Join in Caspar Babypants's "Winter Party"
Winter Party was released November 18
Oh, the weather outside is… well, you know, but Caspar Babypants’s new holiday album Winter Party is definitely delightful.
Caspar Babypants, known to parents as Chris Ballew, lead singer of The Presidents of the United States of America, is a very familiar voice to kids in the Seattle area. His relaxing tunes are perfect for just about any time of the year, but if you’ve always longed to add his comforting voice to your holiday playlist, your Christmas wish has been answered.
Winter Party is Ballew’s twelfth album and his first time tackling holiday classics. In the past Ballew has re-imagined familiar nursery rhymes and songs with his own creative takes just for kids, and he’s done the same with your favorite Christmas carols.
The time-honored hymns you grew up with like “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night” are here, but as different versions than the ones you remember singing in church. “I intentionally secularized the traditional songs… so that they spoke to the essence of the season as I see it,” Ballew says, “which is people gathering for warm camaraderie during the coldest time of the year.”
The words are simpler and likely more memorable for kids, but just as heartwarming and peaceful as the traditional hymns they’re drawn from.
“Deck the Halls” is very similar to the original, with small lyrics changes better suited to young kids, and an upbeat start to the album. “Joy to the World” is also close to the traditional version, and the changes to the words are no less jubilant and capture the scenes of the holiday season.
The original title track, “Winter Party,” is a playful take on what animals do on chilly days. You can practically see snuggly snow owls and cozy creatures staying warm together. Caspar Babypants can find the bright side in just about everything, even a cold, grey winter day.
“Candy Cane,” another original tune, is a silly and unique earworm about that priceless piece of candy kids get after a chat with Santa. If you’ve been tired of hearing “Jingle Bills” on repeat from the kids, just wait until the family listens to “Candy Cane” – it will be stuck in everyone’s heads until New Year’s Day at least.
Ballew’s takes on “12 Days of Christmas” and “Days Gone By (Auld Lang Syne)” feature welcome changes to lyrics that will speak more to kids. Instead of singing about unfamiliar animals like partridges and French hens, Ballew’s twelve days are happily populated with porcupines, fireflies, and lobsters. “Days Gone By” makes sense of a song that many grownups don’t even understand, but echoes the same feeling of nostalgia in terms kids can grasp.
Ballew always saves the soothing songs for last, and Winter Party is no exception. “Silent Night” and “Alphabet Christmas Lullaby” are ideal songs to fall asleep to on Christmas Eve when sleep seems the most elusive. Even the most excited kids who can’t wait for morning will find themselves lulled sweetly to sleep as Caspar gently sings of evergreen trees and reindeer in the sky.
While parents who are more traditional may prefer their families learn and sing the original versions of beloved Christmas classics, Ballew’s kid-friendly, thoughtful updates on the carols can help kids understand the same sentiments. If your kids are already Caspar Babypants fans, Winter Party is the perfect gift to add to your holiday collection and listen to year after year.
Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in the Seattle area who always wondered what exactly “Auld Lang Syne” was about.