Let’s face it, some people love Christmas music and others don’t. I understand both sides of the coin. I love Christmas music in general, but I think I’d rather pour hot tar in my ears than hear Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” one more time. Here are some suggestions for holiday playlists that will keep the mistletoe fans happy while not driving the aural Scrooges crazy.
Look for new versions of the classics.
Mainstream music has a tendency to choose a microscopic sample of available content in any given genre and run it into the ground. Holiday music is no exception, and hearing not only the same songs, but the same arrangements and recordings of these songs over and over again can drive you crazy. So, find different versions of the classic songs and see if they don’t go down a little easier. Consider these:
Lew Stone and His Band – “Winter Wonderland”
Going vintage is a good way to find different versions of the standards that offer a fresh perspective. Here’s one from the late 1930s.
Chet Atkins – “Silver Bells”
Guitar great Chet Atkins’ take on the winter holidays is one that will please fans of great guitar work and yuletide enthusiasts alike. Here’s a wonderful rendition of “Silver Bells.”
Sappy lyrics are a frequently cited reason for hating seasonal songs. Regardless of where you stand on Christmas music, you have to admit that some lyrics are maddeningly precious. So, take them out of the equation! You won’t have to look far to find a plethora of instrumental versions of nearly any Christmas song. Here are a couple to get you started.
The Ventures – “Sleigh Ride”
I don’t know how anyone could dislike this version of “Sleigh Ride” by surf rock legends the Ventures. Despite the obvious conflict of surf vs. snow, this genre of instrumental rock has a lot to offer during the holiday season.
Moog Machine – “Silent Night”
Electronic music buffs will love this, and hopefully everybody else will too!
Find songs that are new to everyone.
As I stated earlier, hearing the same songs over and over again can get old, even if you’re a fan. So, why not dig into the nearly endless treasure trove of songs that have slipped through the cracks? There are some great ones out there, such as:
Holly Golightly – “Christmas Tree On Fire”
Here’s a novelty country rocker that will keep the hipsters at bay.
Staple Singers – “Who Took the Merry out of Christmas”
Holiday or not, this is a soul powerhouse! Even if you’re at odds with the religious message, you’ll groove with this.
Hopefully these tips will help resolve any music-related squabbles that can put a damper on the merriment. Best of luck coming up with a playlist that will please everyone. Here’s one that I made on Spotify that you can use to test the (frozen) waters.