Bonjour, mes Anges! And happy holidays! I am in Deadline Zone, which is why this blog has been kind of quiet here lately. however, I had a little free time tonight, and since I probably won't be back until my big Rachel Recaps 2011 Blog (spoiler: It'll go something like, "2011! HOW COULD YOU BE SO RAD AND SO AWFUL ALL AT THE SAME TIME? GTFO!), I thought I'd best blog NOW. And besides, I've been wanting to talk about Holiday Music foooorevvver.
First off, let me say that I am a recent convert to The Awesome of the Holidays. I mean, loved it when I was a kid, OBVS, but as I got older, I was never really one for traditional Xmas stuff. Part of that was because, after my dad passed away, the holidays felt weird for me and The Mama. So my aunt and uncle, who are awesome, decided to help us combat The Weird by taking us to Paris that first year after Daddy was gone. And then THAT became something of a tradition, so we spent several Christmases in a row overseas. I KNOW, I HAD TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN PARIS AND SALZBURG AND LONDON PLEASE WEEP FOR ME.
Hardships, I suffered them.
But the traveling, while super-duper fun, meant that I kind of got out of the Regular Holiday Stuff. We never put up a tree because we wouldn't be there to enjoy it, and there wasn't a lot of Present Exchanging because, duh, going to Europe, GIFT ENOUGH.
And then I married The Husband, who comes from a family that is ALL ABOUT SOME CHRISTMAS. Seriously, come the day after Thanksgiving,he magically transforms into Buddy the Elf.
LOL J/K! He's always Yukon Cornelius.
We're spending our 10th Christmas as married people this year, and while it's taken me awhile, I am now FULLY ABOARD THE HOLIDAY TRAIN. And one of my favorite things about the holidays is the music.
I make a MOST excellent Holiday Playlist every year, and while it's grown to like 35 songs, I thought I'd share my 10 Favorite Holiday Songs with y'all! SO! In no particular order...
1) "Last Christmas"- Wham!
Fun Fact About Marriage: You know how when you're dating, you just want the other person to think you're awesome and you cook fancy dinners every night and you get up in the morning with make-up on and you never, ever go to the bathroom? Right, when you get married, that changes. Something flips once that ring is one your hand, and suddenly, you find yourself going OUT OF YOUR WAY to do things that slightly annoy your spouse. EXAMPLE: The Husband hates this song SO HARD. And so what did I do a few years ago? Made a mix that was NOTHING BUT COVERS OF IT. He didn't catch on until the 3rd one, and I will never forget his exasperated cry of, "RACHEL!" as he decorated the tree. Good times.
I think we can all agree this is the greatest music video of all time.
2) "Ave Maria"- The Carpenters
I guess technically this isn't a Christmas song, but I don't care. It makes it onto the playlist EVERY YEAR. Partially because, despite the whole Not Being Catholic Thing (The Mama was Baptist, my Daddy was Jewish, I decided to be Episcopalian...), any version of this song will make me Feel Feelings. But this one especially gets me because Karen Carpenter's voice is SO gorgeous and sad and resonant. Siiiiigh.
3) "River"- Joni Mitchell
As you will soon see, I have a MAJOR thing for melancholy holiday songs, and I don't think ANYTHING is more melancholy than, "I wish I had a river I could skate away on." As I recently said on Twitter, if you can listen to this song and not feel like weeping, you've never been homesick in the winter.
4) "Song For A Winter's Night"- Sarah MacLachlan
The last year before me and The Husband got married, I spent Christmas in Vermont with The Mama and the rest of my fam.
I'd wanted The Husband (then The Fiance) to come with us, but he couldn't, and because this was BEFORE we'd reached the I Will Spend An Hour Burning A CD Just To Irritate You Stage, I missed him soooooo muuuuuuch. This song always makes me think of that time, watching the snow fall and wishing he were there.
5) "All I Want For Christmas Is You"- Mariah Carey
Finally, a happy one! We won't even TALK about that horrible new version she has with The Biebs. Give me Original!Flavor Mariah every time! This song is so happy, and bouncy, and sweet, AND it always makes me think of my Favorite Christmas Movie EVER, "Love, Actually."
6) "Patrick Swayze Christmas"- MST3K
I... I really, think this one is self-explanatory.
7)"Fairytale of New York"- The Pogues
Easily my favorite Christmas song to crank up in the car. Now, admittedly, it is not, um, particularly SFW or PC (although, one of the insults the girl singer uses does not mean the same thing it means here.) Still, this song manages to be sad and funny and joyous and bitter all at the same time. And really, that's what the holidays are all about. ;-)
8)"Hard Candy Christmas"- Dolly Parton
This song isn't really that much about Christmas, but IT'S DOLLY PARTON SO I DON'T CARE. Speaking of, if you haven't seen Dolly's "Smoky Mountain Christmas" featuring a mountain man, a witch, and like a billion orphans, I FEEL VERY SORRY FOR YOU.
9) "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"- Enya
In addition to liking Christmas Songs That Make You Feel Sad, I also like Christmas Songs That Are From the Middle Ages (Or At Least Sound That Way.) Stuff like Greensleeves, The Angel Gabriel, and this. I especially like Enya's take on this song because it sounds like it should be used in a video game commercial. Seriously, listen to that and tell me you DON'T see a soldier trudging through the snow and picking up, like, a kid's doll or something.
10) "Winter Song"- Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles
Not TECHNICALLY a Christmas song, but still. So sweet, so pretty, and the video makes me happy every single time I watch it.
And there you have it! Ten of my favorites! However you spend the holidays, I hope they're filled with food and love and happy times and, yes, ALL THE VERSIONS OF LAST CHRISTMAS. ;-)
The newest addition to my Torture The Husband Playlist.