One of my many favorite things about this time of year is that I know every time I get in the car, Christmas carols can be found on radio stations galore. Sirius/XM has playlists playing everything from classics to country and one of our local stations always dedicates December to non-stop Christmas music. The classics bring back childhood memories, Mariah and Brenda get me singing along and bopping, and any song sung by a children’s choir melts my heart.
I also love Christmas movies and have watched so many Hallmark movies. Yes, I know, make fun of me but I’m guessing many of you have watched one or two or two dozen yourselves. All those “Christmas in the Rockies” and “A Crown for Christmas” flicks have somewhat the same plot line but I love them. They are uplifting, stress-free, and chalk-full of love and morals. I also love that other stations including UPtv, GAC, Lifetime, and others are serving up their versions of Hallmark hall of famers. Even Netflix has a few!
So, which of the above are my favorites? I thought I’d make my list and check it twice and see how the two lists compare to yours. Let me know and let’s go!
Carla’s Favorite Christmas Songs
1. “Away In the Manger.” Hands-down my favorite Christmas song. I especially love the line “But Little Lord Jesus no crying He makes.”
2. “Feliz Navidad.” The Jose Feliciano version. Only.
3. “Do They Know It’s Christmas/Feed the World” by Band Aid. I remember when this event happened. How nice that we banded as one and weren’t so divided. And ask yourself, do they know it’s Christmas?
4. “The First Noel.” Always gets me in mass.
5. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee. A classic.
6. “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” by Bruce Springsteen. The Boss does Santa.
7. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby.
8. “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey. MC creates a classic. Who doesn’t love it?
9. “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”
10. “Christmas, Baby Please Come Home” by Darlene Love.
11. “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole.
12. “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
13. “Rudolph, the Red No-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry.
14. “Christmas Time Is Here” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
15. “Oh Holy Night” any traditional version.
As you can gather from the above, I’m not a big fan of classic carol remakes. I don’t mind an occasional Martina McBride or Josh Groban version, but give me Bing and Brenda anytime. However, there are two remakes I am currently obsessed with by the amazing band For King & Country. Their versions of “Little Drummer Boy” and “Go Tell It On The Mountain” are as they say, viral, and worth a listen. They are powerful yet purposeful and give me chills.
I also like Blake Shelton and Gwen Stafani’s “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.” I love him and it’s a fun and bouncy little jingle.
And now….movies. I recently saw “Christmas With The Chosen” and liked it, but it’s too early to put it on my favorite list just yet. Here are those that do make my list:
1. “National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation.” Clark, I gotta say, your family follies are a Smith family Christmas tradition. We know it by heart and we laugh every time.
2. “Elf.” Buddy stole my heart and this movie is an annual must-see. Smiling is my favorite too Buddy.
3. “It’s A Wonder Life.” Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings. George Bailey not only inspired many, I named a dog after him years ago. Great message. Great movie.
4. “The Snowman.” This animated beauty should be watched by every child out there and its book is a great gift to go with it. Trust me on this. You’ll love it.
5. “White Christmas.” Bing. Danny. Rosemary. Vera. The Costumes. The singing. The magic.
6. “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” If you didn’t watch the history behind this classic on “CBS Sunday Morning” this past Sunday, do yourself a favor and find it online. It will make you love Charlie and the gang even more.
7. “The Holiday” starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz is delightful.
8. “Miracle on 34th” Kris Kringle’s big debut so to speak and a reminder to believe and have faith.
9. “Love Actually.” A modern take on love and the holidays. Hugh Grant. Liam Neeson. Colin Firth. Laura Linney. Emma Thompson. Keira Knightley. British accents. Need I say more?
10. “The Family Man.” Definitely not an upbeat Christmas flick, it stars Nicholas Cage is a kinda new take on finding the meaning of life. No one can compare to Donna Reed, but Tea Leoni plays a great role.
Runners Up: “Last Holiday” starring Queen Latifah, “The Polar Express,” and “The Bishop’s Wife.” So many movies. So little time.
I can’t wait to read your lists and your take on mine. Enjoy and keep them coming!