Christmas Songs — Twisted MixTape Tuesdays

mixtape christmas

ONCE upon a time there lived a girl who loved Christmas songs. She loved them so much that she even, privately — when no one was around to judge her — listened to them when it wasn’t even Christmas. That girl was (is) me!


I’ve written about these songs and my relationship with them at length in the past. Suffice it to say that BETTER THINGS is very much the anti-FATHER CHRISTMAS! Where FATHER CHRISTMAS is loud and snarky, BETTER THINGS is quiet and hopeful. It’s tone notwithstanding, FATHER CHRISTMAS has earned its place in the canon. As to BETTER THINGS? Well, it’s just downright beautiful.

For a treat, I’ve included a link to Pearl Jam’s BETTER THINGS cover — it’s live, it’s Eddie Vedder. What more do you want?

BETTER DAYS The Goo Goo Dolls

In this song, Johnny Rzeznik and the boys ask that we worry less about “boxes wrapped in string” and, instead, embrace the universal message of forgiveness and peace. It’s nice. It’s pretty. It’s musically interesting — Rzeznik’s voice lends itself well to the arrangement.


This is a song about a guy and a girl who spend all year missing their connections with each other. Finally, on Christmas Eve their story has a happy ending at, of all places, the A&P. It’s just a fun song from an equally fun 80’s New Wave band. (The other song you may know by them? I KNOW WHAT BOYS LIKE)


From the first lightly struck piano notes and the plaintive timbre of Fogelberg’s voice — this song grabs you. When he reaches the chorus, when the harmonies kick in, it’s just so, well, melodious. Lyrically, the song tells the story of running into an old lover in the grocery store on Christmas Eve, catching up, feeling “that old familiar pain” of the what might have been, knowing right along with the narrator that it’s too late for them. For my money, there’s nothing like the saxophone solo at the end to underscore the sadness of the piece.

NOTE: In the beginning of this video is a letter that Dan Fogelberg wrote about the origins of the song!

THIS IS A BLOG HOP >>>> Thanks, once again, to Jen over at My Skewed View for hosting!

Here’s how it works. Find your own fab five songs that fit the category, write a post, and link-up below where it tells you to! This is the perfect week to join in the fun. I mean, come on, who doesn’t know five Christmas songs? (I don’t care if you’re Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Whatever — I guarantee you that you know five Christmas songs, for crying out loud!)

Go ahead, HOP ON IN!

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*BETTER THINGS may not officially be a Christmas song, but I’ve always thought of it this way.

FATHER CHRISTMAS, The Kinks, 1977 (released as a single, but also appears on the the 1986 “greatest hits” compilation Come Dancing with The Kinks). Written by Ray Davies.

BETTER THINGS, The Kinks, 1981 (released as a single, but also appears on their 1981-2 album Give the People What They Want). Written by Ray Davies.

BETTER DAYS, The Goo Goo Dolls, 2005 (from the album Let Love In). Written by John Rzeznik.

CHRISTMAS WRAPPING, The Waitresses, 1981 (from the album A Christmas Record). Written by Chris Butler.

SAME OLD LANG SYNE, Dan Fogelberg, 1980 (released as a single, but also appears on the 1981 album The Innocent Age). Written by Dan Fogelberg.

20 thoughts on “Christmas Songs — Twisted MixTape Tuesdays

  1. I have heard that Dan Fogelberg song for years and never thought of it as a Christmas song. Crazy! Christmas Wrapping almost made it to my list…love it! And Father Christmas, I played it forever until my oldest (who was young at the time) asked about the lyrics…he’s 12 now, he knows, I can play it again.


    • javaj240 says:

      HOORAY for the return of “Father Christmas”!

      That’s hysterical that you never thought of “Same Auld Lang Syne” as a Christmas song — so glad I came along to set you straight!

      Thanks so much for reading AND for commenting!


  2. Jen says:

    The only songs I really listened to in the past on this list were Christmas Wrapping and Same Auld Lang Syne. I really liked the Kinks and The Goo Goo Dolls songs. Thank you so much for turning me on to them!


  3. drewster55 says:

    It’s funny how a song can resonate differently with one’s age. The song, “Same Old Lang Syne” has been a favorite for a very long time. Let’s just say that I remember listening to the radio when it was first released. A great deal of time has passed,obviously, just as my understanding of the song. When I was younger, I thought the song left the story unfinished. The song, as an adult, makes sense.

    I agree that the saxophone melody at the end does emphasize the emotion in the story of the song. A song associated with memories and times passed automatically ties us into the emotions we, as listeners, feel for the reminiscing of the couple in the song. While some people may mock Mr. Fogelberg as being ‘cheesy;’ his songs have a remarkable ability to involve the listener with the story…much like a good book, drawing the reader in.

    Thanks for sharing this version with the commentary about the song.


    • javaj240 says:

      I don’t care if people think Fogelberg is “cheesy” — he was quite “cool” in my day, LOL! He was a great storyteller! (And he wasn’t bad to look at, either — better with the beard, though!)

      I, too, listened to it when it was on the radio — back when we all still listened to the radio. Ah, the good old days!

      Thanks so much for reading and for commenting!


  4. I like the Kinks ones the best! The Father Christmas one is kind of funny… even though it is mean to rob Santa Claus!


  5. […] Christmas Songs – Twisted MixTape Tuesdays ( […]


  6. Cheri says:

    Really excellent choices and I agree about “Better Things”…great song with great meaning.


  7. […] Christmas Songs – Twisted MixTape Tuesdays ( […]


  8. SAM says:

    Nice selection off the beaten path.


  9. Eddie Vedder. Yes please. Under the tree.


  10. Angela Death says:

    I love that song “Better Days” by Goo Goo Dolls! I’ve added it to my playlist. Thanks for sharing.


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