It can be tough to define "good" Christmas music.
Oh sure, the bad stuff is easy to pinpoint, but how does one actually go about proclaiming something as subjective as an individual Christmas song "good"? Everyone has different tastes, and, musically, Christmas is very different for each individual who celebrates the holiday. After all, everyone's got a different idea of the ideal Christmas soundtrack dancing like visions of sugarplums in their heads. For me, Christmas isn't Christmas without Bing Crosby's White Christmas album. For my wife, it's got to be Manheim Steamroller's Christmas. But maybe you're into something different.
The question is: how diverse are your tastes?
The folks behind the "NOW" CDs have put together three two-disc compilations, all titled "NOW That's What I Call Christmas!" From the track listings (each two-disc set contains 36 "classic songs from Christmases past and present"), it would appear to the casual observer that these discs contain the biggest and most popular Christmas songs in the public consciousness, but are they really the treasure troves of "good" Christmas music they appear to be?
Here's a listing of what each CD set offers:
NOW That’s What I Call Christmas!
1. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) - Nat King Cole
2. White Christmas - Bing Crosby
3. Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Xmas - Frank Sinatra
5. Winter Wonderland - Tony Bennett
6. Sleigh Ride - Ella Fitzgerald
7. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Dean Martin
8. (There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays - Perry Como
9. The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - Johnny Mathis
10. A Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives
11. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
12. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer - Elmo & Patsy
13. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
14. Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms
15. Little Saint Nick - The Beach Boys
16. Merry Christmas Darling - Carpenters
17. Christmas Collage - Kathy Mattea
18. Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth - David Bowie & Bing Crosby
1. Happy Christmas (War Is Over) - John & Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band
2. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town - Bruce Springsteen
3. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
4. Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney
5. Our Love Is Like A Holiday - Michael Bolton
6. (It Must Have Been Ol') Santa Claus - Harry Connick, Jr.
7. Jingle Bells - Diana Krall
8. Away In A Manger - Mannheim Steamroller
9. Deck The Halls - Ottmar Liebert
10. Love On Layaway - Gloria Estefan
11. Don't Save It All For Christmas Day - Celine Dion
12. This Christmas - Joe
13. Special Gift - The Isley Brothers
14. All We Need Is Love (Christmas In The Yard) - The Big Yard Family
15. My Only Wish (This Year) - Britney Spears
16. You Don't Have To Be Alone (On Christmas) - *NSYNC
17. O Come All Ye Faithful - Luther Vandross
18. Silent Night - Boyz II Men