Holiday Playlist

So I spent almost my entire evening last night rehearsing with some of my coworkers for my office’s holiday potluck next week. Apparently last year they performed some holiday tunes with great success, and I was recruited to sing for this year’s festivities. I’d feign some complaints here, citing potential embarrassment and whatnot, but let’s be honest: I’m a huge ham. I love performing! So we spent a couple of hours figuring out our playlist and ironing out some harmonies. Should be fun as long as I don’t freak out. As much as I love being the center of attention, I do still get some pretty intense stage fright. Urk!


Even Santa gets scurred.

At any rate, the whole process has helped me dive even further into the glory of Christmas music, so I thought I’d share a few of the albums that have been loaded up on my Spotify playlist since before Thanksgiving all month!

A Very She & Him Christmas

In case you weren’t already aware of this, Zooey Deschanel is just about the cutest little thing that has ever graced this planet. If her bangs weren’t enough to make you fall in love with her, her voice definitely is. Her band with music veteran M. Ward, She & Him, is a little bit indie, a little bit quirky, and a lot awesome. Their version of “The Christmas Waltz” might be my favorite yet!

Glee: The Christmas Album Volume 2

I know that Glee can be a pretty polarizing show, and people either love it or they hate it. That said, I don’t think anyone in either camp can deny that the actors on the show are very talented, and the songs they perform are generally really well done. The second Glee Christmas episode only just aired last night, but the album’s been available for a while and is fantastic! Naya Rivera’s (Santana) rendition of “Santa Baby” is perfectly suited to her voice and character, and Kris Kolfer & Darren Criss (Kurt & Blaine) performing a jazzed-up version of “Let It Snow” is just amazing. In fact, here’s that one too:

Am I right, or am I right? Oh, they scat so good and they scat so true. Okay, okay Onward!

Michael Bublé Christmas

There was evidently a lot of hub-bub surrounding Michael Bublé’s Christmas album, and it’s easy to see why. He channels the crooners of old, and since Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra were the originators of many of our favorite songs, it’s easy to get on board with this album. Some of the renditions are almost a little too similar to the originals, so while they’re obviously very good, they’re a little boring. I really love his version of “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” though.


Let It Snow Baby… Let It Reindeer

This isn’t a new album, but Relient K’s 2007 Christmas album remains firmly at the top of my holiday playlist. For people who like modern, rocked-up versions of traditional songs, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” is for you. They also mix in a handful of original songs, which are a little softer, more soulful, and just stellar.

Case in point.

And finally, for your aural pleasure and delight, I present:

Straight No Chaser Christmas Cheers

If you only click on one of the videos in this entire post to listen to (they’re all just songs, by the way, not actual videos) it needs to be this one. Straight No Chaser is the Indiana University a cappella group, and their “12 Days of Christmas” is seriously the best thing you’ll hear all season. The 1998 group got a recording deal from this one arrangement and performs under the same name. The video is a little dated at this point, but the hilarity and musical mastery of it will still wow you. I’ve seriously listened to this one song more than all the others on my playlist combined. Love.

So there you have it! There are a few other songs thrown in here and there, but these albums comprise the majority of my holiday listening and I couldn’t be happier about it. So now it’s your turn!

What’s your favorite Christmas song? I’ll take either a song in general (my favorite traditional carol, for example, is “O, Holy Night”) or a specific artist’s version. Augh, I JUST LOVE CHRISTMAS!

0 Comments

  1. Funny- my post today is about the same thing. 🙂
    My favorite traditional song is either “O Holy Night” or “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Oh, man… and Nat King Cole’s “Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” gets me too! My husband’s is “Little Drummer Boy.” (What?!)
    As for more current variations, there are too many. But, I LOVE Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is You.” I feel the need to watch “Love Actually” immediately when I hear it (and said this last night during Glee!)

