there's a new philosopher up in here

Soo... Calvin and Hobbes. Best comic strip. Right?
The only downside is that there are only 4 of them...

1 - 2 - 3 - 4



winter songs

Christmas is my favorite holiday.
There's just this spirit of peace and good will toward men, and hope, and cheer, and gladness.
It makes me super happy.

It really feels like there's magic in the air.
The smell of pine... And gingerbread... And all things delicious...
The sound of bells... And carols... And happy people...
Sweaters (especially over-sized and/or ugly), the perfection that is snow, curling up next to the fire, drinking hot cocoa, and, especially, remembering Christ, the real reason for the holiday, and being so grateful for Him.

That said, one of my favorite things about Christmas is the music.
There are the great old classics...
And the great newer classics...
And the sort of okay covers...
And the really awful classics and covers...
Anyway, regardless of how much I love Christmas music, I got a little fed up with the overabundance of bad covers and weirdo classics last year.
Radio stations seem to love them despite their severe awful-ness.
Soooo... I set out to find some new Christmas music!
Here are some of my favorites. As it is not all Christmas music, technically, I give you...

Kira's not-super-traditional Wintersong Playlist of '12

A strange, wintry original: Horchata by Vampire Weekend
I'd look psychotic in a balaclava.

  A funny, very different original: Don't Shoot Me Santa by The Killers
Also, the video.

A great cover of an old classic: Frosty the Snowman by Fiona Apple
Her voice. Really.

Also Zee Avi, who switched things up and changed it to a minor key! You can hear that here.

  Two covers of an oldie, but goodie: What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt (who should just get married already) and The Head and The Heart both did such wonderful covers of this song that I just had to put them both on here. So much love.

The only "seasonal" song I regularly listen to year round: Christmas Lights by Coldplay
Actually, one of my overall favorite songs. Because it is the most beautiful. Ever. That piano. Agh.

A good cover of my least favorite Christmas song: Wonderful Christmastime by The Shins
Read, "one of two versions I will voluntarily listen to." That does not include the original (sorry Paul), which I absolutely cannot stand. At all. Ever.

The other version I'll listen to, by Tom McCrae, is here... It's not as happy-sounding.

An original with fantastic imagery: That Was The Worst Christmas Ever by Sufjan Stevens
Not the happiest Christmas song, but it's so beautiful. And really... You can see the story play out in your head. Also, I just found this video, and it's really neat! And sad.

An original about the reason for the season: The Earth Stood Still by Future of Forestry
Not many contemporary, non-hymn Christmas songs are actually about the birth of Christ. I love this one - simple, but a good reminder. Plus it's pretty. :)

A lovely cover of my favorite: O Come O Come Emmanuel by Punch Brothers
Because their voices... And the bluegrass... And the song...

A year-round favorite that is also winter-themed: White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes
It's just so bouncy and fun. Also, Fleet Foxes. Yeah.

A gorgeous, if sad, collaboration: Winter Song by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson
The lyrics make me sad. But the vocals and the instrumentation... So beautiful.

Because it was too sad, I had already used the song, I had already used the artist, or I just didn't feel like it quite fit the list.

All I Want for Christmas is New Year's Day by Hurts
Auld Lang Syne by Andrew Bird
Christmas Wish by She & Him
O Come O Come Emmanuel by Sufjan Stevens
Taking Down the Tree by Low
The Heartache Can Wait by Brandi Carlisle

Really, the Starbucks-sponsored album "Christmas Rules" (also titled Holidays Rule; the only thing that changes is the album cover), which I shared some of, should be on your listening list in its entirety.
Also, Sufjan Stevens Holiday radio on Pandora is pretty fantastic.

And there you are, folks. Enjoy!
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