California Christmas Playlist

It is officially Christmas time! And with that lots, and lots of Christmas songs! Fun fact about me: I love Christmas music, but I often strive to find the most unique and offbeat Christmas songs out there. The blame I think rests with my dad, because it wasn’t Christmas unless we listened to Dr. Demento’s Christmas Novelty Album. Now, most of you I’m sure love a good classic like “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” or “Carol of the Bells” and don’t get me wrong, I love those too! But now that I’m here in sunny Southern California (where it was 90F yesterday!) I find some Christmas standards a little difficult to relate to, not that it snowed much in Portland either, but it was colder! So today I’d like to share a few more relatable Christmas songs (some old, some new) for those fellow Californians! And a few honorable mentions for other warmer areas of the US!

“California Winter” by Bonnie McKee

First off, this music video is one of the cutest I’ve ever seen! And Bonnie McKee has quickly become one of my favorite artists over the last couple years. Plus she is the super talented writer behind numerous number one hits for the likes of Katy Perry and Kesha.

“White Christmas” by Darlene Love

Okay, “White Christmas” isn’t exactly an offbeat Christmas song by any means, but specifically the Darlene Love version features a spoken segment that explicitly talks about Los Angeles, which is why I really love it.

“California Christmas” by Gram Rabbit

This song perfectly sums up how many down here relate to Christmas.

“Christmas Dragnet” by Stan Freberg and Daws Butler

This one actually comes right off of the Dr. Demento album! It’s more of a mini radio program than a song, but still plenty enjoyable and a classic for me. The reason it’s on this list? Well, the original Dragnet series took place in LA.

“Christmastime in Tinseltown” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Tinseltown is a nickname for Hollywood, plus the first Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Christmas album, Everything You Want For Christmas, is nothing short of amazing! I highly recommend it.

“A Surfer’s Christmas List” by the Surfaris

While Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing, it quickly grew a following here in Southern California, and thus is very fitting.

“Surfin’ Santa” by Lord Douglas Byron

Another surfing Christmas song that works for those here in California.

“Santa Claus is Surfin’ to Town” by Soupy Sales

This is just a simple parody of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” but hilarious and fitting none the less!

Honorable Mentions

There are a few songs that aren’t specifically Californian, but relatable to other regions, specifically Hawaii, Louisiana, and the Carolinas. They are relatable on a California front as they are non-traditional, and focus on warmth during the December month.

“Mele Kalikimaka” by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters

Like California, Hawaii is a little different when it comes to the holidays. Additionally, this specific version can be heard playing in the background in the liquor store scene in one of my favorite films, LA Confidential.

“Christmas Island” by Bob Atcher and the Dinning Sisters

While this song does not specifically mention Hawaii, this song talks about Santa in a canoe, and hanging stockings on coconut trees.

“Christmas in New Orleans” by Louis Armstrong

This is a nice unique favorite by one of jazz music’s legends.

“Carolina Christmas” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

I’ve always loved Squirrel Nut Zippers, and I’ve even seen them live on multiple occasions years ago, but didn’t know until recently they had a Christmas album! This one talks about heat, so it’s relatable for Californians in that sense!

I’m contemplating making and sharing a playlist a bit of a tradition, as I think it’s a neat way to share my love of offbeat Christmas music! I hope you enjoyed and are having a wonderful holiday season so far!

5 thoughts on “California Christmas Playlist

  1. As we have our sixth day of 30C+ weather and our stores are filled with snowy Christmas thingies I am less able to relate to ‘traditional Christmas’ themes

  2. Not really California related,but I love ” I Want a Hippopatmus for Christmas” because it’s so random and also “Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer”.

  3. Since you’ve moved to the desert, here’s a desert Xmas song for you. Michael Martin Murphey (of 70s Wildfire fame) has a great desert-themed Xmas song called Corn, Water, & Wood on his Xmas album. I think a desert lover like you would like it…plus he wears great western wear 😉

  4. This is so cute! I live in New England where we get weather in all seasons! Even though I love the snow, I do love some of these songs!

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