This time of year we all seem to be divided into two very different camps. The first group is counting down the days until it’s socially acceptable to start wishing people Happy Holidays! The second group is mumbling about how the department stores are already playing Christmas music on repeat. I’ll admit, my wrapping station has been all set up and ready to go for nearly a month. But even though I’m chomping at the bit to kick this holiday season into high gear, I understand how other people might be less than enthused.
When I was little, radio stations played Christmas music for two weeks leading up to December 25th. Today the Christmas carols start way before the Thanksgiving turkey even hits the table. As soon as Halloween is over we are bombarded with holiday music in shopping malls, on TV and especially on the radio. I don’t blame the radio stations for trying to please those of us who can’t wait to hear Burl Ives belt out ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’. However, I think there is a simple solution that may help those of you who have already had their fill of Christmas music for the year cope with the yuletide radio take-over: variety.
I’m sure that there are licensing limitations that prevent stations from playing certain songs on the air. Yet, that doesn’t justify forcing listeners to hear the same 20 songs on repeat for the next two months. Sure those songs are considered standards for a reason but even a standard can make you want to rip your hair out if it’s played too often. So if your local radio station is hitting you over the head with the same general mix of ‘Last Christmas’ and ‘Wonderful Christmas Time’ turn off your radio and turn on some unique holiday jingles. Changing your holiday soundtrack might just be the key to easing yourself into the hectic Christmas season. With the help of an extensive assortment of holiday music the next two months might just sail on by in a happy mix of catchy choruses and nostalgic favorites.
Personally I consider myself very fortunate because I have never fallen into a Christmas music slump. Growing up in my house I was surrounded by an eclectic mix of folk singers belting out festive classics on vinyl records, old-time radio personalities acting out hysterical holiday antics, and The Muppets singing about keeping the holiday spirit all year round. To be honest we almost never had to listen to the radio during this time of year because we already had so many great things to listen to.
Over the years, as certain songs started to become stale, my family added a new tradition to holiday activities. Every year we go out in search of a new album to add to our holiday music collection to help ensure that we don’t suffer from a ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ overdose. Don’t get me wrong we still listen to every song that gets played on the radio stations, but now when we want to listen to ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ we can choose whether it’s going to be Band Aid or The Barenaked Ladies telling us to feed the world.
If anything, during this time of year my family has difficulty deciding what albums we’re going to listen to because we have so many to choose from. In order to nourish my already hyper holiday spirit, I have already started to listen to some of my Christmas music in small doses. The first album I put into my CD was Have a Very Merry Chrismukkah, a modern-day collection of folky ballads and playful pop songs. While I am beyond excited for the days to come when I can blast Jimmy Buffet’s Christmas Island without someone rolling their eyes at me, for now it’s nice to have a mix of holiday and everyday music to sing along to. As for those of you who may still be reluctant to hear sleigh bells ring, below is a list of diverse holiday music that I listen to when I need to break out of that Christmas radio rut.
1. ‘Green Christmas’ By The Barenaked Ladies. Off of their Barenaked for the Holidays Album, this song was featured on The Grinch soundtrack. It’s a festive song for the grinch that lives inside of us all. Being a holiday curmudgeon has never sounded so good.
2. ‘The Christmas Wish’ By John Denver, Sung by Kermit the Frog. For a little dose of Christmas sentimentality, this song reminds me of what this time of year is really about. I don’t know if you believe in Christmas, or if you have presents underneath the Christmas tree. But if you believe in love, that will be more than enough for you to come and celebrate with me.
3. ‘Snoopy’s Christmas’ By the Royal Guardsmen. To me, it’s not Christmas until I hear those Christmas bells ringing through the land. Of course when singing this song it is almost impossible not to at least attempt that famous Peanuts shuffle.
4. ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ written By John Lennon.
Read more from Amy Wahl on her blog.
feature image via The Boys Least Likely To.