As I get older, I get more ambivalent about Christmas music every year but certain songs and artists still evoke pleasant memories of past Christmases for me. It’s probably the same for you.
As a youngster, I heard most of my Christmas music on television, the radio or in department stores while shopping. There was something soothing about the classic carols by the likes of Bing Crosby, Nat “King” Cole, Dean Martin, Fred Waring, Jo Stafford and Perry Como. All of these artists are represented in my own Christmas collection that spans four media – phonograph records, audiotape, compact disc and digital computer files.
I built my own collection around the first 45 rpm record I received as a gift – “The Chipmunk Song” – for Christmas 1958, the year I also got my first record player. Over the years, my Christmas collection came to include songs by rockers Chuck Berry, Brenda Lee and Elvis but it was Christmas albums by the Beach Boys and producer Phil Spector that really broadened my collection.
It’s a wide-ranging assortment of music from Eartha Kitt’s seductive “Santa Baby” to Bobcat Goldthwait’s “Rudolf the Nine-Inch Reindeer.” I’ve got update versions of the classics by Mannheim Steamroller and Aaron Neville, country-rock CDs by .38 Special and Lynnyrd Skynnyrd , simply odd versions by Walter Brennan, Spike Jones and Walter Brennan and funny tunes like Sherwin Linton’s “Santa Got a DWI” and satirist Stan Freberg’s hilarious “Christmas Dragnet” and prophetic “Green Christmas.”
Every time I pop in a CD, crank up my turntable, click on my iPod or uncase a tape, I’m transported to some joyous holiday point in my life. That’s definitely a good thing.
Writing prompt for the day: Write about the memories you associate with specific holiday songs.
Flickr photo courtesy ofio Carvajal.