4 Christmas playlists to spark your holiday cheer

budsCurrently at work, students are trying to raise money for the ALS Association. Of the many creative ways they’ve cooked up to try to get funds, they’re playing music over the intercom system during the passing time between classes. If students can raise $400, the music will stop. This may sound counterintuitive. Christmas music during passing time sounds festive and cheery. Why would students pay to have it turned off? Well, because what I mean by Christmas music is actually just this song played over and over and over again.

Three days in, and I’m ready to write the whole $400 check myself just to get three minutes of peace and quiet!

I did suggest to the student council, however, that if I did foot the whole bill for silencing the chipmunks that instead of silence during passing time, I would want to choose the music instead. They asked which song I would play ad nauseam instead, and I offered to provide a different daily playlist between now and Christmas. Why limit yourself to the same tired, overplayed, radio hits. There’s a whole bunch of Christmas music love out there, and I could have the halls rocking out one day, and moved to tears the next!

We all have our go to Christmas favorites, but as the final days tick away to Christmas, consider widening you musical palette. These playlists and channels are holiday ready to set the tone for any evening in, holiday party, Christmas road trip, festive dinner, or the three minutes of peace and not quiet that you need to reset your day and get your holiday cheer up.

Christmas Playlists

Mack Wilberg Christmas Arrangements – LINK HERE

Let’s start super traditional. If you want the full choir, full orchestra, fill your head, heart, and home with music sound, then you want this playlist. Mack Wilberg is the musical mind behind the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which puts on an exceptional Christmas program each year. The playlist is the best of his arrangements and performances through the years, and is all about that big church, big organ, big orchestra sound. If you can’t be moved by 360 people singing Silent Night in impeccable harmony, then you probably have a few Grinch-y issues to address. Cue up the opening track, and let Joy to the World take over your holiday mood!

The Piano Guys Christmas Together – LINK HERE

Let’s say you want a semi-traditional feel. You like the orchestral sound, but you’re not quite into the symphony. A good vocalist is acceptable, but you don’t need a full choir. And, if it could get a little jazzy every once in a while, that’d be ok too. Then you need the Piano Guys. There are bunches of Piano Guys Christmas albums and playlists out there, but this is the one that I have bookmarked and return to often. The mix of tracks is perfectly balanced, a little uplifting, a little reflective, a little cheery, a little reserved. It works beautifully as a soundtrack for working, a backdrop for dinner, or just a casual, easy listening break from your usual Christmas listening routine. If you’re a mash-up lover, you’ll appreciate how seamlessly they combine Christmas favorites like: O Holy Night and Ave Maria, Ode to Joy and Joy to the World, Gloria and Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and Little Drummer Boy and Do you Hear What I Hear. Try one on with this track.

90s Christmas – LINK HERE

If you grew up in the 90s like yours truly, you may have some perennial Christmas favorites tied nostalgically to your love of boy bands and Mariah Carey songs you were too young to really understand or appreciate, but recorded off the radio anyway! Of course there’s a playlist for that. Perfect for a friends Christmas, rocking out in the car on your way home for the holidays, or as a Christmas shopping playlist. (Side bar: Am I the only person who ever wears earbuds when running errands? Try it grocery shopping. It changes the whole experience!) If you don’t remember what a fabulous time the 90s where for original holiday tunes, look no further than this throwback music video from NSYNC. Behold…my preteen years!

Christmas Eve Indie Folk – LINK HERE

Perhaps you’re over the whole Christmas carols thing. Maybe you’re scrolling between radio stations looking for those that HAVEN’T switched over to holiday tunes yet. You can still set the tone for your non-holiday, December gatherings with a well-selected set of tunes that have a chill, cheery, festive in a non-Christmas carol sort of way, vibe. This indie folk list is cozy and homey, perfect for a night in front of the fireplace, a good book, and a cup of cocoa. And there’s not a single Christmas song on it. If you’re a lover of Christmas music, you may find it fitting for that transition time between December 25th and the new year when it feels too abrupt to just go back to Billboard 100 hits. It’s got the holiday feels without the holiday lyrics! Try it for a dose of the non-traditional.





Published by Kate

A former Wisconsinite, Kate now resides in southeast Minnesota with her husband where she teaches high school English and theater. She recently completed her master's degree in learning design and technology, and continues to study and advocate for arts integration in the classroom. A recipient of the RISE America grant for high school theater, Kate is working to innovate and expand theater opportunities for the students at PIHS. An avid distance runner, concert pianist, and want-to-be wine aficionado, Kate's blog "ink." is a passion project, embodying all the best parts of life: friends, food, wine, thoughtful conversation, style, and sass!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: