Monday, October 31, 2011

Getting in the Mood: Holiday Music

So I'm definitely that person who starts listening to Christmas/Holiday music as soon as it gets cold or in the case for this year, as soon as the first snow falls. With our October "Nor'easter", snow coated the ground, and especially in my area it basically looked like a winter wonderland [1]. A large part of my was appalled, since it was not even November yet and because this more than likely means that this is going to be a cold ass winter[2]. The other smaller part of me welcomed it only because that means my favorite two holidays (other than my birthday of course) are approaching, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And so Christmas music is officially on deck.

As I watched the snow fall outside, I thought about my favorite holiday jams. The kind that make you all warm and toasty even when it's bitter cold outside and the kind that make you think of all the holiday memories you have with family and friends. Here are my top 10 Holiday Jams because it's never too early to enjoy some good music.

1. The Temptations- Silent Night

I believe that this is one of the greatest Christmas songs ever written/done. And what a group to do it. The soul that just comes through the speakers leaves me breathless every-time. This song always plays on Christmas eve at our house, filtering throughout the downstairs and I often catch myself just staring at our Christmas tree and swaying to the music. It's a beautiful beautiful song, and I love how they also focus on the Jesus aspect.

2. Vince Guaraldi- Peanuts- Oh Christmas Tree

I am one of the biggest fans of the Peanuts Gang (especially Snoopy and Woodstock) and their holiday movies are classics, and I fully believe the music definitely makes each movie even better. The Peanuts holiday soundtrack is ridiculously amazing and this one here is my favorite.

3. Donny Hathaway- This Christmas

Donny Hathaway has one of the most amazingly soulful voices. Unfortunately his life was too short but he managed to leave us with many gems, this being one of my favorites. That man can belt a tune and make you all warm and fuzzy inside. This is the song my siblings and I would come down the stairs to as my father taped us. Every year without fail (even now).

4. Thurl Ravenscroft- Mr. Grinch

What's a Christmas without some holiday cheer and the occasional grinch. Whether I'm feeling super happy or moody as hell, this song always reminds me of the wonderful childhood holidays. And sometimes I'm feeling extra grinchy and I'll have this song on blast so everyone knows how I'm feeling.

5. Nat King Cole- The Christmas Song

If you don't have this man's Christmas CD- GO BUY IT NOW. There I said it. I mean, this man had the voice. There is no Christmas without this song. (Sidenote: I also suggest listening to his other music. It. Is. Stellar. A favorite mine is Stardust.)

6. The Nightmare Before Christmas- What's This

I'm a huge fan of Tim Burton and this movie was the beginning. One of my favorite animated films. And the song is just so darn catchy.

7. Dean Martin- Baby It's Cold Outside

I have a love affair with Dean Martin. If I could go back in time...I would buy front row tickets to see him (and the Rat Pack) perform.This song is also perfect whenever I'm cold or it's snowing, like this past Saturday, and I'm feeling in a chilly silly mood.

8.The Drifters- White Christmas

I first heard this song when I watched Home Alone way back in the day as a youngin'. I only just realized found out that this group was black and it blew me away. It's actually quite interesting what popular 50s musicians/groups where actually black. Anyway, this song has always stuck with me and my father and I always end up singing this together, me taking the falsetto and him the bass. It's lovely.

9. The Temptations- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

You can never have too much Temptations. And this song is another favorite of mine. Soulful and fun, this song always leaves me full of Holiday cheer. There have been many versions, but none have done it better. 

10. Kurtis Blow- Christmas Rappin'

I know every lyric to this song and am ready to start a soul train line whenever this comes on. This is my jam.

Honorable Mention: Adam Sandler- Chanukah Song

After hearing this song for the first time on Saturday Night Live, it has always stuck with me. It's witty and totally makes fun of how serious people take holidays. It never gets old.

So there you have it folks. I'm sure some of you *cough* Zipporah *cough* are complaining about it being too early for Christmas music. Whateva you bunch of Grinches. But to all of you out there who get it, this is for you. I may not be one of those people with Christmas decorations outside on November 1st (no shade) but you can bet that my speakers will be having some Christmas tunes blasting in between all my other music.

[1] I always thought this was a dumb name. 
[2] And you know how black folks feel about the cold. 

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