uber-festive holiday playlist

holiday - music - christmas - playlistAre you frantically trying to get your house together for a holiday party before your friends arrive in an hour?

We get it. Three weeks ago, you serenely sent invites to all of your nearest and dearest for a cozy night of merriment and cheer. Now, the night is here and you’re frazzled, running around vacuuming/blowdrying/cheeseplating before the first chime of your doorbell – and then, to top it off, you realize that you haven’t put together any music. Not to worry, friends; we know how busy you are, so we’ve taken the liberty of putting together a playlist of our holiday favourites for you.

uber-festive holiday playlist

Brenda Lee Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
This woman knew Christmas – heck, she backcombed her hair in the shape of a wreath for the entirety of her career. That’s what I call commitment!

U2 – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Call me biased but I have this strange notion that spending the holidays in Ireland would be incredibly festive. Perhaps it has something to do with the large number of pubs…

Boney M – Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord
I like to put this track on, throw on my best sequined sweater and eat sausage rolls with friends. This may sound weird…but I dare you to try it and disagree.

The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick
One of the best holidays I ever had was spent in a Santa-themed bikini in the tropics, hanging ornaments on a palm tree. Enjoy this surf-flavoured holiday song that comes with subliminal Vitamin D.

Burl Ives – A Holly Jolly Christmas
Burl Ives IS Christmas. End of story.

Wham! – Last Christmas
If the sight of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley prancing around a ski lodge doesn’t make you feel happy, I’m afraid I don’t know how to help you get festive.

Nat ‘King’ Cole – The Christmas Song
The classic feel-good song of the holidays. This version is my favourite because Nat ‘King’ Cole’s voice is smoother than double-crème brie. (Are you noticing a pattern here?)

Kanye West – Christmas In Harlem
In the past, I have struggled to enjoy newer Christmas carols because they just don’t seem, well, Christmas-y. This has changed now that I’ve heard Kanye, Alicia Keys and Jim Jones talking about hot chocolate being “dericious.”

Bobby Helms – Jingle Bell Rock
If the thought of the AM radio dial is what helps you get in the mood, then look no further; Bobby Helms is just what the doctor ordered.

Paul McCartney – A Wonderful Christmas Time
You work on the appies and sugar cookies, leave it to Sir Paul to ensure everyone’s simply having a wonderful Christmas time.

The Eagles – Please Come Home For Christmas
The Eagles may be famous as the “Boys Of Summer,” but they prove their multi-season resilience with this modern holiday gem.

Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
This epic masterpiece never gets old, kind of like crochet tops and daisy dukes.

Dean Martin – I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
If Frank Sinatra is “The Chairman of the Board,” then Dean Martin is “The Chairman of Always Having A Drink In His Hand & Having His Celebrity Roasts Re-Run A Billion Times.” That being said, his brand of swagger really sets the holiday mood.

Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas
The holidays can bring out the highest and lowest of emotions. If you are down in the dumps (as opposed to Down Dog), let Elvis commiserate with you.

Vince Guaraldi – Skating
This is my favourite song from ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas,’ the album that accompanies the classic TV special about the beloved animated beagle, Snoopy. Coincidentally, this is also a very tranquil song to pass out to after one-too-many eggnogs.

Nothing says, "peace and joy," like a roaring fire on local cable…so if you’re feeling stressed, take a moment, breathe deeply and turn on the Yule log. We swear it works every time.


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I am a firm believer in Christmas and the self-professed living antithesis of Ebenezer Scrooge. I really like your choices and would recommend one addition. To me the Christmas/Holiday season doesn’t start until I hear Carol of the Bells. I recommend two versions; one classic: Carol of the Bells by Johnny Mathis or more contemporary: Carol of the Bells by Straight No Chaser. Happy Holidays!

Comment by Brian — December 1, 2011 @ 10:14 am

I also love this list–I think another addition most necessary is Trans-Siberian orchestra’s Carol of the Bells.

Comment by Jess — December 1, 2011 @ 10:24 am

Thank you for this. :)

Comment by Jena — December 1, 2011 @ 10:36 am

Love it! Can’t wait to listen to the ones I don’t have yet.

One of my favourite holiday albums is the “The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs” … SO great. My personal favourites are “Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson, and “The Heartache Can Wait” by Brandi Carlile.

Great post! Happy Holidays!

Comment by Nicole Hudson — December 1, 2011 @ 10:37 am

I love the list! I’d also add Do they Know it’s Christmas time at all by Band Aid. For some reason, it’s my favorite!

Comment by Kristin — December 1, 2011 @ 10:39 am

I love, love, love Christmas music and you have put me in the mood to make my own playlist. But you MUST add to this list Mel Torme’s The Christmas Song!! An absolute must. And not just “Skating” by Vince Guaraldi….the whole album. Oh, and Sarah McLaughlin’s River…..what a beautiful song.

Comment by Susan — December 1, 2011 @ 10:55 am

I agree – Trans Siberian Orchestra’s Carol of the Bells is a keeper.

Also Mojochronic’s Yuletide Zeppelin. :)

Comment by Aleksandra S — December 1, 2011 @ 11:00 am

Oh and not the happiest tune but one of the most endearing John Lennon’s Happy Christmas (War Is Over).

Comment by Aleksandra S — December 1, 2011 @ 11:01 am

This is a playlist I can enjoy!! Cyrus Chestnut does a wonderful jazz album of ” A Charlie Brown Christmas”…..my favourite!

Obviously it’s time to get out the Christmas CD collection and start dancing!!

(secretly waiting to play Let it Snow by Boyz II Men!!!)

Comment by Lesley — December 1, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

i’ve been waiting all year to play our christmas records! we’ve been building up quite a collection. i’m happy to see a bunch of new songs on your list that i haven’t heard before! a few of my all-time faves: “i’ve got my love to keep me warm” by ella fitzgerald, “baby it’s cold outside” by holly cole (and there are many other awesome versions too), “the christmas song” by bing crosby (classic!) … oh there are so many! i love the holidays :)

Comment by meg — December 1, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

great list– my additions: christmas wrapping by the waitresses and baby its cold outside by ella fitzgerald.

Comment by christina — December 1, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

um…Pandora? (is awesome :)) but thanks for the specific playlist

Comment by Sara — December 1, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

I’m ecstatic to see that Mary’s Boy Child by Boney M made the list! I would have to add Blue Christmas by Elvis and Kissing by the Mistletoe by Aretha Franklin :)

Comment by Anil N. Singh — December 5, 2011 @ 5:31 am

The Pretenders – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is always a favorite. I just posted on FB last night that I love holiday music so it is apropos that I post on this blog. Thank you LuLu – Happy Holidays!

Comment by Sheree' Ahart — December 5, 2011 @ 8:37 am

“Coincidentally, this is also a very tranquil song to pass out to after one-too-many eggnogs.”

Oh Lexy this one is so good. That Wham video is my all time favorite. Thanks for reminding me.

Comment by Jen — December 8, 2011 @ 10:54 am

I can’t believe that no one has mentioned Harry Connick Jr. yet!! I Pray On Christmas is AMAZING and to be left off no holiday playlist!!

Comment by Shenna jean — December 9, 2011 @ 7:59 am

I loved, loved, loved “A Very Special Christmas” (the record!) when I was a kidd-o! Specifically “Christmas In Hollis” by Run D.M.C.!

Comment by erin @WELL in L.A. — December 13, 2011 @ 11:53 am

Nice list Bobby Helms – Jingle Bell Rock is wonderful i love christmas music thanks for sharing this playlist.

Comment by Jaipur Hotel — May 30, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

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