(drum roll please...i know you're wracked with anticipation...)
1. all i want for christmas - mariah carey : you might laugh but when this song comes on, i can't help but get excited. i've placed it here as the first song so that you can put in the cd and press skip right away before walking away from the ipod doc/cd player if you're not a fan.
2. christmas all over again - tom petty: another great upbeat, non-traditional christmas song. the feel of it works well after mariah.
3. christmas (baby please come home) - U2 : keeping with the upbeat theme but moving into more familiar carols.
4. God rest ye merry gentlemen - barenaked ladies feat. sarah mclachlan : a classic christmas song, bringing the upbeat song section down a notch but not cutting straight to mellow.
5. baby, it's cold outside - willie nelson feat. norah jones : one more notch down on the "upbeat", mellowing out, classic christmas carol.
6. what child is this - matt wertz : now we're at mellow, traditional carols.
7. o holy night - avril lavigne & chantal kreviasuk : too bad avril is in this song but chantal is amazing and there are some beautiful harmonies. i listened to probably 10 versions of this song and still kept picking this one as my favourite.
8. it came upon a midnight clear - sixpence none the richer : a pretty version of this song in the same mellow-ish tones of the previous two songs.
9. silent night - house of heroes : never heard of this band before but definitely liked their version - mellow without being mournful...and there are LOT of mournful silent nights out there.
10. holy, holy, holy - sufjan stevens : the last of the traditional carols but sung in a style that begins to prepare listeners for some more alternative christmas music.
11. the christmas song - catherine feeny : familiar christmas with jazz undertones.
12. peace - norah jones : unfamiliar but jazz christmas nonetheless. this song also marks the mellowist section of music in the compilation.
13. snowfall - ingrid michaelson : my current favourite artist - couldn't not have her in this list. mournful wintery song.
14. christmas is near - charlotte martin : a second non-traditional but mournful wintery song that works with ingrid.
15. christmas song - dave matthews & tim reynolds : non-traditional but picking up the beat a little as well as coming back to a bit more familiar as we near the end of the cd.
16. happy x-mas - sarah mclachlan: this song is in the non-trad. section but is so familiar to everyone that it's preparing us for the final, traditional song.
17. auld lang syne - variety of artists from the cd, "the hotel cafe presents winter songs" : this song is a fitting ending to any christmas cd as it always makes me think of "it's a wonderful life". there's another beautiful version of it on the "sex and the city soundtrack" but i liked this acoutic version.
and there you have it! days of listening to christmas music and scribbling on scraps of paper to create my perfect mix. i'd love to hear songs you'd add, take away, switch spots, etc.
**also, i'd like to say that i enjoy "charlie brown christmas" as a whole cd by itself which is why none of those songs made it on this list. we also listen to sarah mclachlan's "wintersong" a LOT at christmas therefore only one of her songs made it on here.