Friday, December 7, 2012

Nat's Must-Have Christmas Albums - 2012

I don't think I've ever written about my favorite Christmas albums; but if I have, I'm doing it again and if I haven't, well, today is your lucky day! I love Christmas music, but I am a stickler for only listening to it from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day, and then no more. On December 26th, the Christmas music goes back in a box and is stored away under the guest bed, or in the vault of my iTunes account. So, during those 30ish days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I try to cram in as many Christmas songs as possible. Here are four of my favorite Christmas albums:

100% Christmas - Various Artists


I came across this album recently on the Amazon MP3 page and after taking a look at the song list, I immediately purchased it. This album has 100 songs on it, most of which you will recognize from your childhood. A sampling of the artists includes Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Etta James, Dean Martin, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and Brenda Lee. It has all the Christmas favorites such as White Christmas and The Christmas Song (AKA Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) as well as I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and my all-time favorite Christmas song, The Christmas Waltz. the album also has some of those rather unorthodox favorites such as I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas, All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth and also contains a few you may never have heard such as Dominick the Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey). The MP3 of this album was just $4.99 when I purchased it from Amazon a week or so ago and it was money well spent. I am so glad I bought this album and it has officially become my favorite Christmas album. Seriously - 100 songs - there's something for everyone.

Christmas With The Rat Pack - Various Artists

Who doesn't love the Rat Pack? OK, probably every one of you, but I do and the Rat Pack singing Christmas songs? Well, be still my heart! I bought this album probably five years ago and have loved listening to it each Christmas season since. I can close my eyes and imagine Frank, Dean, and Sammy putting on a Christmas show and it makes me wish it was 1950 and I'm all dolled up with a mink stole, a cocktail and a smoke with my man. Some of the songs on this album are also on the 100% Christmas album; in fact, they may all be now that I think about it. However, if you have a Rat Pack lover in your family and they also enjoy Christmas music then I would highly recommend this album. It also has The Christmas Waltz - seriously, who doesn't love the Christmas Waltz? It's the best - if only I had a dancing partner.

Christmas Card - The Statler Brothers

 The Old Look

 The New Look

I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a Statler Brothers fan. I'm sure I would recognize a few of their songs because my parents were crazy about The Statlers in the 1980s and so it is inevitable that I would know some of their songs. Their Christmas album, however, I love dearly. Nothing takes me back to my childhood more than this album. Every year at Christmas when we ventured to and fro from this event to that event, this cassette tape was inevitably popped into the player and all four Parkers would sing along. My parents, in fact, still have the original LP and it was played many, many times, in our home during the Christmas season. Some of the songs on this album are traditional and some are originals and each one is just as lovely as the one before. A few years ago I was thinking about this album and decided to do a search for it in CD format. It has a different look than it did in the 1980s but it is still as wonderful as it was when I rode in the backseat of the car and argued with my brother about hogging up the seat. If you are looking for something a little different with a soft sound, then you will like this Christmas collection and perhaps it will also remind you of simpler times.

Michael Buble - Christmas

So, obviously I am a lover of jazz; but, you probably already knew that, especially if you have been reading for any number of days or years. Most people would probably have expected me to go with a Harry Connick, Jr. album as my final pick. Admittedly, I do love his Christmas albums, but I don't really prefer any one over Michael Buble's 2011 album simply titled Christmas. I know; it is shocking. The Buble album includes a lot of Christmas favorites sung in the old jazzy style I love, or maybe it's just Michael Buble that I love. Either way, even though it was only released last year it quickly became one of my favorites.


Alison said...

No Nat King Cole? I have to say that he is my go-to guy for Christmas. That and steel drum music. One Christmas my dad put the wrong CD in and it started playing really peppy steel drum tunes. We asked him to leave it on and it became something we did every year. When he died, my mom gave me the CD. We play it on Christmas day here in my house now. :)

Erika said...

I love the Statler Brothers; probably because my mom was a huge fan back in the day. That would make a great stocking stuffer for her - amazon here I come - ha!
I have been watching old Christmas movies, and I know what you mean about the mink stole, etc.
The Parkers have always known how to have fun; I can just imagine the 4 of you riding around singing Christmas songs ;)