Thursday, December 12, 2013

Terrifying, Magical Singing Elves

By far, for me, the best part of Christmas is the music. Well, and the food. Well, and the gifts. But I love the music so much. I’m totally fine with hearing it creep in during November. I love playing it my car, playing it while I am cleaning my house, playing it while I am baking delicious holiday things to eat (because, seriously, the BEST part of the Holidays has to be the food. Or the gifts. Or maybe its the music.) I love singing holiday songs. I’m not an amazing singer by any stretch of the imagination and I think that everyone, at least once in their life, should sing carols in a large group for an audience. Maybe you join a local or ward choir. Maybe you go to one of those Messiah sing-a-longs, but there is something magical about communal singing that just makes you feel the spirit of Christmas.

I know some people don’t love Christmas songs. They think they are too annoying or too saccharine or too ubiquitous during this season. They want them only played beginning on the Friday after Christmas and playing until December 25th. No more. I heard once of a group of friends who played a group game every holiday season called “The Drummer Boy Challenge.” The game would start on November 1st. You would go about your normal errands and lives, but if at any time, you heard “The Little Drummer Boy” paying in a public place, you were eliminated. The person who went the longest without hearing the song anywhere was declared the winner. Obviously you have no control over when and if you hear that song, unless you just stayed in doors all day. But it adds a certain menace to the season that feels appropriately festive.

Last year, I posted a Spotify playlist of some of my favorite, unusual Christmas songs. I think it’s still an winner - in fact, I’ll post it at the bottom of this post again. Consuming the vast amounts of Christmas music that I do has made me realize that there are some artists that definitely should be recording Christmas songs. And other’s that shouldn’t. Twisted Sister should probably stay out of the Christmas Album game, as should David Hasslehoff (Do you remember when Heidi Klum had a Christmas single? Auf wiedersehen, indeed.) . The album that has been getting the most play for me this Christmas is Annie Lennox’s Christmas Cornucopia. One of her songs is on the playlist, but you really should go listen to the whole album. Annie Lennox makes me thing of a bizarre and beautiful Christmas Angel who is equal parts terrifying and awe-inspiring. I imagine that her and Tilda Swinton ride sleighs made of ice pulled by albino reindeer and wear fox skins while they listen to this record. It’s odd and magical and amazing, just like a holiday where we imagine a magical elf puts toys in our socks.

I love to buy new albums and expand my never ending Holiday playlist. Please come over to the Facebook page and let me know what albums should add to my list. After all, it’s pretty clear that other than food and gifts, holiday music is the best part of Christmas.

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