As a December baby, Christmas has always been my favourite holiday. I'm that person who will gladly put up my tree early and start playing festive music before Thanksgiving. While I love all the traditions that come with the holiday, my favourite Christmas album is a bit untraditional. When everyone else is blasting Mariah Carey or Michael Bublé, you can find me scream-singing along to Relient K's 2007 album, Let It Snow, Baby . . . Let It Reindeer.
The Christian rock group first rose to fame in the early 2000s with hits like "Be My Escape" and "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been," but if you ask me, their holiday album is one of their best records of all time. It stays true to the band's signature sound by weaving upbeat tempo tracks and heartbreakingly beautiful melodies throughout. Sure, a rock Christmas album isn't exactly conventional, but that's what makes it so memorable. As each new song plays, you're never sure what sound you're going to get next.
Each December, I look forward to whipping out my CD (yes, CD), blasting it loud on the speaker, and singing along at the top of my lungs. While "I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas" and "Santa Claus Is Thumbing to Town" are hilarious in their own right, one of my personal favourites to jam out to is their wild and fun rendition of "12 Days of Christmas." Something about hearing them sing "five golden rings" with a full backup choir makes the already obnoxious song even more obnoxious . . . in the best way possible. Trust me, you'll never hear the song the same way again.
The album also features some really emotional tracks. "In Like a Lion (Always Winter)," which was originally written for The Chronicles of Narnia soundtrack, speaks of a place cursed with an eternal winter without Christmas, while "I Hate Christmas Parties" is all about holiday heartbreak. Although, my personal favourite is "I Celebrate the Day," which always manages to make me shed happy tears as they sing about the true meaning of Christmas.
While the album is untraditional at first glance, it's actually the perfect Christmas album as it encompasses all of the emotions that come with the holiday season. It's bright and entertaining, it makes you feel warm and light, but there's also a bit of melancholy. For some people, the holiday brings them joy as they surround themselves with loved ones and give back, but for others, it just brings them sadness as they look back on holidays past and what they've lost. After 2020, I can certainly relate to both of these emotions this holiday season, which is why I'll be replaying the album and singing along until the end of December.