Advent Christmas music ranges from ubiquitous elevator to bespoke. What stirs your senses?

I’ll go first with a redux of my Advent Season fave  …. Greg Lake - “I believe in Father Christmas “

Greg Lake , of “Emerson, Lake, & Palmer” rock icon fame,  penned this with Pete Sinfield in 1975. It’s been remastered in 4K version YouTube video below. Turn up the volume .

In 2011, Lake was accompanied by Ian Anderson of “Jethro Tull” iconic rock band fame, with Anderson on his legendary flute to marry up to Lake’s acoustic guitat. They recorded this memorable live acoustic version video live in St Brides Church in London ….this is my favourite version.

Enjoy ….

They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on Earth
But instead, it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the Virgin Birth
I remember one Christmas morning
A winter's light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire

They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a Silent Night
They told me a fairy story
Till I believed in the Israelite
And I believed in Father Christmas
And I looked to the sky with excited eyes
Till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave New Year
All anguish, pain, and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear
They said there'd be snow at Christmas
They said there'd be peace on Earth
Hallelujah, Noël, be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas we get, we deserve


Here are a few that I found over the years and that still work:

Merry Christmas Everyone - Wang Chung

Joy To The World - The Blenders and/or Whitney Houston

Christmas Wish - NRBQ

Jingle Bells - James Taylor

Put Up The Lights - The Bird And The Bee

Christmas Was A Friend Of Mine - Fay Lovsky

Ringing The Bells Of Christmas - Larry Carlton/Michelle Pillar

Joy - Wilson Philips

Let’s Go Holiday - Brian & Lux

Sugar And Booze - Ana Gasteyer

I’ll Feel Christmas - Jason Paul Curtis

Christmas Sounds - Saturday’s Children

Christmas Is Coming Soon - Blitzen Trapper

It’s Christmas Day - The Weeklings

Your Holiday Song - The Indigo Girls

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday - Jeffery Foskett

Xmas In Frisco - SomaFM, commercial free alternative 

Top 10 Christmas LPs:

10. James Brown’s Funky Christmas - James Brown

9. Elvis’ Christmas Album (original 1957 track list/album art) - Elvis Presley
- Definitive “Blue Christmas,” “Here Comes Santa Claus”

8. Perry Como Sings Merry Christmas Music (mono 1956 track list).
- Definitive “T’was the Night Before Christmas,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman”

7. The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
- Definitive “The Christmas Song”

6. The Andy Williams Christmas Album - Andy Williams
- Definitive “The Holiday Season,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

5. Merry Christmas (mono 1955) - Bing Crosby
- Definitive “White Christmas,” “Christmas in Killarney,” “Mele Kalikimaka”

4. A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra - Frank Sinatra
- Arranged and conducted by Gordon Jenkins, definitive “Jingle Bells,” “Mistletoe and Holly,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “The Christmas Waltz”

3. A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records - Various Artists
- Definitive “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Marshmallow World,” “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”
Phil Spector at his best. Grandeur unmatched.

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas - Vince Guaraldi Trio
- Greatest collection of original Christmas music of the last 75 years.
“Christmas Time is Here,” “Linus and Lucy,” “Skating,” “Christmas is Coming.”
The version of “Little Drummer Boy” (‘My Little Drum’) is Guaraldian genius.
Just as great as the Spector LP but in the exact opposite way; cozy, intimate, gentle and improv-heavy

1. Bing Crosby’s Christmas Classics - Bing Crosby

- Recorded in 1962, arranged and conducted by Bob Thompson, Peter Matz and Jack Halloran.
1977 Capitol version is the one (original ‘62 is I Wish You a Merry Christmas) for the track listing and LP art.


Perfect blend of the elite vocals and production of Spector’s and the warmth and intimacy of Guaraldi’s.

Arrangements are richly detailed and ornate yet tasteful; never too busy.

“Winter Wonderland,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!,” “I Wish You a Merry Christmas” (each definitive) and “Frosty the Snowman” (almost as great as Perry’s) get the full treatment.

“What Child is This?/The Holly and the Ivy” is a goosebumps-inducing arrangement featuring only a huge choir and Bing’s perfect voice in the foreground.

“O Holy Night” (definitive version) and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!/It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” are mainly choral (each choral arrangement on this LP is perfect) with tastefully employed harp, organ, and bells.

The x-factor on this album is the somewhat obscure song “The Littlest Angel,” a track that never fails to get me verklempt. A real gem.

Every conceivable nook and cranny of this LP is perfectly ”decorated.”
Listening to the LP is like being in the most perfectly decorated Christmas cabin, every piece of vintage bric-a-brac perfectly placed, a perfectly decorated Christmas tree with vintage ornaments, room glowing with incandescent Christmas lights, cracklin’ fireplace, egg nog…the whole shebang.

Perfect mixture of songs. Perfect voice.
Depth and excellence in recording quality not present in Bing’s Christmas “salad days” of the ‘40s.


It goes without saying that a version of your choice of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is a must.

Odds-and-Ends Playlist:

- “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” - Perry Como & The Fontaine Sisters
- “This Christmas” - Donny Hathaway
- “Jingle Bell Rock” - Bobby Helms
- “Meeting of the Minds” (from original A Christmas Story soundtrack) - Carl Zittrer and Paul Zaza
- “Someday at Christmas” - Stevie Wonder
- “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” - Brenda Lee
- “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” (original 1958) - Alvin and the Chipmunks
- “Pretty Paper” - Roy Orbison
- “Run Rudolph Run” - Chuck Berry
- “Silver and Gold” - Burl Ives
- “Here Comes Santa Claus” - Big Tiny Little
- “It’s Christmas Time” - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (gorgeous, grossly underrated Stevie Wonder-penned track)
- “Main Title / Heaven” (original It’s a Wonderful Life soundtrack) - Dmitri Tiomkin
- “Sleigh Ride” - The Ventures
- “All I Want for Christmas is You” - Mariah Carey
- “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” - Thurl Ravenscroft
- “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” - The Temptations
- “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” - David Bowie & Bing Crosby
- “White Christmas” - The Drifters
- “True Blue Miracle” - The Sesame Street Cast
- “Winter Wonderland” - Aretha Franklin
- “Twistin’ Bells” - Santo & Johnny
- “What Christmas Means to Me” - Stevie Wonder
- “Do You Hear What I Hear?” - Bing Crosby
- “Susie’s Dream House / Store Montage” (original 1947 Miracle on 34th Street soundtrack) - Cyril Mockridge
- “The Spirit of Christmas” - Ray Charles
- “A Holly Jolly Christmas” (original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer soundtrack version) - Burl Ives

I always like Cantate Domino. It’s coming out on one step by audionaute 45 rpm together with 33rpm. Very expensive $169 I think it’s worth it. Coming November 2023.

Two of my favorites are  Jingle Bell Jazz and Glad Tidings Baroque Christmas music on Argo.