The past week was an easy one for many Americans thanks to paid time off, school holidays, and ample amounts of food. Because I work retail, Thanksgiving week involved lots of work and not much food. As Black Friday consumptions creep further into Thanksgiving, I realize I food and family will probably not be on my list in the future.
On the plus side, my work didn’t over saturate the muzak airwaves with holiday music until Thanksgiving day, and even then holiday cheer only creeped in every four songs or so. I actually love holiday music, so I look forward to this time of year. Some of my favorite holiday songs are ones that have been written in the last 25 years. I have started to load up my iPod with my favorites so I can annoy everyone on the bus with my cheerful holiday singing!
1. ”Oi to the World!” by No Doubt - Originally by the Vandals, the No Doubt version became a minor hit following the release of Tragic Kingdom. The song was recorded for a Christmas-themed Special Olympics fundraising album. This is Gwen Stefani at the height of my love for her.
2. ”Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Bad Religion - This is one of my favorite traditional Christmas hymns, so I really love this new version by Bad Religion. I think something about the fact that Bad Religion released a Christmas album just makes me laugh and love it even more.
3. ”Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by She and Him - My love for Zooey Deschanel is well documented. She and Him’s Christmas album is actually really awesome. This is my favorite cut off of the album. It is just such an emotionally raw version of this holiday favorite.
4. ”The Christmas Song” by Weezer - Remember when Weezer was cool? Me too! This song was recorded in 2000, right on the return of Weezer from the Pinkerton exile. It’s not an upbeat song but it reminds me of good times in high school with an old friend. This is one of those special place-in-time songs we all have.
5. “Lonely Christmas Eve” by Ben Folds - Recorded for the How the Grinch Stole Christmas soundtrack, Folds writes a magnificent pop song from the Grinch’s point of view. The film might be a bit crap, but this song is awesome. It’s a good pick-me-up.
6. ”Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight!)” by the Ramones - A deep cut for you! This is another punk Christmas song. I remember seeing thison VH1′s Pop Up Video when I was twelve. It was one of my first real exposures to the Ramones. I was hooked.
7. ”Christmas in Hollis” by Run-DMC - Before my Kanye West obsession, I went through a huge Run-DMC phase. This might be one of the first hip hop Christmas songs ever recorded. I remember it from watching Die Hard in the late 80s (way before I was old enough to watch that movie) but didn’t discover it again until high school when the entirety of the Run-DMC catalog sucked me in.
8. “River” by Joni Mitchell - This isn’t a traditional Christmas song, but it is set during the holiday season. I love Joni Mitchell. This song gives me all the feels. Blue is one of the most underrated albums of all time and this song fits in so well with that whole album.
9. “Little Drummer Boy” by Tori Amos - I bet everyone was expecting me to choose the David Bowie/Bing Crosby version. I think this version is way better. Amos and a piano bring this song an emotional aspect can’t be found in other versions. I get the chills when I listen to it.
10. ”Happy XMas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon - This is a classic. It nails the spirit of the season for secular people.
Happy holidays, everyone. I hope the season is more cheer, more beer and less jeer.