December can be a tricky time of year for music. At home, it is pure joy to pull out our holiday playlist and blast it throughout the house. The mix has evolved over the years to include all kinds of music styles, but it is always joyful and we certainly have our favorites. Out in the rest of the world, I sometimes wonder if all shops use the same playlist with the same limited number of artists and songs. It gets to be too much very fast. I wish they would mix it up more. 

Living in the US, Thanksgiving was the day I’d start listening to Christmas music. Traditionally, I’d start with Take 6 “He is Christmas” and move my way through Ella Fitzgerald, Wynton Marsalis, Jingle Bell Jazz (Various Artists) and more. One year, a student brought me 3 mix CDs that were full of everything from Louis Armstrong to Guns N’ Roses. It opened my ears to a lot of other holiday music and it was fun to add that to my home playing rotation. Now, everything has moved into the digital realm and we make “playlists” instead of “mix tapes” or “mix CDs”. I’ve made a little Spotify playlist for you to enjoy. If you don’t have Spotify, look through the titles and listen to the samples. I hope you’ll discover some “new to you” music that you can add to your playlist at home.

  1. What’s your favorite Christmas CD?
  2. Do you have a favorite song that didn’t make my list that I should hear? Let me know in the comments below.

PS: Thomas Cunniffe has curated a “Cool Yule 2018” list of recommended CDs (including “That Time of Year”). Check it out.