Some of my earliest memories of Christmas are watching the Andy
Williams Christmas specials with my family back in the late 60’s. Today, Andy’s recording of Sleigh Ride has a unique way of transporting me back to that time and place in the blink of an eye. From the lights and music, to my mom’s special sugar cookie recipe, Christmas was pure magic. It’s no wonder that the holiday season and its music render me a bit nostalgic for the good old days. In fact, my entire childhood is sprinkled with holiday favorites that ring true this time of year.
In the glory days of television and three network channels, we couldn’t wait for the annual broadcast of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and of course the soundtrack from Vince Guaraldi. Every one of those tracks were, and still are, pure gold. O’Tananbaum, What Child is This, and the brilliant Linus & Lucy. Sadly, those songs don’t seem to resonate with my kids the way they did for us. Maybe it’s the era of entertainment overload. Who knows?
And who can forget… “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.” This is another one of those childhood moments that seem to stick with me no matter how old I get. I just recently learned that the vocal for this song was done by a guy named Thurl Ravenscroft. For years I thought it was Boris Karloff, who did the rest of the narration for the show. Ya learn sumthin’ new every day. Even as a youngster I thought the lyrics for this classic we’re absolutely perfect… I still think so.
There are so many holiday songs out there that I can’t keep track of them. However, there are some that seem to rise to the top every holiday season. So here are 10 of my favorite Christmas songs of all time. You’ll notice that number 10 is actually a brand new track from the band Hanson. These guys are still making great music and “Finally It’s Christmas” is no exception. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen.
I should note that Bing Crosby did one of the early versions of Mele Kalikimaka, I just happen to like Jimmy’s version the best. Jimmy also does a fine version of Run Run Rudolph.
(Click on each title to see the video)
Click on the YouTube icon below to see another excellent song (and video) from the Hanson boys. You’ll really appreciate this one if you’re a Blues Brothers fan like myself.