So, I can be a bit of a Christmas music snob. Though I do love the old standbys, plenty of Bing Crosby and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," one of my favorite parts of the day after Thanksgiving is searching for new, unconventional Christmas music. My iTunes Christmas playlist is a little insane at the moment, containing 130 songs for the holidays and growing every year.
We know you're not yet tired of belting Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" — even if your significant other's ears are bleeding from it — but we know we always love new Christmas song finds, and figured you would, too!
DARLENE LOVE: "It's a Marshmallow World"
If you haven't heard Phil Spector's "A Christmas Gift For You" album, the classic is definitely worth a listen (as long as you don't think about the awfulness of Spector or his questionable hair choices). Darlene Love makes a few appearances on the album — you may remember her from the documentary "20 Feet From Stardom" (yes, it's on Netflix!) but this track is by far my favorite. This fun, danceable hit can get you right through Christmas and keep your spirits up through the rest of winter.
BEST COAST, WAAVES: "Got something for you"
We do love a good indie Christmas hit, and it's no surprise Best Coast delivers with their super-feminine vocals as a duet with the male voices from Wavves.
SUFJAN STEVENS: "Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance"
Sufjan put out five Christmas albums every year between 2001 and 2006, and each volume of "Songs for Christmas" contain both covers and whimsical originals that only he could create, such as "Did I Make You Cry On Christmas (Well, You Deserved It!) and "What Child is This, Anyway?" There are a myriad of songs that I love from these albums, but boogeying to the elf dance is a good place to start, especially if you've have experiences with trying your hand at cutting your bangs as a youngster.
SHE & HIM: "Christmas Waltz"
The "Christmas Waltz" is a classic Christmas song, but is often overlooked for whatever reason for other standbys. She & Him's "A Very She & Him Christmas" is a fantastic album (even if Zooey Deschanel's "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Leon Redbone is better than the one there, in my humble opinion), but this mellow cover in three-quarter time is definitely my favorite from the record.
OTIS REDDING: "Merry Christmas, Baby"
The only thing that's bad about Otis Redding singing Christmas songs is that there aren't more of them. I've only been able to track down one other Otis Christmas cover, "White Christmas," which makes an appearance in "Love Actually" (which I know you've been binge-watching). But I guess if that's all we can get, it's definitely better than nothing!
GUSTER: "Carol of the Meows"
This one isn't just for cat ladies; it's also for people who want to annoy all their family members and loved ones. Pick a "mew" that suits you, and harmonize with your sisters while you try to stuff your family cat into a holiday sweater on Christmas Eve.
PINEY GIR: "Every Day's a Holiday"
Piney Gir: "Every Day's a Holiday" — This upbeat, girly Christmas song requests Christmas for every day of the year. Though we don't think our jeans could contain the amount of sugar cookies we consume during the holiday season 365 days a year, we could definitely do with year-round gift giving!
BING CROSBY AND THE ANDREWS SISTERS: "Mele Kalikimaka"
If you're not a "White Christmas" fan, and don't like bundling up in sweaters and sipping hot cocoa through the cozy winter months (not sure we can be friends), then "Mele Kalikimaka" may be just the Christmas tune for you. After all, it's how the Hawaiians say "Merry Christmas!"
LOW: "Just Like Christmas"
This song makes an appearance on one of "The OC's" Chrismukkah compilation albums (which have a ton of excellent indie holiday tunes). I love to listen to it in-between watching all four OC Christmukkah episodes, while donning a yamaclaus and pining over Seth Cohen — Summer and Anna style.
SLOW CLUB: "Christmas TV"
Christmas song real talk: I spent the last holiday season counting down the days to see my then-fiancé, while we had been apart for a very, very long time with limited communication. So I would listen to this song about long-distance love during Christmas and cry. It probably won't bring such an emotional response from you (I hope!), but if you're missing someone over the holidays, it'll sum up your feelings pretty well.
Illustration © 2014 Theresa Berens, text © Katie Currid.