It’s impossible to pick just five of my favorites, but with much thought I have narrowed it down.
5. "Merry Christmas Darling" – The Carpenters
This may be in the wrong spot. Should be higher! Every time I hear the opening line on the radio I instantly get goosebumps. No one had Karen’s sound and her delivery on this song makes it the only version I will listen to. “Greeting cards have all been sent, the Christmas rush is through.” I also think “Oh no! Have I done everything?!?”
4. "Bells of St. Paul" – Linda Eder
A gem that many people don’t really know about and they should! A beautiful orchestration and vocal. And lyric! It’s a very non-traditional take on a Christmas song. The words create such a unique picture. I do this song in my Christmas show. Download this one and let it be in your holiday playlist.
3. "I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" – Barry Manilow Version
Nothing like a swinging song to liven up the party or celebration. I love Sinatra’s version as well, but this one has such a spark and vitality to it. The sound of the horn section is so great. The words are so fun and adorable. This one always ends up on repeat ... maybe four times in a row as I’m dancing in the living room. My poor neighbors.
2. "Christmas Memories" – Barbra Streisand
I am a total softy and really love the songs that make you remember your past and your Christmases as a child. The words in this song really bring a tear. I had such magical childhood Christmases and these lyrics make me go back in time … every time I press play. Get the Kleenex ready.
1. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" – Judy Garland
This track is the definitive classic Christmas song. Judy Garland was the originator and many people don’t know that! Her honesty and integrity get me in all the feels. She has such a haunting, aching, voice and approach to this song. "Over the Rainbow" was her signature, but this classic song is all hers for sure. Classic Christmas at its finest.