Summary: Greatest Christmas Songs Countdown

Sitting here at the local Barnes and Noble (my haven in my hometown) puts me in a contemplative mood as I watch the last minute Christmas revelers rest in the cafe.  Christmas always seemed to be the big culminating event of the year, a reminder of the good parts of having friends, family, and any measure of prosperity.  New Year’s is much less contemplative.  New Year’s Eve is of the mindset, “Let’s get drunk, dress up, and sing songs, because we can and have no idea what the next year will bring.”   Christmas is like arriving at a destination; New Year’s is setting off toward a new one.  At Christmas you catch you breathe and look back.  At New Years you button up and look forward.  The cliche’s here are endless and overdone, but I can’t help but consider them.

In that contemplative spirit, I want to look back at the last 24 days of our Greatest Christmas songs countdown.  Here’s a recap:

2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 

3. That Spirit of Christmas 

4. Carol of the Bells

5. You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

6.  Oh Little Town of Bethlehem 

7. Griswold’s Song   

8. The First Noel 

 9. Oh Come All Ye Faithful 

10. It Came Upon A Midnight

11. In The First Light 

12. Silent Night 

13. Little Drummer Boy 

14. Merry Christmas 

15. Jingle Bell Rock 

16. Somewhere in my Memory 

17. White Christmas 

18. Who Would Imagine a King 

19. Christmas Shoes 

20. Wonderful Christmastime 

21. Winter Wonderland

22. Christmastime is Here 

23. All I Want For Christmas Is You 

24. The Christmas Song

25. It Feels Like Christmas 

 

The entire project of selecting the 25 ‘greatest’ songs and ranking them was impossible to do impersonally.  In fact, the entire thing was nothing but personal, because there is no other way to select and judge something like this otherwise; no clear-cut standards exist.  There was no rubric to use, and so I relied almost exclusively on my own personal gut-reactions.  In that way, I think I was honest but not representative; I didn’t attempt to appease all tastes.  

That said, because of the very nature of the topic, I already have changes, additions, and alterations that I wouldn’t likely make if I re-did the list this afternoon.  In the spirit of that continued honesty, here are some of those thoughts…

 

SONGS THAT I WOULD LIKEY ADD:

*I’ll Be Home With Bells On -Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers 

(The only reason this song didn’t make the list, quite frankly, is because I forgot about it.  It’s an egregious omission)

*Rocking Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

(A stunningly fun, happy song.  It should have been in the 20-25 range.)

 

SONGS THAT I WOULD LIKELY TAKE OFF THE LIST:

*Who Would Imagine a King

(The children’s choir version is the only thing that allowed it to make the list.  I realize, however, that taken out of the context of the movie, it isn’t as strong.)

*Wonderful Christmastime

(I enjoy it.  But looking back, there’s no way it is in the top 25, at least not for me.)


SONGS THAT I WOULD LIKELY MOVE DOWN:

*It Came Upon a Midnight Clear 

(Still on the list, but it isn’t as consistently good as the songs behind it.)

*Little Drummer Boy

(It  can be good, but it can also be stupendously bad.  It’s a unique sound for a classic tune, which is what earned it extra points initially, but I was likely too generous.)

*Griswold’s Song

(Fun and list-worthy, but not necessarily top 10.  I bumped it up too much.)

*You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch

(Ditto.  Though it would still be higher than Griswold’s Song.)

 

SONGS THAT I WOULD MOVE UP:

*The First Noel

(It should have been in the top 5.)

*The Christmas Song

(I don’t necessarily like every version, but Nat King Cole’s take is so brilliant that it should have been considerably higher.)

*All I Want For Christmas 

(It should’ve been higher, but only to the 18-19 range max.)

 

I feel better with that off my chest.  Now two questions for you:

1.  Is it obvious what the number 1 song will be?

2. What would be your single, greatest song?  …no hedging…

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