I start listening to Christmas music a little before Thanksgiving. Sure, 93.9 FM “The Holiday Lite” will begin playing Christmas music around Veterans Day, but I’ve grown tired of most of what seems like only 14 songs played over and over.
Here in the region, 107.1 FM starts its holiday playlist just after Thanksgiving. There’s a little more variety than “The Lite,” but not much. Until a few years ago there was a station on 1600 AM that played a lot of old Christmas songs. It’s how I discovered one of my favorites, “Ring Those Christmas Bells” by Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians.
For years Chicago’s WXRT has its “Holiday Nights” where from 8 p.m. to midnight you’ll hear yule tunes from rock artists. It’s where I first heard a few of my all-time Christmas favorites - “Merry Christmas Will Do” by Chicago’s own Material Issue and "Let's Make This Christmas Mean Something This Year" by James Brown.
You can listen to Christmas year-long via your CDs, albums and MP3s – and on Pandora, Spotify, or Internet radio. But who does that except for the little girl in the film “Prancer."
I tune in to Pandora’s Indie Holidays station for gems like a mellow, wintry version of “Holiday Road” by Matt Pond. You’re probably familiar with the Lindsay Buckingham original made famous by the Chevy Chase “Vacation” films.
Speaking of “Vacation” movies, another song on my holiday soundtrack is the title theme from “Christmas Vacation” by Mavis Staples.
YouTube is another option to find Christmas music. There are multiple playlists for what suits your tastes, and some play nonstop for two to five hours.
Other favorite holiday songs include:
- "Someday at Christmas" - Stevie Wonder
- "Come On Santa" - The Raveonettes
- "In The Morning" - Jack Johnson
- "The Spirit of Christmas Past" - Enya
- "My Favourite Time of Year" - The Florin Street Band
- "Snow Miser" from "The Year without a Santa Clause"
- The soundtrack from "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas"
I have another holiday music tradition. Every year if I come across physical copies of what I consider the worst Christmas songs ever, I throw them on the Yule log in the fireplace. They include "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" and the circus-theme version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" by the Beach Boys.