Music Mix: Sazeracs & Sleigh Rides

As long as I can remember, my Christmas mornings typically began at my parents’ house.  My younger sister, Megan, would jump in my bed and wake me up at some ungodly hour because she wanted to open her gifts.  (It was 8 AM, but don’t judge me; I’m an adult now.)  When I finally got out of bed, we would gather in the kitchen with my parents for a breakfast of coffee and Monkey Bread.  In more recent years, we eat our monkey bread, wait for my younger cousin, Douggie, to wake up so that we can finally open gifts.

Over the years, I have given myself the job of making sure the Christmas music was going to help get us in the spirit.  When I was young, I would play some of my favorite Christmas albums like Destiny’s Child’s 8 Days of Christmas or BoyzIIMen’s Christmas Interpretations.   Later in the day, we would always meet at my grandmother’s home with my aunts, uncles, and cousins to exchange Secret Santa gifts as we listened to the Jackson 5 Christmas Album and Stevie Wonder’s Someday at Christmas.

Christmas music has long been an essential part of my experience, traditions, and memories for the holidays with my family.  This year, I am sharing my Sazerac & Sleigh Rides playlist, featuring some of my favorite Christmas classics as well as a few new songs from artists that I love.  You will hear new music from John Legend, Jessie J, and Aloe Blacc, and old favorites from the Jackson 5, Donny Hathaway, and Stevie Wonder.  For a kid like me who grew up in the ’90s, a Christmas playlist will never be complete without my all-time favorite Christmas song, TLC’s “Sleigh Ride.”  Make sure you listen to the very end for a little New Orleans flair from PJ Morton’s “This Christmas” featuring Hasizzle.

Click the link above to check out the Sazeracs & Sleigh Rides playlist on Spotify.  Download it, play it, share it with your family and friends, and play it all weekend through Christmas day and beyond to help get your celebrations started. Check us out every month for a new Spotify playlist, and don’t forget to follow me, Trey Payadue, on Spotify to get access to new playlists first.

Check out Dope Aural: Holiday Edition for even more holiday albums. 

Trey Payadue is a contributing blogger and curator of music for The Black Unicorn Project. He was raised on the west bank of the New Orleans Metropolitan Area in the small town of Marrero, Louisiana. Brought up in the Black Catholic church, Trey was completely immersed in New Orleans music and Black culture through local fairs and famous celebrations like Mardi Gras, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and the Essence Fest. He was also exposed to various styles of music, such as gospel, pop, rock, funk, hip-hop, bounce and his first love, rhythm & blues, at a young age. His inherent love and appreciation, paired with his exposure to New Orleans Culture and events, ignited an infectious passion for music. Trey quickly became known as “The Music Man”, amateur house party DJ and the mixtape go-to guy for new music. Currently, Trey juggles a 9-5 while moonlighting as a curator of good music, a patron of popular music and Black culture, and a student of where all three intersect. Follow him on Instagram & Twitter @SumthinSevere and get access to shared playlists on Spotify.

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