First: I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you were celebrating.


Second: I’m currently obsessed with making an epically awesome holiday mix of festive ass-kickery. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

No Christmas for Me, Zee Avi • This Warm December: Brushfire Holiday’s, Vol. 1
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Joshua James • Fields & Floods
Winter Song, Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson • The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs
Little Drummer Boy, Pink Martini • Joy to the World
Holy, Holy, Holy, Sufjan Stevens • Songs for Christmas
We Three Kings, The Roches • We Three Kings
Ave Maria + Intro, Chris Cornell & Eleven • A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 3
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, Mason Jennings • This Warm December: Brushfire Holiday’s, Vol. 1
O Come All Ye Faithful, Weezer • Christmas With Weezer
God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan • A Winter’s Night
Frosty the Snowman, Fiona Apple • The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs
Christmas in Prison (Live), John Prine • A John Prine Christmas
Happy Xmas (War Is Over), Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters • My Dreams of Christmas – Single
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Over the Rhine • The Darkest Night of the Year
Winter Wonderland (Single Version), The Andrews Sisters • Christmas
Blue Christmas, Elvis Presley • Elvis Christmas
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (Q-Burns Abstract Message Remix), Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers • Merry Mixmas: Christmas Classics Remix (Digital Version)
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Ella Fitzgerald • Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas
Please Come Home for Christmas, Willie Nelson • A Very Special Acoustic Christmas
A Holly Jolly Christmas, Burl Ives • Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Weezer • Christmas With Weezer
I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm (Stuhr Remix), Kay Starr • Christmas Remixed – Holiday Classics Re-Grooved
Christmas Canon, Trans-Siberian Orchestra • The Christmas Attic
We Three Kings, The Reverend Horton Heat • We Three Kings
Calling On Mary, Aimee Mann • One More Drifter In the Snow
Oiche Chiun (Silent Night) Enya • A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 3
Gabriel’s Message, Sting • A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 1
Carol of the Bells, Mormon Tabernacle Choir • Joy to the World
Wizards In Winter (Instrumental), Trans-Siberian Orchestra • The Lost Christmas Eve

Link to the iMix of all these songs.

Some kind of widget exported by iTunes that may or may not work in your browser:

Aaaaaand a bunch of mostly-crappy YouTube videos of the songs:

“No Christmas For Me” — Zee Avi

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” — Joshua James

“Winter Song” — Sara Bareilles/Ingrid Michaelson

“Little Drummer Boy” — Pink Martini

“Holy, Holy, Holy” — Sufjan Stevens

“Ave Maria” — Chris Cornell

“Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town” — Mason Jennings

“O Come All Ye Faithful” — Weezer

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” — Barenaked Ladies

“Frosty the Snowman” — Fiona Apple

“Christmas in Prison” — John Prine

“Hallelujah” — Over the Rhine

“Winter Wonderland” — The Andrews Sisters

“Blue Christmas” — Elvis

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” — Ella Fitzgerald

“Please Come Home for Christmas” — Willie Nelson

“Holly Jolly Christmas” — Burl Ives

“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” — Kay Starr

“Christmas Canon” — Trans-Siberian Orchestra

“Calling on Mary” — Aimee Mann

“Gabriel’s Message” — Sting

“Carol of the Bells” — Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Hope you enjoy these as much as I have been. Got any additional song suggestions?


67 Responses to “Holiday mixtape”

  1. Denise on November 28th, 2010 8:06 pm

    Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses.

  2. Bridget on November 28th, 2010 8:12 pm

    The last few years, I’ve been loving Dada’s I Ain’t Gonna Sit on Santa’s Lap – which might be especially fun for you since Dylan is at that “scared of the big stranger in bright red velvet” stage.

    And you can’t go wrong with Santa Baby, of course.

  3. Melinda on November 28th, 2010 8:12 pm

    Great mix Linda! I have long been partial to the Eurythmics version of Winter Wonderland. It sounds a little extra 80s synthesizer to my ears now but I still love it so.

  4. Bridget on November 28th, 2010 8:13 pm

    Oops, sorry, it isn’t Dada; the album is only by their guitarist, Michael Gurley.

  5. KT on November 28th, 2010 8:18 pm

    Two amazing Australian Christmas songs:

    White Wine in the Sun by Tim Minchin

    How to Make Gravy by Paul Kelly

    And my favourite Christmas song:

    Fairytale of New York by The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl

  6. heather on November 28th, 2010 8:19 pm

    This is awesome. So glad that you included Sufjan in your mix, too.

  7. Lyn on November 28th, 2010 8:22 pm

    “Santa Baby” with Eartha Kit is my all time fave! Makes me smile every time I hear it. Thanks for this mix!! I’ve not heard some of these and they are great!!

