One of my favorite things about Christmas is listening to some of our favorite holiday songs together, usually in the car while running errands with the family – sometimes while cooking or cleaning. We’ve been slowly collecting a “family” collection of songs from artists like Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, BNL, Michael Buble’, etc.
In years past I’ve made Christmas CDs with 12-15 favorites (always an excruciating task) but with smartphones being as amazing as they are, now I can keep all our Christmas music on my SD card and just throw it all in a playlist on my phone.
Here are some of my favorite “modern” Christmas songs, aka, songs produced in the last 10 years or so.
1. Zooey Deschanel has done two versions of this song technically – both the version from the movie Elf which I loved and also this clever rendition of Baby, It’s Cold Outside (click to download the mp3 on Amazon for only .69 cents right now!) on her She & Him holiday album where the roles are reversed – which has become a really popular spin on the song in recent years (did anyone else see the version with Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon Levitt?). I really love this whole album actually and it’s only $6.99 for the mp3 version on Amazon right now.
2. An oldie but a goodie in our family is The Elf’s Lament from Barenaked for the Holidays by BNL – this is another instance of “loved the whole album” which I consider somewhat rare but if you are only going to get one song from the record, this is the one I’d recommend. The whole family loves this one and I love that it’s an original song and not yet another Christmas cover song.
3. I adore the song Mary, Did You Know? and have loved it since hearing it live way back when the hubby and I were first married (I think) but I had a hard time tracking down a recorded version that had repeat play appeal. This one by Clay Aiken is my favorite right now (and I’m not a huge Clay Aiken fan in general, but he does a great job with this song). The album itself is hit or miss for me, I consider this a case of “just buy the one song” personally but if you are a Clayhard then you might like the whole album.
4. I heard this version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by Jack Johnson while sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop one morning last year and I’ll confess, I immediately tracked it down on Amazon MP3 and downloaded it like literally on the spot. If you secretly love the Curious George Soundtrack, you will LOVE this song, too. It’s a big hit with my kids but I probably love it even more. I especially like the slightly changed lyrics.
5. I’m one of those people who thinks that Michael Buble’ could probably sing the phone book and it would sound good so I personally think that his entire Christmas album is an essential addition to my holiday music collection. I had a hard time choosing just one song but settled on Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas because I think his voice is perfectly suited to the song. But seriously, buy the whole album. Bonus: It’s only $5.99 on Amazon right now (again for the mp3 version)! That’s an insanely good deal!
-edit- I didn’t think this deal could get better, but it’s on sale today for $2.99!!
And now for the part where I confess that I’m bad at math / following rules and I actually have two more songs / musicians that I wanted to share with you. These two fall in the line of “internet sensation” / something a little extra special – so of course some you tube videos are in order.
If you guys don’t already know and love Pomplamoose, you are seriously missing out and should probably head to their You Tube Page and check out some more videos immediately. What’s so amazing, Jen? Well rather then just playing a song in the studio and then making a clever video later, their videos actually show their entire musical process at once – which they do from start to finish by themselves. You may need to watch the video to understand. Also, Nataly Dawn – the cute female singing – has an incredible voice. That alone makes the songs pay money-worthy. Now this video of Jingle Bells is also part ad because some clever ad execs caught onto the popularity of Pomplamoose and offered them a gig doing ads for them. Pretty nifty cool, right?
B. Little Drummer Boy by Pentatonix
My husband told me about Pentatonix recently and by “told me about” I mean “was totally gushing” and he’s not one to gush lightly so obviously I headed to you tube to give them a listen and yeah – they are kind of amazing. I guess they were on that show, The Sing Off, but I’ve never seen it so I have no details to offer you about that. All I know is that they are an immensely talented acapella group to the point that at multiple points in the song I had to remind myself, “holy cow, this is acapella!!”. This version of Little Drummer Boy is one of my new favorites and if you are loving it as much as we are, you can buy their album on iTunes.
I didn’t want to clutter up this post with you tube videos because it tends to make pages load faster and god forbid the songs all load at once or something dumb like that – so I’m only showing you three videos here on this post that I think are essential viewing. I apologize if it’s three too many!
By the way, I am not getting paid to share all these links, I just wanted to make it easy for you to get the songs for yourself if you find yourself hooked on them. You’re totally welcome!
What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?