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My super-fantastic holly-jolly Christmas mix tape
by
 Mollee_Francisco
Dec 02, 2010 | 1012 views | 19 19 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink



I love Christmas music.



I love it so much, in fact, that I have been known to check as soon as midnight after Halloween looking for stations that have made the switch over to holiday music.



My husband does not share the same enthusiasm, but I will happily lose track of any current music coming out in exchange for two solid months of joyous holiday tunes. For me, the world is just a happier place when Christmas music is playing.



In honor of this festive time of year, I have put together my suggestions for a super-fantastic holly-jolly Christmas mix tape. Hopefully, it includes some gems you haven't discovered yet. And if you have suggestions for some hidden gems of your own, please do share them below.




Snow by Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. For much of the year, snow is something to shake an angry fist at as it snarls traffic and schedules a standing date with the snowblower, but in this song from "White Christmas" Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen make snow sound like an exotic gift straight from heaven above.

Song for a Winter's Night by Sarah McLachlan. The harmonies on this Sarah McLachlan number always have me reaching to click repeat.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee. Ever since this song appeared in Home Alone (20 years ago!), I can't help but happily think of the scene with Kevin's fake holiday party when I hear it.

When My Heart Finds Christmas by Harry Connick, Jr. Sleepy and romantic, it was love at first listen for me.

Baby, It's Cold Outside (So many good versions, but Dean Martin's stands out for me.) I just adore the back-and-forth banter of the singers in this classic Christmas duet. He wants her to stay and snuggle a little longer, she does her best to play hard-to-get and in the end they both agree that it's just too cold outside to go.

White is the Winter Night by Enya. Celtic songstress Enya might not be everybody's cup of tea, but I love how this song's staccato beat sounds like the trotting of a horse. When I hear it, I always imagine a sleigh ride on a crisp winter night through a snowy field lit only by the full moon above.

I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm by Dean Martin. No one else could make a horrible winter storm sound more appealing. (Martin also wins for best "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!")

Sleigh Ride by the Boston Pops Orchestra. It's the clip-clop/whip sound (see 1:23 mark) that gets me everytime I hear this song. Such a great instrumental, it's guaranteed to put me in the Christmas spirit.

The Merriest by June Christy. I love any Christmas song that sounds like I'm at a fabulous 50s cocktail party.

A Cradle in Bethlehem by Nat King Cole. Nat King Cole's velvety voice can wrap any Christmas song up into a beautiful package. His album, "The Christmas Song", is one of my all-time faves thanks to treasures like "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" and "Caroling, Caroling". But it's the simplicity of "A Cradle in Bethlehem" that makes me melt.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams. A great joyous holiday song only made better by memories of Will Ferrell's Saturday Night Live spoof involving the ill-fated performance of this song while standing on a rotating platform that's going a tad too fast.

Two Thousand Miles by Holly Cole. The Pretenders do the most well-known version of this song but I love Holly Cole's unique voice on it best.

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. Perhaps not a traditional Christmas classic full of merriment and cheer, but this Pogues standout will definitely grab your attention and get your toes tapping as you swig a beer or two over the holidays.

The Holly and the Ivy by Natalie Cole. There are not enough covers of "The Holly and the Ivy" as far as I'm concerned, but of those who sing this beautiful song, Natalie Cole rises to the top.

The Closing of the Year by Wendy & Lisa. This song appeared in the (underappreciated) movie "Toys" starring Robin Williams, L.L. Cool J and Joan Cusack. The beginning of it is beautifully haunting.

O Holy Night by Celine Dion. No other song beats "O Holy Night" in my book. It is gorgeously restrained as it builds towards a blockbuster ending. As thus, no ordinary singer will do. Celine's big voice is perfect to deliver everything needed to make it a success.

Comments
(19)
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Mollee Francisco
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December 10, 2010
I can't help but want to sing along to "Dominick The Donkey" either this holiday season. Have a listen and tell me if you can resist the "Hee Haw" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQrdxtWgHbE

(Mollee Francisco is a staff writer for the Chaska Herald. She can be reached at mfrancisco@swpub.com.)
Mollee Francisco
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December 09, 2010
I also really enjoy the jazzy "I Bought You A Plastic Star for Your Aluminum Tree" by Michael Franks. Check it out here: http://new.music.yahoo.com/michael-franks/tracks/i-bought-you-a-plastic-star-for-your-aluminum-tree--1333656

(Mollee Francisco is a staff writer for the Chaska Herald. She can be reached at mfrancisco@swpub.com.)
Mark Olson
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December 06, 2010
If you like your Christmas music on the classical side, Doug Schanzenbach alerted me that a string trio will perform Dec. 7 at the Waconia Library. The group includes Virginia Miller (cello), Schanzenbach (viola) and Chris Ruzin (violin).

