As you may or may not know, for years I worked at a theme park called Holiday World. If you aren't familiar, each section of the park is devoted to a different holiday, and my office was located in the Christmas section. Every day, from March 'til October, I would find myself jamming out to Christmas tunes as I headed from place to place, and oddly enough, it's a hard habit to shake. Nowadays I'll catch myself humming "Jingle Bells" while I make dinner or "Frosty the Snowman" while I'm gardening in the 800 degree Tennessee summer. Needless to say, I am not one of the people who complains about Christmas music on the radio in November. So here are a few of my all-time favorite holiday bops.
Pentatonix, "Where Are You, Christmas?"
You can't go wrong with Pentatonix for holiday jams, but this is definitely one of my favorites. I already loved it from the Jim Carrey version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but this version packs a punch that the other was missing. It's amazing what a tight harmony will do to a song.
Ella Fitzgerald, "Sleigh Ride"
This song is a bop. I can still remember sitting in the back of my mom's car and bouncing along to this track. The horn section gives me life, and the music makes you feel like you're actually going for a ride. Ella's voice is sensational, and I always crank up the volume when this one comes on.
Perry Como, "(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays"
I sing this all the time. All. The. Time. Waiting in line somewhere? I'm humming it. Cleaning up at work? Definitely singing it under my breath. It makes me think of delicious food, snowy drives, and playing board games with my family. What's not to love?
Bing Crosby/David Bowie, "Peace On Earth/The Little Drummer Boy"
At no point is this an actual duet, as these two dudes are both singing like leads, but my goodness I have a tender spot for this song. Bowie's voice is so gentle on this track, and while Bing Crosby has no idea what counting is, his "pa rum pum pum pums" are bold. It's a little cheesy, but darn it, I enjoy it.
A small aside...
To those who consider "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen an appropriate holiday chorus song: I see you, I understand your reasoning, but every time I hear it during the holidays, I think of my mom going, "Oh this is not what Leonard Cohen meant AT ALL" and it prevents me from ever thinking of it as a "Christmas song."