Songs for Christmas Cheer

I have vivid memories of listening to my mom’s old cassette tapes when we would pull out the Christmas decorations. They were recordings of scratchy, vinyl Christmas records, which made it even more special. I remember how it felt ritualistic to bring them out every year, and we always put them in a safe place so that we would be able to find them. They were the classics, nothing new and fancy. I remember “Nuttin’ for Christmas”, the 1955 version with six year old Barry Gordon was always my top favorite. But, I loved the songs like “Patapan”, “Good King Wenceslas”, and “I Saw Three Ships” because they were nothing like anything I had heard anywhere else, any other time of year. To this day, those are all some of my favorite Christmas carols, but my list has gotten much, much longer.

I decided to create a few playlists that I know are going to be perfect for this holiday season. I’m carefully curating them based on different activities, because this time of year, nothing tangles my tinsel more than trying to screw a Christmas tree base into the trunk of a Christmas tree (and keep it straight) while having a song playing in the background that makes the situation even more frustrating than it already is. Because let’s face it, that’s always the worst part of putting the tree up. Just imagine “Jing-A-Ling, Jing-A-Ling” by the Andrews Sisters playing while you do that. Nope. I think even a merry old gal like me would pick that 6ft. tree up, throw it over my shoulder, and toss that ish straight out the window. My point is that curated playlists are important this time of year, and so here we go. This is the first of several. Some songs may show up on more than just one list, because “Marshmallow World” is a perfect song for wrapping presents when it is sung by Dean Martin, but when it is sung by Darlene Love, it is perfect for a kitchen dance party while the smell of gingerbread fills the air.

Songs for Christmas Cheer:

Listen to this playlist when you need a dose of the Christmas classics to get you in the spirit of the season. When I listen to this, I imagine myself in a high-waisted midi-skirt, with a lightweight turtleneck tucked into it, a thick belt, red lipstick and my bangs bangin’, nothing but nylon on my feet since I just slipped off my heels. I’d have just finished a full day of being out in the chilly air, buying Christmas gifts and evergreen wreaths, so I’d listen to this as I sipped a winter cocktail and decorated my home with the treats I found in town. My husband would be sipping his cocktail, alternating between playing with our floppy-eared, shaggy pup, and holding tacks for me while I stood on a chair to reach just the right spot to hang the garland, and he’d give me a twirl anytime I dashed by.

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“I’m gonna tick, tick, tickle him on the tummy because he laughs so funny. He’s so jolly and so fine when he comes around on Christmas time.”  –  Brenda Lee


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