Now for my favorite kind of holiday music: Jazz and swing! These are the songs that truly make me feel festive and happy. The swingy ones make me want to dance and the jazzy ones are best enjoyed while sipping a holiday cocktail and gazing thoughtfully at a well-decorated tree. Personal faves off this list include "Cool Yule" by the great Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington's rendition of "Jingle Bells," and the father-daughter two-punch right to the feelings: the Natalie Cole/Nat King Cole duet on "The Christmas Song."
I hope all your festivities are bright and fun! To check out some of my favorite holiday tunes, read more
Many people complain about the holiday tunes that drive them completely insane this time of year, especially since holiday songs are practically inescapable, no matter what you do. At the drug store, the gas station, restaurants — they're everywhere! So it's truly impressive that there are still some seasonal songs that don't make us want to grab the earmuffs.
It may be because of my love for Love Actually, but I never tire of hearing "All I Want For Christmas Is You." Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" actually has the reverse effect that it has on many people: It makes me happy. I also like most versions of "Joy to the World" (especially the Whitney Houston version featured in The Preacher's Wife), perhaps because it's, well, joyful. And not that it's as "everywhere" as other tunes, but Otis Redding's "Merry Christmas Baby" never fails to make me feel good.
What about you? Are there any songs this season that put a little bounce in your step no matter how often you hear them?
There's something about these songs that makes me feel all warm and cozy — like I'm already home and snuggled in for the holidays. If some country Christmas songs have a similar effect on you, check out my playlist after the jump. Some of my very favorites include "Merry Christmas Mary" with Johnny Cash's rich, deep voice giving thanks to the woman who, you know, helped make the first Christmas happen, and the exuberant "Baby Jesus Is Born" by Garth Brooks.
It's a nice little group of songs, so to check it out and share your own favorites, read more