a christmas (carol) list

When I was a kid, I used to join all of the other kids in the neighborhood to go Christmas caroling and raise money for a local charity. I also sang in the church choir for 7 or 8 years. Fast forward a lot years later, and I find that I have developed some pretty strong opinions about Christmas songs. Here are ten of them.

1. Why does nearly every single version of The Little Drummer Boy sound so whiny?

2. That part of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas that goes, "Through the years, we all will be together, if the fates allow..." brings me to tears. Every. Single. Time.

3. My award for best Christmas album artwork of all time goes to...The Perry Como Christmas Album. Behold!

4. Anything by Andy Williams is a good idea. When I can't find my Christmas spirit, turning up the volume on "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," helps me find it again.

5. Amy Grant's A Christmas Album (maybe I just have a thing for simply named holiday albums?) has convinced me that a Tennessee Christmas might be a marvelous thing.

6. Domenic the Donkey, Grandma Got Run Over by A Reindeer and The Twelve Pains of Christmas. Over it.

7. Father Christmas by The Kinks and Christmas Wrapping, by The Waitresses. Still has it.

8. Since I live in New England, I consider Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! not so much a Christmastime song, so much as it is a happy little tune we hum from October through April, and God help us when we're still humming it in May.

9. It doesn't matter if you go to church every Sunday or are a member of the Holly & Lilly Guild: nobody knows the words to the second verse of Joy To The World and no kid ever wants to sing it when there are presents waiting at home.

10. Once, when I was 27, I heard Handel's Hallelujah chorus sung majestically in a church on a sunny Christmas morning. I've never properly listened to it since because it was so good that day. I think everyone deserves to experience the joy and peace that comes with hearing amazing music amongst glorious architecture.