Tag: Santa

The Difference Between Christmas Songs and Winter Songs

I was going to wait until after Thanksgiving. But you know what? It’s snowing outside right now. And the whole point of this post is that, while you really ought to wait until after Thanksgiving to bust out the legitimate Christmas music, there are certain songs on which there should be no such restrictions. There are certain songs that have been labeled as “Christmas songs” for no other reason than they have winter themes.

If you do a Web search you’ll find lists of songs that don’t mention “Christmas” in them yet are clearly about Christmas. But here is a list of songs that make no mention of Christmas, Noel, Yule, or Santa Claus and have nothing to do with the religious aspect of the holiday.

And yet they are labeled as Christmas songs. It’s the equivalent of “Surfin’ Safari” by the Beach Boys being labeled an Independence Day song because it’s about summer.

So here we go.

5. Let It Snow – This is just a love song that takes place during a snow storm. That is all there is to it. A sweet romantic rendezvous that the weather is helping to extend. No funny business like in “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

4. Winter Wonderland – This, again, is simply a love song set in the winter. The difference is that in this one, the weather has not grown inclement and the lovers are out enjoying themselves, frolicking and playing in the snow and building a snowman. And…you know, making arrangements for said snowman to perform their future wedding ceremony. Nothing weird.

3. Jingle Bell Rock – I doubt very much that you’ve ever been to a Christmas party that was worth a damn at which you did not hear this song play at least once. It is definitely a song about a festive occasion, and references to the sleigh and “dancin’ and prancin'” are so close, but not, in and of themselves direct references to Santa Claus and his reindeer. And so, I say, this is not a Christmas song.

2. Frosty the Snowman – Growing up, I don’t remember ever having a school Christmas concert at which this song was not sung. It was probably one of the first songs I ever learned. But it makes no mention of anything essential to Christmas. That is, of course, if you disregard the theory that Frosty was an allegory for Jesus Christ. But we’re not going to go there, and even if we did, that scenario would make this more of an Easter song than anything. But I digress.

1. Jingle Bells – Yes! Jingle Bells, for crying out loud! It is pretty much the ultimate Christmas song except that it has absolutely nothing in it about Christmas whatsoever. Again, back in the days it was written, everyone used to ride around in sleighs pulled by animals. Not just the big, jolly red guy.

Crazy, huh? Well, now that you know, feel free to enjoy these songs any time you want to….PROVIDED THAT… it is at least technically winter, or if outside of the winter season, there is already/still snow on the ground. That is the one rule of winter songs. If there is but one solitary flake of snow on the ground, you’re golden.

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and have a great winter.