Which is why defining a good Christmas song, or a “Christmassy” song, is something that also differs from person-to-person. If you grew up listening to “All I Want For Christmas Is You” or the Ray Conniff Christmas album, then you have a certain concept of what a Christmas song should sound like. In the same way, if you spent most of your Christmas seasons with Handel’s "Messiah", you have another concept of Christmas music. It just to happens that while I grew up with the latter, actually performing the "Messiah" for most of my childhood, I’ve ended up in a field that focuses on the former -- mainstream, more current pop Christmas offerings. I'm right in the middle of two very different approaches to Christmas music. But I’m not about to demand that all contemporary pop Christmas songs sound like music from the 1700s, because that’s ridiculous. At the same time I’m not about to completely disregard what Christmas is for me.
So what does Christmas sound like for me? Well, it sounds like this:
It sounds big, something meant to be sung by large choirs. It's grand, with the SATB division really taken advantage of by the piece. Christmas sounds happy, with a perky string section and an equally perky melody. After all, it is a birthday. It's a celebration. So while a lot of the songs I now equate with Christmas lean more towards the sad side, I'm still looking for that one happy pop Christmas offering that really sounds celebratory and not cheesy. But of course, like I said earlier, Christmas is about memory. Handel is a memory from my childhood, so it's something that will stay. I have, however, made new memories over the past few years.
As you can see I’ve become pretty peculiar about the songs I continue to listen to, and this year I’ve decided to (finally) put together a list of my K-Pop Christmas “classics” -- a playlist of songs that I think really do their job of bringing out my Christmassy feels, as well as those that I think have the potential to do that. I won't be reviewing them, because my reviews will be pretty repetitive and quite vague. These are songs that feel like Christmas to me, songs that bring out emotions I associate with Christmas, and quite a number of them are emotions that you need to hear, not just read about, to fully grasp.
Merry Christmas everyone! ^_^