4 Ways to Add Holiday Music to Your Family Celebrations

Dec 22, 2021

Hey! What’s this? Another special, holiday edition of The Music Studio’s blog? That’s right! Am I a little over-excited? Maybe. But the holidays are such a great time for music! There’s so much to celebrate this time of year. It’s the end of a seemingly endless year of difficulties, but as our homes fill up with holiday decor and cheer, our kitchens fill up with those special holiday dishes and smells, and our living rooms fill up with loved ones, there’s hope for the new year.

So, it makes sense that music would also find its way into our day-to-day holiday activities. If you’re looking for a few ways to inject even more music into your holiday festivities, we’ve got you covered!

Spread Joy with Carols

While going out door-to-door has become much less popular over time, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s nothing stopping you from playing and singing carols in your own home! If you play an instrument, take the time and gather the family ’round to sing. But even if you don’t play, you can put a little holiday spirit in any situation with a little caroling!

Getting dinner ready? Belt out some “Little Drummer Boy.” Doing the dishes? Sing some “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Driving around town? “Oh, Christmas Tree!”

And once Christmas has come and gone, there’s no reason to stop! You’ve still got at least the week until New Year’s Eve to keep singing “Let it Snow,” “Baby it’s Cold Outside,” and “Winter Wonderland.” And that’s not even mentioning New Year’s own music, like “Auld Lang Syne,” “Let’s Start the New Year Right,” and “1999.” No matter if you prefer the old winter classics, or more contemporary fare, I would suggest more upbeat, bouncy versions of your favourites in the final few days of the year.

I don’t know about you, but it helps me build-up to the promise of a new year!

See a Show

While private citizens going out and caroling for strangers might have become somewhat passé, the season is still full of holiday performances put on by the pros, If, of course, your area’s COVID restrictions have loosened.

There are few things in life that can shoo away the “bah-humbugs” faster than an uplifting holiday musical show. You’re practically guaranteed to be leaving the hall with your toes tapping, a Christmas tune in your head and on your tongue, and practically bursting with holiday cheer.

Every city has its own unique musical offerings over the season, so be sure to check your local listings, as well as those from surrounding areas. You never know where you might find your holiday spirit!

Of course, in areas where rigorous restrictions are still in place, or for those who are still uncomfortable minging with crowds, there is another option!

Bring Performances Home

While I can’t recommend live holiday music enough, getting out to a show isn’t always the easiest thing to squeeze during this season, especially, this year. If you can’t make it out to a show this winter, there’s nothing stopping you from bringing a show right into your own living room!

YouTube offers an almost never-ending selection of concerts put on by choirs and orchestras from around the world. Have you ever heard the African Children’s Choir? Or the Madrigal Bucharest Choir? Or how about the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert? There’s a whole world of Christmas and New Year music to try and enjoy!

Of course, watching a holiday performance together is great, but what’s better than that? Singing along with your favourites together!

Create Holiday Playlists

How many of you out there are music shufflers? Do any of you commit to an entire album? I’m a shuffler myself, but since there’s no wrong way to listen to music, I’d like to make a holiday suggestion: create a few purpose-made holiday playlists. We all know how powerful the connection between music and memory is, and you can use this link to help build and reinforce your new holiday memories! You can do this by carefully crafting playlists for different kinds of activities. If you use each playlist accordingly, it will form an association in your mind between the activity and the music, so when you hear the music in the future, it will transport you back to warm holiday experiences.

For example, while in the car you might try popular Christmas music, the kind that you might hear on the radio. It’ll give you a nice, wide range of styles, all ripe for a sing-along. It helps keep the atmosphere casual and cheerful, and it can be stopped at any time without changing the mood.

Your home might be a good place to try out a playlist of traditional Christmas music from your heritage. This kind of playlist can create a feeling of cultural connection through the generations, while also reinforcing some of those cultural traditions.

Cooking or baking might call for a lighter, smoother sound. Personally, I like a nice jazzy sound while I work in the kitchen, because it works well as a distraction-free, yet toe-tapping inducing background soundtrack. My current cooking playlist features a fair amount of Michael Bublé, because what jazzy Christmas mix is complete without him?

And why stop your playlists with Christmas? New Year’s follows just a week later and has its own massive library of music. As I mentioned before, I like a playlist of upbeat, pump-up tunes in the week between the holidays to build up the excitement for the new year. Personally, I prefer to stick to classic and arena rock during the pre-New Year’s week; they offer the kind of attitude and emotion I’m looking for. Try setting up multiple playlists to build throughout the week, culminating in a jammin’ mix to ring in the new year!

You can make playlists for getting ready for school, right before bed, or for decorating the house. The real point is to create a link between the activity and the music in your mind. You’ll appreciate it for years to come!

With Christmas only a few days away, how will you be adding music to your celebration? Tell us in the comments!