Friday, November 27, 2009

Sounds of the Seasons

Did you ever wonder why all radio stations stop transmitting holiday music on noon of Christmas Day? It always seemed odd to me. When I was little, driving home from my aunt’s house, I would be overjoyed with my haul of gifts and wanted Christmas to last forever. As I grew older and actually had to give instead of just receive, my thoughts changed a bit. As my shopping grew from a mad dash on Christmas Eve, to a full weekend spent with my sisters-in-law, to a month of planning, lists, and making sure each kid got an equal amount spent on them, I have come to the realization that the reason Christmas music ends at noon is because everyone is completely and totally over it.

In my area, a local radio station began its all-holiday playlists a few weeks ago. Many of them will wait to follow suit until right before the holiday, giving all their radio personalities a few days off and making interns do all the work. However, most will start incorporating Christmas music into their regularly scheduled programming. This is the point where you realized how completely deranged and depressing songs about the season can be, especially if you listen to country music. Take your average country song, add in Jesus, multiply the number of deaths, disease, or abandonment, and subtract any sense of humor, and you have a country Christmas song. How on earth someone can sing about adopting an orphan or making sure a kid has enough money to buy his dying mom red shoes (um, kid, I’m not sure she’s going to need them where she is going, but I guess it is the thought that counts) is absolutely beyond me. If Grandma gets run over by a reindeer on a country station, you can bet the song talks about her funeral and how the family sat down to eat her last batch of biscuits with tears in their eyes. There is an actual song about unemployment and not being able to afford gifts. Boy, doesn’t that just fill you with joy and cheer?

I prefer my Christmas songs with a little less death and disillusionment. We are celebrating the birth of Santa and the retail world finally moving into the black, right? I want music that is harmonious with the sound of cash registers. (My husband does work for an e-retailer after all.) I want music that makes me shake my bells and helps my kids know that Christmas is a season of fun and laughter. As previously mentioned, I don’t shop on Black Friday (not until Matt Damon goes on sale at Walmart), so instead, I will hang out in my pajamas, bake cookies, and listen to my own Christmas playlist. And since it is the season of sharing, here is what I’ll be listening to this year. Feel free to share your own favorites as mine tends to be a little heavy on the Harry and a little light on anything sung in the past decade.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – The Christmas Caroler
Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
Gabriel’s Message – Sting
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas – Gayle Peevey
You’re a Mean One, Mister Grinch – Thurl Ravenscroft
Christmas In Hollis – Run-DMZ
The Little Drummer Boy – Lou Rawls
The First Noel – Andy Williams
Linus & Lucy – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Santa Claus is Coming to Town – B2K
Christmas in Sarajevo – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman – Barenaked Ladies
Frosty the Snowman – Harry Connick Jr.
The Happy Elf – Harry Connick Jr.
The Chanukah Song – Adam Sandler
I Pray on Christmas – Harry Connick Jr.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Bruce Springsteen
Opera of the Bells – Destiny’s Child
(It Must Have Been) Ole Santa Claus – Harry Connick Jr.
Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
Handel’s Messiah


  1. Don't forget the goodies..."Baby it's cold outside", Dean Martin and "Mary did you know", Kenny Rogers and Reba McEntire...

  2. destiny's child? you can't be serious! how about david bowie's little drummer boy? oh yeah, and you can't forget the bon jovi and bruce christmas songs! i gotta burn you the cds i got from radio stations when i worked for infinity. good stuff!