  8. nomes on November 28th, 2010 8:25 pm

    nice one!

    how to make gravy by paul kelly is a great one

  9. Erin on November 28th, 2010 8:44 pm

    Sweet list. My suggestion is Donde Esta Santa Claus by Guster. It’s a good one to decorate the tree to.

  10. jenn on November 28th, 2010 8:46 pm

    “Merry Christmas from the Family” by Robert Earl Keen (LOVE IT!)

  11. Aubrey on November 28th, 2010 8:49 pm

    My own obsession with making the epic Christmas playlist has forced me out of the lurker-friendly shadows!

    Three favorites:
    ~O Holy Night, by musicians for the Tipitina Foundation (a group of New Orleans artists). This song was performed on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and was just amazing.
    ~The Christmas Song, by the Dave Matthews Band. I absolutely love how it takes religious subject matter (which I don’t necessarily believe in or agree with) and makes it oh-so-humanistic and easy to relate to.
    ~Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone. It’s just so fun and slightly naughty.

  12. Meagan on November 28th, 2010 8:56 pm

    You need “Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime” by Jonathan Coulton, free for download on his website. Because what Christmas is complete without evil robot overlords?

  13. Amy Beth on November 28th, 2010 9:39 pm

    A bunch of those are on my list! You might also consider
    The Weepies: All That I Want
    Priscilla Ahn: Silent Night
    Low: Just Like Christmas
    Aimee Mann: Whatever Happened to Christmas, Fleet Foxes: White Winter Hymnal
    The Rescues: All That I Want For Christmas (Is To Give My Love Away)

    They’re all great!

  14. Mama Ritchie on November 28th, 2010 9:44 pm

    Great mix. I have to admit, I loathe traditional Christmas music (I’m a big Scrooge) but I do love when non-traditional artists put a new spin on classics. For instance, this version of Winter Wonderland by Cocteau Twins:

  15. susan on November 28th, 2010 9:45 pm

    Thanks for the list, I always adding to my Christmas Playlist
    Here are a few:
    Oi to the world No Doubt
    Mr Heat Mister Brian Setzor Orchestra
    fairy Tale of New York KT Tunstall
    I wont be home for Christmas Blink 182

    I have lots more!

  16. rachel m. on November 28th, 2010 9:51 pm

    I Wish it was Christmas Today by Julian Casablancas. very kick-assery. Originally seen on Jimmy Fallon.

  17. Donna on November 28th, 2010 9:51 pm

    Well THAT cost me some cash, lol!

  18. Linda on November 28th, 2010 9:57 pm

    Donna: I know, I think I blew my yearly mad money budget on music this week! I wish I could have just posted a file of all these songs for any interested party to download, but JB convinced me that would be a Bad Idea.

  19. Donna on November 28th, 2010 10:29 pm

    Probably! LOL, and what ever happened with dog? Is he/she okay?

  20. Linda on November 28th, 2010 10:46 pm

    Dog lives to fight another day! She’s doing much better.

  21. Rebecca on November 29th, 2010 12:06 am

    Thank you for the appreciation of Chris Cornell’s “Ave Maria”! That’s one I look forward to listening to every year.

  22. Kelley O on November 29th, 2010 4:24 am

    Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 (Instrumental) by Trans Siberian Orchestra.

  23. Terasa on November 29th, 2010 4:39 am

    I really enjoy the band Straight No Chaser. Their Christmas stuff is great! My favorite is Carol of the Bells, but everyone else seems to enjoy The Christmas Can-Can and 12 Days of Christmas.

  24. Christine on November 29th, 2010 7:02 am

    Glad to hear Dog is better (via comments! but hey). It just ain’t Christmas without Fairytale of New York (the Pogues.) Any Christmas song with the lyrics, “you’re an old slut on junk” is A-okay in my book.

  25. Angharad on November 29th, 2010 7:10 am

    Tim Minchin – White Wine in the Sun

  26. Claire on November 29th, 2010 7:17 am

    I like a lot of traditional songs so here’s a Frank Sinatra one that rocks:

    I also like Three Ships by Sting.

  27. Amy M. on November 29th, 2010 7:44 am

    I second Kelley O’s suggestion of TSO’s “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo”. Being a Gleek, I also have to plug “Baby it’s Cold Outside” performed by Chris Colfer & Darren Criss. Cute.

  28. Liz on November 29th, 2010 7:44 am

    AHH! I’ve been OBSESSED with Winter Song by Sara & Ingrid. Obsessed. I found it on YouTube just randomly searching for new music the other day so I love that you posted it. Also? Winter Winds by Mumford and Sons. Maybe not so much Christmas-y, but an awesome song.

