True story: If you want to know what the best Christmas music is, you should ask a Jewish person.
Why is that? Honestly, I really don’t know. Perhaps it has something to do with, as Sarah Spigelman Richter recently wrote on Mashable.com, a deep-seated sense of FOMO for “a culture that is in no way destined to be mine.” Feeling left out can be hard, so we appreciate the “Americanized, agnostic version of the Christmas season” that much more because it’s not really ours.
Or maybe that has nothing to do with it.
What I do know is that were it not for the Jews, we wouldn’t have some of the best Christmas songs of all time. “White Christmas,” anyone? “Silver Bells?” “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)?” Etc. Etc. All written by Jews. So clearly, we know our holiday tunes.
For 10 years, I created my own holiday (mostly Christmas) mixes. The creation of my annual volume of A Very Marty Xmas was as much a tradition as the airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas or Darlene Love’s appearance on David Letterman’s show, and I know many folks who still dig out my CDs every year when they’re trimming the tree or hosting a party, or just getting in the holiday spirit.
Amazingly, it’s been five years since my last Very Marty Xmas mix. And I actually miss them. Maybe you do too.
So this year, I decided to update my Ultimate Very Marty Xmas playlist on Spotify to include even more of the seasonal favorites I love. Now, in addition to most of the tracks that I included on my “Best Of” edition in 2007, and some other favorites, you’ll also find tracks that were released in the last five years: Coldplay’s “Christmas Lights,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Underneath the Tree,” Straight No Chaser and Kristen Bell’s “Text Me Merry Christmas,” Matt Wertz’s “Snow Globe,” and Lennon and Maisy Stella’s “Christmas Coming Home,” among others. You’ll also find a few brand-new-in-2015 songs, like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings’ “8 Days of Hanukkah,” Michael Bublé’s “The More You Give,” and Tin Bird Choir’s “Season of Peace.”
Darlene Love’s here. Bruce Springsteen’s here. The Pogues are here. So are Donny Hathaway, the Jackson 5, Mindy Smith, the Ramones, and Stevie Wonder.
There are Christmas songs, Hanukkah songs, and even a couple New Year’s Eve songs.
There is not: “Dominick the Donkey,” “Santa Baby,” or even “Silent Night,” even though it is apparently the most covered Christmas song of all time.
In short: If it was possible for the Very Marty Xmas playlist to get any more perfect, it just did.
Put this playlist on shuffle and you’re sure to have a very happy, very festive holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or something else.
You can trust me on that: I’m Jewish.
Just checking: Is there anything YOU would add to this playlist? Please let me know in the comments section below.