Thursday, December 5, 2013

Music To Lift Your Spirits This Holiday Season

It's the most wonderful time of the year! There are so many reasons Christmas is my favorite holiday season. One of the main reasons? CHRISTMAS MUSIC. To spread the joy, I compiled a list of holiday albums (and one especially superb song) that Chloe and I have been listening to every December since I can remember.

Listen to our Holiday Playlist on Spotify!

1. A Very Veggie Christmas - Veggie Tales

3. Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy - Jack Black & Jason Segel

4. Snowden's Holiday Party - various artists

5. A Fresh Aire Christmas - Mannheim Steamroller

6. Home For Christmas - Amy Grant

7. A Rosie Christmas - Rosie O'Donnell

 "EXCUSE ME EVERYONE! HELLO! CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE? HELLO?" yells Bob the tomato before announcing the first-ever Veggie Tale Christmas party. We've listened to this album so many times, each year Chloe and I theatrically recite the dialogue in between each song. Our personal favorites are The Boar's Head Carol (a "lovely song with a fascinating story behind it") and The 8 Polish Foods Of Christmas, a scrumptious new twist on the classic Twelve Days Of Christmas. We were always a little creeped out (still are) by Buzz-Saw Louie's rendition of Grumpy Kids, but it has a good message about the spirit of Christmas.
Who doesn't love this heartwarming classic? There's just something about Burl Ives singing, "You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen..." that always has me feeling nostalgic during the holidays. Chloe and I have been belting We Are Santa's Elves nonstop this season (to the great pleasure of our neighbors), while chanting We're A Couple Of Misfits with the sorely misunderstood elf Hermey (who just wants to be a dentist for goodness sakes!). Of course, there's the timeless Silver And Gold (also performed by Ives), a perfect number to get you in the tree-decorating mood.

Two of my favorite actors come together on what is (in my personal opinion) the greatest rendition of Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy I have ever heard. The song starts out with a dialogue: Segel arrives at Black's house, and the two wind up singing the holiday carol accompanied by a piano that has been sprinkled with magic winter dust by Santa himself (or so Black claims). What happens next is, well, pretty freakin' awesome. The song is available on iTunes, but also be sure to watch the short animation on YouTube.

We all know the beloved Frosty the snowman, but there is another, highly underrated but equally cool animated snow character. His name is Snowden. As a child, I was obsessed with Snowden. I watched all The Adventures of Snowden cartoons, Snowden's holiday special, and even had a stuffed toy Snowden. So naturally, when the Snowden soundtrack came out, I had that too. It has all the classic holiday songs you look for in a Christmas album (my personal favorite being Let It Snow) along with a very...well...different rendition of Deck The Halls. While I was disappointed that I couldn't find it on Spotify (or any music outlet for that matter), this is one CD that ought not be overlooked.

While I was compiling this holiday playlist, there was one person I consulted who I deem the "Christmas Music Expert": my mom. After all, she was the one who introduced me to all of these albums (except for the Jack Black/Jason Segel track, which Chloe and I purchased on iTunes after hearing it on TV). She mentioned Mannheim Steamroller, which I clearly remember listening to growing up. The primarily instrumental album starts off with an energetic Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, followed by an ominous Veni Veni, which sounds like something you'd hear in a Catholic church in the Vatican. These are your traditional Christmas songs infused with trumpets, Mario-Nintendo-esque sounds, and Irish woodland fairy flutes.

While I only listed Amy Grant's Home For Christmas CD on this holiday playlist, her A Christmas Album is equally as good (just listen to her version of Emmanuel and try to disagree with me!). She does a splendid job with It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (making even the Scrooge-iest hum bogs in us delight) and could silence any room with Breath Of Heaven (Mary's Song). Whether you're cooking or decorating, be sure to crank up Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree because it's just. plain. FUN.

Last, but certainly not least, we have A Rosie Christmas. If you like fun, lighthearted, upbeat tunes, this album has your name all over it. Starting out strong with Celine Dion's powerhouse vocals on The Magic Of Christmas Day (God Bless Us Everyone), the CD unfolds with duets from the ever-infamous Elmo (Do You Hear What I Hear?) to Angelica Pickles (from Rugrats) on the cheeky I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. Rosie teams up with Donny Osmond (and his dreamy voice) on Winter Wonderland. To simply state it: if you don't add this to your holiday mix, you're missing out.

What are your favorite holiday albums? We're always looking for new gems to spice up the season :)



What I'm listening to: my Holiday Playlist of course!

Photo designed by Taylor in PicMonkey

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