I haven't had time to write. Work, swim meet volunteering, holiday decorating and shopping. But truthfully, I've not been in much of a mood to write anything anyway. Last night we put up the tree and Santa chachkies, and I drank my first egg nog of the season, so perhaps I'll be in a cheerier mood. Also, I have spent some time writing the annual Schoon holiday newsletter. If you happen to get a copy, treat it like a drinking game. Every time I make you roll your eyes, take a drink. Nog, wassail, Everclear. Whatever gets you through.
One sure way to assist with merriment motivation is listening to Christmas carols. I'm not going to get into a debate over what truly constitutes a carol. You can "Jesus is the reason for the season" yourself until you turn blue; I generally lean toward the secular end of the holiday tune spectrum. And if you just gasped at my use of holiday instead of Christmas, go suck on a candy cane. It's my blog and my opinions. Deal.
Anyway, here's my top five all-time favorite holiday tunes:
5. 2000 Miles -- The Pretenders made this song a December favorite for many people. However, newer versions by KT Tunstall and Coldplay put it on my holiday hit list. Lots of musicians have covered the tune. Go find one you like and listen to it. A lot. It's ear worm worthy.
4. Mary Did You Know -- The Kenny Rogers version is a classic, but a cappella phenoms Pentatonix just released a new version that is getting rave reviews. The song is decidedly religious, but it made the cut for me because it's hauntingly melodic. And who can beat Bible-based lyrics like: "Did you know that your Baby Boy has come to make you new? This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you." Things that make you go hmmm.
3. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas -- Some things I just learned about this song: the little girl, Gayla Peevey of Ponca City, OK, was 10 years old when she first recorded this novelty record in 1953. I also found out that Captain Kangaroo recorded a version in the '60s. The B-side of the original 78 featured a song called "Are My Ears On Straight?" And, this song about your "hippo hero standing there" plays during the opening of the special, "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever." I think I like it even better now.
2. Do They Know It's Christmastime? -- The first version by British recording artists in the mid-'80s raised money and awareness for famine in Africa. Bono, frontman for U2, just organized a new recording, this time with funds going to fight Ebola. Day after he and his pals recorded, Bono had a hideous bike mishap in Central Park and shattered some bones, including his eye socket. Now we need a bicycle-safety-awareness fund-raiser. At any rate, I love the original. Wham!, Duran Duran, Boy George, The Police, and Bananarama performing together?! So perfect!
1. All I Want For Christmas Is You -- Mariah Carey is usually a big ol' "meh" for me, but she gets hearty applause from me with this tune. I can't listen without singing; I can barely keep myself from dancing. (I will refrain, and you will thank me for not busting a move.) I made this song my RINGTONE for December. "Oh, I won't ask for much this Christmas. I won't even ask for snow. And I'm just gonna keep on waiting, underneath the mistletoe." OK, so I might ask for snow. I will NOT, though, ask for White Christmas. What a slow, tired song that is. Mariah-baby, hit it: