She & Him Spin a Sort of Christmas Playlist

Musicians Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward mix a few Yuletide-ish tunes featuring tracks by The Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell, and more.

After shedding a little light on their holiday traditions, the duo stopped built a party soundtrack that has just the right amount Christmassy vibes to set the tone for your next holiday soirée.


Zooey Deschanel: We would like to share with you our, sort of Christmas, sort of not Christmas, playlist.

M. Ward: As a gift to you listeners.

Zooey Deschanel: From us.

M. Ward: Are you ready?

Zooey Deschanel: [Sings] Yes I’m ready.

NRBQ – “Christmas Wish”

M. Ward: Our first song for our dinner party playlist is one of our favorite songs by NRBQ, it’s called “Christmas Wish.”

NRBQ is one of my all time favorite bands. I feel like they’re the American Beatles. Joey Spampinato’s voice always hits me. It really stands out and you know it’s heartfelt.

This song, “Christmas Wish,” is focused more on the peace on earth and let’s hope every kid in the world get’s a present at Christmas time. What do you think, Zooey?

Zooey Deschanel: They have their own sound. They’re a little bit stripped down. I love the guitar rhythm too. It’s a very sweet song.

M. Ward: I think at this moment we might be sharing some eggnog maybe in a pitcher.

Zooey Deschanel: Definitely.

M. Ward: There’s a dairy free eggnog on the market now that I recommend to everyone listening to this.

Joni Mitchell – “River”

Zooey Deschanel: That’s good stuff. Our second song is by Joni Mitchell. The song “River.” It’s not a Christmas song but it does have Christmas themes in it.

M. Ward: It’s snowing outside.

Zooey Deschanel: Yeah, it’s snowing outside.

M. Ward: Rivers are freezing over. It almost takes you to this Robert Frost place that most Christmas songs are incapable of.

Zooey Deschanel: Her vocals on this are particularly melancholy. I think a couple of her records that I listened to a lot as a teenager had a lot of the ups and downs I could relate to. It really spoke to me.

It’s kind of taking the party down to a more pensive place. This would be like, around the time that you’d be having a really heartfelt conversation with a family member or a friend.

Beach Boys – “Little Saint Nick”

M. Ward: Our third song is one of our favorite songs by the Beach Boys, it’s called “Little Saint Nick.”

Zooey Deschanel: Amazing harmonies, as per always.

M. Ward: And they’re very good at getting the Christmas party atmosphere. They had a whole record that was just a party.

Zooey Deschanel: Yeah, it’s called, “Beach Boys Party.”

M. Ward: Zooey and I both grew up in Southern California, so we’re forever attached to that sound that Brian Wilson created.

Zooey Deschanel: I grew up four minutes from the beach. Christmas to me isn’t snow, it’s like Beach Boys.

M. Ward: There’s something about the Beach Boys that will always feel like home. You know, whenever we talked about Christmas it’s about home, and family, and friends, and it’s all interconnected.

She & Him – “The Coldest Night of the Year

Zooey Deschanel: We’re gonna close out this playlist by adding one of our own songs called, “The Coldest Night of the Year.”

It’s kind of like the ’60s answer to “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” But it’s a little bit less of the predatory under current. And more of a we’re stuck in the cold and let’s make the best of it.

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward: Happy holidays!