I enjoy Christmas Carols. Every year I make a playlist out of my collection of Christmas albums. The playlist is quite long, for I have dozens of  albums, which range from tasteful-sacred to kitsch. This years’s playlist has  over a 400 songs; I will play them throughout the season. The carols are played in order of their time length, or by shuffle. Otherwise I get all the  “Silent Nights” in a row.

It is a bit jarring to hear something soft and beautiful, like “In the Bleak Midwinter” (sung by the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers) go right into “Rocking around the Christmas tree” (The Partridge Family Christmas Album).   As I write this entry, I heard a conga line consisting of Joan Sutherland, followed by Elvis Presley, Enya, Bing Crosby, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and The Beach Boys.  It is rawther unsettling.
Once in awhile I sit up and hear something I don’t recognize. This year’s surprise carols are sung by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Your guess is as good as mine how on earth did he get in there.

As the albums/songs are imported en masse I often hear things I would rather not; these are quickly skipped over. What constitutes a ‘thumbs down’ rating varies from year to year. This season I am jumping over most “The Little Drummer Boy” * and anything sung by Judy Garland. Nothing makes me want to open a vein quicker than Ms.Garland asking me to have a merry little Christmas.

There are a lot of repeats of course. Just about everyone has a rendition of “O Holy Night” (good) and “Jingle Bells” (bad).  Some of the songs  are unique.  For instance, from “A Child’s first Christmas Album” comes “Here comes Suzy Snowflake”.  It is a cheerful little ditty sung by a rather high pitched snowflake announcing she is in town tap tap tapping on the windowsill asking you to come out and play. And if you want a sleigh ride, whee! The ride’s on me!  Which makes her sound like a slut.

I like lesser played carols, like “The Wexford Carol”, “The Stockford Carol”, “The Huron Carol”, and “Still, Still,Still”.

“Snow” by my diva-goddess Loreena remains a favorite.

I have never seen Someone spontaneously put on a Christmas album in 15 years. Except “We need a little Christmas” from Mame, which he knows by heart and sings just as well( if not better) than Angela Langsbury.

This year I think I will get him “The Donnie and Marie Christmas Album” which I know he will enjoy as much as all the other albums in the house.

*Except the rendition sung by Grace Jones. One does not skip over her.

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