What’s your favorite Christmas song? Nearly everybody has one, whether it’s the classic crooning of “White Christmas” or the familiar phrases of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Christmas music sets the stage for the season. It’s the soundtrack for Christmas shopping, cookie baking and Christmas memory making.
That said, we realize not everyone has the same musical tastes. Respectfully, we suggest the following favorites to include on your Christmas music playlist.
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” - Mariah Carey
Two decades after its 1994 release, this “modern” hit has become one of the most streamed Christmas songs ever. With its upbeat tempo and stellar vocals from the dynamic diva, it’s easy to understand why. Although it risks being overplayed in non-streaming formats, there’s no denying this song deserves to be shuffled in with your Christmas classics.
“The Christmas Song” - Nat King Cole
Even if the song's title escapes you, there's no mistaking the opening line: "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." The melody sets the mood for an idyllic Christmas scene, described in Nat's mellow baritone. It's a vintage holiday tune with a simple and timeless Christmas theme.
“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” - Thurl Ravenscroft
With several different "Grinch" movie versions out there, we feel compelled to recognize the original 1960s-era anti-Christmas grouch. Ravenscroft's deep-throated dissing of the title character is a delightful mix of unsavory images and Seussian tongue-twisters, each more outrageous than the last. Not to mention the song brings a refreshing lightheartedness to a Christmas playlist stuffed full of slow and syrupy standards. It's like a sip of effervescent cranberry juice after a steady diet of fruit cake and Christmas fudge.
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” - Brenda Lee
Although this song hit the airwaves the same year the Hula-Hoop hit toy store shelves, it continues to charm in a "new old-fashioned way." The melody is carried by the powerhouse vocals of then-13-year-old Lee, punctuated by a jazzy sax solo and backed by a retro rockabilly vibe. We bet you can't resist it anymore than you could resist testing out any random Hula-Hoops that might be lying around...
“You Make it Feel Like Christmas” - Gwen Stefani
Only at Christmastime is it acceptable for radio stations that typically air the latest hits to play songs that were hot when our grandparents -- or great-grandparents -- were kids. That said, we wanted to include at least one Christmas song released in the last few years that we think is destined to become a Christmas classic, and so is worthy of including in your Christmas music lineup. "You Make it Feel Like Christmas" is a bouncy "relationship" Christmas song that works in part thanks to the real-life relationship between Stefani and her duet partner and husband, Blake Shelton. We dare you not to join in the refrain: "Sweet gingerbread made with molasses..."
Although we’ve only recommended five out of hundreds of Christmas songs, we’re sure you can think of many more tunes to add. However you decide to build your holiday musical score, as you gather to trim the Christmas tree, decorate the cookies and enjoy peace and goodwill amongst friends and family (even if it’s only temporary), be sure to include a tuneful background of Christmas favorites.
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