It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas, because radio stations and public spaces have definitely changed over to their holiday tracks. I’m a big fan of the holidays, and I enjoy the traditional soundtrack. However, sometimes I’m in the mood for something a little bit different, kind of quirky, or just plain ridiculous. When I host holiday gatherings (see last week’s post for more tips on get-togethers and celebrations), I always add a healthy dose of offbeat tunes to my playlist. (Please note that these are chosen for their fun factor, not their musical quality. Lol.)
If you want to try going off the beaten path in your holiday listening, here are a few suggestions:
Shatner Claus (2018)
William Shatner cracks me up. His “I’m ridiculous and I’m owning it” persona doesn’t work for everyone, but if you find it entertaining, you should check out Shatner Claus. It’s filled with his signature style of spoken word/over the top drama, and while I definitely would NOT call it “good music”, I couldn’t stop laughing.
Personal favorite: Jingle Bells (Punk Rock Version).
Meowy Christmas (1993)
Meowy Christmas was the first of four albums by the Jingle Cats, produced by Mike Spalla. I can’t begin to image how many hours of cat sounds Spalla collected and mixed to create the “choir” that performs these holiday favorites. The strange but entertaining discography also includes Jingle Dogs and Jingle Babies.
Personal favorite: Ode to Joy
Merry, Merry Christmas (1989)
I could work on this post for weeks and never run out of holiday albums recorded by pop stars over the years. Going back to the “must haves” of the past is a great way to revive some old memories. For me, the standout is New Kids on the Block, which seemed to be in everyone’s stocking as we prepared to welcome the 90s. My family still listens to it every year, with a lot of smiles, giggles, and occasional eye rolling.
Personal favorite: Funky, Funky Christmas
Twisted Christmas (1988)
Comedian Bob Rivers went heavy on the parody in his series of Christmas albums, including a strong focus on the irritations that go hand in hand with the joy. It’s a tongue in cheek look at the holidays, and a lot of the humor comes from the fact that much of it is so easy to relate to, even for serious holiday fans.
Personal favorite: The Twelve Pains of Christmas
Christmas in the Stars (1980)
I love Star Wars. The good, the bad, and the hopelessly cheesy…I can’t get enough. (And if you’ve read this far, I’m sure you’ve already realized I have a general weakness for anything cheesy.) Christmas in the Stars is a surprisingly earnest blend of the Star Wars universe and holiday spirit, with a distinct early 80s feel.
Personal favorite: What Do You Get a Wookie For Christmas?
What are your favorite holiday albums and songs (traditional or otherwise)? Let me know in the comments!