Hello fellow souls on this Christmas Eve! I am sitting here, listening to 16 different versions of the same song with my family and I thought I would par down the selection for all and sundry. Here is the definitive list of my favorite versions of Christmas songs.
All I Want For Christmas Is You (Original Version) by Mariah Carey
-Sure, she might not be able to sing it anymore but it is a modern staple.
Another Christmas Song by Stephen Colbert
-We all need a little bit of sarcasm. This is the 21st century after all.
Auld Lang Syne by Street Corner Symphony
-Okay, so maybe I watch the Sing-Off and maybe this isn’t technically a Christmas song but it is far superior to the drudging depressive versions. It’s a new year after all not a funeral.
Ave Maria by Josh Groban
-Yes, I own all of his albums. But not all of his versions of Christmas songs are my favorites. This one is.
Believe by Josh Groban
-I do believe again in the true meaning of Christmas, Josh Groban! I do!
Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song) by Amy Grant
-I will admit that I don’t actually know any other versions of this song but I like it well enough not to keep looking.
Carol of the Bells by The University of Rochester YellowJackets
-This song is hard. There are countless versions and arrangements. And yet my favorite by far is this version sans words that is just long enough to be complex but not long enough to lose any of its charm.
The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) by The Chipmunks
Christmas/Sarajevo 12/14 by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra
-I have seen both their old show and their newer one and you will never convince me that the new one is anywhere near as well written.
The Christmas Can-Can by Straight No Chaser
-I’m a sucker for these guys. They balance quality arrangements and comedy well.
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire, Merry Christmas To You) by Nat King Cole
-Not the version with his daughter. The good version that makes you want to try your hand at roasting chestnuts as soon as you can track them down…and a fire, and a red chair by a hearth on a rug over a wood floor with no other lighting but the glow.
Christmastime Is Here by The Peanuts or whatever the original version is attributed to
-When I listen to this I can pretend that maybe one day I will actually try my hand at skating on our pond. Because I definitely have the skills and am simply lacking the drive.
Coventry Carol by Sonos
-I’d never heard this carol before but I won’t be parted with this version easily.
Deck the Halls by Relient K
-When I feel like decorating or wrapping and being a cliché while pretending to be in a 90s teen drama I listen to this. No idea why it makes me feel that way but I’m not gonna argue.
Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano
-I sometimes can’t do without the classics of my childhood. Someday my mother might actually get the Spanish correct!
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Straight No Chaser
-It’s not my favorite of theirs but it fills the gaps.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings by Barenaked Ladies featuring Sarah McLachlan
-Slightly different than the previous version because it is a twofer. But it is beautiful and homey.
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen by The Wiffenpoofs
-This is my favorite of the three variations. While all three are good enough for this list this version is beautifully arranged and carries a unique weight.
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams
-This is one of those songs that has to be on my playlist. It literally tells me everything I need to hear.
Jingle Bell Rock by Hall & Oates
-For dancing with the little ‘uns.
Jingle Bells (Bass) by Basshunter
-Yeah, he made a version and I love it.
Jingle Bells by Straight No Chaser
-For all the sticks in the mud that prefer a less bassy version. This a cappella version acquits itself with skill.
Last Christmas by Wham!
-Because some people have time to juggle relationships.
Let It Snow by Straight No Chaser
-Another artful interpretation that vibes nicely.
Little Drummer Boy by Josh Groban featuring Andy McKee
-It’s a simple version to honor the story.
A Mad Russian’s Christmas by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra
-If you don’t pretend to be at least one of the musicians at some point in this song then you need the joy of Christmas more than you know.
Mary, Did You Know by Clay Aiken
-This song begs for his soft rock rendition.
O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night by TSO
-I’m gonna abbreviate them. Be thankful I don’t just list the entire album.
On This Christmas Night by Tonic Sol-fa
-Doondoot doondootdoo dada da dada da.
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee
-I’m not a huge fan of her as a vocalist but this is the version you need if you want to pretend to be at a Christmas office party ready to stop by the store on the way home through snow.
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town by the Jackson 5
-You better not…listen to any other version.
Silent Night by Sarah McLachlan
-For some reason people seem to not be as willing to take liberties with religious carols. But at least she puts some snuggly warmth into this version.
The Silent Nutcracker by TSO
-An acoustic version that is just as good as their fire and lights show.
A Star to Follow by TSO
-Man I wish I had a choir to make sing this to me whenever I walked through the mall.
We Three Kings by Go Fish
-Most of their album is too preachy for me but I love this version and that they played with it a little.
We Three Kings by Straight No Chaser
-Honestly, my favorite version is a toss-up between this version and the previous one. Both are quality not to be missed.
Where Are You Christmas by Faith Hill
-*sobs* She’s just a little child trying to keep her innocence afloat in this commercial hell of a world.
Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney
-I only found out about this song because of the newer Rudolf. I’m glad it is in my cannon now.
You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Straight No Chaser
-Forget good arrangements. This man’s voice can narrate my life.
The 12 Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser
-The only listenable version of this song.
Now go and buy all the songs!
Merry Holidays to you and yours,