Now that we’re into the thick of December, I’ve given myself permission to finally turn the radio station over to the all-Christmas-all-the-time channel for the duration of the month. I love Christmas music — love it — but I also try not to overdose on it and by so doing ruin it for years to come. So one month of the year I give myself permission to gorge on sleigh bells and drummer boys, and for the remaining 11 months, I try hard to forget it exists.
One disadvantage of the radio station, however, is that it generally plays the same 40 songs by the same 40 artists, eschewing newer and different tunes. I don’t like that, which is why I’ve been trying to expand my Christmas music collection to include such deserved hits like “Christmas Vacation” and “Toy Packaging.” Another aid in my collection quest? MMOs and their propensity for churning out lovely holiday tracks.
Today, let’s sit back with a hot cup of cocoa and sip on these seasonal serenades.
1. Final Fantasy XIV: Starlight Celebration
I love how magical and childlike this track is, almost heartbreaking in its presentation. It’s like the ending of every Christmas special ever, with a lovely chorus and pristine chimes. It’s also spot-on one of the best holiday event themes I’ve heard for an MMO. It’s Christmas without aping from any specific Christmas tune.
2. Aion: Winter and Christmas music
Then again, if you like traditional Christmas music arranged for video games, you could do a lot worse than Aion. Asian MMOs don’t seem to have a hang-up for using traditional seasonal songs that western games do, for some reason. Here we kick off with God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen before moving on to a medley of other tracks played in the game around this time of year.
3. Glitch: Winter Holiday
Enough mourning for Glitch already! Glitch wouldn’t want you to be sad around the holidays; it would want you to dance around in the snow and catch hope and dreams on your tongue. This festive remake of one of its core themes is simple, to be sure, but I like how it creates a music box track that plays right into the season.
4. Lineage 2: Christmas Event Music
You can never go wrong with heading back to the Lineage 2 soundtrack well for a track or two. Here the basic “Jingle Bells” gets a jaunty in-game makeover. Short? Sure, but how can you dislike Jingle Bells, especially if you use those edgy alternate lyrics with Batman and the Joker?
5. Ragnarok Online: Dancing Christmas and the 13th month
I’m… not even sure if I like this track (OK, I’m pretty sure I don’t), but it is so bizarre that I can’t make this list and leave it out. I mean, what spells Christmas like a dance track mixed with weird alien sound effects?
6. Guild Wars 2: The Great Toymaker
There are a few Wintersday tracks from Guild Wars 2, but I’ve always been partial to this particular one. Perhaps I like it because it’s not trying to be like a carol, but instead a manic dance couched in the eccentricities of the Asura. Plus, it’s catchy and beautiful in a weird way. Ah well, Happy Holidays all!