Hello and Happy Wednesday, my friends! December has come and I've got to be honest, my holiday spirit has soared through the roof. Last year at this time we were knee deep in wedding planning, broke, and Matty was living with my parents 3 hours away. My brain, time, and energy were overloaded - not to mention keeping our biggest campaign of the year afloat at my job.
This year we're looking forward to our first married Christmas and our biggest stress is where we're going to hang the extra strand of twinkle lights. I know seasons ebb and flow, so I'm fully enjoying this one! I've already baked upwards of 6 dozen cookies (not all for us, promise), made 6 felt ornaments, practically finished shopping (thank you, internet), and Matty and I picked out our first Christmas tree. Ever so often I catch Matty watching me with wide-eyed amusement at my Christmas bustling. I love it.
(Though, it hasn't been all sunshine and roses. Over an hour of stress at FedEx yesterday left me at a very low point in which I ate an entire burger and fries in my car in under 5 minutes, as documented here. #ithappens)
So, what better way to enjoy merry-making than with the sounds of the season? Today I'm introducing a new weekly list called The Delightful 5! This one features my top 5 Christmas albums. I love all of these because every single song is just, well, delightful. You should also trust me on these because I am a Christmas music expert and have done ample research year after year. And now, in no particular order:
1. CeeLo's Magic Moment
Best All Around
Surprised? I was too when I first listened to this album and felt everything from pure joy to longing to gratefulness to awe. His rendition of a song that used to drive me crazy ("Mary Did You Know") brings me to tears and wonder, the cover of Joni Mitchell's "River" is hauntingly beautiful, his duet with the Muppets ("All I Need is Love") is so fun that I listen year round, and "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch" with a Capella group Straight No Chaser is downright jaw-dropping genius.
His voice was made for Christmas, no? It's perfect in every way and let's just talk about that cover of "All I Want For Christmas is You." Turning it into a beautiful ballad? You win, Mr. Bublé.
3. Harry For The Holidays
Best New Spin on an Old Thing
I'm a fan of every Harry Connick Jr. album and it's tough to choose between his 3 Christmas releases, but I think this one just edges out over the others. His take on "Silver Bells," "Frosty the Snowman," "Blue Christmas," and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" are all both traditional and fresh. And who else could make "Nature Boy" into a Christmas song?
4. Snowed In
Best For 30-Year-Old Fangirls...ahem
The year was 1997. I was 12 and counting down the hours for Hanson's Christmas album. It was like Christmas in and of itself. I still listen to it every year because a) how great is Christmas when your 12? and b) nostalgia mixed with actual good songs make for a pretty great album. No one, and I mean no one, does "Merry Christmas, Baby" like these guys.
5. Merry Christmas
Best Can't Not Play Over & Over
I've been playing this tape/CD/MP3 since sixth grade and I don't plan on stopping now. (Also sang "All I Want For Christmas is You" at 7th grade choir concert and literally could not stop moving. Both the most embarrassing and most proud moment of my entire life.)
Bonus: "Christmas Lights" by Coldplay
Best Original Christmas Song in the Last Decade
It will make you feel every single emotion in 4 minutes and 2 seconds and it is brilliant. At my most dramatic moment, I listened to it while staring into the fountain at Lincoln Center before walking all across Manhattan in the cold evening. #drama