Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Monday: A Very Whitehouse Playlist

As we continue to count down the days until Christmas, instead of a musing, I bring you some merry cheer this Monday. I asked my family members to send me a favorite Christmas song so that I could create "A Very Whitehouse Christmas" playlist. They have included quite a variety of holiday favorites (and I use that word loosely). Here are the choices for their favorite holiday songs:

MOM: My favorite holiday songs are all part of the Christmas Eve Ceremony of "Lessons and Carols" from King's College, Cambridge. Each year the choir performs a newly commissioned carol. I love to listen to the service while making my Christmas stollen!

(Note: Stollen is am amazing bread my mom makes, and no, I did not include her songs on this playlist. If you want to hear them, tune in to NPR. Sorry, Mom.)

DAD: I am saving my dad's words for the end of the post, but his song choices are 1.) "Something About Christmas Time" by Bryan Adam, "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" by Celine Dion," and almost anything by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Among his favorites is "Christmas Canon."

JEFF (husband--big reveal of his name here): I like my Christmas tunes jazzy and soulful, and my favorite is Ray Charles' Winter Wonderland. Sadly it's not on Spotify, so instead I'll take Ella Fitzgerald's lively version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." As a fan of all things Martin Sexton, I have to pick his "I'll Be Home For Christmas" as well.

GEOFFREY (brother): At work we have holiday music that plays throughout the office. The two songs that get the biggest reaction are “Dominic the Donkey” and “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” Both songs are amazingly terrible. My current fave is “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” by Julian Casablancas. Also, every girl I know loves “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Maria Carey. To be honest, I kinda like it too.

DANA (sister-in-law (married to Geoffrey)): My favorite Christmas song is definitely Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You." It has a fantastic music video, and my obsession really began in college when my roommates and I would sing this and dance all around our dorm rooms. It was pretty hysterical!

(Note: Geoffrey and Dana are a perfect Christmas song match. How cute.)

CHRISTIAN (brother): I have a top three. The first is "Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth" by David Bowie and Bing Crosby. I love David Bowie, and the collaboration with Bing Crosby is great. Love the merging of the two songs, and the simplicity of it. Number two is "Mary Did You Know" by Cee Lo. The actual lyrics are a little religious for my taste, but I love how dramatic it is as it builds up, and Cee Lo is amazing in everything. My third is "Do They Know It's Christmas" by BandAid. With an all-star cast, and it's incredibly condescending/racist, but well-intentioned lyrics, it's an absolute classic.

(Note: Clearly Christian put a lot of thought into this response. Love the serious attitude he has about his Christmas tunes. My dad also picked "Mary Did You Know," but he prefers the Kathy Mattea version. )

GABY (sister): I will always love "Walking in the Air" from The Snowman because it reminds me of watching the movie at home with the family. I also love "All I Want for a Christmas is You" by Michael Bublé because who doesn't love Mr. Bublé's voice!

(Note: Gaby and Dana will have to have a duel to see whose version is better. )

KYLE (Gaby's boyfriend/practically my brother-in-law): My favorite is "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" - Bruce Springsteen version only. My dad has played it since I was a kid, and Bruce really seems excited for Santa Claus to be coming to town.

ME: I really love all Christmas music, so asking me to pick a favorite is like asking a mother to pick her favorite child.  I love the classic songs, the jazzy songs, the N'Sync songs, but because they are not represented on this list, I thought I would throw out two emo Christmas songs that I like. I am adding Sufjan Stevens "That Was The Worst Christmas Ever" and Dave Matthews "Christmas Song" to the list. Now, I just heard this third song the other day, and it is SO sappy, and it's super religious (which I'm not), but the little kid's voice kind of gets me every time, so I will also add Sarah Groves "It's True." Jeff says to ignore this. In his opinion, "It's awful." We have agreed to disagree.

If this strange and eclectic list doesn't do it for you, try this amazing list curated by Jeff.

If you've made it this far, bless your heart. A few words of closing from my dad:
As I have gotten older, I have seen that when there are moments of great tragedy, people recognize a common humanity, a care for strangers. This same awareness is alive at Christmas. At these times, there is a realization that of all that matters, family is the most important. This time is about hopes, about dreams, and knowing at a deeper level.

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