Christmas music is one of the most essential ingredients for my holiday season. I remember listening to Christmas music with my Mom when we decorated the tree and baked Christmas cookies. I remember the skip in her Johnny Mathis album on the O Holy Night! song. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the feeling I get when I listen to Christmas music. And I LOVE how Marie gets just as excited as I do so now at least I have a partner in crime. However, I am very particular about what kind and who sings what song. So without any further ado, my favorite Christmas music list, condensed version:
There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays sung Perry Como
This song is great because I get all gushy for that going-home-to-my-parents-house feeling . . . even though I see them a lot and they live fifteen minutes away.
It’s the Most Wonderful Time o f Year sung by Andy WilliamsI think this song is loaded with irony. Like when Andy croons, “Everyone telling you be a good cheer!” Yes, be a good cheer when you feel like you are going insane with the Christmas Craziness!! But my all time favorite line in that song is, “They’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.” Yes, scary ghost stories like the time Santa didn’t get to Christmas Eve until 9 p.m. and Marie, who was 8 months old at the time, had a SUPER meltdown (and I told her to be a good cheer, but that didn’t seem to cheer her up, ironically). And I know the lyrics say “glories of Christmases long, long ago,” but I like to think it really says “gories of Christmases long, long ago.” There are too many gories of Christmas past to share, but more recently (and on the tamer side) it would be someone saying something to the effect that I (when I was six months pregnant last Christmas) was big enough to wear a supersize garbage bag and maybe fit in the trunk of her car. Nice.
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing sung by Nat King Cole
The women’s voices that sing right before it cuts out to Nat’s voice gives me chills! This song reminds me of my all time favorite movie It’s a Wonderful Life. The whole angel theme just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
O! Holy Night! sung by Johnny Mathis
His voice is like butt-ah! I love it! Actually, I love this whole album. Plus it reminds me of my childhood; my Mom and I used to listen to this album when we baked Christmas cookies. And childhood and Christmas are enough to make anyone all teary-eyed! (And if someone else like Chris Groban tries to sing it, I get all mad because Johnny is the ONLY person who can sing it)!
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas sung by Judy Garland
This song is so sad and beautiful. Judy’s voice sounds melancholy when she talks about being light and troubles out of sight. This is another song when I get all upset when someone else tries to sing Judy’s Christmas song!
Living in the Midwest, I am no stranger to snow storms. I love that this song makes snow storms sound like fun. Johnny Mathis or Harry Connick, Jr. both do this song justice!
Baby, It’s Cold Outside! sung by Al Hirt and Ann Margret
Speaking of songs that make snow storms sound like fun . . . I imagine in the old days when people used to listen to records and know how to make drinks like Tom Collins and Old Fashioneds.
Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters
I love all Christmas songs sung by Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters including the following:
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Here Comes Santa Claus
Poppa Santa Claus
To be honest, the stress of the holidays is enough to kill any joy and merriment that can be so magical during this season. These songs help me find that place of happiness when all I want to do is cancel Christmas. It’s just like Buddy says in Elf, “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”
What are your favorite Christmas songs? What kind of memories do they bring up?