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By Jill Greenwood

There’s a house on our street that our family has dubbed “Christmas Village.” I’m pretty sure that y’all have a Christmas Village, too . . . lights galore, several “tactful” animatronics, some planning. The kind of house that would make you shudder if you lived nearby. I’m not talking anything like this, but you get the general idea. Usually, our Christmas Village coincides with the general Holiday time, but for the past several years, it’s gotten earlier and earlier. Usually, the Christmas Spirit has been determined by the Village (not a bottle as some might suspect); sadly, with its early appearance, I’ve had to rely on something else: music.

It's blurry. It's grainy. It's my favorite Christmas photo of the girls.

It’s blurry. It’s grainy. It’s my favorite Christmas photo of the girls.

A couple of caveats: I won’t play Christmas music until after Thanksgiving and I’m not a purist. Not by a long shot. Here’s what really gets me happy and ready to groove when Christmas is a mere 23 days away:

  • “Santa Baby” by Kylie Minogue: really, anyone singing this song is generally OK with me (except Madonna . . . I don’t like her version, which is odd because I love the Material Girl, but I think she was in that weird Who’s That Girl? period when she recorded her version – too much “baby talk” bullshit)
  • The Fairytale of New York” by The Pouges and Kirsty MacColl: hands up, people . . . who among us hasn’t had a Christmas a little bit like this one? That’s what I thought! Plus, it’s breathtaking if you just listen to the music.
  • “Peace On Earth/The Little Drummer Boy” by Bing Crosby and David Bowie: any other version is crap. Shit. Not worthy of being heard. The Binger will be on here a few times.
  • “All I Want For Christmas” by Mariah Carey: when I hear this song, it means that it’s officially Christmas. I’ve been known to turn off the radio if I think it’s occurring too early (and her boobs looked spectacular this year during the Tree Lighting telecast this year).
  • “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by anyone: I really like this song . . . even if it makes me cry. Sorry, sentimental sap.
  • “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses: it’s silly; it’s goofy; it’s fucking Christmas, people. Enough said.
  • “Christmas In Killarney” by Bing Crosby: it was a toss up between this and “Mele Kalikimaka” for my favorite song by Bing Crosby, but this is the one that I associate with Christmas. Because the Christmas of my childhood was spent at my mom’s parents’ house. And this is the song from their house.
  • “Wonderful Christmastime” by Wings: child of the ’70s. That’s me.
  • “Get Behind Me, Santa” by Sufjan Stevens: I associate this with my children who introduced Mr. Stevens to me. Thank you, Girls!
  • “Carol of the Bells” by anyone: I’m not picky with this holiday classic. It’s pretty. It’s innocuous. It’s a just plain pretty.
  • “Father Christmas” by The Kinks: one of the very, very few songs that I can listen to when it’s not Christmas. Probably because the Davies’ brothers are my kind of siblings.
  • “The Coventry Carol” by Alison Moyet: ’tis an oldie (like 500 years old) but it’s an amazing piece of music, albeit kind of sad and depressing. Go have a listen!
  • “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews: my husband will vote for Buster Poindexter and Sigourney Weaver. But he would be wrong.
  • “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” by Hall & Oates: because I love my husband (and I might be a little tipsy . . . fine, a lot tipsy)
  • “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley: it is only acceptable by the King. We can’t be friends if you like another version. You think I’m kidding. See the above comment for the ruling.
  • “Christmas In Hollis” by Run-DMC: I don’t need a reason for this one. It’s Run-DMC.
  • “Dominick the Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey)” by Lou Monte: I. Fucking. Love. This. Song. Questions?
  • “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives: it doesn’t get any better than this.
  • “Zat You, Santa Claus?” by Buster Poindexter: throwing my husband a bone . . . because it’s Christmas šŸ™‚

I’m sure that there are some that I’ve missed. Any that you’re willing to go to bat for? Fair warning . . . if you suggest “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” all bets are off.

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  1. December 3, 2012

    i love calista flockheart’s version of santa baby. one of my favorite christmas songs by anyone, too.

  2. December 4, 2012

    Okay, now I have to go look up Dominick the Donkey. I kind of hate Christmas music (gasp!) but that one sounds like it might be right up my alley!

  3. December 11, 2012

    I can’t be held responsible if your head explodes from the sheer amount of Christmas Village in this one, but it kind of puts those pics to shame. This guys lives about 60 miles from me and his house is something of legend… the details of which were written about in the novel “Tinsel” by Hank Stuever. The music is non-traditional, so the entire thing becomes enjoyable… if you can overlook the fact that he’s spending more in one night on electricity than your’ll spend on shampoo in the next 30 years. šŸ˜‰ http://youtu.be/wqVl7nVCLTs

  4. lauracathrine #
    December 11, 2012

    I can’t be held responsible if your head explodes from the sheer amount of Christmas Village in this one, but it kind of puts those pics to shame. This guys lives about 60 miles from me and his house is something of legend… the details of which were written about in the novel “Tinsel” by Hank Stuever. The music is non-traditional, so the entire thing becomes enjoyable… if you can overlook the fact that he’s spending more in one night on electricity than your’ll spend on shampoo in the next 30 years. šŸ˜‰

  5. December 12, 2012

    that is a great list we share MANY faves. the pogues is always a go to.

  6. December 12, 2012

    lol and i never heard of Dominic il i married an Italian…
    jiggity jig, hee haw, hee haw it’s Dominic the donkey.
    jiggity jig. hee haw, hee haw, the Italian Christmas donkey.
    la la la la la la la di a dah…

    • Jill #
      December 23, 2012

      I so love this song (but once a year is more than enough).

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