I’ve often said that I would always begin my 12 Days of Holiday Music series with this song only if life was too hectic for a reasonable person to have to deal with on a regular basis, and well. I intended to start this series two days ago, if that tells you anything. But we are off to the races, and I have a lot of really good tunes for you this year! So do enjoy…
Hello! I know it’s been a little quiet on the blog here lately, especially in the earworms department, but wow there’s a lot going on in my IRL space. Mostly pretty good, but this was a ridonculously heavy-busy semester, and it’s finishing up on-brand.
Still, the Christmas music is in full force on the radio, and so I’ve once again donned the mantle of counterbalancing the same old tired jingles with Much Better Stuff. One might think it ironic that I begin this series every year with, in fact, the same song — but as I’ve said before, it’s an AMAZEBALLS song, and I will continue to do it until my life is not as hectic as the one described in it. Think of it, if you must, as a palate cleanser. One that’s really fun to bop around to and sing along with.
And if you want to refresh your playlist with past years’ holiday earworms, you can do so with these links:
So Houston’s Official Christmas Music Station started hawking their wares literally a week after Hallowe’en because their tired holiday playlist seems to show up earlier every year. I did not tune my car stereo to it until after Thanksgiving, as is respectable, and of course when I did, it offered very little in the way of original or interesting music. If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a year, you know I offer up some of my own holiday playlist each December so make things more interesting for you.
So today we begin!
I always start with The Waitresses, because “Christmas Wrapping” is one of my favorite Christmas songs and also because for as long as my life is Way Too Busy this song will never not resonate with me hardcore. I have found, during this global pandemic, that I like being a homebody now and then, that I really appreciated not being able to run around for several hours every weekend Getting Things Done. But that doesn’t mean my life (during the school year, at least) has become truly less busy. The workload is epic, I’m sorry to say. But I’m surviving and grateful, in full recognition of the very specific kind of privilege I have that even allows me to grouse to my colleagues about how much extra work teaching in a pandemic is on top of a job that was already, most of the time, Too Much Work.
But I digress. Can you relate to being too busy even to enjoy things you might have been looking forward to sometimes?
The vaccines are on the way. (In the meantime, wear a mask and cover your nose with it, too, so that wearing it actually matters. Please. In related news, I will no longer be running errands at business where the employees fail this simple test of intelligence. Looking at you, closest UPS Store to my house.) We will, I hope and trust, get this virus under control. I hope that those of us who had mindlessly and needlessly cluttered lifestyles won’t revert back to them, but that we become more intentional about things. I’m certainly working on that.
And to pep things up a bit, have a danceable earworm! Happy holidays!
Oh, and P.S. — I still have a couple of spots left in this year’s series that I’ve been reserving for requests, so leave them in the comments if you have them.
My, my, look at the time. It’s already December 12th! Time for 12 Days of Holiday Music That Doesn’t Suck! Tempus certainly does fugit.
Here in Houston we have one radio station which plays Christmas music and has labeled itself “Houston’s Holiday Music Station, Especially the Same Tired Carols Over and Over Again and Seventeen Different Versions of ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside.'”
Okay, I might have added everything after the comma myself.
Anyway, they start playing the stuff in November, a little earlier every year, and last year they didn’t even stop until after December 26th. Last year, the holiday music started on November 16th. This year it started on November 6th. I’m not kidding. You’re just going about your business, driving along and flipping through the stations in your car, and then BOOM you hit that one and it’s Rudolph and Frosty when you still have pumpkins out from Hallowe’en.
(Maybe that’s just me? I mean, we don’t carve our pumpkins, so we do keep them out until Thanksgiving as long as they’re still in good shape.)
So, several years ago I decided I needed to post an antidote to the radio’s weary nonsense and its generally narrow rotation of songs, and so on my blog I posted 12 Days of Christmas Music That Doesn’t Suck, and the series became really popular. If you’d like to go back and browse through past years’ playlists, just click on the following links to Day 2 for each year and then follow the links at the bottom of each page to get all the way through each Day 12.
Now why, you might be asking, do I suggest you start with Day 2? Good question.
Because it has become my tradition to honor my absolutely bonkers-crazy life with the same song each year on Day 1, an ode to the frenetic pace I’ve somehow managed to subject myself to. Maybe also, just perhaps, I love this song because it reminds me that maybe I shouldn’t and cannot keep going at such a velocity. Some health issues I’ve had recently have suggested to me I need a rethink, and I will be devoting no small amount of time and brainspace over the holidays to figuring all of that out.
In the meantime, please enjoy this unbelievably awesome and severely underrated song. (Also, if you pay attention to the bass line, you will notice that this song is notably deeper and more sophisticated than the average pop ditty.)
It’s that time of year again! Time to escape the misery of the most tired and pitiful Christmas tunes being slogged across the Houston airwaves since the Friday before Thanksgiving — that’s right, this nonsense started on Houston’s Christmas Radio Station on November 16th — and enjoy some actual worthwhile holiday music here on my blog.
As has been the case since I first started this holiday tradition back in 2013, we’re kicking off the playlist with The Waitresses. It resonates because, let’s be honest, this feels like (and probably is actually) the busiest time of year if you’re a parent, a teacher, or a celebrator of the holidays. (I’m all of those. Gah.) So here’s to this timeless, jaunty anthem to our crazy-busy lives.
And if you want to check out the excellent playlists for the previous years, please click on the following links for each year’s Day 2: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
It’s mid-December. You know what that means around here! It’s time for me to share a dozen holiday songs with you that do not suck. I’ve taken some requests this year, but all of the songs I share with you are guaranteed to be better than 98% of the tired drivel they’ve been playing on the radio in Houston since the weekend before Thanksgiving.
And since the holidays are all about traditions, I like to kick things off every year with one of the cutest and peppiest Christmas songs I’ve ever known. If you’ve been around this blog before, you know what’s coming. (And so you know, I do try to find other videos of this song each year, but it’s hard to find a good one. I did, this morning, run across a Spice Girls edition that was pretty crappy since it didn’t have any bass. Srsly???)
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.”
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.
For more fun tunes, check out previous year’s offerings here and here.
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.
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.