Sean and I, as I may have mentioned before, are lovers of Christmas and of Christmas music. I know that there are scads of folks who hate it (Christmas music that is...not generally Christmas the Day or Season). My own brother adopts a truly spot-on impression of Albert Finney's Scrooge whenever a merry tune comes on and growls - and I quote verbatim - "I HATE CHRISTMAS CHEER." I love it. But you have to sift through it, because some of it is crap. (Blech Christina Aguilera Christmas - sorry to any fans.)
So here goes, my top ten - complete with handy links if you want to give them a whirl:
Humorous: Baby It's Cold Outside - I rather like the She & Him version because they switched the male and female parts so that it sounds like the girl is being the pushy one and the guy is being coy. It's even funnier that way. And actually the music video is super creative too.
Beautiful: O Holy Night - almost any version, but I just heard the Pavarotti rendition for the first time the other day. I'm really not an opera person, but this was really gorgeous.
Carol: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - I don't have a particular version for this, although I do love it when the Baileys bust it out at the end of It's a Wonderful Life (dang, I love that movie). My family carols my parents' neighborhood every year to hand out gifts to their neighbors, and I always want to sing this one, and my family always feigns ignorance of the verses. Sad face.
Classic: Silver Bells - Christmas cheer wouldn't be as cheery without a bit'a Bing but, ding dang it, She & Him do it total justice. Zooey's voice has that kind of clean crispness that makes me want to associate her with my girls Billie and Ella.
Traditional: Carol of the Bells - This song gets me PUMPED. I first remember loving it after hearing it in Home Alone, but Sean digs the Trans-Siberian Orchestra version, featuring Metallica. He would.
Whimsical: Christmastime is Here - I couldn't exactly find what choir sang it but it's A Charlie Brown Christmas song. It's realllly funny to hear my youngest sister sing it because that first note is a leetle bit high and she can't quite make it...
Personally Nostalgic: Christmas Day - The Beach Boys. I really hope you have early Christmas memories of the caliber I have. This song is like a time warp; whether I hear it on vinyl or CD or iTunes today, I immediately hear the crackle of my dad's record player cranking out The Beach Boys' Christmas while my siblings and I adorned pretty much solely the lower branches of our Christmas tree, sipping on Mom's hot chocolate and dressed only in long pj tees that came to the knee.
It's worth the wait the whole year through
Just to make happy someone like you.
And I'll never outgrow the thrill of Christmas Day.
Well said, Brian.
Generally Nostalgic: Auld Lang Syne - I like this song because it sounds like what it's supposed to mean. Kinda like forgive, forget and live on right? I don't have a specific version I like (except from It's a Wonderful Life which is in the same clip above) but when I was looking for a good version on YouTube I found this amusing rendition sung by - I believe - a Chinese girl, but set to scenes from Waterloo Bridge (Vivien Leigh = total fox).
Please feel free to combox any suggestions - I would love to add to my Christmas repertoire. And I'll leave you with a grainy iPhone shot of our card this year:
- the bottom shot was at least our 8th attempt at self-portrait without writhing, back-arch toddler tantrum.
- I did not dye my hair a violent shade of red but the lighting makes it look like I did.
- Man's got talent: through his smile/gritted teeth, Sean is saying something like: "Jordan, Mom's going to ruin probably our best chance at a shot if she doesn't stop trying to make you smile, and look up at the camera soon..."