I have a confession, I’ve been on a Christmas song mission since the beginning of November, I just figured with all of the Christmas song controversy in the world it would be better not to mention it until December. I’ve actually been listening to Christmas music all year because good music is good music, no questions asked. And if you can’t listen to your Christmas music all year you’re not doing it right.
Here are some of my tips about how to find Christmas songs for your mix CDs.
Pandora actually has a bunch of holiday genre stations that are already created with descriptions of the type of music that would play on the station. You can find Today’s Christmas, Family Christmas, Swingin’ Christmas, Jazz Holidays, Christian Contemporary Holidays, Indie Holidays and more. You can find the full list here.
My favorite feature of iTunes is the “Preview All” button. So you can search your favorite artists Christmas albums and just listen to about 45 seconds of every song. It’s brilliant, because usually you can tell in that time whether or not a song is worth of making the mix.
My second favorite feature is the “Listeners Also Bought” box at the bottom of every album. That takes a little more time because you can’t “Preview All”, but you never know what artists you’ll discover.
Honestly, the results on Spotify are endless. If you type in the word Christmas into the search bar there are literally an infinite number of options – already created playlists, albums, songs, artists – anything at all.
My favorite way to utilize Amazon is by going to the section called MP3 music and typing in one of my favorite Christmas songs. Then every artist who has ever recorded that Christmas song pops up and you can listen to them all. I usually resort to this when I’m getting close to the end of my mix and realize I’m missing one of my favorite songs or that there aren’t enough traditional songs on the mix.
I mean, Google is really the answer to everything, isn’t it? Top Christmas Songs. Best Christmas Songs of the 90s. Christmas Duets. You can really search anything and get a list.
Here are some other things that I consider when putting together the album.
- I put special effort into picking out an opening and closing song. For instance, last year I decided that it should end with a New Years song since Christmas leads up to New Years. I also like to make sure that the opening song is exciting enough to get people pumped up for the rest of the album.
- The past two years I have put one instrumental song on the mix to add a little bit of variety. I have chosen two pieces from my favorite holiday movies so far – Love Actually and The Holiday. It’ll be interesting to see what I come up with for this year.
- The reason I started making a mix CD was to give to my aunts for Christmas. Because of this, I like to make sure that there is a good mix of traditional songs to modern songs.
- Finally, after I choose all the songs I spend a while putting them in an interesting order to make sure that the pace varies throughout the album.
Do you have any tips for finding new Christmas songs? Or what about any favorites? Any that I might be able to add to the list?