Thursday, December 6, 2007


It sounds easy, right? Pick your favorite Christmas song. Maybe it is a beautiful choral piece that brings a smile and a tear at the same time. Maybe it is something that your mom sang to you every year on Christmas Eve. Maybe you were in you second grade pageant and it is the first Christmas song you had to memorize and sing in front of yawning parents while wearing angel wings. Maybe the song has your name in it – and you love it for that simple reason. Or maybe it is that song that the first time you hear it while holiday shopping, you are reminded that it is the holidays and you should be merry. Or maybe you are a heathen and you avoid all things commercial Christmas like the plague. If that’s the case – stop reading.

There are so many factors that go into the process. Just like we all have emotions and thoughts tied to “regular” songs, except this is one that you only justify for one season a year.

My dear friend Tom posted a blog earlier talking about the songs that give him holiday cheer. It really made me think a little bit. What are my favorite songs? The simple answer is – it depends on who is asking. You see, I have a library of just about 800 different holiday songs. And yes – I do start playing them at Halloween. But with such a vast library I don’t get bored with the music and I can have conversations with many people about it.

Example – my mother likes Christmas music – but she does not like music versions of songs that normally have lyrics. So if somebody is playing Jingle Bells – and not singing – she is going to make a comment. My father loves choral music. So rather than talking to him about Brian Setzer doing Christmas songs – I am better of talking about some version that the Westminster boys choir did. Amy loves most Christmas music – but she has certain songs she grew up with – so it is important that I know those and can recognize them when heard – and I need to be prepared to hear some story about she and her sister fighting while listening to the song.

Am I avoiding the question here – or am I making a point. Both. The point is that my favorite song is known and appreciated by so few people. Rather than having to explain myself to everybody I prefer to keep the song to myself whilst in casual conversation. Is that lazy – or respectful? I think that latter – wrapped up in the first. Seriously though, I like to believe that I can I can express genuine interest in things outside of my own world and be able to talk about them intelligently…even if the subject is Christmas music.

Putting this ridiculously heady argument/conversation aside – I do have a favorite Christmas song. The top of the list is easily “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” as performed by David Bowie and Bing Crosby. It is really something special – and not appreciated (or heard) by enough people. It is worth listening to – and if you can find the video, do that.