The holiday season is well underway, but there are five holiday songs I have to hear each year to make it really feel like Christmas.

It doesn't seem like the holidays to me without hearing these five songs. And, while most people love to hear the timeless classics like Bing Crosby's White Christmas this time of year, my Christmas mix tape has a decidedly different feel to it. Check it out:

+ Last Christmas -- The 80's pop group, Wham!, did the song originally back in 1984, and a radio station I was working at in high school always played this version. Sure, Taylor Swift did a cool version a few years ago, but it's not Christmas until I hear the original.

+ Christmas Baby Please Come Home -- Again, there have been many versions of this song, but the U2 version that appeared on the A Very Special Christmas Vol. 1 album was-- and still is-- my favorite version this time of year.

+ Old Toy Trains -- This lesser-known holiday song was written by Roger Miller, but it's the Glen Campbell version that's my favorite. It was on a country Christmas album my dad played when I was a kid, and hearing it even today takes me back to when I was 7 or 8 years old!

+ Ring Christmas Bells (Carol of the Bells) -- Ray Conniff and the Singers -- This version of the holiday classic dates back to the late 60's and appeared on a Christmas compilation album we had when I was a kid. Again, hearing this version takes me back to being about 8 years old and not being able to wait until Christmas Eve.

+ Let It Snow -- Frank Sinatra -- Finally, a classic makes the list. I'm a big Sinatra fan, so this version (released back in 1950!) is a favorite. I love the big band sound to it, especially the back-up singers. (A close second are Frank's versions of Jingle Bells-- both the traditional original 1948 version and the "I love those j-i-n-g-l-e bells" version from 1957).

What songs do you have to hear each year to make it feel like it really is Christmas?


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