Monday, October 16, 2006

Christmas in October

Germans already have Fasching/Carnival for their big dress-up holiday, so they don’t really do Halloween except for the occasional costume party for adults here or there. That would explain why the xmas cookies and candy are already on the shelves at the grocery store—there aren’t any buffer holidays like Halloween or Thanksgiving (in September in Germany) to slow down the train-wreck of xmas advertising.

Personally, it doesn’t matter to me what time of year it is, any time is good for humming xmas songs. I like the tacky songs, while John is more a religious-carol-type guy. I don’t think my love of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" is going to jinx our relationship, but it does put a cramp in our holiday music buying.

Last year in December, I went into a Starbucks for the first and only time—a classmate invited me, I swear!—and not only did I drink a large cup of their coffee, I also bought a CD of xmas music. I felt my soul shrivel even smaller than usual on that day, but the CD turned out to be not quite what I was looking for, so that made me feel better. Here’s what I got:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sleigh Full of Songs
1. I Like a Sleighride (Jingle Bells), Peggy Lee
2. Deck the Halls, Nat King Cole
3. Winter Wonderland, Dean Martin
4. The Christmas Waltz, Nancy Wilson
5. Do You Hear What I Hear?, Bing Crosby
6. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Aimee Mann
7. 2000 Miles, Holly Cole
8. The Little Drummer Boy, Lou Rawls
9. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Lena Horne
10. Merry Christmas, Baby, Charles Brown
11. Silver Bells, Wayne Newton
12. O Come All Ye Faithful, Ella Fitzgerald
13. Peace on Earth / The Little Drummer Boy, David Bowie & Bing Crosby

I realize that practically every recording artist prior to 1980 recorded at least one xmas song—my mom had complete albums of xmas music by Elvis and Jim Neighbors--but I’m not too keen on some of the artist/song combinations on my Starbucks album. In theory, I find it awesome that David Bowie and Bing Crosby did a duet, but in *practice*? Meh.

So if I were to compile a perfect xmas album—and this might be perfectly within my means via the magic of the Internet—here is what I would require, but not by any particular artist (I find that generic is usually better):

Sleigh Ride
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Up on the House-Top
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
Jingle Bells
Jingle-Bell Rock
Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland
Let it Snow
Silver Bells
Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
Blue Christmas
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

Any additions? n.B. This is the camp-only list. Non-campy songs should go to John.

Speaking of xmas, has anyone successfully "forced" a poinsettia? Mine is 2 or 3 years old, and this year I am covering it with a black trash bag 6 pm to 8 am. After 3 weeks of this, one leaf looks a little blotchily red; the only other impact I can discern is that other leaves are turning yellow and dropping off. I don’t know if that might be due to changes in watering patterns after I brought it inside, being enclosed in plastic half the day, or being man-handled into the bag twice a day. Otherwise it looks mostly healthy (once I cut off a branch that had some kind of boils on its bark). According to the web site I linked to above, the whole process can take about 8 weeks; I’ll keep you posted.

No comments: