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The Ultimate Christmas Music Playlist

18 November 2011 No Comment

I love Christmas music. There I said it. I know my enthusiasm for Christmas music isn’t matched by the general public, but that’s okay. I am who I am. Over the last couple of years I have come to realize that people fall into different camps when it comes to their affinity to Christmas music….

The Christmas Aficionados

These are the people that listen to Christmas songs year round and aren’t afraid to show it. They make up a small fraction of the population and are known to keep Christmas lights up year round.

The Traditionalists

Most of the population are considered Traditionalists. There is some division within this fraction, but they generally define Christmas as post-Halloween (Canadian) or post-Thanksgiving (American).

The Capitalists

These are the people that take the lead from the corporate world. They get into the Christmas mood when they see and hear Christmas in shopping malls, Starbucks coffee shops, and local Santa Claus parades.

The Black Friday-ists

This sect believes the Christmas season is strongly connected with Black Friday Christmas specials.

The Weatherists

Weatherists believe that the Christmas season requires sustained sub-zero temperatures. This philosophy is extremely European-centric as it does not consider places that do not have cold temperatures: Philippines, Lebanon, Portugal. Furthermore, the Weatherist’s philosophy is also under threat from climate change.

Snow Cult

This is an extremist view that believes cold temperatures are required and snow. This contracts the conventional Weatherists which are ambivalent towards snow.

The Uptightists

These people don’t believe in listening to Christmas music. They also known to hate puppies and eat babies.

The reality is that some people are a hybrid of the categories. I would say I am a closet Christmas Aficionado, but I portray myself as a early-Traditionalist.

I have compiled a list of my favourite Christmas songs that will be on my high rotation.

I have broken the list into the following groups:

  • The Classics – you can’t release a Christmas album without a handful of these songs
  • Coming Home for Christmas – Christmas is better when you are living away from home
  • The Lost Love – Christmas is probably the best time to be in love
  • Ideal World – Christmas is a time of reflection of the past year, and hoping for a better new year
  • Pop – Pretty much another word for “Other” in this article
  • New Year’s – New Year’s gives people an excuse to listen to Christmas songs after Christmas is over


(Feel free to share your favourites in the comment section below)

The Classics

Elvis – Blue Christmas

A classic Elvis song and a classic Christmas song.

Bing Crosby – It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

Home Alone 2 wouldn’t be the same without this song.

Bing Crosby – White Christmas

Dean Martin – Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Nat King Cole – Silent Night

Silent Night has always been my favourite Christmas song, but it wasn’t until I found Nat King Cole’s Christmas Album that my obsession with Christmas music began to flourish.

Colin James and Roxanne Potvin – Baby It’s Cold Outside

Baby it’s cold outside is another timeless song. This specific song was released last year with one of my favourite Canadian blues singer, Roxanne Potvin.

Bing Crosby – Mele Kakikimaka

First discovered this song in 2010 while I was living in BC, while I was listening to the radio during my commute. I thought it was appropriate song for BC since it doesn’t really snow in Vancouver.

Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around Christmas Tree

Bobby Helms – Jingle Bell Rock

Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick

I would bet that most recognize this as a Coca-Cola song rather than a Beach Boys song.

Pointer Sisters – Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Jose Feliciano – Feliz Navidad

Truth be told, I hate this song. But I have to listen to it because they play it everywhere.

Alice Smith – Silver Bells

Alice Smith is another one of my favourite soul singers. This song is found on complication album called The Hotel Café presents… Winter Songs. My other favourites on this album include Brandi Carlile, KT Tunstall, Fiona Apple, Holly Conlan, Colbie Caillat, Kate Havnevik, and Catherine Feeny.

Coming Home for Christmas

River – Joni Mitchell

Another song discovered during my BC days. When I hear this song I think of all the time I have spent away from home to pursue a career. For some reason I also think of Newfoundlanders living in Fort McMurray, even though it snows quite a bit there.

Chris Shea – Driving Home for Christmas

Another song discovered during my BC days. I pictured myself driving home to Ontario when this played on the radio.

Carpenters – I’ll be home for Christmas

Karen Carpenter has one of the most timeless voices in pop. This song is no exception.

The Lost Love

Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas is You

U2 – Baby Please Come Home

I first heard this song when I worked at Sport Chek in 2003. The store played in on repeat along with a collection of other songs. I love Bono’s desperation in the end of the song.

The Eagles – Please Come Home for Christmas

Wham! – Last Christmas

You can’t talk about a broken heart during Christmas without this song. Enough said.

The Ideal World

John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Happy Xmas (War is Over)

Everyone has heard this song, but I think it is sad most people don’t know it is written by John Lennon. I was one of them before I was in Grade 12.

Stevie Wonder – Someday at Christmas

Another song discovered in 2010.

Bryan Adams – Christmas Time

Another song discovered in 2010.

Michael Buble – Grown Up Christmas List

Michael Buble has to be the classiest Canadian singers I know – also hilarious.

New Song – Christmas Shoes

I would bet this is my mom’s favourite Christmas song, so it deserves a place on my list.


Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime

Amy Grant – Mister Santa

Definitely one of my favourite discoveries in 2010. A very catchy tune.

Madonna – Santa Baby

This might belong in the classics section, but I think Madonna made it her own to deserve a spot here.

Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis

Meaghan Smith – It Snowed

Meaghan Smith is another Canadian gem. I think I discovered this song on iTunes and have been a fan of hers ever since. She released this song on a Christmas EP, but this year she has released a longer Christmas album.

New Year’s

Pink Martini – Auld Lang Syne

Pink Martini is another favourite band of mine. They released a Christmas album last year called
Joy to The World. It is sung in multiple languages like their other albums. My favourites include White Christmas, and Elohai, N’tzor.

ABBA – Happy New Year

A great way to end the Christmas season with ABBA.

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