As I sit here writing this post (it’s a double – first, some insight on my favorite Christmas tunes and second, my Christmas-themed workout for today), Michael Buble and friends are serenading me with Christmas tunes from Pandora.com. If you’ve never checked Pandora out before, do it now – they’ve got an incredible selection of all types of music you can stream for free with very limited commercials. Right now I’ve chosen the Michael Buble station so he sings a lot but Pandora also magically picks similar artists and it’s putting me in a fabulous Christmas mood!
Just in time for the next post in this Christmas series – let’s talk about music! I’ve been trying to think of my favorite Christmas music and I just can’t narrow it down. Instead, I figured I’d break it down into categories to show you my appreciation of many genres of music 🙂
Songs that remind me of Christmas as a young thing
- Anything off the Alabama Christmas album by Alabama – I’m pretty sure this was the first album my dad would play on Christmas morning. As a really young thing I didn’t notice (was diving face first into presents!) but now that I’m older and have moved away, I appreciate their sense of homecoming and family.
- Another Year Has Gone By by Celine Dion – I was a little bit more of a romantic when I was younger and loved belting this song out in the shower. On repeat. Thinking of all my middle school crushes.
- Where are You Christmas by Faith Hill – As a die-hard Faith fan, I was so excited when she released her first Christmas song -and this was it. Its release was also around that time when the “magic” of Christmas was starting to change for me too.
Songs that are non-traditionally Christmas
- All I Want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan by Kenny Chesney – Well for one thing, it’s true, and for another, it brings back memories from freshman year of college in my teeny tiny room with one of my (still) best friends Audrey.
- Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by *NSYNC – Of course I had to include a boy band. They were a large part of my life and this song still makes me want to dance around. Thinking back on it, the whole album was pretty damn good and I wish I knew where it was – lucky for me the songs are only 99 cents on iTunes.
- All You Need is Love – Arguably not even a Christmas song but I love it. I think because it’s in Love Actually it always reminds me of Christmas. A nice reminder that it’s not about the iPads or the Tickle Me Elmos (remember that year?!)
Songs I love without words
- Silent Night – I love this on the piano, perhaps because I practiced a beautiful arrangement of it for weeks during my piano phase. When I go home I always attempt to play it (getting worse as the years go on)
- Canon in D – There are no words…..but this is one of my favorite classical pieces.
- Oh Holy Night – I don’t like this one with vocals, I’m not sure why. I think it’s beautiful when I sing it in my head along with an instrumental piece though.
Songs I sneak into my fitness classes
- Oh Santa! by Mariah Carey – Just today someone laughed out loud in class when this song came on. It’s fun and upbeat – great for Spinning or cardio.
- Joy to the World by Whitney Houston – I played this one in Spinning just last week and right along with Whitney’s crescendos we increased our speed!
- A Mad Russian’s Christmas (Instrumental) by Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Lisa plays this one a lot, it’s also fun for sprints and intervals.
Songs that mean a lot to me living on my own
- I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas – Growing up I don’t remember many non-white Christmases and I don’t get too much snow in Memphis so I’m always hopeful! There’s something magical about seeing white out of my bedroom window on Christmas morning.
- Tennessee Christmas by Alabama – I love songs that mention my state or city in them and this one’s devoted to it!
- I’ll Be Home for Christmas – This holiday is all about family to me, and I can’t imagine not going home!
Songs that are my TOP 3 of ALL CATEGORIES!
- All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey – no explanation needed on that one!
- Christmas in Dixie by Alabama – “Maybe down in Memphis, Graceland’s all in lights……and in Atlanta, Georgia, there’s peace on Earth tonight” TWO of my cities get named in this one!
- The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole – I don’t think you can get any more traditionally Christmas!
What are your favorites from each of my categories?
12 Days of Fitness!
Last year I created a workout based on the “12 Days of Christmas Song”. It’s a really simple way to create a challenging workout (and truly, you could do it any time of year). The premise is simple, just like the song. There are 12 moves like the 12 days. Each move gets assigned the spot 1-12. As in the song, you start with one repetition of the first move. Then you move to two repetitions of the second move and repeat the first move. Then you start at three repetitions of the third move, two of the second and one of the first…….all the way up to 12. Here’s what ours looked like today:
- 1 minute of plank (all different styles each time!)
- 20 seconds of freestyle cardio on the Bosu Ball
- 30 Russian Twists with a weight
- 4 Upright Rows
- 50 Jumping Jacks
- 6 Bicep Curls
- 7 V-Ups
- 8 Push-ups with hands on platform side of Bosu
- 9 Deadlifts
- 10 Squats with Overhead Press
- 11 Stationary Lunges
- 12 Burpees
At the end of that second minute of planks our arms were struggling big time! By the end of number 6 I had a good sweat goin’. Due to class time constraints, once we finished 8 rounds I had to jump us to the last round so the next class could come in. It was a fast-paced and challenging workout! Give it a shot, or take the idea of it and make your own! Let me know if you try it, and how it goes!