Growing up, my dad would always blast holiday music in the car no matter what time of year it was. As much as I love Mariah Carey and other holiday albums, they are 10 times more enjoyable when played during the real holiday season.

Furthermore, there is nothing better than a night spent watching live holiday music. If you live in Jersey and plan on being home for the holidays check out these great upcoming events.

For the Motown lover:
The Borgota will be hosting "The Motown Holiday Show" from Dec. 2-30 every night at 8:30 p.m. Singers, dancers and musicians will be playing holiday hits ranging from The Temptations, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more. "Forever Motown" will also be hosted by the Mayo Performing arts center in Morristown on Dec. 5 at 7 pm.

If you want greatest hits:
Sometimes the classics are all you want to hear.

The “John Denver Christmas Special” is Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. The holiday tribute is starring Ted Vigil at The Newton Theatre, 234 Spring St., Newton. $29-$44. skypac.org, 973-383-3700.
On Dec. 18 at 8 p.m., Kenny G. and his “Miracles Holiday and Hits” tour comes to the Bergen Performing Arts Center, 30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood.

If you’re bringing kids:
Everyone loves the circus, but a holiday-themed one is even better. On Dec. 11 you can go to "Cirque Musica Holiday," located at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair. The Holiday spectacular will be both entertaining and leave you on the edge of your seat.
Want more of a singing performance? Check out "The Wizards of Winter" holiday rock opera located in Bergen County on Dec. 15 -16.

If you want an orchestra:
Orchestras wait all year to play their hearts out on the violin and it’s finally time to listen. On Dec. 4, Matt Lewis and Long Live the King Orchestra will be performing “Christmas with Elvis" at the Landis Theater in Vineland.

Looking for more of a classic orchestra? The Irish Tenors are also having a holiday concert with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra on Dec. 9 at the Bergen Performing Arts Center.

There are countless more shows to see this holiday, but this is a great starting point if you are looking to see a diverse group of performances this winter.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

25 Christmas songs performed by NJ artists

If you celebrate Christmas, the next month of your life is likely going to be consumed with shopping for gifts, retrieving a tree, decorating the house, and going out on adventures to see elaborate light displays.

The one thing that you must have at the ready for all of these scenarios is Christmas music.

Since a lot of the songs you hear tend to get repetitive this time of year, why not pay homage to some of the great singers, bands, and musicians that make New Jersey's music history so rich.

Want to take these songs on the go with you? Here's the Spotify playlist.