Courtesy Fantasy Records
The classic soundtrack from the classic holiday television program. More a Christmas mood piece than a collection of carols, this 1965 soundtrack includes the timeless "Linus and Lucy, " the introspective "Christmas Time is Here, " and Guaraldi's unique take on "The Christmas Song, " "Greensleeves, " and "My Little Drum" (or, "The Little Drummer Boy").
Released 1965, Fantasy Records
Courtesy Rounder Records
Originally released in 1983, this CD features Raffi's warm, everyman voice crooning a collection of familiar holiday songs, along with harder-to-find tunes like Roger Miller's "Old Toy Trains, " Arnold Sundgaard & Alec Wilder's "Douglas Mountain, " and Tex Logan's "Christmas Time's A-Coming." Also included are several Raffi originals like "Every Little Wish, " "A Child's Gift of Love, " and "On Christmas Morning."
Released 1983, Shoreline
Courtesy Hip-O Records/Universal Music Enterprises
Similar to Christmas Classics (see below), but with an emphasis on newer tunes. Overlapping songs include "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (Burl Ives here, Bing Crosby on Classics), "Frosty the Snowman" (Jimmy Durante here, Gene Autry on Classics), and "Jingle Bells" (Ella Fitzgerald here, Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters on Classics). Both include Spike Jones' "All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)." Includes Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock, " The Jackson 5's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, " Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, " The Chipmunks' "Christmas Don't Be Late, " and Raul Malo's "Marshmallow World, " most famously heard on Phil Spector's 1963 masterpiece A Christmas Gift for You.
Released 2007, Hip-O Records
Courtesy Capitol Records
Crank up the Chipmunks and let Christmas begin! Ross Bagdasarian and his Chipmunks gleefully sing their way through 20 Christmas classics, adding their own brand of humor along the way. Tunes include "Deck the Halls, " "Silver Bells, " "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, " and, of course, "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)."
Released 1962, Capitol Records
Courtesy MGM Records
Another great Christmas soundtrack, but for a different reason: Boris Karloff narrates the entire Dr. Seuss-authored story, and it may just be possible that it's more fun to listen to Karloff's reading than to watch the animated classic. The album features the music of Albert Hague and includes the unforgettable "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, " sung by Thurl Ravenscroft (the voice of Tony the Tiger!), as well as two tunes sung by the townspeople of Whoville, "Welcome Christmas" and "Trim Up the Tree."
The few we have for Christmas that the kids like
Even at 8 and 13 is that we always
1. make snowflakes out of coffee filters to put on all our windows and
2. we make gingerbread men every year together, though we use sugar cookie dough with our boy/girl cutouts instead.
3. We have an advent calendar, its fabric with a christmas tree and ornaments, kinda looks like a quilt that hangs on the wall, that I had when I was little. They both still like to put an ornament on it each day to countdown the days to Christmas.
As a family, we also start listening to Christmas music the day of and decorating the house the day after Thanksgiving so we always have a full month of festivities