Katie Peralta | Thursday, December 10, 2009
Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is not the best Christmas song.
It’s annoying and a cliche ringtone and I will only tolerate it if it’s playing in the background of “Love Actually.”
This year I only want the best American Christmas music.
I have not listened to Christmas music in two years. Seriously. Ask my sister, Ellen (who is crazy about Nickelback and claims Newsong’s “Christmas Shoes” as The American Christmas song.)
Last year, my parents and two sister came to Spain, where I was
studying abroad, for the holidays. My parents went out of their way to make our Madrid hotel rooms extra special — from the little faux Christmas tree to all the presents from Santa beneath.
My sisters and I could not, however, listen to Christmas music. That’s for home. That’s for America. It was simply too painful.
With this Christmas music comes not only annual holiday cheer but also years of fond memories.
My first and foremost plug goes to Kenny G’s Christmas album Miracles. The whole thing. “Winter Wonderland” brings back memories of snow days, gingerbread houses and my parents kvetching about the cats peeing on the Christmas tree.
Number two absolutely is The Frank Sinatra Christmas album. Again, the whole thing. His sexy rendition of “Jingle Bells” is both classic and sassy. It just sounds so city.
Bummed I never made it to Chicago this Christmas.
How about James Taylor’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” It reminds me of our beautiful old house on Wayne and how my mom’s way of decorating the house made it seem like the most special place in the world.
This list of classics most obviously also needs to include Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Who doesn’t just think of Kevin McCallister and booby traps when this
song plays? (Buzz’s girlfriend, woof.)
Finally I must mention my latest holiday fetish. Lady Gaga’s “Christmas Tree.” What an innovator. Only she can turn Christmas trees and the phrase falalalala into something totally raunchy. I love it.
I made a vow to myself that I would not listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving this year. As soon as November hit, however, I could not help myself.
My sisters and I, in light of last year’s fabulous but un-American Christmas, said we would gaudily and obnoxiously double dose on the holidays this year, which explains why I might whistle Frank and James on my way to class.
Sorry I’m not sorry.
These holiday tunes, paired with some classic holiday flicks like
“White Christmas,” ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Home Alone,” “The Grinch” and obviously “Gremlins,” are the perfect recipe for a very Merry Christmas.