12 Days of Christmas Music To Improve Your Playlist (Day 1)

It’s that time of year again, when the Houston’s Christmas Music Station bombards us from mid-November on with the most tired collection of Christmas songs day and night you can imagine.

(Though, to be fair, this year a few new pop songs have made it into the rotation which aren’t as dreadful as the rest of what they usually play. More on that later this month, maybe. We’ll see.)

In response to this general dearth of good music, I’ve been posting to my blog every year a variety of songs which are typically better than the ordinary, prepackaged stuff. I read recently that some of my readers have started building a playlist of the music I post here — so, you know, no pressure or anything to do a good job — just kidding! I love it — and that has inspired me to do it again. You can click here for past years’ choices: 2013, 2014, and 2015. Then go almost to the bottom of each page, right above the comments, for the “previous” and “next” buttons to explore.

You’ll notice that those links above all start with Day 2. That’s because on Day 1 every year I start with one of my all-time favorite songs — a little consistency to kick things off again because, after all, what’s a holiday without a tradition?

So here you are, that happily ending anthem to our crazy-busy lives, The Waitresses with “Christmas Wrapping.”



12 Days of Christmas Music That Won’t Turn Your Brain to Goo (Day 1)

It’s that time of year again! The time when “Houston’s Christmas Music Station” sets their radio dials to stun with the most tired, limp, overdone Christmas carols you can imagine. And honestly, it’s past time, because they started it the Friday before Thanksgiving, as is their villainous wont.


Behold, your antidote: I have curated a dozen songs here this year which will not turn your gray matter to mush in a zombie-haze cocktail that’s one part hatred and two parts despair. I hope you like them. I’d like to take this moment now to thank everyone who wrote in on my Facebook pages with some fantastic suggestions for this year’s series. Quite a few of the entries this year come from their choices, and it’s just unfortunate that I couldn’t use all of their great ideas. This series is, after all, only twelve days. (Some of their songs may show up next year, though.)


I feel the need to begin this series, as I do every year, with a song whose themes are near and dear to my heart. I suppose I might pass on it some year when this season doesn’t feel insanely rushed to me, but until then (i.e. for as long as I’m still teaching), this is my go-to pick-me-up.


Happy holidays!



For more fun tunes, check out previous year’s offerings here and here.


12 Days of Christmas Music That Doesn’t Suck, 2014 Edition (Day 1)

Yes, it’s that time of year again. “Houston’s Official Christmas Music Station” — which has been broadcasting Christmas and winter-themed songs since the Friday night before Thanksgiving — has once more conformed to the belief that they must play the same dozen tired crap songs over and over again, with only an occasional good one thrown into the mix.

Thank goodness for my iPod.

Since this series on my blog was such a hit last year (click here to see the first post and then follow the “next post” links to see the rest), I’m doing it again! And while I’ll be sharing a lot of different stuff with you this time around, I’m going to kick things off with what is still one of my all-time favorites, “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses. Perhaps there will come a time when my life isn’t insanely busy, and then I won’t be able to relate to this song as well or enjoy it as much, but honestly, I’m not sure that’s ever going to happen.

Happy Holidays!

12 Days of Christmas Music That Isn’t Awful (Day 1)

I have always loved Christmas music.  In fact, it was my very favorite type of music when I was a kid, and I still have “Houston’s official Christmas music” radio station set to play in my car from right before Thanksgiving when the caroling begins.  I know a lot of people find a 24/7 Christmas music station irritating and go on about this at great length every year, but holiday songs generally just put me in a good mood.  It’s my favorite time of year.

That said, not all Christmas songs are created equal.  One of the reasons the radio onslaught annoys so many people is because, frankly, our local station neglects a lot of the best carols out there and chooses instead to play the same godawful renditions of the same tired songs every few hours.

They can do better.  But I’m pretty sure they won’t.

So as an antidote to Christmas Music That Sucks, I’m offering you my own playlist:  12 Days of Christmas Music That Isn’t Awful.  This is not nearly an exhaustive list, but these are just a few of my favorites that can be found playing from my iPod in my car more frequently than the commercial radio fare.  The songs I’ll be featuring are apparently just too wonderful to be played on the radio — or played there anymore, it seems.  My first pick falls into this latter category, since I was introduced to this song on the radio years ago, when a local rock/pop station played it in with their regular mainstream rock/pop rotation.

Remember The Waitresses?  Remember “Christmas Wrapping”?  It’s a great song, though I couldn’t find an “official” video for it on YouTube that seemed like the real deal.  If you find one, I’d love to know!  This one is cute, though.

Who can resist a far-too-busy woman who gets her Christmas miracle?  I can relate, especially now, when I’m neck-deep in grading finals.