For Our Christmas Break-My Favorites Songs of the Holidays




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Last century, when I was an Accountant, I made sure to take a vacation from Christmas through New Year’s Day. With the year end financial statements coming up, I wanted to take one last break before busy season. These days, businesses slow down for the holiday seasons. Hopefully you’ll have some time off too. That makes me think of relaxing and listening to music.

Last year I posted Christmas Music Comes This Time Each Year. It’s a familiar complaint how the same Christmas songs are played over and over every year. When Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmas Time came out I thought it was delightful. A got a big chuckle out of Elmo & Patsy’s Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. After a while I got tired of them. After a few decades I got really tired of them.

But there are some songs of the holidays I like and, no matter how many times I hear them, I don’t get tired of them. Each holiday season, I try to remember which ones as I stagger them out to post on social media. For the first time I am putting them in one blog post. There might be some that I forgot and I’ll post later one. I doubt I’ll be taking these down. Best case scenario-new Christmas songs are released that I like and can add them to this blog post. If you already know me, my musical favorites are influenced by pop music and humor. So expect to see, among others on this list, The Beach Boys and Adam Sandler.



(Photo by Anthony Cantin on Unsplash)

Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys

As a big Beach Boys’ fan, I love Little Saint Nick. It was released for Christmas 1963. As the USA was dealing with the assassination of President Kennedy, it didn’t get much airplay. For Christmas 1964 The Beach Boys Christmas Album was released. It a mix between The Beach Boys style at the time and more traditional Christmas songs. Below are The Beach Boys singing the song on Shindig.

Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys

In 2005 The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson recorded a Christmas album called What I Really Want for Christmas which included a re-recorded Little Saint Nick. This was sung live on NBC’s annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.

Little Saint Nick by Brian Wilson

In 2005 The Beach Boys’ Al Jardine recorded a solo performance of Little Saint Nick preceded by his singing Christmas Day from The Beach Boys Christmas Album.

Christmas Day/Little Saint Nick by Al Jardine

Mike Love and Bruce Johnston continue to perform under The Beach Boys name. Here is Little Saint Nick preceded by Santa’s Beard from The Beach Boys Christmas Album performed in 2014.

Santa’s Beard/Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys

All Alone on Christmas by Darlene Love

Darlene Love recorded a terrific version of All Alone on Christmas and there was a fun video for Home Alone 2. I can’t find that video online right now. Maybe The Wet Bandits took it down (that’s a Home Alone joke). For now I’ll post this live performance from 2010.

All Alone on Christmas by Darlene Love

Child of Winter by Rachel and the Reindeerz

Two days before Christmas in 1974, The Beach Boys released Child of Winter. It was written by Brian Wilson and Stephen Kalinich. Stephen had co-written four other Beach Boys songs. Earlier this decade an energetic new version was recorded by a new group called Rachel and the Reindeerz. It featured Stephen Kalinich and David Marks, who has been in The Beach Boys, most notably in the early days of 1962–1963 and their reunion album and tour in 2012.

Child of Winter by Rachel and the Reindeerz

Christmas Is All Around by Billy Mack

When people think of recent successful Christmas movies Love Actually comes to mind. My British Facebook Friend Melissa says it is always on some TV station in the UK. Sort of like the USA’s Seinfeld. I don’t love Christmas Is All Around by Billy Mack but love the idea of putting out a Christmas single and see it become #1 instead of an obnoxious (at least in the movie) boy band.

Christmas Is All Around by Billy Mack

My Favorite Things by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

There are many versions of My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music. I like Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass’ instrumental version from their 1968 Christmas album.

My Favorite Things by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

Must Be Santa by Bob Dylan

There has been a really good pop music Christmas song recently by, of all people, Bob Dylan. His Christmas album was called, by Mark Simone, the worst Christmas album of all time and people have wondered if Bob Dylan was putting us on. Whatever, this, in my opinion, is a really amusing Christmas song and wild video called Must Be Santa.

Must Be Santa by Bob Dylan

Christmas Around Me by The Common Linnets

This is the newest Christmas song on this blog. The Common Linnets are a Dutch country-influenced music group led by Ilse DeLange. They finished second for The Netherlands at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest with the beautiful Calm After the Storm. If you’re not familiar with them, check out some of their songs on YouTube and you’ll become a fan. This is Christmas Around Me.

Christmas Around Me by The Common Linnets

Donde Esta Santa Claus by Guster

When I was very young I remember a song called Donde Esta Santa Claus by Augie Rios. In my day, I really believed in Santa Claus! In 2003 a group called Guster did their own low-key version of the song and it’s a favorite.

