12 Days of Christmas: Holiday cheer through music

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Editor’s Note: “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” – Buddy the Elf

 

Like the holiday itself, the variety of Christmas music out there is a conglomerate of cultures, traditions and perceptions.

However, Christmas at its core is a rather specific holiday focused on the birth of Jesus Christ. Sure it’s been commercialized and changed over the years because of its widespread popularity, but those changes are only surface-level. Like the lights or the ornaments on a tree, they decorate but are not the tree itself. This playlist reflects that idea: though there are many styles, artists and genres here, these songs (mostly) embody the true spirit of Christmas.

Best overall

The Magic of Christmas – Nat King Cole

 

Best Indie-folk

The Oh Hellos Family Christmas Album – The Oh Hellos

Best Rock

Christmas Eve and Other Stories – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Most annoying

Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney

Best new Christmas album

Behold – Lauren Daigle

Best Jazz

A Charlie Brown Christmas – Vince Guaraldi Trio

An Oscar Peterson Christmas – Oscar Peterson

Best songs list

Good King Wencelas – Traditional

The Holly and the Ivy – Traditional

Still, Still, Still – Traditional

Main Title from Home Alone soundtrack – John Williams

The Nutcracker – Pyotr Tchaikovsky

The Nutcracker Suite – Brian Setzer Orchestra

Wexford Carol – Traditional

Bring A Torch, Jeannette, Isabella – Traditional (Check out Mannheim Steamroller’s version)

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Traditional

A Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives

Sleigh Ride – Ella Fitzgerald

White Christmas – Bing Crosby

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Bing Crosby

I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Bing Crosby

Snow – Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Danny Kaye, Trudy Stevens

White Christmas – The Drifters

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Hugh Martin, Ralph, Mel Torme

St. Stephen’s Day Murders – The Chieftains, Elvis Costello

 

— mikeburnham3@gmail.com