I love music and have a very broad eclectic collection.
Something a little lesser known about me is that I also collect Christmas CDs.
It is so broad and that one of the local radio stations borrowed it one year for a special Christmas segment.
I can hear you groaning and unfortunately shopping centres have given Christmas music a bad name.
Of course there is a plethora of standard Christmas compilations and nothing will top my all time favourite Bing Crosby "White Christmas" which I have on vinyl (as does every second family), but I would like to share with you some of my favourite picks and perhaps convince you that there are alternatives to the groan-worthy.
Harry Connick Jnr "When My Heart Finds Christmas" is an excellent opener for the season and is usually the first one played as I put up the tree.
"James Taylor at Christmas" is a smooth and laid back and definitely not a cringe Christmas CD at all.
Bette Middler "Cool Yule" is a typical upbeat CD
Quite to my surprise, as I am not a big country fan, is the Kenny Rogers CD "Christmas Greetings". My favourite song on the CD is "Kentucky Homemade Christmas".
"A Very She & Him Christmas" is a cute little CD by Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. Zooey has a very unique voice and between the two of them they have done the vocals, the instruments and the production. I suspect that this was a shoestring budget make but it has a lovely simplicity and you could almost imagine that they are just two of your friends who have popped in and picked the guitars and having a little sing song in your lounge.
Are you still with me?
"Sting - On A Winters Night" is new this year and very much about his exploration into medieval music and instruments.
Doris Day could sing me a shopping list and I would love it!
A big favourite is "Manhattan Transfer - The Christmas Album" for late night soothing, nothing better. The harmonies are divine but be warned, don't put this on if you are "waiting up for Santa" because it will have you nodding off in no time.
It is not my intention to show you (and bore you) with every CD in my collection, but I just wanted to show you the range that is out there. There is something for everyone...
like these two.
"Sleighed" is a heavy metal/hard rock album featuring Spinal Tap, Sonic Youth, Beck, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and others.
"Punk Rock Christmas" has artists like; The Ravers, Ramones, The Greedies, The Dickies....
Not my favourites I have to say but they do give cred to my collection.
"Gay Happening presents Happy Christmas Party" is a very fun collection of Christmas dance music and a wonderful Christmas starter. Great when everyone is arriving for Christmas lunch or party and getting them in the mood.
"Ru Paul HO HO HO" is one of my all time favourite CDs. It usually goes on after Harry Connick has started off the Christmas decorating. It's fun, party and happy but also sensitive and thoughtful. I love his version of "Santa Baby". "All Alone On Christmas" and "Hard Candy Christmas" are beautiful and remind us of those without families at Christmas.
Now people are trending away from CDs and buying digitally and I will miss the delightful art work and design that goes into these CDs.
This is "Joy To The World" by Pink Martini. The art work is divine!
They are an interesting group with a diverse multi-cultural background. I urge you to listen to ANY of their CDs in fact.
Well that is a brief snap shot of my Christmas CDs and I hope I haven't bored you but there really is something for everyone out there without it being cheesy or groan-worthy shopping centre piped music. My collection has been built up over the past 15-20 years and comprises of second hand finds and new buys.
I am always looking for recommendations so if you have a favourite Christmas CD please share it with me.
***** A little reminder that the Living Better Group does not meet in December but will resume in January on the 31st.*****