Christmas Playlist 2015

This is my third Christmas playlist, and every year it gets a little trickier to create. I try to keep the tunes original, but it's hard to resist my old standbys. (Especially the great Darlene Love!)

That said, restricting myself from previous years' choices led me to discover some new favorites. I (shamelessly) tuned into the holiday radio stations as soon as Halloween ended, just to ensure my new findings stood the replay test. Most of them have held up. I will tell you this: Gianni and Sarah's "Fairytale of New York" left a serious mark on my heart from the very first listen. I've been working on the guitar chords for a few weeks now, and I can nearly strum it from memory! And guys, I don't play guitar. Serious marks, we're talking here. (Check out their adorable video here.)

Other exciting finds this year:

-It's my mom who truly loves Celtic-inspired Christmas music, but this Barbara Higbie piece is a family showstopper. My brothers and I never miss an opportunity to "skate" around the kitchen in our socks to the happy little tune, in between wrapping presents and baking cookies eating cookie dough, of course! Christmas can't really start until this moment comes to pass.

-Sufjan Stevens!! Wow, what a Christmas offering this man has provided. I love the quirky takes on classic carols, but his originals might be even better. Couldn't resist sampling some of each.

-Okay, okay... I guess I knew Seth McFarlane could sing, but I'd never listened to his actual recordings. For a moment I genuinely confused his voice with Frank Sinatra's. As for "Marshmallow World" -- well, Dino would be proud.

-I felt I had to pay year-end honor to this past summer's Beach Boys obsession by including a holiday number, and I used "Little Saint Nick" last year. I only wish I could offer more Brian Wilson and less Mike Love.... Still, "Merry Christmas, Baby" isn't too bad a catchy little number.

-She & Him's take on the Judy Garland classic is gently bewitching. I like that it maintains the haunting aspect that makes the original version so irreplaceable.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm so happy the time of year is here at last!!

Listen to this playlist on Spotify:

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