There's a part of me that is gooey and cheesy and weepy; I don't let her out very often. She makes a crappy zombie fighter. But she loves The Muppets, competitive cheerleading, and Newsies.
And Christmas music.
She's the one who puts the radio on the "All Christmas Music Through Christmas Day" station the day after Thanksgiving. She's also the one who gets all misty at the first line of that song "The Gift" about the orphan girl and her damn bird (Damn bird!).
So hell with it; I love Christmas music with all my heart.
In case you'd like to let your gooey and cheesy side out to play for the holidays, here are a few of my favorite Christmas albums:
1. A Charlie Brown Christmas- Vince Guaraldi: How can you not relax while listening to Guaraldi's sparkling piano? With a vodka gimlet in one hand and a cigarette in another? How is it that I don't actually own this album? A travesty, I tell you.
2. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas-Burl Ives: Most folks know Ives as either the Snowman narrator in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. His soothing, butterscotch voice was part of my favorite childhood Christmas memories. My mom owned this album, on vinyl of course. I used to love to lay on the sort-of-but-not-quite-shag green carpeting in the living room, gaze up at the Christmas tree, and let Ives' voice wrap around me like a cozy afghan.
3. Chris Isaak Christmas-Chris Isaak: A fine compilation of standards and new originals, this album is heard frequently in Casa Amos throughout the holiday season. Isaak, ever the mournful crooner, shines most brightly on the disc's several "sad and lonely at Christmas" tunes.
4. Celtic Christmas-Lifescapes(Various Artist)-I bought this instrumental album several years ago off of a kiosk of holidays albums in Target, and it quickly became a favorite. Our annual tradition is to play it the morning after Thanksgiving. The arrangements of traditional Christmas songs are excellent, and not too Irish-y to give you that greasy Riverdance hangover.
5. A Very Special Christmas-Various Artists: This is the first (released in 1989) in the series of charity albums for the Special Olympics, and in my opinion still the best of the bunch. Who doesn't love "Christmas in Hollis" by Run-D.M.C.? And Sting's "Gabriel's Message" and Alison Moyet's "Coventry Carol" are sublime.