It seems like Christmas marketing comes earlier and earlier every year and everyone loves to complain about it. “Christmas music? Wreaths?!? Ughhhh! It's not even Thanksgiving yet!”

While I do agree that the Black Friday and Christmas shopping sales are a bit out of control, I secretly love early signs of Christmas. I think it's because my birthday is Dec. 25 so this time of year has always been a big deal for me. I love all the decorations and the Salvation Army bell ringers and the Christmas lights. Last night I saw a nativity scene and beautiful lights lit up on someone's lawn. Sure, it might be a little early for Christmas lights, but it made me so happy to see the yard lit up. The whole scene was like a little oasis on the pothole-filled street.

Another thing I love about the holiday season is Christmas music, and I've already been hearing it in stores. It's made me think about the New Orleans Christmas music I want to try out this year. Last year was my first Christmas season in New Orleans, so I didn't know a lot about the traditions. Now I'm much more informed, so I'm looking forward to trying out some more New Orleans Christmas traditions, including the music. There are so many great musicians here, so I like that that means more options for Christmas music.

So below is what's on my New Orleans Christmas playlist so far. It's not long (only five songs), but, like I said, it's early and I have a lot more music to find. I'm sorry if you think it's too early for Christmas music, but I can't help it. I've officially caught the holiday spirit and if you have, too, don't feel guilty. It's not Thanksgiving yet, but it's always good to have a reason to celebrate New Orleans' talented people.

Here's my playlist so far:


Kermit Ruffins – “A Saints Christmas"

My mom loves Christmas music, too, so she asked me to bring some "New Orleans-y" music for Christmas last year. I chose Kermit Ruffins' Have a Crazy Cool Christmas. We listened to the album on Christmas Eve and it was the perfect New Orleans addition to the Missouri evening.


Benny Grunch & The Bunch – ​“The 12 Yats of Christmas”

I had no idea who Benny Grunch was until recently when I learned about the whole "The 12 Yats of Christmas" thing. Apparently the 2013 version of The 12 Yats of Christmas album includes a song "Santa's Gotcha Personal Information," which makes me laugh.


Harry Connick, Jr. – "It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas"

I was a fan of Harry Connick, Jr., before I moved to New Orleans but now I have a new appreciation for him since he's from here. I love What A Night! A Christmas Album, but the guy has some other holiday albums, too. He clearly knows he's a Christmas music master.


Charmaine Neville – “Merry Christmas Baby”

I still haven't seen Charmaine Neville perform live, but I do love her music. I found this song on the Christmas in New Orleans album.


Alex McMurray – “Santa, Let Me Call You a Cab”

This is a song I had never heard until a few days ago. I found it on the A Very Threadhead Holiday album. I definitely need this album for my second December in New Orleans as it's full of Christmas songs I've never heard before.