But when I'm wrapping gifts or baking, I have to crank the Christmas tunes. (Oddly enough, I don't listen to Christmas music when I'm decorating, instead I watch holiday episodes of Friends. I do have all 10 seasons on DVD after all.) Enter, my 2011 Christmas Jams Playlist.
The tracks fall into a variety of categories, from Pop, to Classics, to Weird Techno, to Is This Really A Christmas Song? The key is to intersperse them evenly throughout the playlist, so you never know what you're gonna get.
For your listening pleasure, I've linked to each of the songs on YouTube so you can give any of them a test drive to see if you want to download.
1. Baby It's Cold Outside, by Lady Antebellum
A classic, and I love Lady A's version.
2. Last Christmas, by Taylor Swift
3. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), by U2
4. Tiny Christmas Tree, by Guster
Target put out a free album of holiday songs last year (some of them featured in their commercials) and this was one of the keepers.
5. Run Rudolph Run, by Chuck Berry
I'm not sure why, but this song reminds me of my days scanning groceries at the Piggly Wiggly. I knew the 50-song Muzak Christmas playlist so well I could tell you which song was going to play next. My customers were so impressed.
6. Let it Be Christmas, by Alan Jackson
7. Christmas Tonight, by Dave Barnes (with Hillary Scott)
8. Where Are You Christmas?, by Faith Hill
9. The Christmas Waltz, by She & Him
10. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, by She & Him
My very favorite Christmas song in general. And who doesn't love Zooey?
11. Step into Christmas, by Elton John
12. Toy Jackpot, by Blackalicious
Another Target tune. I can't not dance to this song.
13. Last Christmas, by the cast of Glee
Yes, another version of Last Christmas. I don't think you can ever have too many.
14. A Christmas Song, by Dave Matthews Band
15. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, by *NSYNC
There are two *NSYNC songs on my playlist. I ain't ashamed.
16. I Don't Wanna Spend One More Christmas Without You, by *NSYNC
This song reminds me of putting up our Tarheel Christmas tree at 713 N. Heritage Circle. Miss those girls. But not all the exam studying that surely followed.
17. Christmas Tree, by Lady Gaga
This falls into the Weird Techno category. And possibly the Vulgar category?
18. Hard Candy Christmas, by Dolly Parton
This falls into the Is This Really a Christmas Song? category. It's about a breakup. And it's pretty depressing. But I guess they can't really play it at any other time of year so it's become a Christmas song.
19. New Again, by Sara Evans & Brad Paisley
Again, this seems more like an Easter song than a Christmas one to me, but it's on Sara's Christmas album, so I'll go with it.
20. Do They Know It's Christmas, by the cast of GleeI've also discovered that Pandora has some nice holiday stations. My favorites are R&B and Pop Holiday, and Country Christmas.
So, what's on your Christmas playlist this year that I should know about?
P.S. - When I'm not in the mood for Christmas tunes, you can currently find me jamming to Shake it Out by Florence + the Machine and Tongue Tied by Grouplove. If you haven't discovered either of these yet, you're welcome.
P.P.S. - You know what's not on my list? The Little Drummer Boy. In any shape, form or fashion.