Christmas vacation has begun. The girls had early dismissal yesterday and are now home for two-plus weeks of holiday bliss. Or hiding in their rooms staring at their devices. Christmas in 2018…

As a self-anointed connoisseur of holiday music, I thought I would share some of my favorite songs that aren’t jam-packed into every other Christmas playlist you may have been subjected to over the last month. Most of these are songs that never get played on the radio. I did squeeze in a few classics by artists that don’t crack most Christmas music radio station playlists. 

Merry Christmas!

“Santa Claus and His Old Lady” – Cheech & Chong. Not a song, but still a holiday tradition in my house.

“Christmas Time” – The dB’s – There are approximately one million goofy, original Christmas songs out there. Most suck. This does not suck.

“Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” – Jack Johnson. A refreshing break from tradition.

“Nutmeg” – John Legend and Stephen Colbert. A little winter warmer.

“Christmas with You Is the Best” – Jonathan Coulton & John Roderick. Cranking up the early ‘00s classic from the Long Winters.

“Father Christmas” – The Kinks. I probably heard this somewhere growing up. But I don’t think I really heard it, nor did it become part of my holiday playlists, until the 2000 holiday season. I heard it on KY-102 while driving home from work one evening and thought it was the greatest thing ever.

“2000 Miles” – KT Tunstall. The Pretenders original is an unforgettable classic. Yet I like KT’s more.

“Just Like Christmas” – Low. Simple and beautiful.

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – Phoebe Bridgers. She might tap into that melancholy part of the season a little too much for some. But I just love her version.

“Maybe This Christmas” – Ron Sexsmith. I think this should be on every radio station’s high rotation list this time of year.

“All That I Want” – The Weepies. Despite being part of a major jewelry chain’s holiday campaign for a few years, this remains an overlooked classic.

“Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo” – I’ve started eating my fiber, have you?

“Christmastime for the Jews” – Darlene Love. I just read an oral history of this SNL cartoon and discovered NBC has put the song on Spotify. A Christmas miracle!

“Christmas Wrapping” – The Waitresses. OK, this has become a classic that gets plenty of play. But it still feels like an underdog of a song because, oh, probably 10 years ago you never heard it. When C hears it she says, “Turn it up, this is my favorite Christmas song!” Coincidentally Michael Baumann wrote about why it is the best today.

Bah Hambug, Now That’s Too Strong: The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping” Is the Best Holiday Song of All Time