We all have our Christmas memories. I remember waking up the entire household on Christmas morning and the look on my father’s face when I did that. Only now do I realize that inwardly he was seething because he was being woken up for a holiday that, as a Muslim, he didn’t celebrate. He never said one word because he and my mother lived and died for their kids and would suck up anything just to make them happy.
When I was old enough to comprehend that us being Muslim and not like everyone else in the town was okay, we stopped celebrating Christmas. Even though I stopped celebrating Christmas, I never stopped enjoying the festive spirit of the season. The lights, the decorations, the music. In the spirit of this beautiful time, I give you my 10 favorite Christmas songs:
1. "All I Want for Christmas is You" - Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey hit a homerun with this song. Her own distinctive voice shines through but reminds you of a 60’s girl group. It’s catchy as hell, too. My all-time favorite.
2. "This Christmas" - Donny Hathaway
Donny Hathaway sings about the anticipation of a special holiday with his angelic voice. The horns in the background add a special touch. It’s just a happy song.
3. "Let it Snow" - Boyz II Men
The harmonies of this classic R&B group are at their best in this song. They sing about the real joy of the season: being with the ones you love.
4. "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" - Bing Crosby and David Bowie
I love Bing Crosby’s baritone. His voice just had an ease to it. David Bowie almost didn’t sing on this track because he hated the original song. The composers on the TV special had to write “Peace on Earth” almost on the spot. Lucky for them, Bowie liked it. His understated modern vocal, coupled with the classic crooner’s old school vibe, made this duet a Christmas classic.
5. "White Christmas" - Bing Crosby
Again, that baritone. It’s just a calm, peaceful song.
6. "Winter Wonderland" - Dean Martin
Dean Martin’s easy breezy style took you back to childhood when you were excited by all the possibility a blanket of snow can bring.
7. "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" - Al Green and Annie Lennox
The title of this song says it all. “Put a little love in your heart/And the world will be a better place.” Al Green’s classic R&B stylings combined with Annie Lennox’s powerhouse vocal put a smile on my face every time.
8. "Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You" - Billy Squire
This rocker surprised us all with this sweet song. Since this was MTV’s video Christmas
card to their viewers, the MTV kids got their own video Christmas memory.
9. "Jingle Bell Rock" - Hall and Oates
Hall and Oates updated this 50’s classic and made it their own by putting their Philly soul
spin. And the video was a throwback to a Leave it to Beaver episode.
10. "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" - Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen just had fun with this Christmas classic, and it was pretty clear.
Clarence Clemons’ deep “better be good for goodness sake” and saxophone solo just made you want to sing along.
Until next time... look behind and beyond the veil...
What's your favorite Christmas song? Tell us in the comments below!
Sameena K. Mughal, Author, Freelance Writer