Saturday, December 17, 2016

Virtual Advent 2016: Favorite Christmas Albums

virtual advent blog tour

The Virtual Advent is hosted by Sprite Writes. You can check out all the Advent stops on Sprite's blog. Thanks for hosting again this year, Sprite!

Usually for Virtual Advent, I share my favorite "not holiday" movies, but this year I decided to switch it up a bit and focus on something else I enjoy: music.

Back in the days before iTunes and listening to music on your computer, people listened to albums. While I'm A-okay with shuffling my 8,000-song library at any given time, when it comes to Christmas I still gravitate toward listening to one album at a time. Maybe it's because there's something nostalgic about it; maybe it's because holiday albums help set a mood where listening to a random selection of singles can't. Or maybe it feels like it slows life down just a bit to pick out an album and then pay attention to it instead of having a continuous loop of music playing.

Either way, I enjoy my Christmas albums, but of course I have some favorites that I thought I'd share to put you in the holiday spirit. Remember Christmas Day is only one week away!

the little drummer boy a christmas festival
The Little Drummer Boy: A Christmas Festival by the Harry Simeone Chorale

This was a record (an actual record; I still have it) that my grandparents owned and I was OBSESSED with when I was little. I would listen to it over and over and over. It basically tells the story of Christmas (the Jesus one, not like A Christmas Story) through traditional carols. It might seem strange that a young child would be that into a Christmas album like this, but what can I say. I was a strange kid. You can stream the entire album on YouTube.

john denver and the muppets christmas album
A Christmas Together by John Denver and the Muppets

This is another childhood favorite. As a kid growing up in the '80s, of course I loved the Muppets, and my mom was a huge John Denver fan, so that was win-win for the whole family right there. My favorite songs on this one are Miss Piggy's rendition of Christmas is Coming, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

You can also stream this one on YouTube!

peter paul and mary christmas album
A Holiday Celebration by Peter Paul and Mary

Another group my mom was really into was Peter Paul and Mary. This is probably why I love folk music today. Anyway, it's not Christmas without the PP&M Christmas album! I love the mix of unusual Christmas carols on this album, especially Light One Candle (which I guess isn't a Christmas song per se) and A Soalin'.

This is another album streamable on YouTube, you lucky ducks.

a colbert christmas
A Colbert Christmas, the Greatest Gift of All! by Stephen Colbert, et. al.

How do I love Stephen Colbert, let me count the ways. This album–and the Christmas special it comes from–is a pure, subversive delight from start to finish. A few of my favorite songs include Toby Keith's Have I Got a Present for You and John Legend's Nutmeg. Stephen and Elvis Costello singing There Are Much Worse Things to Believe In always makes me cry, because I am a sap.

weezer christmas album
Christmas with Weezer, by Weezer

If you're tired of caroling and want to put some electric guitar and drums into your holiday carols (and who doesn't), Christmas with Weezer is perfect! There appears to be several versions of this album available online, but it's short and fun no matter which you choose. I particularly adore their rendition of O Holy Night.

michael buble christmas album
Christmas by Michael Bublé

I feel like I spent my entire adult life waiting for Michael Bublé to put out a Christmas album. Is that weird? Anyway, he finally did, and of course his voice is like butter and he's basically the Frank Sinatra of our time, so. You can stream it on YouTube, or! stream any of his annual Christmas specials as well.

What are some of your favorite Christmas albums?

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