Theresa is here today with musical thoughts

Today’s guest writer for our December open house is Theresa. I would mention again that you’ll need to cut and paste to pop over to Theresa’s site, but that would be overkill…

Deanna, thanks for the chance to join you on the blog! Hi, everyone—I’m Theresa Romain. I write historical romance, drink a lot of coffee, and lately I listen to a lot of holiday music.

A few days before Thanksgiving, one of the local radio stations switched to an all-Christmas format. My seven-year-old daughter, Little Miss R, became fascinated. She’s old enough to understand the meaning of the Christmas season and young enough not to be tired of any carols yet. It’s a great age, and we’re enjoying her excitement.

But I wasn’t enjoying all the commercials between seemingly every song on the radio, so I dug through our holiday albums and my Christmas playlist on iTunes. Finding something everyone loves is a bit of a challenge. LMR rejects anything slow, because she wants what she calls “jazzy music.” (The kid likes to dance.) My husband likes traditional carols, the older the better. I’m a fan of the great mid-century voices like Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and the Rat Pack.

That being said, we’ve agreed on a few albums that we all like. These aren’t in any particular order, because once I settled on these four favorites I couldn’t choose between them.

Diana Krall, Christmas Songs (2005). It’s jazzy for LMR, with fast-moving songs throughout the album. There are slow and peaceful carols too, with a sultry and cozy feeling about them. And with Diana Krall’s gorgeous voice and mad piano skills? You can’t go wrong. There’s something for everyone on this album.

She & Him, A Very She & Him Christmas (2011). Stripped-down and spare, this album has the folky sound of an old radio broadcast. It’s sweet to the ears, and LMR loves the touches of ukulele—they allow her to enjoy an otherwise not-so-danceable album. Mr. R and I like Zooey Deschanel’s wistful cabaret-style voice. We could listen to it all day.

Straight No Chaser, Christmas Cheers (2009). This a cappella group has made two Christmas albums, and they’re both good, but this one has the edge for two songs LMR absolutely loves: “Hey Santa!” and “Donde Esta Santa Claus.” Mr. R is a musician, and he appreciates the vocal artistry of this group. I like the pretty voices. We all like the tongue-in-cheek humor. Good times.

Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965). It makes LMR think of kids. It makes my husband and I remember being kids. And it’s mostly instrumental, so it makes great background music while you’re working, or maybe doing something holiday-ish like trying to remember if you already added baking powder to the cookie dough.

There you have it: the Family R’s Christmas favorites—for this year, at least. We’re always on the listen for something new. Do you have any recommendations? What are your favorite Christmas albums? Come on over to my blog at and leave a comment! I’m giving away two of my holiday historical romances over there.