Every year I love re-entering the Christmas playlist. Every year I add one or two new CD’s to the collection, and I sometimes kick a few out. Here are our family’s current favorites:
Chipmunks Christmas (original recordings in the 60’s). I love that my kids love this, because it was one of my family’s favorites when I was growing up. Except that I can now only take 3-4 hours of it before I want to kill small furry things.
Jingle Jams (Family Wise Music). Energetic arrangements that don’t sound like kid music.
Go Fish ‘Snow’ (2006). Fun fun fun till your daddy takes the ipod away.
Music I Like More Every Year:
Erin O’Donnell ‘Christmas Time is Here’ (2004). A little jazzy. I just love it. No greater explanation possible. You should own this one.
Russ Taff ‘A Christmas Song’ (1992). Also a little jazzy.
Harry Connick Jr, When My Heart Finds Christmas (1993), Harry for the Holidays (2003). His combinations of big-band, 40’s jazz, and a bit of quirkiness have become almost traditional favorites for me. He has released a 3rd Christmas CD this year, What A Night!, which I haven’t heard yet.
Jars of Clay ‘Christmas Songs’ (2007) Didn’t have the chance to really listen to this last year, but I’m lovin’ it this time around.
Sufjan Stevens ‘Songs for Christmas’ Vols 1 – 5 (2006). Quirky, scaled-down, original, completely enjoyable.
Sara Groves ‘O Holy Night’ (2008) Just downloaded this a few days ago. Love the artistry, the original music, especially ‘Toy Packaging’, which you can get for free here.
Lifetime Christmas Music Achievement Award:
Amy Grant I’m sorry if you’re not a fan, but ‘A Christmas Album’ (1983) absolutely has to be playing when we start hanging ornaments on the tree. And a peppermint candle has to be burning. (Trivia: My boyfriend back in the day told me this was his favorite Christmas music. This, and other facts like it, set us on course for marriage. It’s that powerful.) ‘Home for Christmas’ (1992) is maybe my favorite album as a whole. It includes my all time favorite original Christmas song ever, which still brings me to tears. ‘Breath of Heaven‘. It has been recorded by other artists, but this recording by this artist…. perfection. Christmas to Remember (1999) rounds out a great collection…love the instrumental pieces.
Favorite conversation sparked by this post:
me: Neil, what’s your favorite Christmas music?
Neil: you mean genre? artist? recording?
me: CD… like if you had to go pull one off the virtual shelf.
Neil: hmmm….(sheepishly) you know, I really like the POG one.
me: really. your choice is Point of Grace? (a group of 4 women)
Neil: what’s this for? Is it going on your blog? (a bit panicked) Wait, wait… does Bon Jovi have a Christmas album? (dives for iTunes… sighs… resigns himself to the truth) Ok, so I just like girl singers.
(which turns out to be not so bad for me)
Husband’s Favorite (which would have landed on the list anyway):
Point of Grace ‘A Christmas Story’ (1999). Great arrangements and great variety. And finally,
What Has Fallen Off the Playlist for Lack of Use:
Mariah Carey, Merry Christmas
Gary Chapman, This Gift
Rebecca St. James, Christmas RSJ
Now… please share!!! What are YOUR favorites? Your ‘must-listen’s? Or, your must-never-listen-again’s?