Listen to This: Christmas 2013

To a select few in the know, one of my favorite holiday traditions is building a new Christmas music playlist each year. I’m always listening to holiday music (and I do mean always. Like, in June.), so it only seems natural that I’d have an idea or two of new and different songs worth throwing together for a bit of festive listening. I like to think my mixes aren’t your grandparent’s holiday records.


Last year, as I whittled away the winter hours in a basement apartment in Park City, I had all the time in the world to not only craft the playlist but burn dozens of CDs and handwrite the track listing for each one. Those lucky (unlucky?) enough to be in on the tradition got their very own CDs with plenty of time to learn the words in the weeks before Christmas.

As we close in on mid-December 2013, there is sadly no such craftiness in my future. Between travel, out-of-town guests and day-to-day chores, I just don’t have the time or funds to make and mail all those CDs. Heartbreaking, I know.

However. I always – always! – have time to curate a few great holiday songs!

And so, consider this your invitation to join the tradition. Gather the presents that need wrapping, pour yourself a glass of eggnog and turn up the speakers.

This year’s mix is decidedly indie, featuring the likes of Mumford & Sons, Rufus Wainwright and The Civil Wars. I found a slow burn of an Otis Redding tribute, and a very, very dirty Cyndi Lauper punk holiday anthem (which is apparently a thing…). Little ears be warned! And for fun, I’ve added a bonus track at the end (so really, the Regina Spektor track is the last one) that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere else in the mix.  But it’s from Kelly Clarkson’s new holiday album and she’s lovely and it’s lovely and I couldn’t not put it in the mix somewhere.

I hope you’ll give the full playlist a listen as listed at least once, but then mix it up, add it to your other playlists, whatever you like. Heck, you could just bookmark this post and listen from here whenever you need a bit of background noise.

Wishing very happy (and melodic!) holidays to you and yours!