12 Even More Alternative Christmas Songs

12 Even More Alternative Christmas Songs

Who need Deck the Halls when you have these jams?
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Well, the time of year has arrived again, where local news stations across America play exclusively Christmas music until Christmas Day (and sometimes then some). We all know the classics: Johnny Mathis's It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You, the Trans Siberian Orchestra, and anything Bublé, but every year the stations always miss out on some underrated Christmas songs. They deserve some air time, so while these stations keep on playing White Christmas, I will show you 12 days of Christmas worth of holiday sleeper jams, as I have in 2016 and 2015.

1. Don't Shoot Me Santa by The Killers


The Killers make it on my list every year, and I forget that they actually released a Christmas album and a Christmas EP. In Don't Shoot Me Santa, frontman Brandon Flowers pleads with Santa Claus to spare his life because he has been good all year. The song may have come out ten years ago, but it still absolutely slams. One of my favorites on the list.

2. Jingle Bell Rock by Cascada


If this song were remixed into a hardcore, eurobeat remix, Cascada's Jingle Bell Rock would fit nicely with a holiday Dance Dance Revolution game, if only that existed. What we do have is a complete studio Christmas album by the dance music queen herself, so I had a hard time choosing just one for this list. In the end, I went with Jingle Bell Rock because, just like her hit "Everytime We Touch," this song goes hard from beginning to end. It never drags, and in the end isn't that what Christmas is all about?

3. Jingle Barack by SNL feat. Chance the Rapper


A very timely selection, Saturday Night Live created a Run-DMC-esque 90s Christmas song last year about seizing the day and celebrating Christmas before Donald Trump became president. The song pulls out all the stops on what a Obama-less Christmas looks like, such as when Chance the Rapper sings the line "Imma hurt myself before we lose Obamacare." On the bright side, the original DMC himself makes an appearance in the video.

4. Underneath the Mistletoe by Sia


Sia released a Christmas album this year, and radio stations seem to be sleeping on it for God knows what reason (save for the single, Santa's Coming For Us). The album takes you on an emotional sleigh ride, including Underneath the Mistletoe being one of the more heart-wrenching bumps. The music video takes on a stop-motion style reminiscent of TV movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In fact, most of the music videos from this album use this style, so after you watched this one, go listen to another song from the album.

5. Christmas Unicorn by Sufjan Stevens


Laugh that seasonal depression away with the seemingly fun and lighthearted Sufjan Stevens song. Oh, who am I kidding, a Sufjan Stevens song with both of those qualities? Unbelievable. Anyway, enjoy what Stevens has to say about the Christian holiday.

6. Frostbitten by Ivy Levan


Ivy Levan will always remain as one of the most underrated female pop artists of the latter half of the 2010s. She wields a powerhouse of a voice and unleashes it in a Christmas pop song about how different Christmas will be without her love (as most Christmas songs by female pop singers do).

7. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Death Cab for Cutie


Honestly, I only heard Michael Bublé's cover of this song, but after hearing Death Cab for Cutie's take, I think I have a new favorite. What can I say? I like the guitar strums in this one.

8. Single Hell by Hyadain


An energetic and comedic take on being single during the holidays as well as losing that Christmas magic as an adult, Japanese composer Hyadain parodies Jingle Bells (also referencing four other popular English Christmas songs) and turns it into Single Hell. A lot happens in this music video, so I advise you watch it for yourself.

9. Ski by Hyper Potions


Yes, without the title and the video it would be hard to tell that this is a Christmas song, but I always welcome EDM Christmas songs with open arms, jingling bells or not. So, enjoy.

10. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel by Enya


Oh Enya, how could I have forgotten you? Enya, you new age goddess, capable of folk, celtic, and hymnals too. You really have to be in a mood to listen to Enya, but her voice invites you for a spiritual experience. This has to be the song that plays in heaven if you die on Christmas Day. I apologize if that was too morbid.

11. Winter Wonderland by Shinee

You would be surprised by the number of K-pop Christmas songs there are, but in the end I had to go with Winter Wonderland by boy band Shinee. The members sing in Japanese, typical for most K-pop groups who often release Korean and Japanese covers of their songs. I appreciate how much of a boy band hit this sounds, with its "I wanna hold you close baby" mood and whimsical music video. I also wanted to honor one of its fallen members. It is the least I can do. Rest in peace, Kim Jonghyun.

12. Who Spiked the Eggnog? by Straight No Chaser


Last but but definitely not least is Straight No Chaser, the all male acapella group that keeps popping up in my Christmas lists. Honestly, though, who knew they released this many original Christmas songs that are all so catchy?

Happy Holidays to all, and hopefully your Christmas playlist found some new festive bangers.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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Here's Why You Shouldn't Donate to The Salvation Army This Holiday Season (Or Ever)

No, I’m not a grinch or a scrooge. I’m just a member of the LGBT+ community that is tired of seeing my community suffer at the hands of organizations that are supposed to help us.
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The holiday season is upon us, bringing mall Santas, twinkling lights, and the well-known bell ringers with their red buckets stationed outside busy department stores. The Salvation Army is a mainstay in the memories of our childhood holidays. I remember a number of years where my parents would give each of my sisters and I a handful of change to put in the shiny red bucket as we walked into Wal-Mart to shop for our family Christmas dinner. On the surface, the Salvation Army is an organization with good intentions of helping the less fortunate, especially during the holiday season. However, a quick Google search exposes the organization’s discriminatory practices.

