Last week I received an invitation to a party. It never surprised me when I am invited to these events as I am an absolute pleasure to be around, but under the current circumstances, I had to carefully consider whether or not I would attend, as it was a birthday party for Aslan the Lion of Narnia.
Day 25: A Song That Conveys What Christmas Means To You
Merry Christmas! Hope Santa brought you something you really wanted/ needed and you’re spending some time with those near and dear to you. Here’s what Christmas means to us.
Josh: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – This Time of Year
This song has been a favorite of mine for years because it really just sums up my feelings for Christmas perfectly. ‘The bells, the bows, the flashing lights/ the mistletoes and the ‘Silent Nights’/ It’s all for show, and that’s alright/ That’s not why I love this time of year/ This time of year/ It gets me, and never lets me/ act like I don’t care/ This time of year/ Is my favorite time of year/ ‘Cause all of us are here together’ I honestly get a little choked up listening to it sometimes, which is weird because it’s a cheerful little rocker of a tune, but the lyrics are just too honest and sentimental. It tugs at my heart strings.
Joey: Downhere – How Many Kings
Christmas has always been a special time of year for me– gift-giving, lights, music– but why it remains a special time for me is the same reason I’ve celebrated it since I was small.
For some of us, ‘tis the season for eggnog and pine trees, sparkling lights and time with friends and family. For others the holiday season is a time of lonely, almost existential reflection. I tend to fall somewhere between the two. No matter what camp you fall into, we all have things we could be doing right now. So, I will keep this short. Go play Lost Constellation.
As you sit down at the table to enjoy a meal with your family this Christmas, assuming you have a family, food, and/or a table, and assuming you celebrate Christmas, remember these improved names of your favorite dishes.
Day 24: A Christmas Song About Santa
It’s Christmas Eve and you know what that means! Your in-laws are coming and you need more booze! No, wait; it means Big Red is getting his sleigh ready to move out and deliver all the goodies to all the good little boys and girls of all regions of the world who perpetuate the story of Santa– mostly American children. Nothing speaks more to the commercialist spirit of Christmas by pretending to behave for one month in exchange for cheap plastic garbage! Yay!
Day 23: Your Favorite Version of Deck the Halls
Perhaps the Christmas Song most concerned with decorating, who can resist belting out a Fa-La-La-La-La with reckless abandon? You, because nobody can tell you what to do? Fair enough, you rebel!
Day 22: A Christmas Song You Could Listen To Over and Over
Josh: Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today
I Wish It Was Christmas Today started out as a part of a skit performed on Saturday Night Live and it’s original version, performed with just vocals, keyboard, and a traveling guitar, is cute, and just as catchy, but Julian Casablancas’ full band version takes the cake. It’s so cheerful and exhilarating I invariably listen to it at least twice before I go on to another tune. And that chorus, oh, that chorus. Try NOT to belt it out.
Joey: Spongebob Squarepants – Don’t Be A Jerk (It’s Christmas)
I haven’t had much say in the matter, as my 3 year old son insists on watching A Spongebob Christmas over and over again, I’ve had to adapt to liking the song lest I lose my mind and murder my entire family.
Day 21: A Not So Traditional Christmas Song
Christmas is so ingrained into our culture that new Christmas songs spring up every year. There are literally thousands that could be chosen from, let’s see what (if any) the TMS staff bothers to choose.
Day 20: A Traditional Christmas Song
Josh: Carol of the Bells
Such a haunting melody, yet it’s somehow exhilarating. There’s really not much you can say about Carol of the Bells because the song itself says so much more. It’s seen several fantastic arrangements across many genres and has been featured in everything from films like Home Alone & The Santa Clause to video games like Arkham Origins. And since I’m the only survivor of the Christmas Song Challenge, I will share several of my favorites with you now.
Claymation – This (or possibly Home Alone) was my first real exposure to the Carol of the Bells. As a kid, we watched this special every year and Claymation mixed a classic arrangement with a funny premise, making it extra enjoyable to an impressionable kid like myself.
Trans Siberian Orchestra – My next favorite arrangement came decades later when I heard TSO’s version. Adding great dynamics, some sweet chugging palm mutes and some killer leads to the traditional arrangement.
August Burns Red – But the version that tops all others is by Pennsylvania metalcore 5-piece August Burns Red, the kings of Christmas arrangements, who add in some much needed blast beats and breakdowns where TSO was fearful to tread.
Day 19: Your Least Favorite Christmas Song
Let’s face it, nothing is perfect. This includes Christmas music. And while I love Christmas, I’m no different than anyone else in that there are songs that I DESPISE. Let’s see which tunes grind our panels’ gears more than any others.
Josh: The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
The list of Christmas songs I don’t like is pretty short, but it’s there. It includes 12 Days of Christmas, I Saw Three Ships (especially Sting’s version), Happy Holiday by Andy Williams, and this, the ultimate stinker, Christmas Wrapping. Generic new wave with a punny title and an obnoxious hook. There is literally nothing there to enjoy.