Trade your Christmas music up

It’s inevitable. You will attend a party this holiday season and the music playlist will include some God-forsaken Christmas album that you will drive you up the wall. Main offenders (in my opinion) usually include Kenny G, Mannheim Steamroller or The Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Not this year, Kenny. Not EVER.

Don’t let your party get to this point! Instead of playing these worn out, tasteless choices, why not something interesting and fun?

I’ve never been a fan of Christmas/holiday music, not even a little. It’s been a topic of loathing for me ever since I was old enough to develop opinions. I guess the whole “Christmas Creep” thing is a sore subject for everyone. Artists usually turn out a holiday-themed album as a secure entry into their cannon as a marketing ploy. After all, Christmas music sells at least once EVERY year, so why not? Right? Unfortunately, most of this music (also: movies) really REALLY stinks. So, why not trade that bad music in for something better?

For an incredibly thorough list, check out eMusic’s Ultimate Guide to Holiday Music. But I’ll list just a couple here:

For the traditionalist

Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas
Elvis Presley, Elvis’ Christmas Album (and subsequent reissues)
A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector


Rock, R&B, Soul & Jazz
Rockin’ Little Christmas
Joey Ramone, Christmas Spirit…In My House
Stax Records, Christmas In Soulsville
James Brown, James Brown’s Funky Christmas
Jimmy Smith, Christmas Cookin’

For the Classicist

J.S. Bach, Christmas Oratorio
Benjamin Britten, A Ceremony of Carols
Christmas With The Symphony Brass Of Chicago
Ludwig Guttler Brass Ensemble, Christmas Brass Music

An Esoteric Christmas
Various Artists, Badd Santa
The Mexicali Brass, Christmas With The Mexicali Brass
Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra, A Very Ping Pong Christmas: Funky Treats From Santa’s Bag
Andy Cirzan’s Annual Holiday Mixtape (for a limited time!)

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6 thoughts on “Trade your Christmas music up

  1. Great post! I still remember the SNL “Weekend Update”
    segment where they commented on the Kenny G album — ‘Here Baby
    Jesus, have some crap.”

  2. Ok, ok, I’ll tone down the Mannheim Steamroller! But I do
    also love A Jazzy Wonderland (for a “Go Tell it on the Mountain”
    that can’t be beat, and “The Little Drummer Boy” with a very
    Middle-Eastern bent) and Leroy Anderson Orchestra’s Christmas
    Carols (fabulous and fun, traditional instrumentals, unfortunately
    no longer available – except on my scratchy album.) Really, give
    ‘em a try!

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