A very DePaulia holiday playlist

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it’s officially socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music. Check out The DePaulia’s favorites for the season and listen to our Spotify playlist for all of your holiday cheer needs.

Go here to listen to the playlist: http://open.spotify.com/user/116698960/playlist/0C9yeDGagB5DmFuSl7KXDl

1.      Though it has a brass section that could easily rock out to “Joy to the World,” “A Candle’s Fire” by Beirut is not, strictly speaking, a Christmas song. While this list is dominated by songs celebrating Christmas, it’s titled under the more expansive term ‘holiday songs’ in order to include wonderful, cozy songs like this one that celebrate nothing more than a warm candle on a cold night.

2.      The Peanuts gang has carved out a comfortable niche in the American Christmas world, so it would be borderline blasphemous to leave out a Vince Guaraldi classic. Weirdly, this original version of “Christmas Time is Here” is not entirely pleasant to listen to. Take it down a couple octaves, Lucy. Still though, I couldn’t bear to swap it out for a cover. A classic is a classic.

3.      Next up, a track off of She & Him’s Christmas album. I almost didn’t include this song because of general mixed feelings I’ve perceived regarding the Queen of Quirk, Zooey Deschanel (the She to M. Ward’s Him). But then I decided that critics could stomach a little cutesy-ness for Christmas’ sake. Just imagine the fresh faced, blonde Zooey from the movie Elf crooning “Silver Bells” and we’ll all get along a-ok.

4.      When I was little I had a variety of beloved Christmas themed VHS tapes, including a recording of the ballet, the Nutcracker. It is my firm belief that, similar to Charlie Brown, the Nutcracker is a key component of Christmas in America. That’s why, when choosing a track off of Vitamin String Quartet’s Christmas album, I opted for “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” Actually though, the whole album is great, and perfect for playing in the background at parties.

5.      In the vein of ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ but not quite as overplayed, “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” conjures images of high heeled mid-century gals arm-in-arm with overcoat clad fellas strolling down blustery, snow covered city streets. For a song like this, you’ve got to go with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

6.      The only album I took more than one song from is Sufjan Steven’s ‘Songs for Christmas.’ This album is the antidote to every department store Christmas pop playlist. That stuff’s so mainstream, man. Sufjan reworks some of the most under-appreciated songs of Christmases past, like “Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella.”

7.      Along with unearthing some old-school Christmas favorites, Stevens wrote a few songs like “Come On, Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance” that you can imagine dancing to as you sip home brewed beer in an ironic Goodwill Christmas sweater

8.      It might speak to my personal tendency to romanticize the British Isles that all I can picture when I hear “Goodbye England” by Laura Marling is a little stone church in a little village covered in softly falling snow. This image may or may not be from a Harry Potter movie.

9.      Diana Krall’s Christmas album is a standard at my house. I love “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” as a reminder of the Christmas after-shock holiday that is the turning of the calendar year.

10.  Who didn’t invite Elvis Presley to Christmas dinner and why? That’s the real question at the center of “Blue Christmas.” Oh Elvis, you can come to Christmas at my house.

11.  I think we all knew that eventually Jack Johnson would provide us with a laid-back, beach-y version of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” What I didn’t see coming was a plot twist toward the end of the song in which Rudolph gets a little confrontational.

12.  In case Jack Johnson hadn’t already reminded you that Christmas doesn’t just happen in Vermont, Mele Kalikimaka” by The Puppini Sisters will. I can’t quite imagine a palm tree, sunshine-filled Hawaiian December, but I’ll play along.

13.  If you’ve had enough of green Christmases, Norah Jones will take you right back into the most solstice-y time of the year with “December,” a song with the exact soundscape of a snow globe.

14.  The intro of “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues says all that needs to be said: ‘So, Happy Christmas, I love you baby. I can see a better time, when all our dreams come true,” and then promptly breaks off into rollicking Irish rock- as all the best songs do.

15.  The ultimate in technicolor, cozy, drifting off into Christmas music is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” perhaps my personal favorite holiday tune. Of course, I had to use the original Judy Garland version for full-saturated color, rosy-cheeked, dreamy Hollywood Christmas magic.


Again, to listen to the playlist follow this link:  http://open.spotify.com/user/116698960/playlist/0C9yeDGagB5DmFuSl7KXDl