By Amanda DK 

Most of us have holiday traditions that we have adhered to since childhood.  Watching a particular movie (Albert Finney’s 1970 version of Scrooge). Attending the same neighborhood Christmas Eve fete. My brother and I knew that no matter how early we woke up we would have to say a prayer before our antique nativity scene before we could even see our haul from Santa. When everything else had been torn open, we would always find a Clementine at the bottom of our stockings.

It is impossible to imagine Christmas without these rituals.  The first time it was suggested that we maybe open presents on Christmas Eve (rather than Christmas morning), the idea was treated as blasphemy and shot down almost immediately.

Holiday music retains an equally precious place in our hearts.  From hymns and carols (“O Come All Ye Faithful”) to modern classics (“All I Want For Christmas Is You”) creating new versions of these old favorites is a delicate proposition.  Done incorrectly and the listener feels violated; that scene in The Santa Clause where Scott Calvin is utterly horrified to see Santa Claus ditching his sleigh for a panzer.

Occasionally, however, it is possible to create new customs that are just as special as the old ones.  A couple years ago (when my younger brother hit drinking age) my family decided to head up to Vermont with all our gifts on Christmas Eve.  After a few glasses of red wine, with Its A Wonderful Life on the television and a fire blazing – we opened gifts.  This new phase in all of our lives – my brother and I both now “official” adults, my parents finally being able to treat us like ones – had inspired a new experience.  We’ve been following this same procedure for the past three or four years.  A brand new tradition.

But back to music.  Sometimes it is possible for new songs earn a spot next to the classics, whether a cover of a familiar tune or something completely original.  I don’t want to anoint the following tracks “new classics” or make any equitable bold statement, but I do believe these songs retain the magical quality that truly makes the holidays special. And scroll to the bottom of the page for a little gift for you all from Tadpole Audio.

Merry Christmas, and “God bless us, everyone!”

I’m going go to have another glass of water.

The Civil Wars “O Come O Come Emmanuel”

The Barr Brothers “Dear Mrs. Claus”

Darker My Love “Snow is Falling”

Cary Brothers “Father Christmas”

Ashton Allen “O Come All Ye Faithful”

McMacDC “Winter Wonderland”

Rogue Wave “Jingle Bell Rock”

Spectrals “It’s Xmas And I’ve Got Everything I Want”

Bess Rogers “Little Saint Nick”

Kate Nash “Last Christmas”

Summer Camp “Christmas Wrapping”

Little Jackie “Mrs. Claus Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me”

Zee Avi “Frosty The Snowman”

Lenka “All My Bells Are Ringing”

Mia Doi Todd “The Last Night of Winter”

Nicole Atkins “Little Drummer Boy”

North Sea Radio Orchestra “O Come O Come Emmanuel”

Listen on Spotify

And finally, a free holiday single by The Spinto Band for you to snag for your very own: