To me, nothing warms the holiday spirit quite like an old Burl Ives Christmas tune. His rendition of “Holly Jolly Christmas” from the 1964 Rankin & Bass CBS TV special “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” has become a standard throughout the years and is regularly played every year after Thanksgiving through Christmas day to the delight of many.A few years ago, I started a tradition with my children; I started buying and downloading as many Christmas songs as I could and we settled on a few that always make our holidays more enjoyable no matter where we go. Whether at home or in the car, my kids sing along to songs such as; Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms, Brenda Lee’s Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and Happy Holiday by Andy Williams, and a whole bunch of others.
Ever since we started this tradition, I’ve noticed my kid’s anticipation for Christmas has noticeably increased and I don’t think it’s because of all the wonderful presents they always get from Santa. It’s because the songs help them they feel the holidays deep in their hearts because the songs have a magical quality within themselves that I can’t and don’t even want to explain. Every year, they know the day after Thanksgiving their daddy is going to pop in that Golden CD in the car and start butchering the songs with his slightly out-of-tune voice! They quickly put me in my place and let me know they can’t hear Andy Williams and I eventually stop singing just to make sure they can easily digest their Chicken McNuggets.
I guess when I started this holiday tradition, I was taking after my father. He used to play the same old records I play for my kids but I’ll never forget how special that crackling record player sounded back then compared to today’s digital recordings. Who would have imagined that 50 some odd years later, these songs would have stood the test of time like they do.
Oddly enough, my kids have also taken a liking to the Cheech and Chong “Santa Clause and His Old Lady” as well as Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song” recordings, too. If you have never heard these, be prepared to laugh your behind off!
If you want to consider doing the same for your children and try adding a little spark of magic for your holidays, here’s a list I compiled from some of the greatest songs I believe I’ve ever been recorded for Christmas and the holidays:
- The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
- Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
- Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
- The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
- Silver and Gold – Burl Ives
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – (both versions) Burl Ives or Gene Autry
- Merry Christmas Darling – The Carpenters
- Happy Holiday – Andy Williams
- White Christmas – Bing Crosby
- Let it Snow – Vaughn Monroe
- The Chanukah Song – Adam Sandler
- Santa Clause and His Old Lady – Cheech and Chong
- Nuttin’ For Christmas – Barry Gordon
- Little Saint Nick – Beach Boys
- Heat Miser – George Irving
- Snow Miser – Dick Shawn
- You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch – Thurl Ravenscroft
- Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley
- Winter Wonderland – Perry Como
- Please Come Home For Christmas – The Eagles
- Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
- Fosty the Snowman – Jimmy Durante