Musical Notes with Melissa: Holiday Tunes
The Best Holiday Songs To Sing With Your Loved One
The holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, & Chanukah is one of our absolute favorite seasons for our music therapy team. There are so many different kinds of holiday music: the sacred and religious, the young and fun, and the classic and nostalgic. Some of our favorite holiday songs came on the scene when our residents were just children, like “White Christmas” in 1942 or “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in 1944. Some have been around since the 1800s, like “Jingle Bells” and “Over the River & Through the Woods.”
During this time of COVID, we are all making the most of the time we get to spend with our loved ones, and what better way to create a memorable experience than to share music together? Here are our five must-sing holiday tunes:
“The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole
This song has so much wonderful imagery to pull from. You can share what you remember about the Christmas decorations in your house, how it smelled when someone made cookies, or even how you used to spend Christmas holidays together.
“Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah”
Like the Christmas song, this song paints a clear picture of what a household may look, feel, and smell like on one of the eight nights of Chanukah. What foods did you eat during your festivities? Who was in charge of lighting the candles? Who gathered with you during each night?
“Over the River & Through the Woods”
This song is fun and may prompt sharing of where your family used to spend your holidays—did you go to Grandma’s? Or maybe, if you used to travel for the holidays, how did you keep the kids busy in the car?
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
This song is from the famous 1944 film, Meet Me in St. Louis. It has had a few rewrites since it was originally recorded. Whether you sing the original or the rewrite, you may find it validates the bittersweet feelings that come with the holidays this year.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
For visits, FaceTimes, or Zoom calls with the grandkids or young ones, this is a fun song to sing together for pure enjoyment and laughs. I find that kids love to be the “echo” part of the song “Rudolph, the red nosed reindeer (reindeer!).”
I wish you all a lovely holiday season!