No Black household is complete without the sounds of Black holiday music. Whether you love Motown or a more modern touch like D.R.A.M. and Boyz II Men, there is a playlist just for you.
When I was younger and growing up in Chicago, I loved Christmas. I love the snow, the cold and most importantly the music. Everything about the season made me happy. My grandmother used to take to me Woolworths on State Street downtown Chicago days before Christmas to look at all the displays and to figure out what I wanted for Christmas. I loved shopping with her during the holidays because she would always find a way to make me feel special and fancy. She would take me to Carson Pierre Scott and Marchall Field’s and buy me shoes and dresses for Christmas. Christmas in my household was all about seeing my favorite people happy and enjoying the love in the air.
My favorite Christmas had to be when I was about 3 or 4-years-old. It was a cold and snowy Christmas because I remember that the street was covered in inches of snow. People were digging parking spots and randomly warming up their cars throughout the day. I woke up that Christmas morning screaming because our front room looked like a mini toy store! I had so many toys and I was elated!
If you know anything about Chicago, you should know that December is not the coldest month of the year—January is. But December has a lot of snow and I remember the snow just falling and falling and ripping all the presents off of my toys. I recall my father coming down the stairs in the hallway and I looked down and he had a blur 4X4 power wheel truck for me. I screamed and jumped up and down so much. I ran and grabbed my life-sized Mickey Mouse and threw him in the backseat. I was ready to go outside in the blizzard and drive my truck! My dad went out in front of our building and shoveled a pathway for me so I can drive. My fathered shoveled a pathway on Christmas day so I can ride outside. I probably wasn’t outside for long, but I was certainly happy.
When I finally came back to the house, I was almost exhausted. My father disappeared again and there I was on the floor playing with my new Pound Puppies. He reemerged and this time he had a puppy. I could not contain myself at all! I ran upstairs to my grandma’s house and I could hear Donny Hathaway blasting from the hallways. I opened her door and as I held my puppy to show her I saw right in the middle of her living room, more toys! But the gift that stood out the most was the piano. I took my puppy and I sat right down and started playing the piano right away.
My grandma was delighted I was happy and she made her way to her Phono-Sonic Fireplace/Liquor Cabinet Stereo. It was the fanciest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. It was a liquor cabinet with a record player and fireplace. When my grandma opened it, you could best be assured that good times were ahead. As I banged on my piano, she blasted The Temptations and Jackson 5. But the pinnacle of my fondest holiday memories starts with Donny Hathaway singing This Christmas.
So here is a playlist I made for you to groove with. It has some classics of course but I’ve also included TLC, D.R.A.M. and Snoop. Have a happy holiday and I hope you enjoy this playlist as much as I do!