Play Some Mood-Lightening CDs
Each year, Bill Adler, the founding director of publicity for Def Jam Recordings, creates “Christmas Jollies,” a unique holiday mix that he sends out to more than 300 friends and family. Real Simple asked him to pick the must-have CDs for various holiday occasions.
For a Mellow Christmas Morning
My Holiday, by Mindy Smith
“Mindy’s somewhat of a newcomer, and her voice evokes a Norah Jones vibe. She’s charming, intimate, and soulful, but her music is really fresh. You could listen to it all morning for her magnificent takes on old classics like ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’ or for her original holiday songs.”
Standout track: “Santa Will Find You.”
For a Classic Holiday Cocktail Party
“This mix of suave West Coast blues is truly in the Santa spirit; it demands that the energy stays very high. It’s the kind of music at least one of your guests will ask you to turn up,” says Adler.
Standout track: “Christmas Celebration,” by B.B. King.
During a Car Drive With the Whole Family
Christmas Through the Years, by Louis Armstrong
“This a fantastic way to introduce the whole family to ‘Pops.’ It includes a lot of his hits, but you’ll want it for his reading of ‘The Night Before Christmas.’ There’s just no one who reads it and engages you like Louis.”
Standout track: “The Night Before Christmas.”
After a Stressful Trip to the Mall
Christmas Songs by Sinatra, by Frank Sinatra
“It’s hard to go wrong with Sinatra, and this is him in his early-years, choir-boy best―until he hardened into the lounge lizard of his older years. This provides the ultimate holiday relaxation,” says Adler.
Standout track: They’re all standouts; we’re talking Sinatra here.