The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian denomination and an international charitable organization. Their mission statement, as stated on their website, reads: “The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

Despite their insistence of nondiscriminatory practices, however, there have been several instances of discrimination, specifically against members of the LGBT+ community. In July 2017, a Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Brooklyn, New York, was found by the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) to be discriminating. Three other centers in New York City were also cited as being discriminatory. Violations within the four centers included refusing to accept transgender people as patients or tenants, assigning trans people rooms based on their sex assigned at birth instead of their lived gender identity, unwarranted physical examinations to determine if trans people are on hormone therapy or have had surgery, and segregating transgender patients into separate rooms. The NYCCHR had been tipped off about the mistreatment, and testers from the commission went to the cited centers and found clear evidence of the mistreatment. One of the clinics told the testers outright, “No, we don’t [accept transgender patients].” Another clinic’s representative said, “People with moving male parts would be housed with men.”

This isn’t the first time the Salvation Army has discriminated specifically against transgender people. In 2014, a transgender woman from Paris, Texas fled her home due to death threats she received related to her gender identity. The police told her, “Being the way you are, you should expect that.” She went to Dallas and found emergency shelter at the Carr P. Collins Social Service Center, run by the Salvation Army. The emergency shelter allowed her to stay for 30 days. Towards the end of her 30-day stay, she began looking for other long-term shelter options. One option many of the other women staying in the shelter had recently entered was a two-year housing program also run by the Salvation Army. When the woman interviewed for the program, she was told she was disqualified for the program because she had not had gender reassignment surgery. The counselor for the program later claimed there was a waiting list, but it came out that two women who arrived at the emergency shelter after the transgender woman had already entered the program. The transgender woman filed a complaint with Dallas’s Fair Housing Office, which protects against discrimination on the basis of gender identity. She was able to find other housing through the Shared Housing Project, a project that aims to find transgender people with housing who are willing to support those without.

The Salvation Army’s Christian affiliation drives the organization’s statements and beliefs. The church has a page on its website dedicated to its decided stance on the LGBT+ community that seems to paint a nice picture. Their actions, however, tell a different story. There have been several accounts reporting the Salvation Army’s refusal of service to LGBT+ people unless they renounce their sexuality, end same-sex relationships, or, in some cases, attend services “open to all who confess Christ as Savior and who accept and abide by The Salvation Army’s doctrine and discipline.” The church claims it holds a “positive view of human sexuality,” but then clarifies that “sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage.” This belief extends to their staff, asking LGBT+ employees to renounce their beliefs and essentially their identity in order to align with the organization. The Salvation Army believes that “The theological belief regarding sexuality is that God has ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman and sexual activity is restricted to one’s spouse. Non-married individuals would therefore be celibate in the expression of their sexuality.” Essentially, gay people can’t get married. Unmarried people can’t have sex. Therefore, gay people are forbidden from being intimate with one another. This is unfair to ask of any employee, especially considering that one’s relationship status does not interfere with how well anyone can do their job.

If you are still looking to donate to a non-homophobic and transphobic organization this holiday season, here are some great pro-LGBT+ organizations with outreach similar to that of the Salvation Army:

  • Doctors Without Borders: medical and emergency relief
  • Habitat for Humanity: homelessness and housing
  • Local homeless shelters: search the National Coalition for the Homeless’ website for shelters near you!
  • Local food bank: find your local food bank through Feeding America here.
  • The Trevor Project: a leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT+ young people ages 13-24.
Cover Image Credit: Ed Glen Today

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10 Reasons Why Having A Boyfriend Is Especially Awesome Around The Holidays

No better time of the year than Winter break to make all the memories with your honey freezing in the weather or sweating by the fireplace.

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A date for looking at Christmas lights is on the top of the list, for sure.

1. You have someone to do all of the activities with

He's like your built-in partner for everything. Wanna watch a movie? Take a nap? Need someone to help you clean your room? You've got your person.

2. You can steal his hoodies when its chilly outside

It doesn't even have to be cold for you to want to. Chances are its a size or two bigger than you need and his cologne is all over it.

3. Chances are he's more willing to drive in the snow than you are 

Guys typically have a little more of a heavy duty vehicle. If you've got a good man, he might even rescue you an hour away in a blizzard if you think you're tougher than the weather.

4. Christmas movie partner!!

Do I need to add more?

5. He can always keep you warm

Bear hugs. Cuddles. His trucks dual air 90 degree heat on your side. He'll find a way to keep you warm.

6. Your family holiday events partner

Multiple Thanksgivings and Christmas' are a breeze with your favorite person by your side. Plus, no one to ask you where your plus one is or why you're single.

7. Matching Christmas pajamas

I don't know about you, but my family has matching Christmas jammies every year. You can even get your favorite person in on them too for a cute insta picture.

8. Your errand running partner

He's your built-in Christmas shopping partner so you aren't bored standing in line forever or while you're still shopping and he can act as your place holder.

9. You aren't the only single one in your family on Christmas Eve anymore. 

It's awkward when all of your siblings are taking pictures with their others, but when you've found your person, you can do all the same things, including looking forward to your new year's kiss.

10. Making more memories

No better time of the year than Winter break to make all the memories with your honey freezing in the weather or sweating by the fireplace.

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