Anyone who knows me knows I'm a nut for tradition. And there's no better time of year for traditions than the month of December. Music plays a big part of that. Talk to just about anyone, and they've got a favorite Christmas album--something their parents played while they all decorated the tree or what they listened to in the car while driving around looking at the lights or what they sang while baking cookies.
I won't argue with anyone about what's the best album because musical preference is subjective, especially for Christmas, when it seems as though the very notes have the scent of pine or sugar cookies clinging to them. But here our some of our family's favorites, in no particular order.
I don't know if this is available anymore, but it's an all-instrumental album by one of my all-time favorite musicians along with the London Festival Orchestra.
My brother brought this home from college in 1986. It remains not only one of my favorite Christmas albums but all-around favorite albums ever. I've also seen George Winston in concert twice. He plays the piano in his sock feet.
This is one of my nostalgia picks. We had this on vinyl LP at home that we played on our record player housed in a wooden cabinet with a lid that lifted up. I can taste cookies whenever I hear it.
Here's my other nostalgia pick. Amy Grant is practically synonymous with Christmas music. My personal favorite is her first one, released in 1983.
Here are three of our new favorites, especially now that we go in for the more mellow stuff. We keep feeling this need to relax. Not sure what that's about. This one is so good that I forgive it for having "The Christmas Song" on it even though I loathe that song. It's Chris Botti also, so I pretty much forgive him anything.
Of course you gotta have JT. I also forgive him for having "The Christmas Song" on this CD. I forgive him anything too. Just look at his cheerful, impish, JT face. It just makes you want to sing "Winter Wonderland," which, by the way, Chris Botti guest-plays on.
Here is my absolute favorite, which I covered at some length last summer. I love this album so much I could play it all the time. Oh wait, I do play it all the time. And it does NOT have "The Christmas Song" on it. Oh, and both James Taylor AND Chris Botti play on this. I guess they're all pals and swan around playing songs on each other's CDs. Everyone should really own this. In my opinion. Which I wasn't going to give.
And lastly, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't put this on and dance around at least once. Or seven or eight times. I dare you to play it and remain still. It's impossible. So...what are some of your favorites?