In general, there is a lot frustrating about Christmas. For a time of year that should very simple and joyful, there is a lot of stress. There is decoration, packaging, emotional, etc. However, this time of year should be simple and happy; like it was when you were a kid. It is this banality that makes the holiday feel right, perhaps that is why we do it; the decorating and all of that. I know that it is trite, but I much prefer to give than to receive. I work hard to give people gifts and hope that they like them; that being said I expect people to return the favor, but the joy is to find a gift that is either good enough, silly enough or perfect enough. To put this in the satiric point, I feel like I should share a few songs to make you feel like a kid again.
1. Boris Karloff – You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch. – This song, perhaps, is the most perfect Christmas song of all time. On one count, everyone knows the refrain. Second, the sound and feel of it are so distinct that the imagery comes immediately. Finally, the song, as it stands can only exist in Christmas; it sounds and feels so universal, that the fact that things like Jesus are not mentioned is secondary. It feels the emotion and message of the year with out the oppression of the year; just the joy.
2. Bert and Ernie – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The whole clip is the adorable version of the Gift of the Magi. However, the song at the end is one of the most endearing versions of the song I have ever heard. The song is simple and loving. In the end, the song can almost bring me to tears. I love the song and, until the magic of the internet, I thought I was crazy, but eventually found the song. It has been on my rotation ever since.
3. Roger Miller – Old Toy Trains. I feel, like I am sure, many of you do, most songs about Santa Claus and the Reindeer, are pretty cheesy. They are oftentimes repetitive and pretty low quality. However, this song is brilliant. The singer is delicate, almost gentle. His voice is gruff, but softened by the loving lyrics. The song is wonderful.
4. Vince Giraldi Trio – Christmastime is Here. On the otherside of the spectrum, there is the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. This jazz classic is the exact mellow soft music that the long winter feels like. The special itself is highly Christian with Linus reading the lines from Luke 2:8-14. “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. That is what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”
5. Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick. I like this song, because it is both non-traditional and rough. It feels like authentic emotion went in, but not overwhelming planning. Some of the rhymes are forced, but the song is meaningful. Great song.