You guys! It’s Christmastime!
Oh man, I’m jazzed.
There are many things I love about Christmastime, like peppermint mochas, Elf, and driving around looking at decorated houses. But my favorite thing is definitely the music.* Christmas music is the best type of music, and yes, that’s probably because it’s only socially acceptable to listen to it for one month out of the year.
I wanted to share some of my favorite Christmas music with you, but I couldn’t decide what type of list to make… so I made a bunch! Get ready to learn about a bunch of weird and wonderful Christmas tunes, and don’t forget to subscribe to my Spotify playlist to get everything in one place.
Top 3 weirdest Christmas songs:
1. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – This song is just plain creepy. It’s literally about a woman trying to leave a man’s house and him harassing her until she finally gives in and stays. Some people say the woman is just playing hard to get and she really wants to stay, but I contend that the man is just a straight-up creeper. And somehow this is a Christmas song? I’ll never understand.
2. “Let It Snow” by Boyz II Men – Oh, Boyz II Men. You’ve gotta love them, because they managed to make an entire Christmas album about sex. “Let It Snow” is probably the weirdest track on this album, because the idea is, “hey, it’s snowing outside, so let’s stay inside and stay warm,” but then Wanya and company bust out lyrics like, “Ohhhh, come over here and help me trim the tree” and you’re like, “huh… now I’m not sure if he means a literal Christmas tree?” And then you listen to the song and realize, “he most definitely does NOT mean a literal Christmas tree” but you’re still not totally sure what he means. All you know is, whatever he means is dir-tay.
3. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” – Let’s just say, I’ve got a lot of questions about this one. First of all, why is Mommy awake when Santa comes? And where is Daddy? And why is Santa cheating on Mrs. Claus? And if Santa has to visit a couple billion kiddos in one night, how does he have time for a random makeout session? The guy works one night a year and he can’t keep his focus? Also, an actual lyric of this song is “Oh, what a laugh it would have been, If Daddy had only seen, Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night!” Now, I know children may not totally be able to grasp what adultery is, but does this kid really think laughter is an appropriate response? Does he actually think his father would’ve laughed if he’d seen his wife kissing another man? I mean, who knows… maybe Santa was the celebrity on that’s mom’s “cheat list,” but somehow I doubt it.
Top 3 overlooked Christmas albums:
1. “Christmas on Death Row” by various artists – I don’t really need to offer an explanation because this album is probably exactly what you think it’d be based on the title. Rappers like Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg sing some standard Christmas songs like “Frosty the Snowman,” and some new ones like “Party 4 Da Homies.” If you’re looking for these songs on my Spotify playlist, they’re the ones that say “explicit” next to them. There’s actually a song on this album called “Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto” and if that doesn’t make you want to listen to this album, you should probably just stop reading because you’re not going to like any of my other recommendations.
2. “Christmas in the Sand” by Colbie Callait – Colbie Callait is one of those artists everyone’s heard of, but most people couldn’t name one of her songs or pick her out of a lineup. But you guys, if you’re not listening to her, you should be. All of her songs make me feel like I’m sitting on the beach at dusk, drinking a glass of pinot greege and listening to her serenade everyone with her guitar and her lovely voice. And if you want more out of a musical experience than that, I can’t help you. Anyway, the songs on this album are your standard Christmas tunes, but with her beachy flair. So if you want to have Christmas in the snow (like me) but also secretly love the idea of Christmas in the sand, this album is for you.
3. “Christmas with the Glenn Miller Orchestra” – OK, let me rephrase… this is a “top album you’ve overlooked” if you’re under 80. If you’re over 80, you’ve been listening to Glenn for 60 years and you’re like, “why does this girl think I’ve never heard of this album?” If you’re over 80, you’re probably also not reading this blog, but let’s move on. This album is great because if there’s any time of year to rock out to some good old fashioned jazzy orchestral beats, it’s definitely Christmastime. Listen to his jazzy version of “Sleigh Ride” and try NOT to start swaying in your chair. I dare ya.
