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THE SANTA SESSIONS: The 2011 Holiday Playlist

This was inevitable. After all, if Justin Bieber and Zooey Deschanel can pop out Christmas compilations, then why can't I?

I've always believed that a steady, well-balanced diet of contemporary and classic holiday tunes is necessary for any celebration involving tinsel, candy canes, and spiked eggnog. Therefore I've come up with a small sample of what's on my playlist between now and December 25. I mean, there's only so many times I can listen to Bruce Springsteen's "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" on the radio, so I'll be relying on my iPod to deck the halls with boughs of ear candy.

1. "When Christmas Comes" by Mariah Carey & John Legend
2. "Shake Up Christmas" by Natasha Bedingfield
3. "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" by Michael Buble
4. "I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Katharine McPhee
5. "White Christmas (Live)" by Lady Gaga

6. "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" by Charice
7. "All I Want For Christmas Is New Year's Day" by Hurts
8. "Winter Wonderland" by Jason Mraz
9. "Do You Hear What I Hear?" by Kristinia DeBarge
10. "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Leighton Meester
11. "Last Christmas" by Jimmy Eat World
12. "Grown-Up Christmas List" by Monica:

13. "Wonderful Christmastime" by Kelly Rowland
14. "Child of Winter" by Rachel and the Reindeerz - A shameless plug for my friend Rachel who worked on this merry little Beach Boys cover last year and turned it into a cheery viral hit.
15. "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" by The Glee Cast - An original pop number that will get your head bopping while trimming the tree and hanging up those stockings with care.
16. "Mistletoe & Holly" by Leigh Nash
17. "Merry Christmas Everybody" by Steps - Because nothing screams "cheesy kitschy fun" like this poptastic early 2000s gem from the Britpop superstars.
18. "Carol Of The Bells" by The Bird And The Bee
19. "All Alone on Christmas" by Darlene Love - An oldie from the early 90s (yes, it's also from the Home Alone 2: Lost in New York soundtrack), and it is one helluva rollicking good time.
20. "The Christmas Song (Thunderpuss Remix)" by Christina Aguilera - It wouldn't be Christmas without some diva theatrics set to an over-the-top remix. Perfect for those yuletide rooftop soirees in Chelsea:

21. "Love Is Christmas" by Sara Bareilles
22. "Last Christmas" by Cascada - If one version wasn't enough, then check out this club-friendly rendition from the Queen of Eurodance Trash.
23. "Sleigh Ride" by Debbie Gibson - A flashback to the 80s to help you reminisce about that Hot Wheels playset you found underneath the tree (or is that just me?).
24. "The Christmas Song" by Justin Bieber & Usher - I hesitate to put this on here, but Usher offers some redeeming vocals to turn this holiday classic into a late-night slow jam.
25. "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by The Glee Cast

Happy Holidays,



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