The kids are out of school and the holidays are in full gear, so I am going on a short “vacation” from blogging. This will be the last post this week and I will have just one post next week on Tuesday, December 28th.
Every year, I dread the question “What do you want for Christmas?” In a perfect world, I might possibly want, or better yet, actually need something for Christmas. Instead, each year some well-meaning relative asks me this question and it sends me into a tizzy. I know. I have a problem. I usually don’t know what I want for Christmas.
Actually, my world is pretty perfect. I want for nothing. I am blessed with a wonderful, loving husband. My children are intelligent and healthy and handsome and…(enough already! Do you think I’m biased as their mother?) My parents are active, healthy and fun to have in our lives. I have an amazingly diverse and wonderful extended family. I have kind, caring friends. I am happy and healthy. My dog is content.
So, rather than make a Christmas list for myself, I prefer to make Christmas lists for other people. Usually, I make them for my children and my husband so that I can at least answer the “What do they want for Christmas” question for them and they are none the wiser.
Today, however, I present a Christmas list for the readers of The Brave Ski Mom. This list has nothing to do with skiing. Nor is it sentimental in the least. It is a list of my favorite Christmas and holiday recordings.
Feeling a little blue? Need to pep things up around your house without prodigious sugar intake? Want your home to sound like a Cathedral Choir has moved in for a while? Just looking for a musical alternative to traditional Christmas Carols? Maybe you’ll find it here.
Lastly, I thank each and everyone of you for your support over the past 5 months. Merry Christmas!
The Brave Ski Mom Top Christmas Recordings, 2010
1. Universal Honey, Can’t Stop Thinking About Christmas. This is a full-on alt-rock sort of CD that I would listen to year-round if I weren’t worried about being thought of as a Christmas Freak. Upbeat, fun, groovy. I love it! It was last year’s fav…and this year’s too.
2. Kenny Burrell, Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas. A jazz recording straight from the 60s, Burrell gives the Little Drummer Boy so much soul, you’ll barely recognize it. And, you’ll love it.
3. J.S. Bach, Christmas Oratorio. There are probably countless recordings of these vocal works by J.S. Bach. I have the Archiv Production of The Monteverdi Choir and The English Baroque Soloists. Awe-inspiring.
4. Ray Coniff and The Ray Coniff Singers, We Wish You A Merry Christmas. It took me nearly 20 years of marriage to truly appreciate this CD. Campy to the max, it is my husband’s childhood favorite. After first hating it, then merely tolerating it, it is now the first CD I reach for on December 1st.
5. Meryl Streep, The Night Before Christmas. Her dramatic vocal gifts are best suited to the storytelling on this CD, as singing is not necessarily Streep’s strong suit. Still, the story is wonderful and the rest of the music, especially the instrumentals by Mark O’Connor are first rate. I love O’Connor’s bittersweet Cherry Tree Carol.
6. Ella Fitzgerald, Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas. “If wishes and buts were candies and nuts, we’d all have a fine Christmas,” goes the saying. Well, all I can say is that if wishes came true, I would sing like Ella Fitzgerald. Best female vocalist Christmas CD, period.
7. The Choir of Saint Thomas Church, Christmas on Fifth Avenue. Lovely, traditional, sacred music by a premier mens’ and boys’ choir. It makes me want to live in NYC so I could go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve with these guys.
8. Putamayo, Christmas Around the World. Funky, multilingual carols from the Caribbean and Europe with some good ol’ USA thrown in for balance. A little bit o’ reggae, a little bit o’ samba, a little bit o’ Cajun. Good fun!
9. John Lennon, Happy Xmas (War is Over). The best Christmas single ever.
10. Aaron Neville, Aaron Neville’s Soulful Christmas. I was stumped as to what my 10th recommendation would be. Then I was talking to a friend whose taste in music I respect. If he says this is “the best” Christmas album ever, it has to be on my list. iTunes here I come. It’s time to download.
I would love to hear about your favorite Christmas CDs or songs! Please leave a comment with your suggestions. Merry Christmas!
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