the Acadian version of the 12 days of Christmas)
  • White Christmas – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
  • The Night Santa Went Crazy – “Weird Al” Yankovic

I could have listed many, many more songs, but figured this covers the big hitters.  As a side piece, I’ll include two videos. 

First up is a relatively new addition to my listening roster.  I first heard Tim Minchin’s White Wine in the Sun in 2017.  Since then, it’s anchored itself on my playlist because it is both touching and incredibly witty at the same time.  It has just the right amount of snark to tickle my funny bone.  A bonus is that all proceeds from purchases of this song in November, December and January of each year go to organizations supporting children and adults on the autism spectrum.

And to end this post, here is my absolute favourite Christmas song.  I first fell in love with the song thanks to David Letterman.  Each year, just before Christmas, Dave would have Darlene Love on his show to perform this classic tune.  This became a holiday tradition for me for over 20 years.  No matter how much/little I was in the Christmas spirit, this would catapult me into the Christmas spirit stratosphere.   I still get goosebumps and tears in my eyes listening to it every year.  Here’s Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) from Dave’s last Christmas show in 2014.

I hope at least one of these songs will help bring a little added Christmas cheer to you this year.  Go forth and sing it loud for all to hear!

What are your favourite Christmas songs?  Do you have a favourite album?  Share yours below and help spread more cheer.

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