Monday, November 30, 2009

Hark!

Gah! Is it really the Christmas season already? I know I was looking at tree skirt patterns like a month ago, but I swear this felt like it arrived at warp speed. It always does.

I haven't even looked at my Christmas decorations yet. Well, maybe a glance, but then quickly closed the closet door. But what I have managed to do is load all my Christmas music on my iPod. First things first. I simply adore Christmas music. Don't you?

Back in college, I started collecting Xmas CDs. Great, iconic albums and classics. Usually one album as a treat to myself every year. About five years ago, I put together Christmas mix albums for many of my friends and family and they were a hit. I still listen to all my music but haven't really expanded the collection much in recent years. That's where your suggestions will come in handy! But first, some of my favorites...



The first and the best is of course the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. It's a must for everyone. Especially the song "Skating." It makes one think of snowflakes and bustling about getting presents and twinkle lights and cheer.



Best. Christmas. Special. Ever. And Vince Guaraldi's music is just the perfect compliment.

Another great album is Bing Crosby's White Christmas (winner for best album cover, too). In particular, his version of "Jingle Bells" with the Andrews Sisters. Back in the late 90s, Gap did a genius ad with a remix of this song - I was never able to find the remix but of course I eventually found the original. I can't help but sing along every time I hear it! It's definitely a mix CD staple.



This album also has "Mele Kalikimaka," of National Lampoon fame. It's Hawaii's way to say Merry Christmas to you.

Another fabulous addition is not technically a Christmas album. Only two thirds of it is, but it's worth it. Duke Ellington's Three Suites contains Ellington's take on the Nutcracker Suite.



"Sugar Rum Cherry" (his version of the Sugar Plum Fairy, of course) is the one track that most often makes it onto the various compilation albums out there - that's how I discovered it - but hearing the whole thing is such a treat.



Okay, the last one is decidedly unlike the others. Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas is just so good. If you're a fan of Sufjan that is (and how can you not be). It's a box set so it costs a bit more than some of these others, but you'll be glad for the abundance once you get hooked. I think his version of "The Friendly Beasts" is just the loveliest Christmas song around.

Now it's your turn! What am I missing from my collection of classics? (Of note, I already have Christmas with the Rat Pack and Dean Martin's Making Spirits Bright.)

And now, I'm gonna leave you with my favorite Sufjan tune, and this ridiculously cute video.

5 comments:

lauren said...

thanks for posting this! i don't have any suggestions, but eric and i are throwing a christmas party this year and i need to get my playlist together!

megc said...

Thanks, Amanda! I love Sufjan and am sorely tempted to order that box of Christmas music he did. Wow. Love the video, too.

I also use Pandora for Christmas music. I have a station set up for this time of year. Thanks to your post, I started playing it!

I'm also a fan of Charlie Brown Christmas. One of the best holiday records ever.

Tara said...

I'm a fan of Harry Connick, Jr.'s "Must've Been Ol' Santa Claus" (not a traditional Christmas song but still fun) from his "Harry for the Holidays" album. I also like his version of "What Are You Doing New Years?" Josh Groban sings an AWESOME version of "O Holy Night" that I love. And, no Christmas is complete without John Denver's "Aspenglow." I love it.

Elizabeth said...

I ran across an a capella group last night when I was browsing iTunes. They're called Straight No Chaser and they've got 3 Christmas albums. There's a song called Donde Esta Santa Claus which cracks me up. Good stuff.

Courtney said...

Ever since last year when I gave out Christmas Mix CDs instead of holiday cards, I've also been obsessed. Great list and now I need to add to my stockpile.