My Top 20 Christmas Songs

Music is such a special part of my life, and Christmas songs are no different.  There have been so many great versions of almost every song, it was hard to narrow it down to just 20.  But with 10 days to go before the big day, I thought I would share my list with all of you.

Each song includes a link to a YouTube video.  I do not own the rights to anything, nor am I associated with any of the channels/videos that I chose.  I just picked ones that showcased either the artists and/or the song enough to give you the best feel for the tune (in my humble opinion).

All opinions are my own.

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?  Tell me in the comments below.

Enjoy!!!

1)  Merry Christmas Baby by Bruce Springsteen ( written by Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore).

It’s Bruce.  To say this is perfect would only be redundant.

2)  Christmas Time is Here by the Peanuts ( written by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi).

The Peanuts were my best friends when I was a kid, and today they are just as special to me.  “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the main reason why.  If all I did for the holiday season was watch this special, my Christmas would still be perfect.

3)  White Christmas by Otis Redding (written by Irving Berlin).

Yes, I know all about the popularity of Bing Crosby’s version.  However, in my humble opinion, Redding brings such a stunning soulful element to his version of this song I really cannot listen to any other one. And if it was good enough for the “Love Actually” soundtrack, it is good enough for me.

4)  Winter Wonderland by Ray Charles (written by Felix Bernard).

Charles’ take on this is as unique and gorgeous as his version of “America The Beautiful”.  Truly a holiday gem.

5)  Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives (written by Johnny Marks).

Who does not want a singing snowman???  Burl Ives is one of the reasons why I still tune in to watch “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” even now.

6)  Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love (written by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry).

Love has performed this song on Letterman’s show since 1993.  You have to watch both the studio version and the live version to truly appreciate this song and Love’s voice.

http://youtu.be/4EvZOXEoJ84 (studio version)

http://youtu.be/m7M6wRPuD2w (2013 Letterman performance)

7)  Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (written by Charles Wesley).

Between the Peanuts characters singing it at the end of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and it being the song that celebrated George Bailey’s worth in “It’s A Wonderful Life”, it is impossible for me to hear any version of this song and not get verklempt.  A multitude of singers have covered this song but Martina McBride, Neil Diamond & Frank Sinatra’s versions are among my favorites.

8)  Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland (written by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane).

Tony Bennett called Garland the greatest singer he ever heard.  I am in no position to argue with a man of his talent and taste.

9)  Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley (written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson).

It’s ELVIS!!!

10)  O Come All Ye Faithful by Nat King Cole (written by John Francis Wade).

Most people associate him with the most famous version of “The Christmas Song”, but it is this Christmas classic that I love the most of Cole’s holiday recordings.

11)  The Christmas Song by Tony Bennett (written by Mel Torme & Robert Wells).

Tony Bennett is a legend.  If you do not have any of his music in your collection, you are doing yourself a disservice.

12)  It’s a Marshmallow World by Dean Martin (written in 1949 by Carl Sigman and Peter DeRose).

I think Frank Sinatra would even agree that Martin was probably the coolest member of the Rat Pack.

13)  Celebrate Me Home by Kenny Loggins (written by Bob James and Kenny Loggins).

Not a cover of a Christmas classic, but a song of Loggins’ very own is now a holiday staple.

14)  What Christmas Means To Me by Stevie Wonder (written by Anna Gordy Gaye (yes, Marvin Gaye’s first wife) & George Gordy).

Another original Christmas tune that has become a staple of the holiday.  And who can forget Will Ferrell’s “Elf” jumping on the mattresses with his little brother while this song was playing?

15)  Silver Bells by Rosemary Clooney & Bing Crosby (written by Jay Livingston & Ray Evans).

Before her nephew George was probably even born, Rosemary Clooney was Hollywood’s “it” girl.  Anything she sang was perfection and pairing her voice with Bing Crosby’s turned a song into a spectacular event.

16)  Happy Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon (written by John Lennon & Yoko Ono).

From the man who told us “love is the answer”, peace was the gift he wanted for the world, and not just at Christmas.

17)  The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams (written by Eddie Pola and George Wyle).

I’ll admit this song now reminds me of back to school shopping thanks to a fabulous campaign several years ago by Staples, but it is a holiday classic nonetheless.

18)  The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth by Bing Crosby & David Bowie (Drummer Boy written by Harry Simeone, Henry Onorati & Katherine Kennicott Davis, and the Peace on Earth music & lyrics written by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman and Alan Kohan expressly for the recording by Crosby and Bowie).

