Things I Love – It’s the Holiday Season…

…with the whoop-dee-do and hickory-dock/And don’t forget to hang up your sock!/’Cause just exactly at 12 o’clock/He’ll be coming down the chimney/Coming down the chimney/Coming down the chimney, down!

It is a known fact among friends and family that I like Christmas music. Oh, alright…that’s a lie. I LOVE Christmas music! I have more Christmas music than Carter’s got liver pills (do people say that any more?) While I have a strong affection for Christmas music, I just can’t get past the radio stations that begin playing it around Halloween (no folks, that is not a typo – they actually were playing Christmas music 24/7 on three local radio stations on Halloween). I REFUSE to allow myself to listen to any Christmas music – secular, religious, or otherwise – before Thanksgiving. It’s my rule; my thing if you will. I also do not decorate for Christmas until at least Thanksgiving night, after all the turkey and dressing has been packed away in Tupperware, and the pies have been demolished. Usually this doesn’t happen until the day after, just because we collapse into a tryptophan-induced coma and can’t even lift a leg to…never mind. 🙂

Anywho…I don’t decorate until after Thanksgiving…because that’s how I roll. But when I do decide to decorate, boy oh boy do I break out the Christmas music! I become fanatical about it…has to be just the right combination of music or else I just can’t work efficiently. (Freakish? Yes, I know. I’m told this every day at work.) I love (repeat LOVE…L-O-V-E) the classics – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Burl Ives, The Andrews Sisters…le sigh. Perfection!

In the spirit of the season, and because I’m struggling a little bit to get totally in the mood for the holidays (there, I said it…I’m having trouble) I thought maybe if I shared some of my favorite Christmas music with you (and you’re welcome to share your favorites as well!) it might help!

The Andrews Sisters Christmas – The Andrews Sisters

Andrews Sisters Christmas Album

Andrews Sisters Christmas Album

A great collection of music to suit any holiday mood. Whether your trimming the tree, celebrating with friends and family, or baking your heart out, this CD will undoubtedly get your toes tapping and you’ll be singing like a song bird! My personal favorites on this CD are “Jingle Bells” with Bing Crosby (this is the same version played during the movie “A Christmas Story” as the mom is getting Randy ready for school), “I’d Like to Hitch a Ride With Santa Claus,” and “The Christmas Tree Angel.” I don’t particularly care for “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth,” but that isn’t limited to just this album – I don’t like that song no matter who sings it!

Diana Krall – Christmas Songs

Diana Krall - Christmas Songs

Diana Krall - Christmas Songs

I’m not a huge fan of jazz music – I find most of it to be too jittery and jivey for my liking (jivey…is that even a word?), but I DO like Diana Krall’s Christmas CD…it’s equal parts relaxing by the fire with a nice glass of wine and entertaining friend and family with some laughs and good wine (notice a pattern…?) Songs that stand out on this one are “Let It Snow,” “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire),” “Christmastime Is Here,” and “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”

Chris Isaak Christmas – Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak: Christmas

Chris Isaak: Christmas

Mix one part rockabilly, one part country western, and one part crooner and you’ve got this album. I can’t pick favorites on this one, because they’re all a little different and I can actually listen to the whole album without skipping over any songs. Chris Isaak has a great voice and it really shines on this album, I think. There is one song that makes me a little misty-eyed…”Brightest Star.” Listen with Kleenex handy if you’re a tender-heart!

Cool Yule – Bette Midler

Bette Midler - Cool Yule

Bette Midler - Cool Yule

Another Christmas album that I can listen to in it’s entirety. To me, the true test of a singer is how well they can do Christmas standards. You’ve heard them all before, sung in many different styles – if an artist can make an old Christmas carol sound fresh and fun, they’ve won a spot on my iPod! Bette is no exception – her renditions of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is traditional, yet still never disappoints. My absolute favorites are “Merry Christmas,” “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” and “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” The song that makes me emotional every time I hear her sing it is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” – I can’t get through it in one piece!

A Charlie Brown Christmas – Vince Guaraldi Trio

A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas

I don’t think this album needs much explanation. It would just muddy the waters. 🙂

So, there you have it…these are just a small sampling of my favorite Christmas albums that are sure fire ways to get my in the holiday spirit…what are your favorite Christmas albums or songs? Do you prefer the contemporary music, or classics? Secular or religious? Do tell, do tell 🙂

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