Christmas Tips & Fun

Learn interesting, unusual, unique and useful facts and tips about Christmas and the winter holiday season, in America and around the world.

Music of Christmas

White Christmas: A Case Study in Holiday Hit-Making


’m dreaming of a white Christmas..." You can almost hear the mellow baritone of Bing Crosby singing it in your head.

He first sang it in 1942 in a movie called Holiday Inn. The song was written by Irving Berlin – the whole idea was Irving Berlin’s. Holiday Inn was an inn that was only open on holidays, so Berlin reprised Easter Parade, which he wrote in 1933 for the Easter opening and his 1918 song Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning. He also wrote Happy Holiday – another Christmas-time favorite – for the film. Be Careful, It’s My Heart was expected to be the hit song from Holiday Inn – but while it’s still heard today it was White Christmas that went on Billboard’s chart and stayed there for 11 weeks. (Supposedly, the Holiday Inn motel chain was named after the movie.)

To take advantage of the popularity of White Christmas, Berlin sort of reprised Holiday Inn in 1954 – with a movie about an inn and a troupe of players who sing a lot. While he was at it, Berlin also recycled Heat Wave and Blue Skies for the film. White Christmas was the first movie to be filmed in Vista Vision – which sort of ran standard 35mm movie film sideways through the camera and, in effect, created larger images which were then reduced down to traditional 35mm for theatre release. The result was not quite 3D but did give much better depth, color and image quality to the production.

In addition to the song White Christmas, the movie also featured some new Berlin favorites such as Baby It’s Cold Outside and Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep.

White Christmas (the song) has been recorded by over 300 artists (including Crosby).

Written by Dianne Weller
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