Ahh, Christmas music. Or should I say, “muzak.” You’ve all heard it, the cheesy oft times annoying drivel you hear walking through the mall, or even in coffee shops, that tell us of jingling bells, sleigh rides, dreams about white christmases, and stories of overweight bearded men who seem to know everything about your children. It is ubiquitous this time of year (I should get double points for using *ubiquitous* in a sentence, don’t you think?). It cannot be avoided, but it CAN be edited.
It’s not that I don’t like Christmas, I actually do. I just hate the tinsel and the marketing. Still many people who celebrate Christmas have their own idea of what makes Christmas “Christmas.” Most people that celebrate Christmas have that one thing that gives them, as many put it, “that Christmas feeling” (I know, it’s the title of a song…still..bear with me here.). For me, it’s not Manheim Steamroller’s over the top new age inspired music or anything other of that sort, that music only serves to make me feel nauseas. For me, there are precious few Christmas albums that I actually enjoy, and by consequence, own. They are, as follows, and in no particular order;
- Celtic Christmas III
I don’t have any of the others in this series, but have heard from people that this is the best, and I am inclined to believe them. It doesn’t have modern day traditional songs on it, nor does it have much singing at all, only a bit, and even that is understated. It has old traditional songs like the Wexford Carol, and others. It is well done, and not cheesy like many other Celtic music compilations.
- Cheery, Vol. 1
This is a collection of all those cheesy Christmas carols you remember, only they are done by Ambient artists. This lends a strange twist to many of the old standards, and I like that alot.
- Jethro Tull Christmas Album
I don’t actually own this one, but I own alot of other Tull, and recognize the songs listed on this collection. This is winter Tull. Tull, for me, is like a nice tall dark winter ale. Rich in flavor, very strong, and will last you all winter long. A good choice for more non-traditional music.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
Ok, I know, this is pretty typical. But you can’t deny the fact that there’s some pretty good jazz going on here. Vince Guaraldi, while not the best jazz musician in the world, has some pretty good chops, and puts together a nice little band. This one will bring back memories, to be sure.
- Jingle Cats
Ok, this one I actually hate. I just had to list it though, first because it is simply amazing to me that someone can make this much money basically having fun with samples of cats meowing, and second, because my kids like it for some reason. You know what is really scary about this? This is only volume 1 of the Jingle Cats collection! What is this world coming to?
So, that’s my list. Not much, I know. I have pretty simple holiday musical tastes. I generally use these when my little family wants to listen to something “Christmassy,” or when I want to create some sort of “magical Christmas atmosphere” for my two little boys. Well, the Tull one isn’t good for this, but the Celtic Christmas III and the Cheery are good for this.
Anyway, good Christmas to all of you who celebrate it, and a very happy new year to us all.
I’ve just been chastised and must make an addition/adendum to this post, as per my wife’s instructions. I honestly did forget this one though.
- Bing Crosby – That Christmas Feeling
Of the myriad of Chrismas music that Bing pumped out, I like this one the best. Not sure why, I just do. I guess, what I’m saying is, if you have to have Bing crooning around Christmastime, this is the best one, in my opinion, to have on hand for just that purpose.