My Gift To You (Merry Christmas)

Company Culture, Opinions Posted Dec 19, 2016 by chenpr

Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas I make an earnest effort to get into the holiday spirit. There are years that urge hits me as soon as I wake up from my tryptophanic coma and others when it takes a few days—or weeks—longer. Inevitably that day arrives and I start listening to seasonal music and let the sounds of holiday classics wash over me like a sugarplum vision.


In the spirit of Christmas I make accommodation for artists and styles of music that I would normally eschew, but even my generosity has its limitations. Over the years I’ve developed a few rules and formed a few opinions when it comes to holiday music so why not share them in the spirit of giving?


A lot of what is considered Christmas/holiday music is just winter-themed music and you never hear it again after December 25. Jingle Bells, for instance, doesn’t contain a word of the holiday. Neither do the holiday staples Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow! or Baby, It’s Cold Outside.andy-williams


Speaking of Baby, It’s Cold Outside, that excellent composition has tricked far too many otherwise good artists into believing they should record it. There are, however, only three version of that song that should exist: those recorded by Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting, Dean Martin and a chorus of women and (much as I hate to admit it) Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone. In that order.


On the other hand, Mel Torme’s Christmas Song is hard to ruin. If you’re in the studio putting a holiday album together and have Baby, It’s Cold Outside on your set list, replace it with the Christmas Song. You’re welcome.


a-wayne-newtonAndy Williams is the voice of Christmas. Bing Crosby is a distant second.


Mariah Carey is the voice of anti-Christmas. All copies of her execrable holiday album should be destroyed immediately. Madonna’s contribution to the holiday crap pile is a close second in that regard.


Merry Christmas from Wayne Newton is pure holiday shlock… in a good way. You haven’t really celebrated Christmas until you’ve heard Jingle Bell Hustle.


With the above exception, the world would be a much better place if no more Christmas songs or albums were recorded after 1970.a-funky-christmas


James Brown Funky Christmas may be the greatest Christmas album ever. (Sadly, we lost Soul Brother Number One on Christmas Day 2006.)


You may have your own convictions and disagree with the above, but I assure you that you’d be wrong. Don’t let me drop a yule log on your holiday, though. Cue up whatever makes you happy and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.