By Jessica Wheeler, AliveTampaBay Columnist
The holidays are a busy time, filled with family, friends, and food. And, in the background, there’s always the Christmas music. Here, we’ve compiled a holiday playlist with a song for every situation that might arise this season. We’ve skipped most of the conventional songs in favor of the ones you don’t hear every half hour on the holiday radio station. Enjoy!
When You Need to Rock Out in the Car
Everyone has those last-minute errands to run at Christmas, even when the family’s already arrived. So what do you do on those awkward car rides to Target with your aunt, your younger cousin, and that-person-who’s-related-to-you-somehow-but-you-can’t-remember-how? That’s easy—you put something good on the car stereo and rock out. “Merry Christmas Baby” by Ike & Tina Turner is a good bet; they’ll be dancing in their seats and you can skip the small talk.
When You Need to Relax
The errands are done, you’re back at home, and dinner is in the oven. Why not chill out with something mellow? “Christmas Time is Here” by Vince Guaraldi will not only relax you, but will have you longing to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. Put it on and watch everyone smile.
When You Start Looking Ahead to New Year’s
It’s still only Christmas, so why would you need to look ahead to New Year’s? Well, if you want a date to take to that New Year’s party, you might not want to procrastinate. “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” by Lou Rawls will help you get any date you want, because Lou Rawls is definitely cooler than you.
When Your Uncle Won’t Stop Talking About Politics
You’ve put a moratorium on political talk for the holidays, hoping to stave off arguments that will end in shouting and slammed doors. Still, your uncle keeps bringing up NAFTA and the dangers of political correctness. How can you remind him of your rule while keeping the peace? Put on “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” by The Ramones. If aggressions are still running high, you can always start a mosh pit.
When It’s Dinner Time
Gather ‘round the table, everyone, it’s time to eat! You need music that will please everyone, something familiar and comforting and wonderful…how about the Phil Spector Christmas album? Featuring covers of holiday classics and the new-classic original “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love, the album is an institution. True, Phil Spector is a convicted murderer, but we’ll just ignore that. Merry Christmas!
When You Need a Jolt of Pure Joy
After a while, you’ll feel your energy start to lag. So many people around, so much food to digest, so much boring football on television! When this happens, you’ll need to wake yourself up with a blast of pure Christmas joy. Try “Up On The Housetop” by The Jackson 5, a song that is pure happiness on tape.
When All This Christmas Stuff Starts Getting a Little Too Sweet For Your Taste
Sugar cookies, sugar plums, sugary hot chocolate, saccharine Christmas songs…eventually, it can be a little too much sweetness. What about the state of the world outside? What about those who aren’t having a happy holiday season? When the moodiness starts to overtake you, and you want something with a little more bite, try “Father Christmas” by The Kinks. “Father Christmas, give us some money, don’t mess around with those silly toys…Give all the toys to the little rich boys.”
When You Get Contemplative
Now you’re in a more serious, thoughtful mood. What is Christmas, anyway? What does it all mean? Let a philosophical man with a guitar explain it all to you. “I Believe in Father Christmas” by Greg Lake is just the song you need now.
When You Want to Wallow in Your Holiday Depression
The holidays are a low point for many, and now you’ve contemplated yourself right into a depression. Why not enjoy it, and wallow in the holiday sadness for a while? “River” by Joni Mitchell is perfect for these purposes. Put it on and think about all of your regrets for the year. Feels good, doesn’t it?
When That Holiday Depression Gets Overwhelming
This is when you put on “White Christmas” by Otis Redding, because who could be depressed while listening to something so glorious? Happy Holidays, everyone.
Jessica Wheeler is a columnist for AliveTampaBay.