In theory this was an odd pairing, but in principle their voices worked so well together it is hard to imagine this season without this song.  But I still wonder what would have happened if Bowie had shown up at Crosby’s house dressed as Ziggy Stardust???  (LOL)

19) O Holy Night by Eric Cartman (written by Adolphe-Charles Adam).

South Park is one of my all time favorite shows, and this clip illustrates just one of the reasons why.  Any reverence I had for this song is gone thanks to Trey Parker and Matt Stone, but I would not have it any other way!!!

20)  Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer by Elmo and Patsy (written by Randy Brooks).

This brings back memories of me and my cousins signing this song to my grandmother, who I miss everyday, not just at Christmas.  But this makes me feel a little closer to her.

Advertisements

Music Road Trip: Yusuf/Cat Stevens Concert: Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Hi there, Vixens!!!  2014 has had several high points for me (starting this blog being one of them), and two of the highest points were getting to see Yusuf/Cat Stevens live TWICE!!!

The first time was in April at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (he was one of the inductees who performed-read about that here) and the second time was Thursday night (12/4/14) at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

Tower marquee

Photos and videos were not permitted so I do not have any to show you, but I can share that Yusuf gave an unbelievably great performance.  My favorite moment of the night was when he sang “Trouble” from the “Harold & Maude” soundtrack.  And when he sang his cover of Sam Cooke’s “Another Saturday Night” he advised the audience he changed the lyrics to reflect his search for a job, not a woman, out of respect for his wife.  What a sweetheart!!!

The first single from his new release was another highlight.  If you have not heard it-Yusuf’s stunning version of the Edgar Winter song, “Dying to Live”, listen to it here.

I can also share with you one of my all time favorite stops whenever I am on the road:  a meal at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant.  I discovered this delightful chain of comfort food, old time candy with antiques on display when I took my first trip to Vermont nearly a decade ago, and I have adored it ever since.  The food is always good, the service is always exceptional and the charming ambiance cannot be beat!!!  (These are my personal opinions from my own experiences.  I am not a paid sponsor),

On my way home to NY the day after the concert I stopped at the one in Mount Laurel, NJ during lunch time & had one of my two favorite meals there:  breakfast.

IMG_0050

No one makes pancakes like Cracker Barrel, in my humble opinion!!!  Delectable!!!  And I was lucky enough to get a table right near the fire, which was perfect on a cold, rainy December day!!!

IMG_0047

How cozy!!!

IMG_0049

After I ate, I took a tour of the beautiful holiday decorations throughout the store:

IMG_0055

One of my weaknesses is for snowmen!!!  What a great idea to use the top of one on the tree!!!

IMG_0052

These bobble heads are sooo sweet!!!

IMG_0053

One of several gorgeous trees on display!!!

IMG_0054

What a pretty (and big!!!) snowflake!!!  I think this would look just as pretty hanging from a ribbon in front of an inside window!!!

IMG_0056

Sooo adorable!!!  Love the glittery vest and pink chubby cheeks!!!!  Has a retro feel to him….reminds me of ones I saw in the front yards of homes in my neighborhood where I grew up!!!)

IMG_0057

I wish I had a little baby in my life who I could buy these booties for!!!

IMG_0058

I did not buy anything this year, but I bought this cookie jar last year (my other weakness is for gingerbread people!!!).  I was lucky to get it after Christmas so it was 50% off!!!  Steal!!!

SONY DSC

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

Local Store Trip: Time Tunnel Antiques-Sayville, NY

Hi there, Vixens!!!  Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Mine was good but did not exactly go as scheduled so I was not able to do any antiquing or junking (sigh 😦 ).

On the upside , I was finally able to retrieve the photos from my old phone.  So I am now able to share pictures with you from my trip to a great local store I went to In October:  Time Tunnel Antiques in Sayville, NY.

IMAG0509

Time Tunnel is a house converted into a store, so it feels like home from the minute you walk inside.  The ambiance is wonderful and it is chock full of finds galore like this “Serpico” movie poster (isn’t Pacino one of the coolest guys EVER!!!)…..

IMAG0507

and this vintage rotary phone…..

IMAG0506

and this totally girly trunk!!!…..

IMAG0501

and great vinyl picks…

IMAG0505

IMAG0503

even eight tracks…

IMAG0502

and a 70’s record case for 45’s.

IMAG0498

But this old counter sign was my favorite thing in the store.  Isn’t it fabulous, right down to the prices???!!!  Someday, when I have that house in the country I dream about, I want something just like this hanging in it.  Too cool!!!

IMAG0504

My finds from this visit-three vintage shelf holders:

IMG_0060

Time Tunnel Antiques is located at 136 Main St, Sayville, NY 11782.

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!