Donde Esta Santa Claus by Guster

Give Love On Christmas Day by The Jackson 5

For Christmas 1970 Motown released Christmas albums from some of their top artists. The Jackson 5 put out their 4th album in little over a year. It’s one of my favorite Christmas album in the spirited J5 style of the era. This is more of a ballad and, with a great Michael Jackson lead vocal, a top favorite called Give Love On Christmas Day.

Give Love On Christmas Day by The Jackson 5

Santa Claus & His Old Lady by Cheech & Chong

It used to be that lots of artists gave the Christmas song a try. In 1971 the newly popular Cheech & Chong came out with Santa Claus & His Old Lady. It’s a little bit over 6 minutes, telling a Christmas story, in their own style and I always think about it as among my Christmas favorites. It’s not a song but a comedy sketch. Far out man!

Santa Claus & His Old Lady by Cheech & Chong

I Wish It Was Christmas Today by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan (from Saturday Night Live)

Staying in the comedy vein, here are Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan from Saturday night singing I Wish It Was Christmas Today. A simpler time when all comedy wasn’t about politics. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I Wish It Was Christmas Today by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan (from Saturday Night Live)

Christmas Don’t Be Late by The Chipmunks & David Seville

When I was really really young, I remember David Seville with Alvin, Simon and Theodore who were The Singing Chipmunks. Alvin was the Bart Simpson of the 1950s, was considered mischievous but harmless. In Christmas 1958 they sang Christmas Don’t Be Late. At some point I post it each holiday season on social media so I’ll post it here.

Christmas Don’t Be Late by The Chipmunks & David Seville

Zat You Santa Claus by Buster Poindexter

I’m so old I remember not having cable TV. I will say that our building was one of the last places in the USA to get it. And yes, I did live in New York City. On November 19, 1988 we joined the 20th century and it was installed. MTV was at its 1980s peak and Buster Poindexter aka David Johansen formerly of The New York Dolls (so he had “cred”) had a big Christmas hit with Zat You Santa Claus? It was played often on MTV and many of the station’s big names appeared in the video. Nice memories from a time in my life when everything was coming together in my life and made sense.

Zat You Santa Claus by Buster Poindexter

Everything For Christmas by The Temptations

Every year people complain that we hear about Christmas too early. I remember way back, going to J&R Music on lunch hour on August 25, 1980 (wish someone told me I would marry a girl from Holland, who I did not know yet, exactly 8 years later!) to see a new album called Give Love At Christmas by The Temptations. I was very happy that Dennis Edwards, after a two album absence, had returned to the group. This is a beautiful original Christmas song called Everything For Christmas.

Everything for Christmas by The Temptations

Sleigh Ride by LeRoy Anderson

There are a couple of old-time Christmas songs I like. Many people have done Sleigh Ride but the instrumental version by LeRoy Anderson is my favorite and one of the most popular.

Sleigh Ride by LeRoy Anderson

Sleigh Ride by Johnny Mathis

One of the popular Sleigh Ride versions with lyrics is from Johnny Mathis. This video from 1967 reminds us when many of us were young, or in your case, about two decades before you were born.

Sleigh Ride by Johnny Mathis

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year by Andy Williams

Andy Williams was always associated with Christmas. In 2012 he passed away at age 84. Here is a young Andy Williams, who also had a very successful TV show in the 1960s singing It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. Again, I say many of us were so young then. Or the times seemed more innocent.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year by Andy Williams

Run Run Rudolph by Chuck Berry

This year we lost the great Chuck Berry at age 90. In 1958 he took his rockin’ guitar style and gave us a Run Run Rudolph.

Run Run Rudolph by Chuck Berry

Tesco Christmas Commercial by The Spice Girls

In 2007 The Spice Girls reunited. Yes, despite daily rumors of Spice Girls reunions, The Spice Girls did actually reunite in 2007 and had a tour that extended into 2008. They also had a funny Christmas commercial for Tesco.

Tesco Christmas Commercial by The Spice Girls

The Chanukah Song by Adam Sandler

In the mid 1990s Adam Sandler recorded The Chanukah Song for people who celebrate the holiday and mentioned some of the most famous people celebrating it, mostly in show business. He has since recorded Part 2, 3 and 4. I like Part 1 

The Chanukah Song (Part 1) by Adam Sandler

And Part 3

The Chanukah Song (Part 3) by Adam Sandler

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town by The 4 Seasons

And back to Christmas. One of my all-time favorite group, Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons gave Santa Claus Is Coming To Town their full Sherry/Big Girls Don’t Cry/Walk Like A Man treatment in 1963.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town by The 4 Seasons

Those are my favorites. I probably left out some of your favorites, though the more popular ones I do like, but not enough to put here and maybe have grown tired of.

Have a great holiday season and happy new year!

Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

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