I’m big on Christmas. I love the holiday season, but Christmas stands out as my all-time favorite day of the year.
The music of the holiday has always been important to my Christmas celebrations, and I’ve spent a lot of time over the years coming up with great playlists for each holiday season. (This rock-flavored one from 2009 stands out as an all-time favorite.)
But this year, I decided to tone it down a bit. Life is hectic. Holidays are stressful. Even the Christmas season gives one ample reasons to seek decompression. So I came up with a list of 12 amazing, contemplative, hella chill holiday songs. Some are older (like Joni Mitchell’s River) and some are quite new.
I highly recommend this playlist for long drives, hot baths, early-morning jogs, or whatever environment you find most conducive to mental calm and clarity.
I’ve included all but one of the songs in a YouTube playlist for your previewing/listening pleasure, and all the tracks are listed below. I’ve even added a short version of this playlist in an embedded player below that (because Playlist.com didn’t have all the songs on my list). Please download and purchase music responsibly; we hear the RIAA’s gearing up for a bunch of fun civil suits, and I’d hate for your number to get called.
(Also, the reason I made this playlist early is quite simple: I wanted to have it in time for a mid-October visit back East to see my family.)
WORLD’S MOST RELAXING CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST
Joy to the World :: Sufjan Stevens
Wintersong :: Sarah McLachlan
If You Were Born Today :: Low
Christmastime Is Here :: Ivy
River :: Joni Mitchell
Cherry Tree Carol :: Sting
The First Nowell :: Eric Johnson
The Christmas Song :: Catherine Feeny
Morning Christmas :: Beach Boys
Jeanette, Isabella :: Tori Amos
Only at Christmastime :: Sufjan Stevens
Auld Lang Syne :: Various (Hotel Cafe Compilation)