Discussion: What’s on your holiday iPod mix?

By Laura Braden

Laura Braden, Advisor and Co-Founder
Laura Braden, Advisor and Co-Founder

Music is powerful.  Songs can instantly conjure up tangible memories of Spring Break (Beyonce’s Jumpin, Jumpin) or when I moved to Sacramento in 2006 (Rihanna’s SOS).

At the risk of sounding “BAH HUMBUG,” I find most holiday music either super annoying or downright depressing.  However, a few songs strike just the right note of sentiment and spirit.  Below is my ultimate holiday mix – what’s yours?

All of the following can be found on iTunes. OR you can buy my iMix HERE.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone (from the best Xmas movie ever – Elf.  Zooey’s a modern actress with a retro voice.  I’m really hoping she releases an album some day)

O Holy Night – Avril Lavigne and Chantal Kreviazuk
(an acoustic spin on an old classic.  Sort of sounds like two high-schoolers singing at a church choir performance – in a good way)

Maybe Next Year (Xmas Song) – Meiko (for all of us who keep making and breaking resolutions, Meiko’s voice is sweet and haunting)

Tennessee Christmas – Amy Grant (I grew up in TN so I’m allowed to like this song.  as much as I hate to admit it, it makes me teary-eyed every time I hear it)

All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey (how can you have a holiday mix w/out this track?  transports me back to middle school and trolling the mall with friends on winter break)

Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (this song reminds me of holiday window shopping in NYC)

Glasgow Love Theme – Craig Armstrong (theme song to the second best Xmas movie of all time – Love Actually.  Armstrong is an amazing composer who has done works for a number of major movies)

The Heartache Can Wait – Brandi Carlisle (an unconventional Xmas song – though it does mention silver bells)

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – U2

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear – Allison Crowe (her voice is bananas and she sings this totally a cappella)

Ave Maria – Chris Cornell & Eleven (another great spin on a classic)

Carol of the Bells – BarlowGirl

Christmas Song – Dave Matthews Band

Auld Lang Syne – Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis (what’s a holiday mix without Auld Lang Syne?  far and away this is the best version.  featured on the Sex and The City soundtrack, the only way to buy it on iTunes is to buy the entire album)

And the best album??  Christmas Remixed – Holiday Classics Remixed (this is a great album for holiday parties or chilling around the house.  they took vintage classics – like Dean Martin’s Jingle Bells – and remixed them to sound like a cross between an iPod and Gap commercial)

EDITOR’s NOTE:  We want to hear from you – what holiday songs get you instantly in the spirit?  Remind you of childhood holiday memories?  Leave your comments below!

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  1. Chip says

    What about World Christmas by R Kelly?

  2. Cara D says

    Any Christmas tune by Nat King Cole is the instant ticket to holiday joy! Same with Bing Crosby…

  3. Becky says

    Where’s Neil Diamond on this list?!? He has the best Christmas songs!

  4. Caroline Silveira says

    Laura – you’ve committed a Christmas crime! You must include an Elvis Christmas song on any Christmas song playlist – and it should be Blue Christmas. I also like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Merry Christmas Baby.

    A little off topic – but I’ve always wanted to have a Christmas cocktail party playing Christmas music VIDEOS just so I could play LIttle Drummer Boy by David Bowie and Bing Crosby! So perfectly weird!

    I love your list, Laura! Many of my favorites are on there too – like that darn Mariah Carey song – love it!

  5. laura says

    I LOVE the comments! Chip, never, ever will I include anything from R. Kelly. Ever.

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