As promised, a special package is being delivered to you this December and it’s a digital Christmas tree decorated with some tunes. Mixing up some freshly baked festive treats with old nuggets and some new and obscure versions of Yule time classics, hopefully this selection will provide an alterative soundtrack to your Christmastime.
We all have our own version of Christmas and its traditions. Some value the family time; others are trying to escape other humans into the sun of Southern Europe. Whether Christmas makes you glad, sad or mad; whether you like the traditional or the modern way of celebrating, over the top festivities or no fuss minimalism; we all like it more than we are willing to admit it.
For me the meaning of Christmas has changed with time. When I was a little kid it was all about the presents, the sweets and falling asleep with the Christmas lights on. Around the time I had stopped believing in Santa, I started to get affected the solemn and moving atmosphere of the Polish traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Stuffing my face with all that gorgeous food prepared specially for this occasion was always a treat, though. Christmas day was usually spent sheltering yourself from the cold, probably stretched in front of the TV for all-day Tom & Jerry marathon on Cartoon Network or one of those notorious reruns of Home Alone movies. Since moving away from home, I get to travel back once in a while. Then my Christmas requires sipping an overtly sweet and overpriced, yet somehow comforting, gingerbread latte at the airport while waiting for an often-delayed flight on the way to see the family. If staying in Ireland, I am trying to carry on with the Polish traditions and recreating my grandmother’s recipe for pierogi; while avoiding the shopping rush and smirking at high content of consumerism in Christmas but quietly wishing for a new smartphone.
It all changes as I change. Still, I find the same comfort in these jolly, old, good Christmas songs (even “Last Christmas”, in reasonable doses). For me, it’s all about the cozy elegance of the fireplace-lit old time swing and jazz by the great singers of the past (BING CROSBY, ELLA FITZGERALD), the lyrical warmth of a folk song (SUFJAN STEVENS), the soothing sound of soul (JOHN LEGEND, TUXEDO, PJ MORTON), the tongue in cheek electronic rendition of all-time classics (DELICATE STEVE, MONIKER) or the indie X-mas crackers (SAY SUE ME, KHRUANBIN, WOLF ALICE). Even punk bands got festive this year (SHAME, THE RAPTORS). It’s the diversity that creates the magic.
So here’s one of my own traditions: collecting Christmas song. I’ve been doing this for over a decade now and I have accumulated such an extensive library, I could easily run my version of Christmas FM. My findings then make their way onto annual gift selections. At first, it had been cd’s handed out at friends’ mulled wine parties or sent out with the Christmas cards. Then, a digital version started to make its rounds over the social media every December and finally a Spotify version joined helping out spreading the cheer. The search for more Christmas songs continues and I’m taking you for a ride with me. We’re friends now.
Have a wonderful time this year, free of worry and full of cheer.
01 Doris Day - Snowfall
02 Merry Macs - Jingle Jangle Jingle
03 Dickie Valentine & The Johnny Douglas Orchestra - Christmas Alphabet
04 Peggy Lee - Happy Holiday
05 Connie Francis - I'm Gonna Be Warm This Winter
06 Cadillacs - Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
07 Enchanters - Mambo Santa Mambo
08 Sugar Chile Robinson - Christmas Boogie
09 The Lennon Sisters - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
10 Ella Fitzgerald - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
11 Mills Brothers - You Don't Have to Be a Santa Claus
12 Carla Thomas - Gee Whiz It's Christmas
13 Les Baxter Orchestra - Santa Claus Party
14 Elvis Presley - Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)
15 The Platters - Blue Christmas
16 Nathaniel Mayer - Mr. Santa Claus
17 Chuck Berry - Run Rudolf Run
18 The Hepsters - Rockin & Rollin With Santa Claus
19 Darlene Love - Marshmallow World
20 JD McPherson - Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights)
21 Twistin' Kings - Xmas Twist
22 Mabel Scott - Boogie Woogie Santa Claus
23 Alan Silvestri - The Andrews Sisters / Winter Wonderland
24 Brenda Lee - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
24 The Moonglows - Hey Santa Claus
25 The Penguins - Jingle Jangle
26 Bing Crosby - White World of Winter
27 Louis Armstrong With The Commanders - Zat You Santa Claus?
28 Aretha Franklin - Kissin' by the Misletoe
29 Perry Como - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Forever
30 Frank Sinatra - We Wish You The Merriest
31 Lead Belly - Chicken Crowing for Midnight (Christmas Song)