Step Aside Mariah Carey, Kristin Chenoweth is the Queen of Christmas
We all know and love Kristin Chenoweth for iconic roles like Glinda in Wicked, Sally Brown in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, and the iconic April Rhodes on Glee. What you may not know is, she has two amazing (in my opinion) Christmas albums, A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas (2008) and Happiness is…Christmas! (2021).
While everyone else has been listening to the likes of Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé this holiday season, I’ve been listening to these two albums on a loop. Nothing against Mariah or Michael, but nothing hits quite like Kristin’s iconic voice this time of year (especially her high notes).
Here are my top 10 songs from her two albums (in no particular order):
“Happiness (Is Christmas)/Christmas Time is Here”—If you’re a You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown stan like me, you know right off the bat that the album and first song’s titles are a reference to the song “Happiness.” Here Kristin takes that song and makes it Christmas-themed. The pure nostalgia in this song reminds me what Christmas is all about.
“Merry Christmas, Darling”—I’m not normally one for a slow Christmas song, but this song just makes you want to slow dance. A great choice if you’re looking for a first dance song at your winter wedding or if you’re dancing with your broom (like me) in your kitchen while baking cookies.
“(Everybody’s Waiting’ For) The Man With the Bag”—This song is super fun, and definitely shows off Kristin’s personality perfectly. There’s a slight country feel, but don’t let that discourage you from listening, because I promise it’s a great balance between pop, country, and Christmas.
“Merry Christmas Baby”—I love just how different this song is with its blues feel. This song is a great duet with five-time Grammy Award winning blues musician, Keb’ Mo,’ and I’m so glad to hear Kristin lean into all the genres that Christmas music can be.
“We Are Lights” — Once again, I thought I wouldn’t love this song because of how slow it is, but the slower tempo let me really listen to the lyrics. The message of this song is beautiful, even if it is a little bit cheesy. But what Christmas song isn’t? Plus, we get an iconic Kristin high note towards the end, so make sure you listen to this one all the way through
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”—A great new take on a classic, with a fun beat behind it. A great way to round out Kristin’s latest Christmas album.
A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”—I love that Kristin started this album with a classic. One of my personal favorite Christmas songs, and I just love hearing Kristin’s take.
"Christmas Island"—From the title, I didn’t really know what to expect going into this song, but I think I’m obsessed with it now. This song is so campy, and reminds me of spending Christmases in Florida growing up, where we listened to Jimmy Buffet and hung ornaments from palm trees.
“Do You Hear What I Hear?”—I thought I wouldn’t enjoy this song because I’ve just heard it so many times, but I love the light take Kristin took with her vocals. That, coupled with the beautiful instrumentation makes this something I’d listen to any time of year
“Sleigh Ride/Marshmallow World”—This duet with John Pizzareli is everything I love about Christmas. It’s got a classic sound with that big band sound behind it. Coupled with John and Kristin’s voices and comedy, every time I listen to this song I can picture it onstage at Radio City, bringing the house down every time.
“Sing”—I may be partial since this is one of my mom’s favorite songs to sing to me and my brother growing up, but this song is truly a bop. Once again, a song I’d listen to any time of year, and I think that’s the true sign of a great Christmas song and album.
Even with 13 years between these Christmas albums, both are truly timeless classics. Truly no one seems to love Christmas more than Kristin Chenoweth, as evidenced by her Instagram feed this time of year, and there’s no one I’d rather listen to while putting together a gingerbread house or hanging ornaments on the tree.