Merry almost-Christmas, folks! I know we’re like 3 seconds away from the big soiree, but we still have all the way up to New Year’s to get festive and pretend the rest of a longgg-ass holiday-bereft winter isn’t still to come.
I wanted to start by saying that I’m planning to share monthly, seasonal-ish playlists with you guys on here, because I love making mixtapes (even if they’re the digital kind!). And, well, I just think it’ll be fun. So, here is the first installment, just in time for it to not be December anymore haha.
If this gives you an idea of how nerded out I am about Christmas, allow me to share an embarrassing photo of myself from a Christmas morning past…
(Photo cred: Mom)
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, on to the tunes!
This is an extended version of the winter/holiday playlist I first made over a decade ago, and have been listening to every year since. There are a bunch of newer tunes thrown in from more recent years (like The Growlers, Saintseneca & First Aid Kit <3) as well. I have made many a mixtape and mixed CD of the orig as Christmas gifts, back when that was still a thing (waaahhhh), and now I’m gifting it to you!
Here you’ll find more indie-leaning & old school fare, hopefully some stuff you haven’t heard of before, and that are off the cheesy-holiday-song spectrum. This is a winter AND holiday playlist, after all, so they aren’t all Christmas songs (and some are a little melancholy, tbh), but, many of them are!!
You can listen to previews of all the tunes right here, or check out the whole shebang on Spotify. For those who don’t use the service, I’ve also listed the songs below, so you can look ’em up and listen wherever!
So without further ado, grab the egg nog, throw your Rudolph PJs on, and get ready to rock around the Christmas tree like Kevin McAllister...
Now for the list…
White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
On Holiday – Saintseneca
Lonely This Christmas – The Growlers
Wintertime Love – The Doors
Frosty the Snowman – Fiona Apple
Fjords of Winter – The Ladybug Transistor
Splitting’ up Christmas – Kevin Devine
Babylon – David Carbonara
Winter Is All Over You – First Aid Kid
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – She & Him
Christmas Card From a Hooker In Minneapolis – Tom Waits
Blue Christmas – Nicole Atkins
Christmas Must Be Tonight – Bahamas
What the Snowman Learned About Love – Stars
Sweet Winter Hello – Gregory and the Hawk
Mele Kalikimaka – She & Him
Space Christmas – Also Darlin’
Winterlude – Bob Dylan
Maybe Next Year (X-mas Song) – Meiko
Santa Baby – Daniela Andrade
Handjobs for the Holidays – Broken Social Scene
When I Get Home for Christmas – Snow Patrol
Wildwood Flower – Kilby Snow
My Dear Acquaintance [A Happy New Year] – Regina Spektor
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra
Carol of the Bells – The Bird and the Bee
Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight) – Ramones
A Christmas Duel – The Hives, Cindy Lauper
Merry Christmas Baby – Otis Redding
No Christmas For Me – Zee Avi
The Christmas Song – The Raveonettes
Happy New Year – Camera Obscura
Christmas Time Is Here – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Aud Lang Syne – Andrew Bird
And, lastly, here are a few of my favorite Christmas albums.
A Fine Frenzy – Oh Blue Christmas
For whatever reason, this one, single, A Fine Frenzy album is not available on Spotify, which is why there are no songs included here, but it’s one of my favs!
Belle and Sebastian Christmas Peel Session Bootleg
The only place on the planet where this exists, to my knowledge, is on my first edition iPod Mini chilling at the bottom of a landfill somewhere in the Greater Boston area since 2004-ish, or as individual songs on YouTube. Below is my favorite song on the album, because it is extremely rad.
She & Him Christmas Party
The second holiday album from Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward’s adorable little duo, She & Him. I love their first Christmas Album, A Very She & Him Christmas, as well, but this one is my fav of the two!
The Hotel Cafe Presents: Winter Songs
The Beach Boys – The Beach Boys Christmas Album
Classic surf rock Christmas! Yesssss. How can you go wrong?
Elvis Presley – Elvis Christmas Album
Another must-have classic. There are about 100 Elvis Christmas albums called Elvis Christmas Album, but this is the one I have on vinyl, and I highly recommend.
Christina Aguilera – My Kind of Christmas
Ok, don’t hate. Xtina was my girl back in the day. Bye, Mariah! For an (admittedly cheesy, but whateverrr) throwback to the 00s, this is still the jam.
Not on the list:
Bob Dylan’s Christmas in the Heart
Ok, that’s it! Hope you enjoyed my first Fête Lit playlist, and stay tuned for more not-holiday-ones to come!