Songs for Your Christmas Playlist

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In no particular order, here are the songs that define Christmas for us.  Since we decided to only include ten and are nothing if not fastidious rule-followers, especially when the rules have been arbitrarily devised, the competition was heated.  Spirited debate abounded in our closet of an apartment as we compiled this definitive guide to holiday listening.  As Ric just said, listing your favorite Christmas songs is like listing your favorite pasta….pretty impossible.

So, here goes, in no particular order:

“Carol of the Bells” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra:  Ric calls this song “Go to War Christmas”.  This is what you listen to before participating in the insanity of Black Friday shopping or when you need the energy to power through that last round of holiday baking.  It’s really the Red Bull of Christmas music.

In no particular order, here are the songs that define Christmas for us.  Since we decided to only include ten and are nothing if not fastidious rule-followers, especially when the rules have been arbitrarily devised, the competition was heated.  Spirited debate abounded in our closet of an apartment as we compiled this definitive guide to holiday listening.  As Ric just said, listing your favorite Christmas songs is like listing your favorite pasta….pretty impossible.

So, here goes, in no particular order:

“Carol of the Bells” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra:  Ric calls this song “Go to War Christmas”.  This is what you listen to before participating in the insanity of Black Friday shopping or when you need the energy to power through that last round of holiday baking.  It’s really the Red Bull of Christmas music.

“Pretty Paper” by Willie Nelson:  My mom had this Christmas record (yes, record—we were high-tech like that) with this song and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” on it.  I requested that it be played ad nauseum from Thanksgiving through New Year’s when we lived in the house in Wilson and had a turntable near the back door.  Ever an exacting child, I remember asking Mama why Willie sang about blue ribbons when Christmas colors were red and green.

“Christmas Canon” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra:  Pachelbel’s Canon is gorgeous and epic in its own right, but the entertainment factor of this song goes through the roof when you attempt to sing the “On this night, on this night…” part along with the impossibly high voices of the children’s choir.

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings” by the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan:  It turns out they DO have Christmas music in Canada.  Pretty awesome, eh?

“All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey:  I know, I know, Mariah Carey, really? But we stand behind this as a catchy, contagious Christmas pop tune.  Well, Ric stands behind it, anyway.  Kelly has curled up into a ball of Mariah Carey-hating misanthropy and refuses to come out until the song is over.  Both of us are in agreement that the Bieber version is an abomination.

“Merry Christmas From the Family” by Robert Earl Keen:  Since Ric and I hail from the working class South, the lyrics of this one conjure up holiday memories from both of our families.  If, like us, you have ever made a run to the Stop and Go for  Salem Lights are or been unsure of exactly how you’re “kin to” someone, add this to your holiday playlist.

“O Holy Night” by Andy Williams:  My mom told me once that this was her favorite Christmas song.  It may have just been an answer given to placate an inquisitive child, but it stuck with me and has become one of my favorites, too.

“Song for a Winter’s Night” by Sarah McLachlan:  A song much in the vein of “Merry Christmas, Darling” by the Carpenters and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, because everyone needs a little unfulfilled wish on their holiday playlist.  While the Gordon Lightfoot original is sweet, this one, in our opinion, surpasses.

“Christmas in Dixie” by Alabama:  This is a great song, and it is straight out of Kelly’s childhood.  By the way, if you are a Southerner expat away from home for Christmas, prepare your tissues.  Both of us got a little choked up.  Well, Ric didn’t, because Rangers don’t cry.  His eyes were watering…..allergies and all.

“White Christmas” by Bing Crosby:  A classic that defies explanation.  If you have to ask why this song is on our list, climb back up to the top of Mt. Crumpet and continue hating the Whos from afar.

Honorable mention goes to George Strait’s “Christmas Cookies”,  a particular favorite of Ric’s, and Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby”.  (Guess that whole rule-following, only ten songs thing was a bunch of baloney.)

How about you?  What songs make your holiday complete?

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