I’m a 48 year-old man from the U.S. living in Mexico. When Christmas rolls around, there are no shortages of piñatas, posadas (Christmas parties) and food, drink, sights and sounds to remind me that I’m spending another (it’s been over twenty so far) holiday season South of the border.
In my head, however, it’s a whole different story. While I always have a song in my head, during the holiday season I definitely have Christmas songs on shuffle. Here are ten of them, in no particular order. Enjoy, and Feliz Navidad from Cancun!
1. Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, Tracy Morgan, and Chris Kattan-“I Wish It Was Christmas Today”
This may be generational. Those of us who were fans of that era of SNL can’t imagine Christmas without it and have punished our families and Gen Y and Millenial friends ever since with our own renditions.
2. The Vince Giraldo Trio-“Christmas Time is Here”
A bittersweet Christmas song. You KNOW you think of it when you see the last, sad, unbought Christmas tree on the lot.
3. Elvis-“Blue Christmas”
Anyone who had to spend the holidays away from the person or people he or she loves knows this one. The Blue Christmas Rule: Never break up before the holidays.
4. Run DMC-“Christmas in Hollis”
For me, the first hip-hop Christmas song. Even though my Mom never cooked chicken and collard greens, all of us ethnic kids had our own home version of the holidays not quite captured in the Norman Rockwell images.
5. David Bowie & Bing Crosby-“Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy”
I don’t know the full story behind this pairing. It had to involve some big dollars and record company politics, and it worked. Ever time I hear the Little Drummer Boy I hear David echoing in the background. Yes, this is my head.
6. Thorl Ravenscroft, “You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch” (from How the Grinch Stole Christmas).
When you are blessed/cursed with a low voice, this is a natural to sing at the holidays. Seuss, you were a genius!
7. All the Who’s in Whoville-“Welcome Christmas” (the ending song from How the Grinch Stole Christmas). What language were they speaking? Some kind of mash-up of Latin, French, Celtic and Whovillian? Who knows? Either way, you know you tear up a little when it comes on at the end.
8. Heat Miser and Cold Miser-“The Heat Miser and Cold Miser Song” from the Year Without a Santa Claus.
Which one were you? I was Heat Miser…okay, I was a husky child. Who didn’t go crazy over these stop-motion Rankin-Bass puppets battling over who was the baddest? You KNOW you do the dance…
9. Kris Kringle, the Penguin and the Winter Warlock-“Put One Foot in Front of the Other”
From Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, this is one of the catchiest Christmas earworms. And here you thought it was only for singing when you or your friends are too drunk to walk under their own power.
10. Nat King Cole-The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
With a voice as smooth as silk, Mr Cole ends our little list here with pure holiday awesomeness. I’ve never roasted chestnuts on an open fire (or closed fire for that matter), but hearing Nat King Cole sing about it makes me want to…
There are many more, but let’s keep the list brief, shall we? What are your favorites? Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad everyone…