In the past I’ve shared playlists created for running. Today, being it’s the holiday season and I am far too pregnant to banter about any running playlists, I give thee Britta’s 2012 Christmas Favorites.
With no further ado, today’s playlist features…
1. Carol of the Bells by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland
3. White Christmas by Bing Crosby
4. O Come, All Ye Faithful by Faith Hill
5. Away in a Manger by Tammy Wynette
6. Joy to the World by Nat King Cole
7. Angels We Have Heard on High by Andrea Bocelli
8. O Tannebaum by Jonny Hill
9. Christmas Waltz by Frank Sinatra
10. Christmas Time is Here (Charlie Brown) by Vince Guaraldi Trio
11. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams
12. O Holy Night by Jewel
13. If We Make it Through December by Merle Haggard
14. Auld Lang Syne by Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis
These tunes all carry special meaning in my heart this time of year so I decided to create a compilation of all my favorites that I could put on repeat this Christmas season.
The true meaning behind these Christmas songs?
1. Carol of the Bells — Hello, can you get any more amped up for Christmas than you can while listening to this song? If I were a ring tone, I would be this song. Plus, this song just makes me think of scenes from Home Alone, and who doesn’t love the occasional viewing of Home Alone this time of year? It makes me feel like a kid again. I choose a rendition by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir because my brother went to college in Salt Lake City, and one year while visiting, my mother and I had the wonderful experience of listening to them live.
2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas — By Judy Garland. Enough said. Her angelic voice makes me want to curl up in front of a fireplace and remember what it felt like to have my mother lovingly stroke my hair on Christmas Eve when I was Lance’s age (assuming she did that). This song makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. Who needs hot chocolate when you have Judy Garland singing this song?
3. White Christmas — Classic song sung by the classic artist Bing Crosby. I grew up in a wintry climate and we always had white Christmases. I do have to dream for them a little living in the south, but Christmases will always be white in my world.
4. O Come, All Ye Faithful — Another pump me up kind of a song with a Praise the Lord kind of rhythm and lyrics. Faith Hill, you do it justice for me.
5. Away in a Manger — This song takes me back to nursery school when myself and another little boy were soloists at our Christmas program. I sang the first verse and he sang the second verse as we held hands on the stage in front of all the parents. This song will alway remind me of that memory, even though it mostly only exists through a picture and my mother’s retelling of the story. Those were the days… my first and last performance as a singer. I choose Tammy Wynette because I love a little country with my Little Lord Jesus. And had my singing career ever taken off, I would totally sing country.
6. Joy to the World — A lift me up and fly me higher into a state of happy oblivion for all who Believe. Thank you, Nat King Cole.
7. Angels We Have Heard on High — More church music, but in the spirit of remembering the true meaning of Christmas and the disclosing the true meaning of my playlist I could not sleep tonight if I didn’t include this song. I can almost feel myself tucked into a pew squished between my brothers on Christmas Eve as the congregation sang this hymn, and I silently longed to be on stage again – this time belting out Glo-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-ri-a in Ex-cel-sis De-o! Kidding about that last part. Kind of. As for Andrea Bocelli? Muah, I love thee!
8. O Tannebaum — Since we are a cross-cultural family I had to pay homage to my husband’s German roots with this Christmas classic. Most English-speaking folks know it, too! Err, uhh, at least the first word and tune. Jonny Hill, I don’t really know who you are, but I like your style.
9. Christmas Waltz — This song caught my attention while watching Season 5, episode 10 of Mad Men titled, no other than, ‘Christmas Waltz’. No Christmas playlist is complete without you, Frank Sinatra. In my previous life, it was me instead of Joan sitting in a dark NYC bar being consoled by Don Draper and then dancing to this song in stilettos and 60’s hair.
10. Christmas Time is Here (Charlie Brown) — Nostalgia, nostalgia, nostalgia. I haven’t watched A Charlie Brown Christmas yet this year, but I cannot wait to snuggle up and watch it with Lance soon. In the meantime, the Vince Guaraldi Trio brings back all the memories of watching the Peanuts gang, rooting for the underdog tree, and Linus reciting the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, versus 8 through 14. Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!
11. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year — True, true! This song gets it right. Andy Williams got it right when he sang it, too. Again, I want to be in NYC in the 60’s – this time Christmas shopping on Fifth Ave with Saks bags lazily slung on my wrist as I saunter down the street, snow falling in my hair on my way to a gathering with loved ones.
12. O Holy Night — This is my, dare I say, most favorite Christmas song of all time. It speaks to me. From deep within I feel this song in so many ways. From the first time I remember really listening to the lyrics as they blared from outdoor speakers by the chairlift at Denton Hill as I skied down the slopes at night zipping alongside my latest crush to, again, memories from church. And, O Jewel is all I can say. This album was released in November of 1999. I was a sophomore in college at Virginia Tech where I purchased this CD. Fourteen years later it’s still a favorite. Jewel forever!
13. If We Make it Through December — Just for fun. I am not sure if it’s actually considered a “Christmas song”, but the country girl in me needed a little Merle Haggard her a playlist. No one’s dog dies, but daddy gets laid off and cannot afford a Christmas tree. Times are tough, but hope prevails.
14. Auld Lang Syne — I had to end on a song celebrating the start of a New Year. Let’s all virtually join hands and allow the emotions of “endings/new beginnings” trump all other thoughts for a moment. This version by Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis comes from The Sex and the City movie soundtrack. Amen, love this version. Tonight, as I write, I am Carrie Bradshaw.
This evening, after dinner, Lance & I listened to my playlist in iTunes as we played with little cars on the rug in his room. We lit our German Christmas pyramid (Weihnachtspyramide), that I lovingly used to decorate his changing table since his diaper days are behind us, and relished in the moment. Especially me. Jan is traveling for work this week, and Lance is far too young to understand the true meanings behind all of these songs, but I quietly savored each track.
‘Tis the season.
Not a creature is stirring in my house.
I am a happy, Christmas-loving sap.
Good tunes are softly playing in the background.
The eggnog awaits me in the refrigerator… but first:
What Christmas songs do you listen to on repeat this time of year? What do these songs mean to you or make you remember?