Sunday, December 11, 2011
The best way to spread Christmas cheer
I love Christmas music so, so much -- and I love Christmas movies nearly as much (within reason). So I have to share a few of my favorite songs, albums and movies with you while you still have time to listen to/watch them! :)
1. Harry Connick, Jr.'s "When My Heart Finds Christmas." The title track is beautiful, but I can honestly say that there's not a song on the album that I don't like. If you like classic big band Christmas music, you'll love this CD -- and, of course, Harry adds his own little jazzy twist to it. Soooooooo good.
2. The Vince Guaraldi Trio's "A Charlie Brown Christmas." The minute "Linus and Lucy" starts, you'll want to start dancing like Lucy and Charlie Brown and all of the Peanuts characters do. It's the best track on the album, but all of them are straight out of the movie. I am actually ashamed to say that I didn't even have this album until last year, when my friend Lizzy had it playing at her apartment. I'm so glad I bought it. It makes Christmas more fun and brings back great memories.
3. The Carpenters' "Christmas Portrait." If you don't already own this album, you need to get it. Karen Carpenter's voice is so gorgeous, and I love the arrangements of traditional Christmas songs. The song "Merry Christmas, Darling" is one of my all-time favorites, but they're all beautiful. "Christmas Waltz" is wonderful as well.
4. George Winston's "December." I usually prefer vocal Christmas music to instrumental albums (there is just FAR too much awful keyboard music out there, and I heard a lot of it on the radio as a kid), but this one is so peaceful and perfect. Last year the mp3 album was $5 on Amazon, so you might be able to get a good deal this year, too. It includes instrumental versions of "Carol of the Bells" and "Pachelbel's Canon" and several original compositions, too. I actually put this album on a lot when I'm trying to sleep because it's so calming. You will love it -- I promise. :)
1. Celtic Woman's "Silent Night." I'm not really into Celtic music (read: I do not like it), but last year my visiting teacher gave me a CD of different Christmas songs and this song was on it. It is one of the most beautiful versions I've ever heard, hands down. She has an incredibly clear, ethereal voice, and the arrangement is simple and so pretty. I love it just as much as the next song, which is --
2. Jewel's "O, Holy Night." For some reason I can't quite understand, I only have this song from her "Joy" album -- but it is incredible. Jewel has such an amazing range, and this song really showcases her stunning talent. I LOVE IT and could listen to it all day.
3. Ella Fitzgerald's "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." I love jazz (as you've probably gathered), and Ella is queen of great jazz. This song just makes me smile and really makes me want to sing with a big band. Wouldn't that be AWESOME?
4. Michael Buble's "My Grown-up Christmas List." Sadly, I have not yet heard his new Christmas album, but I love his version of this song on his first Christmas album. He sings it so smoothly and it is ten times better than Natalie Cole's version (of course, I could write an entire post just on how much I detest her rendition of "The Holly and the Ivy").
1. The Gift of Love. Oh. my. word. This is one of those movies that very few people know about, but it came out in the late '70s and stars Marie Osmond and James Woods and is SO GOOD. It's based on the short story "The Gift of Love" where the couple sells their most prized possessions to buy Christmas presents for each other. I'm actually watching it right now, and it's one of the most romantic movies I've ever seen -- but not over the top like The Notebook. Blecch. If you want to borrow it from me, let me know. Otherwise, you can get it on Amazon for about $20, and it's seriously worth every penny. Great music, period costumes, romance, wonderful Christmas message -- it's got it all! :)
And, that's actually it for movies. I'm sure that you've all seen the rest of the Christmas movies I like (Home Alone, Elf, It's A Wonderful Life), but I just had to share some of my favorites with you.
I hope you're all having the most wonderful Christmas season! These songs and that fabulous movie help me get into the season each year.