The PopWatch Confessional (Vol. 40)

Jgroban_lWhat are your must-hear holiday tracks, and how soon will you start listening to them? Here’s why I’m asking: I already am.

Normally, I would hate me, too. Until this year, I’d always been a day-after-Thanksgiving girl. I’d be home in Happy Valley visiting my family, and that’s when my mother would break out Aaron Neville’s Soulful Christmas, I’d try again to steal her copy of Elvis’ If Every Day was Like Christmas (because "Santa Claus is Back in Town" is the sexiest Christmas song ever), and my sister would pretend that she wasn’t happy to hear the return of Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics. (Am I the only one who’s touched by the South Park boys’ rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"?)

But this year, Josh Groban (pictured) had to go and release his album Noel in October, which meant I had to snag it off the office giveaway table for my mother. I don’t know about you, but I’m powerless to resist any version of "Ave Maria" because of a compulsive need I have to rank it. (Much like "O Holy Night," which, by the way, Celine Dion sings the holy bejesus out of). Ever since I broke the Noel seal, I’ve been pausing on the Traditional Holiday Music channel on my television when I’m working the high end of the dial, and sitting through some Kenny Loggins/Olivia Newton-John duet in hopes of hearing some old dreamy version of "I’ll Be Home For Christmas." (The last two holidays were less than ideal for me, so that’s why I’m especially vulnerable this year.)

So, now that I’ve cruelly snapped some of you into the holiday spirit — still resisting? maybe the "All I Want for Christmas is You" scene from Love Actually will help — tell me what songs you can’t wait to hear.

addCredit(“Josh Groban: Serge Thomann/”)

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  • Michael

    I too got the fever early this year, also courtesy of Josh Groban and I’m Jewish to boot…
    Songs that get me every time – Sarah Mclachlan’s cover of River, Another Aud Lang Syne (cheesy but oh so good) and any version of O’Holy Night and I so agree with you, Celine carries that song to places no one else can. When she hits that last Noel…

  • Em

    Elvis’ It’s Christmas Time cd is a must, as is any version of “Last Christmas.”
    Generally, we start listening to them during prep for Thanksgiving dinner. I have to confess, though, that if someone looked at my ipod’s top 25 played a few Christmas songs would be found.

  • Katie Kruger

    My number one all-time christmas album is the jazzy soundtrack to Merry Christmas Charlie Brown. Its swingy sentimental good times that I always bust out after Thanksgiving.

  • Kate

    Oooh…lots! The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping” is always fun. I think “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by John Mellencamp is great and I also love “Father Christmas” by the Kinks. It might be the sadistic side of me coming out but even as a little kid, the idea of these young street toughs mugging Santa Claus made me giggle a little. Pass the figgy pudding. :)

  • Anonymous

    I can’t stand Christmas music because of the radio stations that start playing it on Nov. 1. But one song that I always listen to is “Christmas Eve: Sarajevo” by Trans Siberian Orchestra.

  • Stephen

    1. The Little Drummer Boy
    2. All I Want for Christmas is You
    3. Deck the Halls
    4. Silent Night
    5. It’s Beginning to Look…
    6. Have yourself a…
    Basically all the classics

  • Kristi

    Mariah’s “All i for christmas” is definitely a fav! OH and i just LOVE the whole CD “A very special Christmas” it brings me back to the days when my BFF and I would roller skate around her basement excited for Santa! Yeah, seriously! Then of course who doesn’t love the classic ‘baby it’s gold outside’ especially by dean or on Elf :)

  • Sarah

    This may be the most embarassing thing I’ve ever confessed, but my parents used to play Neil Diamond’s Christmas CD all the time when I was in middle school and high school and I used to claim that I hated it, but I secretly love it and want to buy it. ‘Little Drummer Boy’ is my fave by him.
    I love all Christmas music. I’m that girl.

  • Verity

    Anytime I hear Nat King Cole singing “The Christmas Song,” I have to stop and smile because I just love it. Also, every year I go in search of the best version of “O Holy Night.” For some reason I just adore Harry Connick Jr’s version but Celtic Woman took the lead last year. Speaking of HCJ, his Christmas album is so much fun because of the bluesy jazz he adds to every number. Glad to know I’m not the only who has broken out the Christmas tracks already! Bring on Christmas!

  • K

    I, too, used to be a strictly day-after-Thanksgiving gal, but this week I faltered because it was cold outside and I just wanted to hear the comforting strains of “Christmastime is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Now I’m all about Perry Como and good old Bing until Dec. 25.

  • Laura

    There are so many choices! I adore the duet between The Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Another favorite is the Band Aid song, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” As a kid, I loved “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.” I could go on . . .

  • Crumbs

    Christmas- Baby please come home is my all time fave. I also LOVE Carol of the Bells which the version I love is off the Home Alone Soundtrack. I have no shame.

  • Kevin

    I’m a huge fan of the first Harry Connick Jr. Christmas album…it’s usually the first one I listen to. His version of Ave Maria kills me–you think it’s going to be all piano and then all of a sudden, about 3 minutes in, he starts singing. Sure he can’t hit the notes the way Josh Groban can, but there’s so much emotion behind Harry’s notes. Also love the Red Baron song (is it called “Christmas Bells”?). And I love me some Herb Albert, The Ray Conniff Singers, and the all-time best Andy Williams. This year, though, I have to track down that Sufjan Stevens Christmas album that came out last year.

  • Heather

    It has to be All I Want for Christmas is You. I’m not a Mariah fan but that song is just too catchy.

  • Kristin

    I love Christmas music!! I’m still trying to hold out for the day after Thanksgiving, though, we’ll see if I last… I’m not too picky about the Christmas music I listen to, but I have to admit that the *NSYNC Christmas album is a classic in my rotation. (In my defense, I’m 19 and it came out when I was about 10…it’s been a staple of my childhood Christmases.)

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