Lesson Plan: Christmas Songs
Lead-in: What are some Christmas songs you like, if any? Why? Do they remind you of a certain time of your life?
Listening: Watch this video. What is the order of the songs they mention?
- Grandma got run over by a reindeer
- Oh! Holy Night
- All I want for Christmas is you!
- It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
- All I want for Christmas is you!
2. Why did they like each song?
Match the songs with these descriptors. Listen again to check your answers.
- Many people think it’s played too much
- It lists a lot of things about Christmas
- Someone wants it to be sung at a funeral
- It’s the only song anyone needs, according to the speaker
- The speaker sang it when growing up
Use the following to complete the sentences
only, nostalgic, all-time favorite, growing up, to this day, anybody, so much
The song has been played a million times, but it is my _________________ Christmas song.
The Mariah Carey Christmas album is the _________ one that ______________ should be listening to.
Probably one of my favorites is “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” because it starts talking about all of the things I love _______________.
My grandmother ______________ tells me that she wants me to sing it at her funeral.
There was just something ______________ about it because we sang it_______________.
Discussion: What things remind you of Christmas?
Lead-in: Do you know any of the following Christmas songs? How would you describe them?
Listen to a minute of each song. What genre of music do they belong to? What is the general emotion of each song? What sort of Christmas does each one describe?
River, Joni Mitchell:
Last Christmas, Wham:
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Darlene Love:
Fairytale Of New York, The Pogues:
Match these songs with the following descriptions.
- A ballad of tragic romance, this song features Christmas bells and synths, plus some truly memorable woolen jumpers in the video. But what really sets this song apart is the singer’s honest delivery: his genuine heartbreak (‘My God! I thought you were someone to rely on’) and sexy whispers. The words ‘Merry Christmas’ never sounded so sensual.
- Is this the most moving Christmas tune of all time? Probably – the combination of the singer’s impeccable dramatic vocal, Phil Spector’s gloriously Christmas production and Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry’s magical songwriting could make anyone, even the biggest Scrooge, melt like a snowman under a hairdryer. It’s just an absolutely perfect Christmas song.
- When was the last time you properly listened to this epic Big Apple-set story? Shut your eyes and give it a go, and if you aren’t a nervous wreck by the end, your heart (like that jumper from your grandma) is two sizes too small. This song is a perfect four-minute narrative of hope, despair and heartbreak – and, despite the swearing, it ends with love.
- Think you had a bad Christmas last year when you burned the turkey? Think about this singer, who’s heartbroken and wants to escape the Christmas happiness all around her. From the ‘Jingle Bells’- piano opening, it’s clear this isn’t going to be a happy ride, but it’s still beautiful and delicate. By the end, all you’ll want to do is skate away with her and help fix her broken heart. Perhaps that’s why it’s one of her most covered songs, having been recorded by over 500 people.
Can you find any words from the above texts that mean the following?
- a feeling of being very sad, losing the love of someone
- causing strong, often sad, feelings about somebody/something
- to become or make something become liquid as a result of heating
- to record a new version of a song that was originally recorded by another band or Singer
- a person or thing that is in a bad physical or mental condition
Discussion: What emotions or feelings do you associate with Christmas? What was you best or worst Christmas?