midwinter rituals mixtapes

Blogmas: 12 cozy songs for those dark December moments

5 Dec 2021

There is literally nothing better than cozy holiday songs, I think. Mellow, moody, wistful songs. Songs that tell the Christmas story with a sense of longing. . Songs that tell the story of the season of winter with a sense of unfolding. And, the absolute best time to enjoy these wistful, moody, cozy songs is early in the morning or late at night. In the dark with that first piping hot cup of coffee or that last sip of hot tea or warming nightcap, though a dinner party or mulled wine evening is the perfect setting for these songs as well.

Of course, I love all of the traditional holiday songs like All I want for Christmas, White Christmas, Rudolph, Feliz Navidad, Happy Xmas, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Silver Bells… You know. The classics. They create movies in my mind and wake nostalgic feelings in my heart and often get me dancing, or laughing, and most definitely singing along.. And I listen to them all throughout December with a deep love of tradition + ritual. After Thanksgiving, to be clear. Hehe. By the way, if you are looking for a holiday playlist to just turn on + let run all day long, with all (and I mean ALL) of the traditional, classic favorites, then I have the epic playlist for you right here.

However, throughout the years, I have also branched out and found obscure, alternative, mostly folk-inspired songs that celebrate both Christmas, the New Year, and the Winter Solstice. I started creating a playlist with these songs a few years ago and have been adding new tracks to the list every holiday season since. Some are new takes on traditional favorites. Some are completely new songs to me. But, all of them are super cozy.

Today, my December playlist has almost 200 songs, but there are a few very special ones that I have listened to for quite a few years now and they have now joined my list of all-time favorites.

So, I’ve chosen 12 cozy songs from my December playlist that might not be the ones that you normally listen to. But, all 12 of these songs touch something deep in me. They set the mood for the season, share a message of hope, settle my soul, and just create a warm, cozy vibe. And, today, I want to share those 12 very special (to me), grounding, seasonal songs with you. I hope you find them calming and centering. A cozy break in the otherwise hustle + bustle of the holiday season.

You may not have noticed what I did when I put the songs in their order above. I intentionally chose how I wanted you to experience them. I decided to use them as a way to move through the month of December.

Starting with the traditional Advent carols O Come, O Come Emmanuel and I Wonder As I Wander. Two songs that set the mood for the long, unknown journey of December. And, then as December moves onward and darkness falls earlier + days become even shorter, it often becomes tougher, seeming like this bleak, dark, blue holiday/month might never end. Joni Mitchell’s River is a classic Blue Christmas, the holidays are tough, melancholic tune. And I love it. Perfect for mid-December.

And, yet, even the the darkest of the dark, a bit or hope arises in the silence + stillness of the Winter Solstice. Right after that, we move into Christmas, singing Noel, sharing seasonal greetings with one another, and ringing out bells of joy + love. Light has returned to the earth both literally after the shift of the seasons at the Solstice, and figuratively, in the celebration of the virgin birth of Mary in the story of love that came down to meet us.

Finally, filled with the mood + energy of the holiday season, we move into the promise of a New Year. Taking one last nostalgic look back at 2021 and years gone by, we will then dare to hope + slowly step into 2022.

Happy listening, lovelies! And Happy Second Sunday in Advent! Time is freaking flying and I am trying to soak it all in.

xoxo. liz.

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