Every year I think of it as my personal mission to mix up our Christmas Mix a bit. Now, don’t get me wrong, I will always have Little Drummer Boy (preferably with David Bowie) and as many Brat Pack and Johnny Mathis sung carols as I can get on one iTunes list. But, now and again it’s nice to hear something different or maybe the same with a new twist.
I have a whole list thanks to Spotify this year (sucks to you Taylor Swift) but I’ll limit today’s to just a few songs I think everyone needs for cookie baking and figgy pudding clean up.
Wonderful Christmastime-The Shins: I love a band unafraid to cover an iconic song and even rearrange it a bit. It’s just a beat or two slower but the differences make it great(er).
Children Go Where I Send Thee- Nick Lowe: Admittedly, this is a personal choice because it reminds me of The Husband’s crazy family, specifically his aunt who tries in vain every year to get us all to sing it after we’ve exhausted our Whisky-Soured selves on the 12 days of Christmas (Oh, yes, there is a King family sing on Christmas. Albeit, after many, many cocktails.) Anywhoo, I think this was a favorite of the Grands and Aunts and Uncles back in the day but it just doesn’t take as well now. And yet, when Nick Lowe does it, I sure love it. Oh, and any King’s reading, this video has the lyrics. So, maybe we’ll do better this year.
May Ev’ry Day Be Christmas: Irma Thomas with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band: If every song could sound like this (The Horns! Those twinkling ivories! This voice!) I’d be happy.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- Phil Wickham: Every once in a while for work I get a free “Christian Music” CD to preview. This one came last year at holiday time and I fell in love with this guy’s arrangements and his voice. This is my favorite, but I love every song on his Songs for Christmas album. At least go check out The First Noel and Evermore if you can make it past the “trips to the Holy Land” ads at the front end!
Nutcracker- Straight No Chaser: This one’s for The Baby. Every year the kids at school “get” to go see this show and this year the youngest admitted he quite hates this day. It was one of those parenting moments where I was at a loss for anything good to say because, quite frankly, I could do without it too. This song, though is so creative and just fun, even if you do like the ballet.
Christmas is Coming-John Denver and The Muppets: Because, it’s just not Christmas without Gonzo, Animal, Janice and Beeker singing in rounds.
What Are You Doing New Years Eve-The Head and the Heart- My nerdy husband used to sing this to me back in the day when I thought he was sooooo romantic for doing that so it will always have a special place in my heart. I’m just happy The Head and The Heart came along so I can replace the Donny Osmond version The Husband added to our mix!
Christmas Song-Dave Matthews: I think I put this on last year. I will put it on every year. It’s my favorite.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.