The trio will perform a 45-minute concert at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 7 at the Waconia Library. The playlist includes several traditional Christmas songs.
Jmarie
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December 03, 2010
Let's not forget "Funky, Funky Christmas" by NKOTB, that's New Kids on the Block:) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jf-GVIxy9c
rcraw
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December 03, 2010
Frankly, I'm surprised the Ray Coniff Singers were omitted from the list. Here's a medley that may prompt you to reconsider:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE4_lQuwMhU&feature=related
Mark Olson
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December 03, 2010
I'd like to file a formal protest (or a lump of coal) to the addition of the aforementioned songs by the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync to the Super-fantastic holly-jolly Christmas mix tape.

I will, however, award "silver and gold" to the choice of Mariah Carey's "I'll I want for Christmas is You."
Mollee Francisco
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December 03, 2010
And loyalty laws would require me to choose "Christmas Time" by the Backstreet Boys if I was making a boy band entry on this list.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r8j05gowgU&feature=related

(Mollee Francisco is a staff writer for the Chaska Herald. She can be reached at mfrancisco@swpub.com.)
Mollee Francisco
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December 03, 2010
As much as I hate to admit it, I do like that version of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" but mostly because it was so fantastically used in the movie "Love, Actually."

(Mollee Francisco is a staff writer for the Chaska Herald. She can be reached at mfrancisco@swpub.com.)
merynfluker
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December 03, 2010
While I love all the tunes on your super-fantastic holly-jolly Christmas mix tape, Mollee, I do have to say that Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" is a glaring omission: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXQViqx6GMY

Also, while I understand why you left this track off your list, I have to say that no Christmas is complete without 'N Sync's "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKj92352UAE
Mark Olson
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December 03, 2010
How did this blog move from Chistmas songs to dead cats? I can only imagine what Perry Como would say.
Mollee Francisco
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December 03, 2010
We have the "dead cat" bit memorized so we can pull out "Is that bad? Doo doo doo doo" at any time for a laugh.

(Mollee Francisco is a staff writer for the Chaska Herald. She can be reached at mfrancisco@swpub.com.)
merynfluker
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December 03, 2010
I love the "Saturday Night Live" Lawrence Welk sketches SO MUCH. Sometimes when things get awkward, I hear Kristen Wiig's voice in my head going "with my, by myself..." and just trailing off.

rcraw
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December 03, 2010
Myron was a big part of the Welk experience. Here's a classic Myron rendition of the Beer Barrell Polka with a bonus appearance at the end from Bobby and Cissy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4327HSXY56k&feature=related
Mollee Francisco
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December 03, 2010
Related to Lawrence Welk (but not Christmas), this is one of the funniest Saturday Night Live skits of the last few years:

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/the-lawrence-welk-show/727501/

(Mollee Francisco is a staff writer for the Chaska Herald. She can be reached at mfrancisco@swpub.com.)
Greg Boe
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December 03, 2010
Including "Uncle Myron" of course! (my mother's cousin was married to Myron Floren, so you know that Lawrence Welk was always on the TV at grandma's house when I was a kid!)
rcraw
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December 02, 2010
The only Lawrence that should be on the list is Lawrence Welk. Check out some early Welk here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh6pFgQhQZY
Mark Olson
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December 02, 2010
Great list!

One of my favorites, which I think would make a great addition to the Super Fantastic Holly Jolly Christmas Mix Tape, is Steve Lawrence's "Let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas."

Check it out at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAs561ZQlVM

And Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme's version of "Sleigh Ride" is the absolute best: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvEmP2FyKig.

You can't go wrong with anything off of the Firestone Christmas album series. (And no, I am not kidding.)
Mollee Francisco
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December 02, 2010
And if you enjoy a good flash mob, here is a special food court surprise performance of the "Hallelujah Chorus" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXh7JR9oKVE

(Mollee Francisco is a staff writer for the Chaska Herald. She can be reached at mfrancisco@swpub.com.)
Mollee Francisco
|
December 02, 2010
It should also go without saying that anything combining "Charlie Brown" with "Vince Guaraldi Trio" is a sure bet as well.

(Mollee Francisco is a staff writer for the Chaska Herald. She can be reached at mfrancisco@swpub.com.)
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