  2. Be still my heart. You mentioned my school up in dere. 🙂

    We saw the current SNC (current undergrads) this past weekend and I think they are just as good, if not better, than the original members (the ones recording under the SNC name). They were HILARIOUS. They did this amazing Usher and Ke$sha mash-up. They have one guy, who is a senior now (frown) who is an INCREDIBLE beatboxer. Basically, SNC is full of win and I love them.

    Of note, if you want some chill Christmas music, check out the Over the Rhine holiday album (I think it’s called Snow Angels) beautiful, haunting, calm. Love it.

  3. Katesays:

    Anytime someone talks about Christmas music, I have to laugh. I can still hear my sister saying “my favorite Christmas song is the one they sing in Harry Potter. The one that goes “something this way wicked comes.””

    Now we make sure to listen to it every year.

    • Well, ABC Family apparently considers every Harry Potter movie a Christmas movie, since they’re lined up in their 25 Days of Christmas, so I guess it works? Hahahaha. 🙂

  4. I think all the religious Christmas songs are the best ones. Much better than the secular songs which I find a bit cheesy.
    A really good, unique religious song is Amy Grant’s Breath of Heaven (it’s good to sing along to, so you’d probably like it)

    As for the traditional secular stuff I’d have to say John Lennon’s Happy Xmas is my favourite. With “Last Christmas” coming in a close second.

    • I’ll have to listen to that song, I’m not familiar with it. I agree that some of the secular songs can be a little cheesy, but so’s Christmas a lot of the time, and I love cheesy. 🙂

  5. Karensays:

    I am currently in love with the She & Him Christmas album and Zooey Dechanel as well. Though disappointed in the new show…
    I have been listening to my Pandora Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas station since…uh…for a few weeks. Maybe since the middle of November. Maybe. All of the songs up there have come up along with my most ultimate favorites, Vince Giraldi Trio and Eartha Kitt singing Santa Baby. Love! Can we petition that Christmas be extended into February?

  6. Jennysays:

    Hands down favorite is Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses. It always makes me smile.

    Pop Xmas songs:
    It’s Christmas (baby please come home)by U2
    Christmas All Over by Tom Petty
    All I want for Christmas is You by Mariah
    Oi to the World by No Doubt
    The “A Very Special Christmas” collections

    For standards:

    Ella Fitzgerald
    Elvis
    Michael Buble
    Bing Crosby
    Nat King Cole

    I also love choirs and symphonic versions, so soothing and uplifting all at once.

    Merry Christmas!

    • They had Christmas Wrapping in the Glee episode too! I actually really liked it, it’s definitely smile-inducing. I didn’t know there was an older version than the stupid Miranda Cosgrove version, so yay for that!

      • Jennysays:

        I have to add that I also have a special place in my heart for Adam Sandler’s Chanukah songs!

  7. I have too many favorites! Most of them are on my Spotify playlist called Grown-Up Christmas List cause I’m corny like that. Lol.

  8. I am shamefully a fan of the Justin Bieber Christmas songs. I know that gets me kicked out of polite, respectable adultland but…so be it. I also really love Straight No Chaser and you’re right about their 12 Days of Christmas being the best ever. I also like their Christmas Can-Can.

  9. Darciesays:

    Gretchen:

    More proof that we are kindred spirits … I just bought “A Very She & Him Chrismtas” the other week. Have you been watching the New Girl? LOVE it!

    • I love that we are essentially the same person. 😀 I love the show!! Last week’s episode was the funniest thing I think I’ve seen ALL year. I died.

  10. Where is Feliz Navidad on this list! Maybe I’m old…hmm.. AND BTW – on the hunt for your Oscar the Grouch shirt in Target to no avail in this darn state. 🙁 May have to go online…

  11. Jen Robinsonsays:

    I’m going to listen to all those songs tonight since I haven’t seen the Glee episodes yet and i don’t know some of the other ones you listed. YAY for fun christmas music. I have a lot of favourites including a lot listed by other people like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” but i also really like “Carol of the Bells”, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”! Christmas music makes me very happy!!

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