With December upon us at last, it’s finally time to get into the holiday spirit. What better way to indulge in Christmas traditions like decorating your tree or baking festive cookies than with a holiday playlist? Here are some of The Scout’s choices to kick off this holiday season.
“be mine this christmas” by Bryson Tiller – Anaiah Davis
This time last year, Tiller delivered a holiday EP that managed to give Christmas music the perfect soulful twist. On “be mine this christmas,” the R&B artist sings about not having a significant other during the festive season, something many of us have been able to relate to at some point. The track opens with a nostalgic instrumental before switching to an uptempo beat that has the potential to shake away anyone’s holiday blues.
“Christmas Time is Here” by Vince Guaraldi Trio – Daniel Kerns
Among all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, sometimes you need some smooth jazz for rest and relaxation. It doesn’t hurt that “Christmas Time is Here” is also the soundtrack to one of the best movies about the true meaning of Christmas, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Depending on your mood, you can listen to the instrumental or vocal version, but both have their merits. For ambiance and vibes, the instrumental version is definitely the right call. If reflective and slightly melancholy lyrics are your thing, though, the vocal version sung by a children’s choir is the better pick.
“White Christmas” by The Drifters – Jonathan Michel
I’ll put this out there right away, I’m not a fan of a lot of holiday music, plain and simple. It’s the same 20 to 30 songs every year and even the more modern spin-offs of the classics now fall into the “overplayed” category. However, “White Christmas” by The Drifters won’t get skipped or turned off because of the 1950s group’s catchy doo-wop vocals in the background. One of the members eventually sings in a nearly-hilarious high-pitched voice, which always makes me smile.
“Christmas Tree Farm” by Taylor Swift – Madalyn Mirallegro
Sticking to my roots and my Spotify top artist of 2022, my favorite Christmas song has to be “Christmas Tree Farm” by Taylor Swift. The song starts out slow, almost like a ballad, before the jingle bells start to chime, boosting the mood. The lyrics also get more upbeat as the song continues. “Christmas Tree Farm” is a modern twist on a love song one can listen to while snuggling up in front of the fire at a farm and saying “I love you” for the first time.
“Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber – Payton Egnew
Since I was a little kid, “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber has always been my favorite Christmas song. It brings back memories of playing the “Under The Mistletoe” album by Justin Bieber on repeat in the car. The song starts with jingle bells chiming, which gives the perfect Christmas vibe to the song.
“Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms – Mason Klemm
This pick involves a bit of nostalgia. This used to be my favorite song to sing in my elementary school’s annual Christmas assembly. The whole school meets together in the gym and sings Christmas songs, and I enjoyed this one because it was more upbeat compared to the other selections and ultimately reigned supreme. It’s gotten a resurgence in popularity due to TikTok, but don’t let that tarnish its classic greatness.
“You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” by Thurl Ravenscroft – Lee Lard
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” is a classic, and also my personal favorite Christmas movie. My sister and I make sure to watch it several times a year. The lyrics are fun to sing along to and always makes me feel like a kid again.
I’m supposed to pick one? – Matt Lucas
Alright, I’m a sucker for the Christmas season. Telling me to pick one Christmas song to add to this playlist is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. Sure, the parent knows deep down who their choice is, but I don’t. Trust me, there are too many variations of “Carol of the Bells” for me to pick from. Each one is fantastic, and having to put them up against the mastery of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Andy Williams and the Carpenters is a losing battle either way. As a consolation for my unwillingness to center on a single one, I’ve listed a few of my favorite hits.
“Happy Holiday / The Holiday Season” by Andy Williams
“Carol of the Bells” by Mannheim Steamroller
“Christmas In Our Hearts” by Downhere
“Carol of the Bells” by David Foster
“Wizards in Winter” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra