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January 23, 2018

Christmas Music


In order to survive, living things must evolve. White fur is developed so polar bears can blend into the snow. Specific shaped beaks are formed so the finches on the Galapagos islands can extract nectar from flowers. And so I can survive the winter, I listen to Christmas music.

I hate the winter.

My Greek grandfather (or Pappou, for any other Greeks out there) is always quick to point out that we were not meant to live in the cold. He feels we were supposed to live in a Mediterranean climate and get a regular dose of sun. This theory makes sense to me, as I hate winter.

But I love Christmas. The Christmas season yields many wonderful things: Christmas movies (Elf), the “Festive Favorites” drink options being back at Starbucks (Chestnut Praline latte), and most importantly, Christmas music.

Winter lovers, I am happy for you- but I do not understand you at all. Winter is the worst. It gets dark at 4 P.M. Runny and stuffy noses abound; skin becomes dry and pale. The outdoor dining option at your favorite taco truck cannot be enjoyed. It is a terrible time.

Christmas music is my solace. The warm feeling I get when I blast Christmas music is the closest possible replacement for the warm feeling of the sun. Mariah Carey or Michael Bublé (the queen and king of Christmas covers, respectively) serve as my guiding lights, and they help me power through winter’s icy chill.

When I hear the thirteen “dings” preluding Mariah Carey’s voice in “All I Want for Christmas is You” something transformative happens to my soul. By the first high-spirited chorus, I have forgotten all about the frigid winter and all of its adverse side effects. For three minutes and fifty-five seconds, the world consists only of Mariah Carey and Christmas cheer.

Of course, this opinion is not shared by everybody.

Retail workers- I understand your plight. It is completely natural to have an aversion to the Christmas music that is played on a loop at your place of employment, such as “Wonderful Christmastime”. But, I must remind you: other Christmas music exists.There is a representation of every genre in Christmas music; to say you do not like Christmas music is to say you do not like pop, country, rap, piano, acapella, or rock.

Christmas music haters, I am not attempting to fight with you. I just want to show you the light.

Christmas music you can listen to without losing your street cred: If you’re actually reading my editorial about Christmas music, I doubt you had any “street cred” to begin with, but I digress. Kanye West’s Christmas in Harlem is my personal favorite Christmas rap song.

If you are looking for more Christmas songs you cannot play around your little cousins or the elderly, consider:

 

Songs about seducing Santa Claus:

First of all: are you okay? Second of all, there are various versions of the classic Santa Baby, originally by Eartha Kitt, that you could listen to. Gwen Stefani, Ariana Grande and Liz Gilles, and Daniela Andrade have all covered this classic, albeit disturbing, Christmas tune.

If you want to feel similarly disturbed, give I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus a listen.

For those who don’t celebrate Christmas:

No worries, a lot of “Christmas music” is actually just about winter. Baby It’s Cold Outside, Let It Snow, and My Favorite Things  are all songs that, while associated with “Christmas music”, actually make no mention of Christmas. If you celebrate Hanukkah, try Adam Sandler’s Chanukah Song.

 

Acapella lovers:

The Pentatonix Christmas album.

 

Need I say more? Straight No Chaser is another acapella group that crushes the Christmas game. With lyrics like, “A snap on snapchat doesn’t last,” , their song Text Me Merry Christmas  is a choice younger audiences may find all too relatable.

Christmas tunes with a modern twist:

Ariana Grande’s Christmas and Chill album is a modern take on Christmas that will leave you wondering who is “Wit It This Christmas”.

Sia is another artist who has made it her mission to redefine the Christmas album. Her most recent release, Everyday Is Christmas, is the ideal choice for anyone who wants to listen to Christmas music that, well, doesn’t sound like Christmas music.

Most dreaded:

These are the songs you forget about every year. That is until they are played at some sort of holiday event, and you remember how truly wretched they are. Despite this wretchedness, you can’t help singing along to them. I feel Dominick the Donkey is the worst Christmas song, but I will sing along every single time. 

Honorable mentions go to I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (no disrespect to Shirley Temple) and Alvin & the Chipmunks’ Christmastime is Here (complete disrespect to Alvin & the Chipmunks).

 

If you are in love on Christmas:

We have to throw it all the way back to the 90’s for the most fitting song about being in love on Christmas: *NSYNC’s In Love On Christmas .

More love songs:

 

If you are are not so lucky:

It sucks to have a broken heart on Christmas, but the good news: you are definitely not alone. The classic “Turkey Drop” (the phenomenon in which a plethora of break-ups occur right before or during Thanksgiving break) is followed up by plenty of broken-hearted people on Christmas. Of all the songs about having a broken heart on Christmas, Taylor Swift’s Christmases When You Were Mine takes the cake. No one can make you feel bad for yourself the way Taylor Swift can. 

If you want to wallow in self-pity (but remain festive while doing so) other contenders include:

 

Christmas songs that will move you to tears:

What is it about Christmas music that can evoke tears so easily? Maybe it’s the moving combination of children choirs, the memories of Christmas past, or the powerful joy and sadness the holiday season can incite…I guess I know exactly what it is about Christmas music that causes me to weep. Last winter, I attended a Christmas variety show, expecting light-hearted holiday fun. As soon as a little girl began to sing When Christmas Comes to Town, I teared up. By the time she reached the lyric “I guess that Santa’s busy, ‘cause he never comes around”, my mascara was obliterated.

Other songs that may ruin your mascara:

 

For those who are more “Christmas movie” people than “Christmas music” people:

Christmas movies are wonderful masterpieces that leave you with a warm, comforting feeling. Unfortunately, they usually take about 90 minutes or more to put you in the holiday spirit. Achieve the goal quickly by simply listening to one of the best songs from your favorite Christmas movie, for instance:

The Polar Express When Christmas Comes to Town, Hot Chocolate, Believe

How the Grinch Stole ChristmasYou’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch ,Where Are You Christmas

Elf Baby It’s Cold Outside, Santa Claus is Coming to Town

The Nightmare Before ChristmasWhat’s This?

Love ActuallyGod Only Knows, All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mean GirlsJingle Bell Rock

Alumni:

November may be dubbed the “Homecoming” month, but even more people return to their hometowns on Christmas. Any alumni returning may enjoy

Mariah CareyChristmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Justin Bieber- Home This Christmas

Bing Crosby- I’ll Be Home for Christmas.

If this list has not provided you with at least one Christmas song you can tolerate, then you should expect three ghosts to wake you up tonight, as I am assuming you are literally Ebenezer Scrooge. As a last ditch effort, I will leave you with the Woodland students and faculty lip-syncing to the aforementioned masterpiece that is Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas is You

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