Step into a world of joyful melodies and cherished memories with our unique holiday feature. We’ve gathered heartfelt stories from our employees, sharing their favorite holiday songs, each echoing nostalgia and joy. From timeless classics to modern renditions, these songs are more than just music – they’re gateways to cherished moments and loved ones. Join us on this melodious journey and discover the tunes that have touched their hearts. Read their stories and, perhaps, rekindle your own holiday memories. Happy Holidays!
“I remember being in Brownies and being asked to perform three Christmas songs at the Minnesota State Capitol. We sang O Little Town of Bethlehem, O Come All Ye Faithful, and The First Noel. A local newspaper captured the moment, photographing all of us with our little mouths open, singing joyfully.” — Jeannie S.
“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! by Rosemary Clooney has always been one of my favorites. My grandpap would let me stand on his toes, and he’d swing me around as if I were the best dancer in the world. Those moments are truly cherished memories.” – Andrea S.
“Mannheim Steamroller’s music is my Christmas “go-to.” The last concert I attended with my mom before she passed was theirs, and her birthday falls on Christmas Day. While the music brings a touch of sadness, it also fills me with warm, fond memories of my mom.” – Kristin B.
“Growing up, I never had a favorite Christmas song. However, I’ve fallen in love with Pentatonix’s Christmas songs since being incarcerated. Their remakes have truly helped me through the holidays. My absolute favorite is their rendition of When You Believe with Maren Morris. It’s a beautiful song of hope and strength that makes my heart smile.” – April B.
“Bruce Springsteen’s rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town holds a special place in my heart. Back in the winter of 1978, my dad would sing this song while pulling us on a sled to the market. It distracted us from the cold and helped create lasting memories. This song always brings a silent tear for the past, but it has deeply impacted me. Now, it’s our yearly tradition to sing it over the phone in memory of Dad.” – Teri R.
“I get emotional every time I hear Baby, It’s Cold Outside from the movie Elf. My best memory is of my two kids and me decorating Christmas cookies and wrapping presents while blaring Elf. They would sing that song at the top of their lungs, laughing endlessly. It became a tradition throughout December that anytime someone said “cold,” we all had to bust out singing the song, no matter where we were. We did get some odd looks in Target a time or two, especially since none of us can carry a tune!” – Brandie W.
“Last Christmas by Wham! It is a timeless classic that always takes me back to simpler times, like my first high school Christmas dance. My biggest worry back then was, ‘I hope my hair doesn’t stick to my lip gloss!'” – Laura L.
My favorite holiday song is Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. My grandma loved this song, and I recall laughing with her as we made gingerbread houses.” – Betty H.
“Christmas Shoes by NewSong. This song means so much to me because every day during elementary school, I would spend an hour and a half driving to school with my mom in the morning and the evening. I would request this song every week and sing it with my mom. This was our favorite song to sing together, and it is the sweetest song ever! We still sing it to this day! Every time I hear Christmas Shoes, it takes me back to those long, innocent drives, just mom and me before the world became so small and life became serious.” – Katrina M.
“My song choice is Puppy for Hanukkah by Daveed Diggs. It’s a fantastic jingle! I’m aware that not everyone celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah, but I think this song could add some diversity to our list and perhaps warm a few more hearts. I discovered Puppy for Hanukkah just a couple of years ago, and it resonated with me for a few reasons. First, it made me reflect on the inclusivity of the holiday season. Second, it’s quite different from the typical holiday jingles. I found its uniqueness refreshing and cool, yet it still captures the essence of the holiday spirit – the excitement of giving and receiving presents!” – Adrian G.
“Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney. My elementary school always went all-out for the various holidays. We had a Halloween costume parade every year, lots of student art, and hand turkeys around Thanksgiving, and the school always looked like a winter wonderland in December. The teachers were really into it, and my second-grade teacher, Ms. Ballard, would play Christmas/holiday music in the mornings leading up to the holiday break. Some days, we would do sing-alongs, and the reason I have such fond memories of Wonderful Christmastime is because it was one of her favorite songs to have us sing along to. The best part is that she would pass out sleigh bells for us to jingle along with the song. Everyone was so excited when she brought them out. She had small and large bells, and some were different colors, so naturally, there was much squabbling over who got which bells in this room full of second graders. Whenever I hear Wonderful Christmastime, I vividly remember being back in Ms. Ballard’s class, contributing to the cacophony of jingling bells and off-key singing with my classmates.” – Eric R.
“So many songs instantly transport me back to my grandma’s house, where the entire family would gather tightly around the tree. But the one that grandma loved the most, and the one that brings tears of fond memories to my eyes, is Elvis Presley’s Blue Christmas.” – Beth C.
