Winston & I woke up early this morning and mom and Dalia were sound asleep. Instead of puttering around the apartment with an intensifying case of cabin fever, we decided to bolt for Philadelphia. Shortly after 8AM we arrived in the Italian Market and walked by produce, pig’s heads, burn barrels and shops full of cheeses. We then relocated to center city and hit up the shops of Liberty Place and put the finishing touches on my Christmas shopping. We then wandered through City Hall and emerged at the Macy’s. I’ve heard that Macy’s had a light show, but I never imagined their light show would be over 200 feet tall and filled with all the best Christmas songs. Winston was paralyzed with awe, he just smiled and stared consumed with Christmas glee. There were lots of moments like that, he just smiled in amazement as he tilted his head way back to take in an entire skyscraper, he clapped appreciatively as a street musician performed holiday music, and whenever a car beeped in rage for being cutoff, Winston assumed they were jockeying for his attention and he emphatically waved in their direction. I heard a lot of Christmas music today so I’m going to share with you all of my favorite music.
1. Robert Earl Keen – Merry Christmas from the Family: This is a really funny country Christmas song. While most Christmas songs strive to present the most glorious shimmering holiday scene, Robert Earl Keen sings in the first verse:
“Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk at our Christmas party
We were drinking champagne punch and homemade eggnog
Little sister brought her new boyfriend
He was a Mexican
We didn’t know what to think of him until he sang
Felis Navidad, Felis Navidad”
2. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping: This song can either be really catchy and high energy or it can just give you an aneurysm, depending on your mood. Either way, it fills that mandatory void of a new age Christmas jam for your mix CD.
3. Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis: I know what you’re thinking, will a rap song fly if I try to play this at Grandma’s Christmas extravaganza, the answer is simple, yes. This is one of the very best Christmas songs ever, it’s in my top 3, it’s gotta go on your CD and plus, you don’t want a CD filled with Bing Crosby, you’re striving for something better aren’t you.
4. Bing Crosby – White Christmas: Okay, I just took a dig at Bing, but for God sakes, it’s not a Christmas CD without him. He’s got an awesome voice and you can sing along perfectly (assuming you’re well enough inebriated). This song also reassures Grandma that your not turning her extravaganza into an all out gangsta Christmas party.
5. Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town: This is another is my top 3. Never got sick of it even though I’ve heard a 1,000 times. It’s Bruce and it’s Christmas, pretty awesome combination.
6. Otis Redding – Merry Christmas Baby: Terrific Christmas song with some good ol’ fashioned soul. People will want to know who sings this one. As they say on Oldies 98, it puts some cool on your yule.
7. Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan – Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Beautiful song, perfect winter song, but sort of lost some zing when Jaclyn’s brother convinced me it had some date rape elements to it.
8. Jack Johnson – Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: Nice acoustic Jack Johnson song that the whole party can get behind.
9. Elvis Presley – Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me: Elvis has some awesome Christmas songs, this one’s a lot more upbeat than Blue Christmas.
10. Vince Guaraldi – O Tannenbaum: Right from Charlie Brown’s Christmas Special, great jazzy song that takes up 5 wonderful minutes on your Christmas CD.
11. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You: Personally, I don’t care for Mariah, but every girl I know loves this damn song, throw em a bone and put this on the CD.
12. Arthur Fiedler & Boston Pops Orchestra – Sleigh Ride: Class up the party for a minute, make a toast to Grandma, and grab some bells and start jingling baby! If you want another great version of this, try Ella Fitzgerald’s.
I hope this helps you with your Christmas mix CD efforts. Let me know if I missed something.