It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s the time of year when I fondly think back to the holiday season that some of my family spent in Vienna, taking in the lights, the glühwein and the Christmas markets. It’s the time of year when I remember first realizing the true meaning behind the lyrics of “What Child is This.” It’s the time of year when I remember trying to greet people in church after the service on Christmas eve while racing out in order to pull the pizza out of the oven on time. I love Christmas so much that when I traveled to Colorado Springs to visit a friend in October, I had to visit the North Pole, where I fed reindeer (see above photo, and to answer the question my boss had after seeing the picture, yes, I did wash my hands after) and had a picture taken with Santa, much to my friend’s embarrassment (sorry Lisa). I love everything about it: the decorations, the movies, the family and friend togetherness, the selection of cheese sent from my aunt in Wisconsin, the books, the running around outside on the ice in four-inch heels, the food, the music.

The music.

I am one of those who loves Christmas music. I can play it all day, every day during the Christmas season. Fortunately for my family (who also enjoys the music), I have a big enough collection of Christmas music that it can be playing for at least two days straight without hearing a single repeat of a song. Well, the same version of a song, at least. Which, is what we do. I unlock my iPod so that my family can access the Christmas music when I’m not around, we hook it up to the Bose and play music all day long. (I know there are a lot of people who would hate to be in my house around the holidays!) Some of my favorite artists to listen to are Harry Connick Jr., Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, Harry Connick Jr., Nat “King” Cole, Manheim Steamrollers, Harry Connick Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Harry Connick Jr., and Mahalia Jackson.

Did I say Harry Connick Jr. already? For me, Christmas is not complete without his album When My Heart Finds Christmas. It’s the first album I listen to after Thanksgiving and the last I listen to before taking it all off of my iPod. His other albums are fantastic as well.

Because I love Christmas music so much, I decided that I wanted to share some of my favorites with all of you. I put together a play list that over the period of a week I had to whittle down to what has been included. A few songs that I intended to put on didn’t make the cut because I was unable to find them at playlist.com. For a few, I chose alternates, but I did completely cut a few of them out. I’ll also post the original list that I came up with and star the few songs that I passionately love the version I was planning to include, so that you can look them up if you haven’t heard of them and have the interest.

Before I post the list, I’ll tell you that when I say I love Christmas music, I mean that I love it all. I love the religious songs as well as the secular. I love the upbeat, jazzy tunes that get me up and dancing as well as the softer songs that are perfect for reflection and a hot cup of tea. Harry Connick Jr.’s “Sleigh Ride” is the first song that I listen to each year, hence its place at the top of this list. I absolutely love Mahalia Jackson’s Christmas music so she gets second billing. My favorite Christmas carol, “Away in a Manger,” is not on this list.

Without further ado, here is the list.

The original list:
Harry Connick Jr – Sleigh Ride
Mahalia Jackson – Silent Night
Harry Connick Jr – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Dean Martin – Baby It’s Cold Outside
Ella Fitzgerald – Frosty the Snowman
Wham! – Last Christmas
Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas Is You
Frank Sinatra – I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Bing Crosby – White Christmas
Harry Connick Jr & Kate Connick – Winter Wonderland*
Martina McBride – Silver Bells
Michael Bublé – My Grown-Up Christmas List
Harry Connick Jr – I Pray on Christmas
Kenny Loggins – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Jimmy Buffet – Mele Kalikimaka
Nat “King” Cole – O Little Town of Bethlehem
Josh Groban – What Child is This?*
Clay Aiken – Mary, Did You Know
Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Canon
Dan Fogelberg – Same Old Lang Syne
Harry Connick Jr – What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
Pink Martini – Auld Lang Syne*** (This is such a fun version of the song!)

Tell me, what are some of your favorite Christmas songs/albums?

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