  29. Deanna on November 29th, 2010 8:22 am

    Every year I make a perky happy mix music cd (quick, easy gift for friends, family and teachers!) complete with labels with the kiddos’ photos on them. Huge Hit!
    My list is pretty traditional but with some kids music thrown in (rated G so they can play it at the school).

    Beatles- Rockin’ Around the Xmas Tree
    BonJovi – Bells WIll Be Ringing
    Brenda Lee – Marshmellow World
    Hall & Oates – Jingle Bell Rock
    Dr Seuss – You’re a Mean One Mr Grinch
    Jose Feliciano – Feliz Navidad
    Harry Connick Jr – I pray on xmas
    Harry Connick – Rudolf
    Jackson 5 – Up on the housetop
    The Carpenters – Jingle Bells
    Dean Martin – Let it snow
    Madona – Santa Baby
    Then I have 2 secret tracks – the barking Dogs and the Singing cats

  30. Eric's Mommy on November 29th, 2010 9:30 am

    It’s not Christmas without “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. Best Christmas song EVER.

  31. Brenna on November 29th, 2010 9:36 am

    Definitely Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and All that I Want by The Weepies. Also:

    Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight) – The Ramones

    Merry Christmas, Baby – Otis Redding

    River (I’m prefer the Sarah MacLachlan version over Joni’s)

  32. Nolita Morgan on November 29th, 2010 10:06 am

    Some songs I LIKE to hear this time of year (and my family GETS to hear a lot):
    “Pretty Paper” by Willie Nelson (
    “All I Want for Christmas is You” Vince Vance and the Valiants(
    “Please Come Home for Christmas” – The Eagles (

  33. marilyn on November 29th, 2010 10:09 am

    I don’t know if you’re a Tom Waits fan (maybe not, since I recall a distaste for Bob Dylan…) but Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis is pretty dang nice and goes somewhat well with the badass tone of this collection! There’s a Neko Case cover that’s a little more prettier:

  34. Eliza on November 29th, 2010 10:47 am

    This is a super fun post and I LOVE IT. Holiday music is the best because it gives us permission to be as cheesy as we want to be (not that I need permission, but still) …


    Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan:

    In the Bleak Midwinter by Sarah McLachlan:

    (Both of the above make me bawl my face off. Why? I have no idea.)

    We Need a Little Christmas by Patrick Wilson:

    (No song puts me in a stupider, sillier holiday mood than the above.)

    Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Christine Ebersole:

    Silent Night by Lillias White:

    (I like to turn the volume all the way up on Lillias White.)

    Ave Maria & What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? by Harry Connick, Jr.

    Let it Snow by Michael Buble:

    White Christmas by Audra McDonald:

    (Chills, right there.)

    Christmastime is Here by Charlie Brown & co.:

    So This Is Christmas (War Is Over) by Sarah McLachlan:

    All I Want for Christmas Is You (the Love Actually version):

  35. Mandy on November 29th, 2010 11:33 am

    Roland Kirk’s title track from We Free Kings.

  36. pilot_e on November 29th, 2010 11:56 am

    I’m a traditional music lover… this is one of my all time fav’s
    Amy Grant: O Come All Ye Faithful
    **the acoustic guitar version.**

  37. Lizerati on November 29th, 2010 1:45 pm

    Making Christmas from the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack

    and of course this:

  38. Lizerati on November 29th, 2010 1:46 pm

    Ok I realized I should have identified that link instead of making it look like some weird mystery. It’s Porky Pig singing Blue Christmas

  39. Kari on November 29th, 2010 2:19 pm

    It sounds completely nutty, but you have to listen to Robert Downey Jr. singing River (a cover of the Joni Mitchell classic).

  40. A. on November 29th, 2010 2:31 pm

    Don’t forget the Tom Waits!

  41. thejunebug on November 29th, 2010 3:44 pm

    “Darcy the Dragon” by Roger Whittaker – his whole Christmas album is a must-have in my house! But your kids will LOVE Darcy the Dragon, I think.

  42. Alicia C on November 29th, 2010 4:28 pm

    “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo” by TSO is THE BEST Christmas song there is. Ever. Period.

    Also, take a listen to Michael Buble’s Christmas album. He definitely has the voice for holiday tunes! :)

  43. Kellie on November 29th, 2010 5:16 pm

    I am a huge Luther Vandross fan, and I love his Christmas album. Listen to his version of “The Christmas Song”. Other favorite Christmas albums are The Carpenters, Vince Gill, and Amy Grant (I have two of hers). Jim Brickman has some good instrumental/piano versions of Christmas music if you want some relaxing music.

