Holiday Music: The Great Ones and the Really Annoying (In My Unprofessional Opinion)

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When I was little my parents had the Time-Life Christmas collection on records.  I grew up listening to this collection!  In an effort to recreate my childhood, I’ve been looking for the songs on CDs.  Some I’ve been able to find, others I can’t find anywhere!

Thanks to being able to stream Pandora, we’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas music here at our house.  That has been really nice to hear some of our favorites but also hear some new ones.  I’m not real thrilled with the selection from our local radio station. Keep in mind that I have a hard time adjusting to new versions of my favorites, but over the years there are some that I have grown to like.  Not to mention, my tastes are rather eclectic due to being a musician.  Here are some of the favorites at our house.

Christmastime Is Here-The Vince Guaraldi Trio.  Child of the 80s here.  If you read my 80s Child post, you know why I like this.  It’s not Christmastime until I hear this song and the next one.

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas-Bing Crosby.  This one really takes me back.   I want to write a modern day version of this. Ipads instead of dolls that can talk and go for a walk?  😉

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year-Andy Williams.  Oh yeah this one also signals the start of the Christmas season.  It could have been the back to school Staples commercial that sealed the deal for me.

O Holy Night-Josh Groban.  Did I mention I have a crush on his voice?

Twas the Night Before Christmas-Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians.  I did this in college, and to this day it remains one of my very favorites.  It’s a choral retelling of the story.  It is very, very good.  If you listen to it, it will get stuck in your head.

Mary Did You Know-Kenny Rogers.  This is so pretty.  My husband and I did this as a duet in church this weekend.

For Unto Us A Child Is Born-Georg Friedrich Handel.  The first of two on here.  Anyone who is a fan of The Messiah will know why this song is so cool!

Peace on Earth/The Little Drummer Boy-David Bowie/Bing Crosby.  Talk about an odd pairing, but the combination of voices works.

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)-Darlene Love.  This song plays at the beginning of Gremlins.  Don’t ask me why I know this…

I’ll Be Home for Christmas-Rascal Flatts.  This a capella version is so pretty.  I’ve never been a huge fan, but for some reason this group is growing on me.

Welcome Christmas-The Who Village Choir.  I was ecstatic to find this one on ITunes a while back.  I’m an 80s kid, I love it.

Christmas/Sarajevo 12/24-Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  I won’t lie when I say that I love a lot of alternative music.  The first time I ever heard this group, it absolutely blew me away!  There’s nothing like hard rock played on orchestral instruments coupled with electric guitars.

The Hannakah Song-Adam Sandler.  Ok, I’m not Jewish, but I love this song.  It’s probably the only funny song I like.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel-Enya.  This is so hauntingly beautiful.  I am a huge fan of Enya.  I have every one of her CDs.

All I Want For Christmas-Mariah Carey.  My husband would kill me if he knew I put this on the list.  I just love this version, and I don’t know why!

The Hallelujah Chorus-Georg Friedrich Handel.  Handel is the man.  And I never hear this without chills.  I have performed this many, many times.  And it keeps getting better every time I do it!

And then there’s stuff that may make me change the station or run screaming into the cornfield behind my house.  Please don’t hate me because I hate these songs:

Santa Baby-I HATE THIS SONG!!!!!!!!!

Michael Buble– Why this guy annoys the pee out of me, I don’t know.

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer-Please.  Enough is enough.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus-Especially the John Mellencamp version.  Go dance naked, John, and leave Santa and Mommy out of this.

Simply Having A Wonderful Christmastime-Sorry Paul.  I just hate this song.  It may have been all those Christmases working at Kmart and having to hear it over and over and over…

Father Christmas-The Kinks.  I believe it’s the same as the aforementioned Paul McCartney song.  Bleh.

Jingle Bells-performed by barking dogs.  And my kids loooooove this one.  The commercial with the different animals is cute, but not the song.

Do you have very favorite versions of Christmas songs?  Are there ones that make your ears bleed?  I’d love to hear what you love (And hate).

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Let the Holidays Commence!

I do.

This is what I’ve been looking forward to-the next few weeks will most likely be an unending stream of idea diarrhea.  The stuff just keeps flowing because I love the holidays. Christmas is one of my very favorite times of the year.  Despite all of the poopy stuff we have going on (SHINY PENNIES FOR CHRISTMAS!  SHINY PENNIES FOR CHRISTMAS!) I am determined I am going to delight in the things that I love most for the next month.  Here are all of the reasons why I love this time of year so much.

1)  Excuses to watch my favorite movies.  What honey?  You said you want to see “ELF”?  Well let me pop it in.  No movie makes me smile as much as that one.

There is nothing funnier than this…

2)  CHRISTMAS MUSIC!  I like the older music.  I’m not a big fan of most of the newer stuff.  My parents had the original Time Life Christmas records.  The best music ever.  I thought I had found it on CD a few years back, but it wasn’t the same.  I’m still looking for the recording of Jack Jones singing “Do You Hear What I Hear?”  Can’t find it anywhere!  I love Handel’s Messiah, and of course I couldn’t be a band geek without mentioning Sleigh Ride.  I have a story about that, you’ll hear it later this month.

3)  Christmas lights They are even supposed to be up and lit this time of year!  It’s so much fun to drive around and see all of the different displays people have in their yards and on their houses.  We never decorate the outside of our house, so it’s especially fun to see what others have come up with.

I must admit I’ve never seen anything like this yet!

4)  The goodies.  I’m not going to lie and say that I won’t worry about how much I’m consuming, because I will.  But when else do you get to eat so many homemade goodies.  I hope to make some this year.  I want to try to make the big pretzels dipped in chocolate.  YUM!

I’ve never made these. Maybe I should!

5)  Wrapping paper.  I love beautiful wrapping paper adorned with ribbon and bows.  One year I used wide gauzy ribbon to wrap all the packages for the growm-ups.  I just love the way they look under the tree.  I may be wrapping empty boxes this year but dammit they will be pretty!!!!

Not pretty, but quite useful.

6)  Creative decorations. Oh darn, I have to spend lots of time on Pinterest finding ideas for decorating.  Breaks my heart.  This year I’m looking for ideas for a new wreath.  Ours was looking pretty shabby last year.  I’m thinking jingle bells and ball ornaments.  We’ll see what I come up with!

Hmmmmm…

7)  The Wonder of It All.  My kids are at very fun ages.  It’s all so magical to them.  I know that they are most concerned about what they are getting on the big day, but they are so excited about everything.  The next few weeks we will see time and time again what we refer to in my family as “The Christmas Eyes”.  I will find pictures of my sister and I with our Christmas eyes on, and will post them.  I see these on my kids every year.

See? Christmas eyes!

So keep an eye out for all of my crazy posts.  I have drafts galore lined up for the next few days!  To paraphrase my daughter:  “Let the holidays COMMENCE!”