For most of my adult years, I was not a Christmas fan.
Since I was a grown up, the math went like this:
Christmas = obligation+debt+historical baggage-fun+stress
And if I wasn’t going to be a fan of Christmas, Christmas music didn’t have a chance.
But yada yada, people change, etc., etc.
The past couple of years have seen me coming around, Christmas-wise. I stopped turning off Christmas carols.
This was the first year I actively sought them out.
I combed itunes, I sought out opinions on facebook.
I came up with my first Christmas playlist.
Wanna see it?
Here’s the first half:
1. “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” by Ella Fitzgerald.
I adore Ella. Beyond adore. One of my biggest “damn it” moments came when I figured out I loved her, then figured out she’d already passed away. And there are so few good New Years songs, stupid Christmas bogarting all the press.
2. “Last Christmas” by Wham!
When I first heard the song, it was just this sweet little song, and I didn’t know George Michael was gay (yeah, I have never had gaydar, what of it?). When I realized he was talking about some boy who’d done him wrong, I just felt like it had more oomph. (Plus, in the Christmas season following a break-up, there’s something satisfying in its mildly “fuck you!” vibe.) (Break up songs and Christmas carols are kind of like cheese and chocolate. They shouldn’t go together, but they kind of do.)
3. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by U2.
OMG, what, is Bono like, 18 1/2 in that video??? Too much cute! Gah!
4. “Feliz Navidad” by Boney M.
In elementary school, all of our moms had this cassette tape. This was THE Christmas album. Our moms also had tight perms and really high waisted blue jeans and made desserts that involved jello while we listened to this tape. (Plus, the Girl Child is performing this at the school concert, and I’m kind of super-pumped for the annual sobfest that is the school concert.)
5. “River” by Cee Lo Green.
I know, I know. I’m supposed to like the Sarah MacLachlan version. Or at least Joni Mitchell. I don’t. I like this one. So, yeah.
6. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by She & Him.
I tried to resist. I really did. But Zooey Deschanel is 10 pounds of adorable in a 5 pound sack.
7. “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” by Kay Starr.
8. “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.
I’ve talked about my love of this one several times before. Still my fave. Just the appropriate amount of depressing for the season. (Also depressing? Kirsty MacColl is dead and Shane MacGowan fixed his god damn teeth and I can’t even look at him the same.)
Tomorrow: the second half.