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December 8, 2007

Make a Joyful Noise: Twistie Recommends Christmas Music

Filed under: Music — Twistie @ 8:30 am

My parents had some unusual hobbies. One of my favorites was their passion for collecting Christmas music. The albums were never broken out before Thanksgiving and never played past New Year’s Day, but in between there was a non-stop Christmas concert.

And so I’d like to recommend a few holiday albums to brighten the season.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, by Vince Guaraldi. These jazzy takes on old favorites have been digitally remastered for maximum clarity. If you ever watched the special, I dare you not to be transported back to your childhood.

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, by Burl Ives. Yes, this includes Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, Silver Bells, and other performances from the classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but it’s got more than that. This may be considered heresy, but I like Ives’ rendition of White Christmas better than Bing Crosby’s.

Christmas Island, by Leon Redbone. Leon Redbone is a fun, funky, low-key performer and this album makes great party music. You don’t want to miss his duet with Dr. John of Frosty the Snowman!

Best of all, these albums are all available through


  1. Nat King Cole’s Christmas album is amazing. It’s a family tradition for us — plays while we open presents on Christmas morning!

    Comment by KateriBella — December 8, 2007 @ 10:36 am

  2. What?! No Vivaldi Gloria????? OMG – I’m Jewish and that music lifts ME right up to the ceiling.

    Comment by Toby Wollin — December 8, 2007 @ 11:42 am

  3. Ah, but Bing Crosby’s album White Christmas has the added benefits of the two fabulous songs “Mele Kalikimaka” and “Christmas in Kilarney,” plus the lovely harmony of the Andrews Sisters.

    My family’s favorite Christmas album has always been The Golddiggers “We Need a Little Christmas.” I really need to find someone who has one of the lp-to-mp3 recording devices so tha I can make sure the album continues to be available for my yet-to-be-born children and grandchildren.

    Comment by Lunakitsch — December 8, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

  4. I grew up on Irish music, so the Clancy Brothers Christmas is the one that means it’s really Christmas to me. No Tommy Makem, alas, but it’s just lovely, including “Buala Bas,” a.k.a. “Jingle Bells” in Irish.

    Comment by Bridey — December 8, 2007 @ 7:20 pm

  5. Ooh, I’d like to throw my two cents in and suggest Sufjan Stevens’ Songs for Christmas. Between his clever arrangements and beautiful voice, it’s incredibly good music. I’ve even been known to listen to certain songs year-round.

    Comment by K — December 8, 2007 @ 8:08 pm

  6. I’m very fond of John Denver’s Rocky Mountain Christmas.

    Comment by Margo — December 9, 2007 @ 12:54 am

  7. These are so different, but I would highly recommend Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas and Christmas With Johnny Cash!

    Comment by Catherine — December 9, 2007 @ 2:35 am

  8. I love the sound track for a movie called “Mixed Nuts”. Yeah, I know, you’ve never heard of it. It stars Steve Martin, Rob Reiner, Adam Sandler, Madeline Kahn, and a host of others. It is uproariously hilarious! So run, do not walk, to your nearest DVD emporium and buy/rent this movie. Then get yourself the soundtrack. You will NOT be disappointed :-)

    Comment by gemdiva — December 9, 2007 @ 10:33 am

  9. Mediaeval Baebes, Misletoe and Wine – great seasonal album, not necessarily Christmas.

    Comment by Sniper — December 9, 2007 @ 11:49 am

  10. Handel’s Messiah always goes on at my parent’s house. My mum has the whole thing on vinyl in a mint green box, just thinking of it reminds me of christmas lunches.

    You also can’t beat a bit of Boney M, once the brandy butter kicks in.

    Comment by Margo — December 9, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

  11. Passing through and wanted to tell you I enjoyed my stay

    Comment by Jessica — January 9, 2008 @ 3:05 am

  12. my misguided musician, for a while, it is a that the beechnuts a real all what

    Comment by elephantgree — June 18, 2008 @ 7:44 am

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