Holiday music can be a buzzkill—all those pa-rum-pum-pum-pums pelting down like chestnut-sized hail in every checkout line. To keep the yuletide spirit fresh, listen to these mixes of new, old, and out-of-the-way Christmas songs.

FOR WRAPPING PRESENTS:
Bouncy sounds to get fingers moving.



1. Jackson 5, "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town"

2. Sugar Chile Robinson, "Christmas Boogie"

3. The Cadillacs, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

4. Sufjan Stevens, "Come On! Let's Boogie to the Elf Dance!"

5. Tennessee Ernie Ford, "A Rootin' Tootin' Santa Claus"

FOR AFTER THE KIDS ARE ASLEEP:
Music to keep you curled up by the fire.



1. Peggy Lee, "The Christmas Spell"

2. Carla Thomas, "Gee Whiz, It's Christmas"

3. Donny Hathaway, "This Christmas"

4. Julie London, "Warm December"

5. Madeleine Peyroux with k.d. lang, "River"

FOR CHRISTMAS BRUNCH:


Folk, soul, and jazz to clear the morning cobwebs.

1. John Fahey, "The Holly and the Ivy"

2. Albert King, "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin' "

3. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, "Deck the Halls/Bring a Torch Jeanette, Isabella"

4. Ella Fitzgerald, "Joy to the World"

5. Ramsey Lewis Trio, "Christmas Blues"

FOR COCKTAIL HOUR:
Swinging takes on festive standards.



1. Lena Horne, "Jingle All the Way"

2. Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews, "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

3. Don Byron, "Bounce of the Sugar Plum Fairy"

4. Chet Baker, "Winter Wonderland"

5. Dexter Gordon, "Jingle, Jangle, Jump"

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