When I was a kid, I have a distinct recollection of the classical music station in Chicago, WFMT, playing the most haunting and lovely version of famous Chiristmas song performed in German by Marlene Dietrich, "Der Trommelmann." (You have some time at the moment to figure out what that is.) While searching, I came across another German holiday recording by Dietrich that was completely unknown to me, quite lovely and memorable. Since the point of the Holiday Music Fest is to find little-known songs of the seasons, we'll start with that one. Here then is "Still War die Nacht" (Still Was the Night).
The other recording is of a classic and far from unknown -- but this is not only likely a recording most people likely haven't heard, but the most haunting rendition of what is generally consider a sweet, little song. In German it's "Der Trommelmann," as I said, but you'll know it as "The Little Drummer Boy." From its mood and intriguing arrangement, It should be pretty clear why I've long-remembered it. The full rendition aside, you probably won't specifically forget the "Parum-pah-pah-pums" here.