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Holiday Guide

Christmas Abroad - A Playlist

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Last year we focused on the importance of being home for the holidays. But sometimes the definition of home doesn’t necessarily mean a physical space. It’s wherever the family and good cheer are. For years my family and I would gather at our home in Edmonton- or in more recent years my brother and I would make the trek to Kelowna. Breaking the trend, after one too many White Christmases we decided this would be the year to spend the holidays in Cuba. So whether you are traveling to Cuba, Mexico, Hawaii or anywhere warmer...or are staying home in Fort McMurray and want to take your mind off the cold this playlist should really heat things up for you!

All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan
By Kenny Chesney
It’s almost unfathomable for me to think about sunscreen in December, but safe to say it won’t be a very Merry Christmas if I don’t put on some SPF-30 in Cuba. Other friends have also recommended getting a good base tan before travelling abroad in the winter.


Christmas In Dixie
By Alabama
Dixie may not be quite as far south as Mexico or Cuba, but it certainly would make for a warmer Christmas than Canada. Wikipedia defines Dixie has the eleven Southern states that seceded in late 1860 and early 1861 to form the new Confederate States of America which of course is your usual contenders like Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama but also includes the likes of Florida. So even if you’re heading to Disney World for the holidays, you’re having Christmas in Dixie. And on that note….


It Feels Like Christmas
By The Muppets
More people than Wal-Mart on the Saturday before Christmas. More screaming children than a photo op with Santa at Peter Pond Mall… yet there’s something magical about a Disney Christmas. Whether it’s watching classic Disney movies on Christmas Eve all snuggled up around the fire, or actually making the trek down to one of the many parks, you just can’t beat the warm feeling of nostalgia as red and green fireworks light up the sky. The Muppet Christmas Carol is always a staple around our house with the ever talented Michael Caine being one of the best Hollywood Scrooge’s in recent memory. There’s a solid chance you WON’T be hearing this song at Keyano Theatre Company’s presentation of A Christmas Carol.


Mele Kalikimaka
By Bing Crosby
…Is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day. Even if you aren’t wearing a t-shirt, lei, and shorts, this song is bound to warm your family’s hearts. If you start seeing palm trees though, you might have drunk too much Hawaiian punch!


Feliz Navidad
By Boney M
Slightly easier to pronounce than the last song, this is the one you want to use in a Spanish speaking country. Quite frankly before this song came across my Spotify I thought the only Spanish words I knew were “Dos Cerveza, Por Favor”. Turns out I was wrong!


Christmas Down In Mexico
By Craig Moritz
Speaking of Mexico- Fort McMurray knows a thing or two about migrating south for the winter. So much so that beloved local Craig Moritz cut this song back in 2009. With lyrics like “Let’s hit the swim-up bar with balls of holly” and “Leave some Cuervo out for Santa,”  it’s hard not to get into the Christmas spirit.


Fairytale Of New York
By The Pogues
Best known for their hit “Dirty Old Town” London’s The Pogues recorded this song in 1987 with Kirsty MacColl. This song became one of the better known Christmas songs about New York….until the next year that is.


Christmas In Hollis
By Run DMC
Set in Hollis, Queens, this song might find you “chillin’ and coolin’ like a snowman”. Afterall, New York might not be a tropical destination around Christmas but you should probably expect at least a few degrees warmer than Fort McMurray. You might even see some snow. If you really want snow though….


The Mummer’s Song
By Simani
Okay let’s not get nitpicky, I didn’t say it was going to be a WARM Christmas, I just said Christmas abroad, and you can’t drive to Newfoundland…..Well, you could but that’s an awfully long drive to make in subzero temperatures. Anyways, the tradition of Mummering dates back to England and Ireland in the 1800’s but is still somewhat prevalent in parts of Newfoundland today! Nothing against the Screech but let’s get back to the heat before we start losing appendages to frostbite!


Christmas In The Caribbean
By Jimmy Buffett
Released on Jimmy Buffett’s twenty-first studio album (and first Christmas one) in 1996 “Christmas Island” this song remains a hit on holiday-themed cruises to this day. The album itself was relatively panned by critics as they felt few of the new songs were remarkable and the re-arrangements of classic carols were relatively forced. But some good old-fashioned Jamaican rum will let you enjoy it regardless.


Tropical Christmas
By The Bellamy Brothers
You had to know the guys responsible for the massive 90’s Country hit Redneck Girl probably weren’t going to be singing about mangers and sleigh bells. But they do give a nice shoutout to Baby Jesus for this tropical silent night!


Boogie Woogie Santa Claus
By Mabel Scott
A typical representation of Santa Claus has him living in the North Pole (which surely means Fort McMurray is one his first stops) but not in the Boogie Woogie Santa Claus tradition. Nope. This Santa lives up in a mountain like a hermit in the cave and apparently isn’t a fan of barber shops either. This one will have the whole family zipping and bopping the night away from the comfort of your own living room.


Surfer’s Christmas List
By The Surfaris
I’ve got to admit, nothing cracks me up more than the thought of Santa (beer gut and all) rocking out on a surfboard. Nothing says surfing quite like Surf rock- and nobody says Surf rock like the Surfaris. Over the years there have been many things requested of Santa on one’s Christmas list (my two front teeth, a Hippopotamus, etc) but in this case, a new surfboard (the old got swept away in last week’s tide) seems pretty darn reasonable to me!


Green Christmas
By The Barenaked Ladies
The final song on our list comes from this year’s Keyano Gala headliners: The Barenaked Ladies. It’s often something we take for granted in Fort McMurray but there are lots of places around the world that just don’t see the kind of snowfall that we do. And then there’s some that have to shovel a human-sized tunnel from their front door to the car if they run out of booze or food, so let’s be grateful we’re somewhere in the middle. I personally just find it a lot easier to get into the Christmas spirit when I’m celebrating a white Christmas. I’ll take the Winter Maintenance Zones, I’ll take the brushing your car off and getting the snow all over your clothes. Heck, I’ll even take that brief moment of panic coming down Beacon Hill and hoping today isn’t the day your brakes decide to go on strike. A white Christmas is just right for me!


Mike has called Fort McMurray home for the past eight years. A true man about town, Mike loves supporting local artists and small businesses by using his platform to promote them however he can. In his spare time, you can find Mike checking out new music, drinking craft beer or managing his fantasy football team!

Mike strives to live life to its fullest and adopts a glass half full perspective. He is a constant promoter of all things positive in Fort McMurray and can’t wait to help share the Good News with you!