“My song choice is Mary, Did You Know? by Pentatonix. It’s my mother’s all-time favorite Christmas song, which she sang every year in our hometown church. It takes me back to those days, listening to my mom’s beautiful singing. Pentatonix’s version is absolutely breathtaking!” – Stacie B.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Gene Autry. I grew up with older parents, and this was one of their favorite songs during the holidays. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, with the family still gathered, we would decorate the house and put up the Christmas tree, all while listening to this vinyl record and enjoying the leftovers.” – Judith W.
“My pick is an off-the-beaten-path holiday song, Dan Fogelberg’s Same Old Lang Syne. Over the years, I’ve debated with friends and family whether it qualifies as a holiday song. To me, it is (and it’s only played on the radio around the holidays, which supports my argument). I heard the song in the early ’80s, and it stopped me dead in my tracks. It was so beautiful and moving. And back then, we couldn’t hit the repeat button. It was one and done. We also had to wait for the song title and artist’s name, so I probably went a while before discovering it. Looking back, I think I loved it so much because it’s great storytelling and connected with me emotionally. It’s one of the few songs that, when I heard it, played like a film in my head. I could see it unfold in my mind. Another song that affects me is Taxi by Harry Chapin and virtually all of Bob Dylan’s music.” – Kellie W.
“I adore Twelve Days of Christmas (Live) by Straight No Chaser. While A Cappella might not be everyone’s choice, I love how it showcases people harmonizing and creating a joyful sound. This particular rendition adds a touch of humor, blending various holiday themes into one neat package. It’s a mix of different songs, offering multiple layers to enjoy – from the individual tunes to the message of harmony among the singers. I discovered this song thanks to my younger daughter, who adored it and wanted me to listen. It’s become dear to me because of her love for it. I hope you’ll take the time to listen to my favorite song and appreciate the comedy that unfolds among the group’s characters. It even includes a snippet of Jewish culture with the mention of a ladle and various songs, like my regular favorite, Africa by Toto. It’s an uplifting and hilarious song that brings a smile every time. Enjoy the Holidays.” – Jenn J.
“My song choice is My Grown Up Christmas List by Amy Grant. Most of my family aren’t big fans of Christmas music, but this is one of the few songs we enjoy during the holidays. It’s part of our Christmas Day playlist, playing throughout the house. The song’s meaningful lyrics beautifully capture the true values of Christmas. Every time I hear it, I’m reminded of all the Christmases we celebrated during my childhood.” – Megan J.
“My song is Silent Night by the Vienna Boys Choir. It’s very traditional, but it instantly takes me back to my large Italian family in Westchester, New York, and all the beautiful memories from that time. My father and grandfather always made sure we listened to the Christmas classics on the stereo throughout the day. We would attend midnight Mass together and then have Christmas breakfast… followed by opening presents (after Santa’s visit, of course!). This song holds a special place in my heart, evoking memories of all the beautiful people I’ve loved and lost while incarcerated. It always transports me back to that warm fireplace; the tree decorated lavishly, and the boisterous laughter that only a house full of love (and Italians) can produce.” — Marianne A.
“My favorite song is Sleigh Ride by Pentatonix. Interestingly, this song was originally composed by Leroy Anderson and first recorded by the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1949. Anderson wrote it during a heatwave in Connecticut as a way to conjure ‘cool’ thoughts. This song is also featured in Elf (my favorite Christmas movie!), which adds to the film’s joyous atmosphere. It reminds me of my childhood, binge-watching Disney Christmas specials. Particularly, it plays when Buddy the Elf is exploring New York for the first time, filling my heart with happiness. Like Anderson, this song serves as a mental escape for me. While he was escaping a heatwave, for me, it represents freedom from my current confinement. It makes me dream of the day I’ll be free to explore the world, with New York City being one of my first destinations. The upbeat melody of Sleigh Ride lifts my spirits and fills me with excitement for the future.” – Veronica B.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Deck the Halls. My daughter’s all-time favorite. Every year, we would synchronize our Christmas display to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and when Deck the Halls started playing, she would grab my hand to go outside and watch. She would get so excited when it came on the radio, exclaiming, “Listen, Mommy, they are playing our song.” — Erin N.
Judy Garland, I’ll Be Home for Christmas. This song reminds me that my current situation isn’t permanent, that I will be home for Christmas one day, and at least for now, I can visit there in my dreams. Judy Garland’s voice brings back memories of the holidays, especially due to her role in The Wizard of Oz, a film my kids and I watched every Christmas. — Chrystal B.
Mannheim Steamroller has released several Christmas albums, known for their unique blend of classical and modern sounds. As a child, preparing the house for Christmas was an all-day event. My mom would play Mannheim Steamroller and bake something delicious like coffee cake, and we’d all help bring up the green and red totes from the basement. These totes held our many ornaments, holiday decorations, twinkle lights, and the Christmas tree. Even now, the classical sounds of Mannheim Steamroller’s songs rush me back to those beautiful moments at home with my family. It’s incredible how music can evoke such strong emotions and memories, especially during the holiday season. — Erica B.