Holiday Music Memories

The following was written by music contributor Jennifer Brown.

Holidays are a time when memories are made—whether it’s as simple as a country ham, biscuits and grits breakfast every Christmas morning or as elaborate as a proposal of marriage.  We’re making memories daily and annually without even trying; they’re just there.  So often there’s a soundtrack that goes along with those memories.

That musical soundtrack has a way of creeping into our memory bank and can instantly take us back to a place and time when a particular song at a particular moment touched our lives in some way.

My favorite Christmas song renditions are those that remind me of listening to my parent’s albums at the holidays when I was a child.

It was their version of today’s “NOW That’s What I Call Christmas” albums that highlight current popular artists.  So, despite my (still youthful) age I never tire of hearing Bing Crosby, The Beach Boys, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass and Elvis Presley singing Christmas tunes.

I also think it’s why I tend to enjoy family friendly artists of today whose sound is similar, such as Josh Groban, Harry Connick, Jr. and Diana Krall.

This particular Christmas I’m enjoying hearing my four-year-old son’s renditions of “O Christmas Tree”, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas” as he prepares for his pre-school holiday program.  This year it will be the sound of his little voice recorded in my memory bank.

We all have December holiday favorites locked somewhere in our memory bank—what takes you back to your childhood?

Do you have a current artist or album that’s touching your heart this year? I’d love to hear your suggestions to stuff my socking!

About Jennifer

Jennifer, is a stay at home mom to two energetic, fun loving boys ages 6 and 2. She found a new passion in exploring great children's music after becoming a mom, which she blogs about at Swing Whistle Zing. Jennifer fancies finding quality tunes the whole family can enjoy, and dancing with her boys (both big and little) to her favorite songs that connect her to the past & keep her grounded in the present.

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  1. heh… Mannheim Steamroller. My parents played them NONSTOP at Christmas time, and that is the soundtrack to my Christmas memories. My DH hates them though… and we even went to see them live and it was highly disappointing. So I just listen to them in the car and enjoy my childhood Christmas songs by myself.

  2. Alvin & the Chipmunks ~ The Christmas Song will always transport me back to my Grandma’s house, surrounded by cousins, watching Christmas specials on TV and popping popcorn.

    I’m a big fan of Johnny Cash Christmas myself and I also really like Over the Rhine’s The Darkest Night of the Year.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Jennifer 🙂
    Kara @Simple Kids´s latest post: Holiday Music Memories

  3. I definitely like many of the traditionals – like Sinatra and Bing, but I also enjoy Michael Buble, who has a pretty traditional voice and classy renditions of some of my favorite songs.
    Heidi @ Everyday Families´s latest post: All Aboard!

  4. Until about 10 years ago, we always listened to the Amy Grant “A Christmas Album” RECORD on an actual turntable. I miss that record. I might have to download it but it just won’t be the same without the pops and hisses of the record player.
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  5. The Nutcracker! I used to perform in the Nutcracker every year. It just didn’t feel like the holiday season until that music began. I play the Nutcracker music for the entire month of December!

  6. Feliz Navidad, we would sing it over and over to drive my Mom crazy 🙂

  7. I love Amy Grant’s Christmas albums as well- and the classics like Big and Nat
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  8. My husband makes a Christmas mix CD every year and this year we are enjoying the Ronettes (Christmas Baby Please Come Home), Nat King Cole (The Christmas Song) and Bing Crosby (White Christmas) among many others. All of those songs bring back memories of listening to Christmas records with my parents and always get me in the mood for the holidays!

  9. Live Christmas music ! :
    Jazz bands in nice hotels
    my daughters violin
    stuff at church
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  10. For years, my husband would burn me a holiday CD every year filled with songs he found that he thought I’d like. He called them “A Very Female Christmas” and found some really lovely versions of carols by new artists and folks like the Indigo Girls, Cindy Lauper, Sheryl Crow and such. Those are all my favorites hands down. 🙂
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  11. much to the shagrin of my husband who is not a fan of “holiday music” i love to play it all day long from Deceber 1st to December 26th. That and baking and decorating sugar cookies–now done with my nieces and nephew, the smell alone welcomes such great memories from my childhood.

  12. The Messiah. My mom listened to it all the time during Christmas growing up, and after a while it drove me crazy – even though I always agreed that it was beautiful music. Last year, I found myself craving it and I actually asked her to give it to me as a gift. She did, and this year I’m starting the tradition of making my kids crazy with it 🙂
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  13. It would not be Christmas without the Nutcracker for us! 🙂
    Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site´s latest post: Are Crib Baby Aquariums Bad For Your Baby’s Sleep?

  14. Every year when we put up the tree my parents would pull out their record player and 8-track and we’d listen to the Carpenters. My husband has similar Carpenter Christmas memories with his parents so we both enjoy listening to them this time of year.
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  15. When I was young in the 80s, my family played a Christmas record with lots of songs on it. I don’t know if it was a compilation or what, but to this day when I hear Little Drummer Boy I remember all the words and yearn for the same arrangement from that one record. None of the other versions will ever live up to it. I think we also had the Alvin and Chipmunks Christmas record. I listened to those over and over! Those were the days!

    I try to play all kinds of christmas music for my boys so they’ll have fun memories too. Just yesterday they put on a “show” in the living room singing and dancing to Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus in Comin to Town, etc. When they were babies I sang them christmas songs in lullaby version when it wasn’t Christmas. Perhaps I was trying to sneak the songs into their subconsious! Or perhaps it was probably those favorite songs from my childhood that were the songs that popped into my head in the middle of the night. Oh, memories… “Let It Snow!”


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