Twelve Days of Christmas : Day Two
by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Christmas Music Is Awesome.
There are a lot of things I hate. There is a lot of music I hate. But I love Christmas Music.
Sometimes, when I’m in my car alone, even in the middle of the summer, my iPhone will kick out a Christmas jam, and I just let it go. You know why? Because I love Christmas music.
My wife will tolerate certain types of Christmas music only. And I’m not allowed to start before Thanksgiving and I rarely make it past Christmas Day. I don’t even get until New Year’s Day. There have been years when the decorations are in the attic and tree is at the curb by New Year’s Day. If you don’t want to find yourself out there on the curb, lonely with the disheveled Christmas Tree, you learn to turn off the music.
But in my car, all alone, I start in October. I’m not usually the instigator. There is a local radio station near my home that I swear has started on October 15, the past two years in a row.
Normally, I’d probably wait until after Halloween, but I hate Halloween and there are absolutely zero good Halloween songs. So why not a Christmas Carol or two?
Christmas Carols can be divided into three categories: Classics, Novelty, and Modern.
This is an ever changing category, but is generally thought of as songs that were first recorded in the 50’s by some of the greatest vocalists of their time. Nat King Cole. Bing Crosby. Johnny Mathis. Frank Sinatra. These were albums that we listened to on Vinyl in their entirety. Songs like:
The Christmas Song
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
O Holy Night
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Jingle Bell Rock
The Little Drummer Boy
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Of course, over the years songs that have stood the test of time have been added, but I think it’s fair to say that a song has to be over 25 years old to get in. These include:
Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You
Do You Hear What I Hear?
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Little Saint Nick
These should be pretty obvious. These are mostly goofball songs. Some are old. Some are new. Some are funny. Most are stupid. These include:
Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
The Chipmunk Song
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
The Hanukkah Song
Merry Christmas From The Family
The final category is the modern Christmas song. These usually suck. These are pop stars trying to squeeze money out of a fawning public. Often they’re just remakes of old songs, sung by new artists.
Merry Christmas Baby
Little Saint Nick
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
All I Want For Christmas Is You
Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Now, there are some Christmas songs that might fit into more than one category, and there are even ones that I find a hard time fitting into any of these three categories. For instance, one Christmas Album that I really like is Annie Lennox’s A Christmas Cornucopia. It feels like a classic, even though it’s modern, and it’s mostly original music. My wife likes that one.
I’ll complain about the new stuff, but I’ll still find myself humming along to All I Want For Christmas Is You, and thinking about that goofy movie, that I still enjoy even though I know it’s a load of shit. I actually like Merry Christmas From The Family by Robert Earl Keen and it’s as white trash as you can get. And every time I hear Jingle Bell Rock, I think of the opening credits Lethal Weapon.
The truth is, I pretty much like them all. You can have the Chipmunks and the barking dogs, that’s just cruel and unusual. But most of it works for me.
Most Christmas traditions are about nostalgia. Remembering a time when we were young and we still believed in the magic of it all. Music takes us back there.
I’m not generally a fan of singing in public, and I don’t care for the music portion of most Church services, but I’m still a sucker for a real candlelight Christmas Eve service. Don’t give me those little bullshit flashlights either. I want to see flames and splattered wax on the floor. And yes, let the four year old hold his own. He has to learn somehow. Stop being such pussies.
But when the lights go out, and everyone’s face is lit by their own little candle, we sing Silent Night and I still get chills.
Maybe there’s a little magic left after all.
So if you see me driving down the road, singing away, chances are I’m singing along to Christmas carols, and I’m as happy as can be.
Try not to fuck it up.