  44. Shawna on November 29th, 2010 5:23 pm

    The Pogues: Fairytale of New York

    Jane Siberry and kd lang: Calling All Angels

    Leigh Nash: Wishing for this

  45. agirlandaboy on November 29th, 2010 5:42 pm

    A family classic: “The Restroom Door Said Gentlemen”:

    Two nuns, three old ladies, and a nurse…

  46. Mikki on November 29th, 2010 7:26 pm

    Straight No Chaser – 12 Days

    Hilarious! :D

  47. Lesley on November 29th, 2010 10:44 pm

    Fell in love with this
    Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus

  48. mixette on November 30th, 2010 12:14 am

    So now I know how I’m gonna use the iTunes gift cards that are still hanging around here.

    Second shout out for “Baby It’s Cold Outside”/ Zooey and Leon, linked up like a pro by Aubrey way up top…

  49. mixette on November 30th, 2010 12:18 am

    Wait – I do have one to add.

    Pomplamoose/Deck The Halls

  50. jac on November 30th, 2010 7:16 am

    Dido – Christmas Day

    And the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York, of course, but I’m not alone in recommending that one.

  51. Aunt Linda on November 30th, 2010 1:48 pm

    Now really. H ow could you forget Snow! AL

  52. Alina on November 30th, 2010 1:52 pm

    If you ever get a chance to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in person, holy crap DO IT. Overwhelming.

  53. Laura on November 30th, 2010 2:22 pm

    I LOVE Christmas music, traditional and otherwise. I would second the addition of The Pogues/Kirsty MacColl’s “Fairytale of New York,” but I think I’ll have to settle for “fifth-ing” it.

    Also, thanks for including Sting’s cover of Gabriel’s Message. I’ve only heard it done by Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band.

  54. Sarah on November 30th, 2010 2:38 pm

    Great list! Death Cab for Cutie – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) and Rob Thomas – A New York Christmas

  55. Stephanie on November 30th, 2010 5:25 pm

    Hard Candy Christmas, Dolly Parton. From The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

  56. Stephanie on November 30th, 2010 5:26 pm

    Robert Earl Keen’s Merry Christmas from the Family is pretty good, too!

  57. Kris on December 1st, 2010 3:29 pm

    “Winter Song” is one of those songs I can listen to over & over & over, and love it a little more each time.

    Also, as the momma of a little boy, I love “Little Toy Trains”. Either the Roger Miller one or the Toby Keith redux one.

    Oh! And “Merry Christmas Eve” from Better than Ezra. Always makes me weepy.

  58. Jess on December 1st, 2010 7:57 pm

    Great mix! I was just thinking this afternoon about creating a new Christmas playlist… This is a great start!

    I love “O Holy Night” and have been searching for the “perfect” performance of it online, with no luck.

  59. Pat D on December 1st, 2010 9:04 pm

    The Halleluia Chorus by The Roaches – acappella wonderful!

  60. Amy K on December 2nd, 2010 9:58 am

    I love Angela McCluskey’s gloomy take on Frosty the Snowman.

  61. Jessica on December 2nd, 2010 11:15 am

    Thank you for suggesting that version of Ave Maria. It was my grandmother’s favorite song of all time and I am half parts sad/happy whenever I hear it. So nice there’s a version out there NOT done by Celine Dion.

  62. Kristin on December 2nd, 2010 9:10 pm

    Ooh, I forgot Deer Crossing- Elk City (Can’t find it on youtube…)

  63. Tracy on December 3rd, 2010 8:16 am

    One of the last Christmas CDs I bought and really love is “Christmas Songs” (various artists). I got it for the Sarah McLachlan/Bare Naked Ladies version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, but the rest of it is pretty good too (and different from the usual). There’s even a ~20-minute track of a Christmas-themed comedy routine which is pretty funny. For some reason Amazon isn’t showing the right track list, so here’s another link:

    Oh, you might want to skip the cat song.

  64. Tracy on December 3rd, 2010 8:24 am

    Forgot “Dominick the Donkey”:

    Somehow I never discovered this song until a couple years ago. It’s genius.

  65. sharon on December 3rd, 2010 8:58 pm

    Linda, I gotta tell you. It’s been a year. It’s been a week. It’s been a night. And I got to your blog, which I check out pretty regularly…and got immersed in your musical christmas extravaganza…

    Thank you.

  66. Steph on December 4th, 2010 4:40 pm

    Definitely Fairytale of New York (though perhaps not entirely child-appropriate). Here’s the video on youtube if you haven’t seen it:

  67. Leslie on December 11th, 2010 2:13 am

    Louis Armstrong – Zat You, Santa Claus?

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