Christmas is without a doubt my favorite holiday of the year. I absolutely adore everything about the holiday. From the presents and the decorations, all the way to the time we get to spend with our loved ones, I don’t think any other day captures the spirit of peace on Earth and goodwill towards men, than Christmas.
One of the things that epitomizes the feeling of Christmas, for me, is the music. I’m a crazy Christmas person, so I typically start listening to a few of the holiday classics before the calendar even hits December.
While there’s certainly no shortage of Christmas songs and albums worth celebrating, today I’d like to share just a few of my favorites:
I like to start my holiday celebrations with something simple, but appropriate. In this case, I’m talking about Vince Guaraldi Trio’s O Tannenbaum, also known as O Christmas Tree. This particular rendition of the song appeared on the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Similar to the majority of the songs on the album, O Tannenbaum is a smooth jazz piano piece, and it manages to paint a nostalgic picture of a snowy field, with kids ice skating on a frozen lake.
While O Tannenbaum is light and simple, Andy Williams’ It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year is anything but. This song is upbeat and bombastic, complete with horns and sleigh bells. Second only to one other song, It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year perfectly accentuates the joy that comes with Christmas. The enthusiasm of the band, in conjunction with Williams’ infectious voice never fails to get me extremely excited for the coming holiday.
Next up we have Bing Crosby’s version of It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas. This is a great piece to follow the previous song, as it’s very light and whimsical. It acts as kind of a palette cleanser to all the cheer and joy of Andy Williams. This song makes me think of some of the simpler, and more traditional things about Christmas. Snow, trees, decorations, gingerbread, and snuggling up by the fire — this Bing Crosby makes me appreciate all of these things and more.
Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song (Chestnuts) is arguably the most popular vocal Christmas song. I’ve used some variant of the word simple to describe most of the songs I’ve talked about, and I’m going to have to apply it to this one as well. The lyrics to this song are so pure and simple that it’s almost as if Nat King Cole was simply saying them. “Chestnuts roasting by an open fire, tiny tots with their eyes all aglow," — these sentiments are an awesome representation of the last few nights before Christmas.
Rascal Flatts’ rendition of I’ll Be Home For Christmas is definitely the most modern appearance on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful. Their version is completely acapella, and the group sings of making it home to their loved ones in time for the holidays. The songs accompanying music video actually features the guys stranded at an airport while on tour, and they break into the song as they recount memories of home.
Last but not least, we have Silent Night. I’ll never forget being a kid on Christmas Eve, and having the story of baby Jesus told to me. Ever since that day, I’ve always associated Silent Night with Christmas Eve. Whenever I hear this song, I picture little girls and boys asleep in their beds, dreaming of the toys they’ll receive on Christmas morning. I picture mom and dad scrambling to wrap the last few presents, and I picture jolly, old Saint Nick soaring through the sky to make Christmas wishes come true.The songs that I’ve listed today don’t even scratch the surface of fantastic holiday tunes. There are dozens and dozens of other pieces out there, each one capturing a different Christmas sentiment. These 6 songs just happen to be a few of my favorites, and I simply can’t make it through the holiday without them on repeat.