The 2020 holiday season has begun at Stately Spoilers Manor East (aka my living room) and my daughter has been incessantly making the digital assistant/Bezos corporate spying device play holiday music. Not just any holiday music, mind you, but “the old-timely kind with the full orchestra and guys who sound pretty drunk.” I’m not sure if she means Bing Crosby or Dean Martin, but the only real modern exception seems to be Michael Bublé’s weird cover of ‘Santa Baby’, leading us to today’s tinsel-wrapped query…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) isn’t always a fan of the festive music, but can’t really argue when the kid gets so much joy out of it, asking: What’s your stance on holiday music?
I am not a holiday guy at all, but songs never bothered me much. They are okay and only last for a limited time.
I like them in key times to put me into the holiday spirit. I have a particular fondness, of course, for the versions that my parents played in my youth, including a heavily-Francophone-accented version of Jolly Old St. Nicholas by Maurice Chevalier* from an album titled “Great Songs of Christmas.” It features many well-known singers of yesteryear, including Doris Day and Sammy Davis, Jr.
More recently discovered favorites include “John Denver & the Muppets: A Christmas Together,” and Sting’s album “If on a Christmas Night.”
(On another note, the spousal unit gets disgruntled by radio stations that play Christmas music all the way through Advent, and then when Boxing Day comes promptly stop playing it, despite Christmas actually only starting on Christmas Day and running through Epiphany in early January.)
generally, hard pass. working retail on and off over the last 20 years has almost completely beaten any love of holiday music out of me, save for a couple classic singles like Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses, or Darlene Love’s version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”.
i do tend to gravitate towards music that evokes the cozy feeling of the holidays or winter around this time, rather than the explicitly “ho ho ho, sleigh bells” stuff. a lot of mid-century jazz tends to get rotated in (the John Coltrane/Johnny Hartman duet album is a classic go-to), some rat pack/crooner stuff, some motown stuff, what have you.