Scott Hardie | December 24, 2020
What's your favorite Christmas music? Do you have any recommendations for the rest of us?

Aimee Mann's One More Drifter in the Snow has become an annual must-listen for me. It was a weird choice for her to record a Christmas album, given how often she writes songs about loneliness and alienation, but in a way it was a perfect choice: In classic songs, she layers hints of loneliness and wistfulness that transform them, and she gets explicit about those feelings in the original songs on the album. I like Christmas fine, but I've always felt like an outsider on the holiday, since I'm not religious and don't feel like I'm on the same wavelength as the cheerful people decorating and caroling and getting excited about it; Mann's album perfectly captures that sense of detachment for someone like me. The whole album is great, except for the silly cover of "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch" halfway through, which so completely breaks the mood that I can't tell why it wasn't cut.

I'm also fond of Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong which has some haunting beauty.

On a wildly different note, surf-rock novelty band Los Straitjackets have released four Christmas albums, one of which is really good fun. Through a combination of unexpected song choices and lively energy that revitalizes old standards, they managed to make a really fun and offbeat record that I enjoy every year.

Kelly's family listened to the soundtrack of A Charlie Brown Christmas every year when she was a kid, and to her, that will always be the sound of the holiday. We still play it often.

What about you?

Chris Lemler | December 24, 2020
Little Drummer Boy I like different versions and jingle bell rock. White Christmas and Jingle Bells.

Erik Bates | December 24, 2020
I’m a bit of a grinch when it comes to Christmas music. There’s very little that I like. And I don’t like to hear it much more than about a week before Christmas. Ideally, Christmas Eve would be the first day, but I know that’s asking a lot (of my wife).

I am a fan of the crooners singing the old standards, though. White Christmas, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, etc.

Put Bing Crosby on it, and I’ll probably like it.

Samir Mehta | December 24, 2020
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