Favorite Seasonal Music Selections

Every year, I think to myself – how did we already get to December?  It seems that just yesterday, the waning summer sun still warmed the earth.  Now that the holiday season is upon us, its time to pull out favorite seasonal music selections!

Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks and “to dos” that come with this time of year, it helps to put in a holiday music CD.  There is a wide range of songs that can help you relax, or even inspire you.  You might even want to hum one or two of them if you find yourself stuck in traffic or standing in a long line at the store.

The end of the year is a time of reflection.  Its a time to look inward and plan for the new year ahead.  Ambient new age music and traditional chants can be just the thing to help you turn off the buzz of the everyday life and concentrate on the important stirrings of your soul.

Silent winter landscapes to reflect upon and enjoy (image from Nicholas_T on Flickr)

Silent winter landscapes to reflect upon and enjoy (image from Nicholas_T on Flickr)

Long considered to be a pop-rock musician, Sting has shown a depth of talent in recent years that transcends these genres. His CD release, “If On a Winter’s Night,” brought me back in the deep meaning of the season of lights, of love.

One of my favorite holiday music cd is Vince Guaraldi Trio from Charlie Brown’s Christmas movie soundtrack. It combines a jazzy music swing with the classic Christmas theme of very good child memories!

If you prefer a good instrumental music artist, I’ve enjoyed George Winston for some time now.  His new age CD, December, includes a number of gems for this time of year.  If you like piano, you’ll love this rendition of “Carol of the Bells.”

Imagine yourself snuggling before a fire with a loved one:

Many people enjoy the sound of instrumental holiday music.  Sometimes listening to songs without words is exactly what you need during this hectic time of year.

Fortunately, there is a wide range of thoroughly seasonable music selections – beyond the pop artist renditions of the “12 Days of  Christmas,” or “Holly Jolly Christmas.”

Unwind at the end of a winter's day with inspiring holiday music (image from MoToMo on Flickr)

Unwind at the end of a winter’s day with inspiring holiday music (image from MoToMo on Flickr)

If you want to go with a little more lively new age music for the holidays, consider one of many great hits from Mannheim Steamroller!  This group single-handedly re-defined Christmas music back in 1984, bringing it out of the churches to the masses.

This is the song that started it all – a peppy version of “Joy to the World”.

This next song is from an amazing Canadian Singer Songwriter and multi talented accomplished musician, Loreena McKennitt. This is a special song in French called “Noel Nouvelet” which stands for New Christmas. In a Celtic music ambiance, let’s drip into arabic mode chant mixed with the purity of her angelic voice.

The following song is a combination of two distinct music artists I appreciate for their huge talent! Sarah McLachlan sings John Lennon‘s Happy Christmas. What a match!

This is an inescapable classic Xmas song from my childhood that make me feel happy! Here is Nat King Cole with The Christmas Song.

I believe that the most enjoyable holiday music is something that puts you in a loving mood, whatever it is.  Yet, Christmas music makes me realize every year that life is abundant and that it’s important to keep our sense of wonder.

Creative, unusual holiday songs have the ability to move you from the expected, towards self-discovery.  That overall property is what differentiates ambient music from other genres.  When these soulful melodies are placed against the backdrop of a winter theme, you could uncover the most precious gift of all: yourself.

Solitude on a winter's day can bring clarity and peace (image from color line on Flickr)

Solitude on a winter’s day can bring clarity and peace (image from color line on Flickr)

My North American ear has been trained to the velvet voice of Elvis and hey.. have to admit, I really enjoy listening to his Christmas albums! Here is Christmas at Graceland and Elvis’s White Christmas.

Finally I can’t go without suggesting my favorite Christmas Music album which is The Elf movie soundtrack. I enjoy this selection of songs year after year! Hurry down the chimney tonight..)

I’d love to hear about your favorite new age holiday music selections.  Please let me know if I missed any!

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to see: Merry Xmas Jazzy Vocal Style with Marcome & Resonance JazzMusical Sounds in Nature and Music for the Changing Seasons, Nature’s music is never over.

 

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Click image to listen to Marcome’s music

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