Top 3 artists who should make full-length Christmas albums based on one Christmas song:
1. The Civil Wars – I was hesitant to even add them to this list, because the wounds from their recent breakup are still so fresh and I’m having trouble maintaining composure. But, I have to include them on this list, because the only Christmas song they’ve released is “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” and it leaves me wanting more. So much more. Their harmonies are just ridiculous. I’m crying now. Get back together, Joy and John. NOW.
2. fun. – First of all, I can’t ever talk about fun. without first clarifying that YES I liked them before they were famous, I saw them in concert before they were famous, etc etc etc. K, good. Just had to get that out there so you know how cool I think I am. Now please go listen to their version of “Sleigh Ride.” (I’m making you listen to a lot of versions of that song, aren’t I?) It’s delightful. If they made an entire Christmas album, it’d probably be the only thing I listened to all December. Or all year…
3. Lennon & Maisy – If you are not familiar with Lennon & Maisy, please immediately stop reading and go their YouTube channel and watch every video they’ve ever made. They are the most precious (and talented) children of all time, and if I have two daughters, you better believe I’m going to make them emulate Lennon & Maisy. They released one Christmas song this year called “Christmas Coming Home” and it’s just the cutest thing you’ve ever heard. Also it will likely make you depressed that you’re less talented than a 9-year-old, but, in a good way…
Top 3 songs/albums from megachurches: (I know, this is a weird category. Well, I’m a weird Christian, so there ya go)
1. “Comfort & Joy” – Folk Angel – So, if you’re an evangelical Christian in America you’ve probably heard of The Village Church in Texas where Matt Chandler preaches. (If you aren’t, please look him up and listen to one of his sermons because it’s a billion times more important than reading what I’m writing here. Whoa. It just got REAL serious up in here. But for real, check him out.) Anyway, some guys from his church have a band called Folk Angel and they make pretty amazing Christmas albums every year. Except this year. What’s up with that, guys? What, do you have other jobs and families or something? But they made a great one LAST year and you should listen to it. My favorite song on the album is probably “The Christmas Tree,” which Matt’s wife Lauren sings on.
2. North Point Church’s (Alpharetta, GA) Christmas iMedley – You guys. When I watch this, I literally am not sure whether to just stare in disbelief, dance along to the songs, or laugh hysterically. You just have to watch it to see. Lennon & Maisy, I’m sorry but you’ve been unseated as the whitest people on this list. Take your guitars and your hipster glasses away and move to the second-place position. You put up a good fight, but you can’t beat these guys because you’re not making music WITH YOUR IPHONES. The honor of “whitest on this list” now belongs to the guys in this video using their APPLE PRODUCTS to make music at the MEGACHURCH while wearing FLANNEL OMG ARE YOU KIDDING. And don’t be fooled by the one black guy on stage. He is still whiter than most white people in this country. My number one question I’m going to ask Jesus some day is what he thought of this video.
3. “Joy Has Dawned” – King’s Kaleidoscope – I could go on and on about this album, but just trust me – you must listen to it. For some reason (oh maybe because they’re good musicians? DUH Lauren) I connect on a very deep level with this group’s music. And yes, I’m aware that most of their music are either hymns or based on hymns, but they’ve made me appreciate the art of arranging music and giving it new life. All of their music is great, but I’m especially loving this new Christmas album (or EP, I’m gonna be honest with you guys and say right now, right here, I don’t know the difference). Auld Lang Syne is probably my favorite Christmas song and I actually think it’s more of a New Year’s song, but their version of it gives it new meaning and is so, so, so beautiful. This album has really helped me enter this Christmas season in a worshipful way, so I strongly recommend it. It’s fantastic.
That’s all, guys. Go forth and listen to awesome (and weird!) Christmas music!
*Jesus is obviously not only the best thing about Christmas but the reason this season – and our lives – have any importance at all. But still, it’s fun to celebrate the dumb other stuff, too.