At the risk of sounding like ol’ Ebenezer, I will confess openly that I can’t really stand much Christmas music — it just doesn’t fill me with a whole lot of Yuletide glee. I mean, have ya heard “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer?” Truly dreadful. And honestly, nothing makes me wanna zing right through to January more quickly than enduring Elvis bluh-bluh-bluh-blubbering through “Blue Christmas.”

But I’m certainly no “Grinch.” And a couple of years ago, I spotted the Gwen Stefani album, You Make it Feel Like Christmas, at my local Barnes & Noble store. It looked like a Christmas sugar cookie perched prominently atop the music department holiday display. I couldn’t resist, and I snatched up a copy for the GF on double white vinyl. When I got home and placed it on her Victrola, I discovered in short order that it sounded like a sugar cookie too. YUM!

Produced to pop perfection by Stefani, Michael James Ryan Busbee and Eric Valentine, the record was originally released in 2017. It has since been reissued in a couple of different configurations.

Stefani’s renditions of the included classics feel more fun, more fabulous, more genuine and more exciting to me than most (perhaps better-known) versions — a warm and cozy feel-good, to be sure. But what makes the album particularly appealing are Stefani’s original compositions. “My Gift is You” is a wonderful, old-school, R&B-flavored Snickerdoodle. while “Never Kissed Anyone with Blue Eyes” embraces ya with a Squeeze-style hug, and the seemingly “You Can’t Hurry Love”-inspired title track duet with Blake Shelton makes for a Buick-sized highlight. But, for my money, “When I was a Little Girl” ranks as one of the record’s most moving and magical moments — second only to Stefani’s version of “Silent Night.”

In sum, kudos to Gwen Stefani. With You Make it Feel Like Christmas, she crafted a Christmas cookie that I can actually choke down. In fact, it’s become my all-time holiday fave.

You Make It Feel Like Christmas (Deluxe Edition – 2020) Track Listing:

1. Jingle Bells (2:58)
2. Let It Snow (2:15)
3. My Gift Is You (2:51)
4. Silent Night (3:15)
5. When I Was a Little Girl (3:29)
6. Last Christmas (4:39)
7. You Make It Feel Like Christmas *featuring Blake Shelton (2:37)
8. Under the Christmas Light (2:50)
9. Santa Baby (2:54)
10. White Christmas (3:08)
11. Never Kissed Anyone with Blue Eyes Before You (3:03)
12. Christmas Eve (3:19)
13. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (2:58)
14. Cheer for the Elves ( 3:06)
15. Secret Santa (3:26)
16. Winter Wonderland (2:37)
17. Feliz Navidad *featuring Mon Laferte (2:43)
18. Sleigh Ride (2:33)
19. Here This Christmas (2:58)

Run Time: 57:39
Release Date: October 23, 2020
Record Label: Interscope


Christopher Long is a celebrated author, entertainment writer, TV / radio contributor, award-winning musician, popular speaker and international missionary. Referred to once as "the rock and roll Erma Bombeck," Long is known for his conversational, common sense writing style and possessing a passion for sharing his unique perspectives on pop culture, faith and politics. Raised in Missouri's rugged Ozark Mountains and on Florida's sunny Space Coast, Long currently lives near Cocoa Beach. (