Hey folks! Max here!
So I’m not quite on my break yet, though as of posting, that might be a different story (got my COVID booster today and it’s expected to knock me back a bit). But it is the Christmas season, and I was thinking about that this week, and well … Though I can’t deliver an Axtara sequel out of thin air (sorry folks, but not even the magic of Christmas is as strong as the realities of writing), I can do some fun stuff.
And one thing that I undoubtedly like about the holiday season is its music. I love Christmas music, both the goofy fun stuff and the more solemn, thoughtful pieces. I’ve been listening to my Christmas-channel on Pandora for weeks now, enjoying every minute of it.
So hey, why not share a few of my favorite Christmas songs here? And ask all of you what yours are? At the worst, we get a few minutes of joyous Christmas music to listen to, right?
No beating around the bush here. Let’s dive right in!
Now, I don’t know if it’s just because I loved the movie as a kid or if because it captures—to me, at least—the feeling of Christmas night, but I love the song Carol of the Bells. For me, this is the song I built my Christmas Pandora playlist around. I love it. It’s a bit mysterious, but also joyous, with various versions over the years focusing on different aspects of it, but all of them good.
Compare these two versions, for example. Both are fantastic. Both great. Both the same song, but also their own takes.
Speaking of “mysterious” and “night” it’s likely no surprise that one of my other favorite Christmas songs comes from John William’s score to Home Alone (especially since, if I recall correctly, he stated he wanted to capture that very essence of the holiday with the main theme to the movie.
Which I love. The transition from the more whimsical, mysterious warmth of Christmas spirit is captured perfectly by the song. Love or hate the movie (some hate it, I know), there’s no denying that the soundtrack pure Williams at Christmas, and the motifs and themes I still find both lifting and warming every Christmas.
Maybe there’s a running theme then, as I present another one of my favorite Christmas songs, Angels We Have Heard on High. It’s powerful, stirring, and evocative. And plus I loved belting out the chorus as a kid. Still do, actually. I sing this every Christmas without fail.
Again, there are a lot of versions of it out there, often multiples from the same group (I’m not even sure the video I dropped above is the one I remember the most). But it’s hard to go wrong, honestly, when the song is so good.
You’ll definitely recognize another one of my favorites as well, since it’s similar with a chorus that’s meant to rise higher and higher with every verse.
While it’s not as … high-energy as Angels We Have Heard on High and instead more solemn, there’s still that building rise that lifts through the whole song.
An element shared by this next piece as well. From Handel’s Messiah, which you’ve probably heard of, I’ve always preferred For Unto us a Child is Born. Largely for the fantastic crescendo of celebration it builds to. You’ve doubtlessly heard it, but either way, if you listen to one song on here and are thinking “Do I know that one?” hit this one!
Just chills. Fantasic.
Of course, Christmas isn’t all solemn, reverent music. Sometimes it’s just plain fun, as with the pure whiplash to our next classic, which may be a classic but it’s hard not to love it.
I mean come on. How could this not make this list? How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of the classic Christmas tales up there with A Christmas Carol (which almost made this list in the Muppet version). You’ve all heard it, but it just isn’t Christmas without someone referencing this classic story.
Me? I’ll take the original TV special or the Illumination adaptation. I don’t care for the Jim Carrey flick.
You’ve probably heard the next one here too, in various versions, though I’m pretty fond of the “bounciness” of the version I’m linking here. But the Bing Crosby version is one of the highest selling Christmas singles of all time, so you’ve definitely heard it at some point. But …
Now granted, I’m from Alaska, so it’s natural for there to be snow at Christmas. It doesn’t feel like the season without it. Between that and the catchiness of this cover of the song … Well, it puts me in the mind for a cup of hot chocolate.
One more! I won’t say much about this, but it’s one of those great mash-ups that, once you’ve heard it, you almost can’t not hear. Courtesy of The OneUps, here’s Super Mario’s Sleigh Ride!
And … well, that’s not a complete list. Not by any means. There are plenty of other Christmas songs I enjoy, but … What about you, readers? What are some of your favorite Christmas songs for the season? Now is the time to comment below! Leave some youtube links! What are the songs that to you, are the Christmas season?
I look forward to listening! Merry Christmas folks!