multicolored Christmas lights decorating a guitar
Chris Combe / Flickr

It happens every year – there’s so much to do in preparation for the holidays that by the time the holidays actually roll around, you’re plum tuckered out. Some wondrous Christmas music can help keep the wind in your sails.

And there is no shortage of wondrous Christmas music. As a special gift for you, I’ve included here some spectacular performances of some of my favorite works of Christmas music. Some are restful and awe-inspiring. Others are exuberant and joyful. And all of them can take your mind off everything that “must” get done, so you can enjoy the season.

There’s a lot to like about the holidays – good food, gift-giving (and receiving!), time spent with friends and cherished family traditions. But one of the best things about the Christmas season is the music.

Jessica Lewis / Pexels

Where did the year go? While December can really pile on the stress with winter weather, holiday preparations, work deadlines and family visits, it’s also the time for some of the most sublime, glorious music in the cycle of the year.

As 2017 draws to a close, the music of Chanukah and Christmas reminds so many of us of our treasured holiday traditions. 

We have a full slate of special programs scheduled to air on Classical 101 this month, in addition to holiday editions of our regular shows.

Nick Amoscato / Flickr

As a kid growing up in Louisiana, you never knew whether you’d be wearing shorts or sweaters for Christmas, so it was sometimes difficult to get in the "holiday spirit" you see depicted in cards and commercials. 

No snow-capped trees, no children sledding happily down icy hills — no snow at all, as a matter of fact. We used to spray fake snow on our Christmas tree to create the illusion of winter. I can still smell it.

The one surefire way to make it feel like Christmas was music. Even if the air conditioning was on, you could still plug in the tree lights, crank up the record player (yes, I'm that old) and pretend people were bundled up and bustling around, doing wintry activities.