This is going to sound really hipster, but I don’t like mainstream Christmas music. Which is not to say that I don’t like mainstream music. I love getting my jam on to hip hop while I workout. Just not the Christmas stuff. No “All I Want for Christmas Is You” for me. Icky.
But I do like Christmas music. And I’ve always been a big folk/Americana gal. So last year I put together an alternative Christmas playlist: primarily folk, primarily acoustic, and not the big songs you hear over and over again this time of year. Although I did include a couple of my favorite carols.
In case you’re also getting bored with what’s on the radio and looking to shake things up with something new, here are a few unique holiday and winter tunes to add to your holiday playlist.
- Goodbye England (Covered in Snow) by Laura Marling. I discovered this tune last year. Nice for when you want a winter song but not necessarily a Christmas song.
- Christmas for Cowboys by John Denver. Traveling from England to the U.S. and touching in that it’s about being thankful for the stars, the fire, the beauty of nature.
- Christmas in the Ashram by Chris Rosser. And now we’re moving again…to California this time. Pushes the envelope a bit, but if you hang out with yogi-hippie types, you’ll know right away: it’s so true!
- Mary & Joe by Darryl Purpose. This one also kind of pushes the envelope too. I guess I’m kind of a rebel. 😉 I love how it focuses on the radicalism of Joseph’s love and acceptance for Mary.
- Snow in Austin by Ellis Paul. This is the first song I think of whenever it snows. “Have you ever seen a cactus Christmas tree?”
- Mary, Mary by Ellis Paul. Ellis Paul is one of my favorite artists and has been my whole life. I love how this beautiful Christmas song is about the adult son’s relationship with his mother. Plus the video is awesome!
- River by Joni Mitchell. A Joni Mitchell classic.
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel by The Punch Brothers. A much older classic, but with an innovative acoustic instrumentation that really brings it to life.
- Carol of the Bells by Ed Gerhard. Another classic carol with folk instrumentation.
- Fare Thee Well by Ashley Davis. A song for the new year. Sad but beautiful.
What’s your favorite Christmas, holiday, or winter song?