Ginger Pop: I Feel It In My Fingers

Nothing says Christmas like pop culture. For junkies like me, the season is ripe with tempting goodies–claymation specials, cheesy made-for-TV movies featuring celebrities from by-gone eras, and ornaments celebrating movies and television that are in no way related to Christmas (Death Star Christmas balls–seriously, I want some). More than anything though, I dig the music. I’m one of those nerds who actually listens to the stations that play all Christmas songs beginning in November. But I don’t flip over the normal fare–I like to mix classic with odd and get a little nuts. So here are my Must Play Christmas Tunes.

  • “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” sung by Gayla Peevy. This song was actually composed for the Oklahoma City Zoo when they got, you guessed it, a Hippopotamus. It’s chipper and borderline annoying until you learn the words and can sing it to annoy others. That’s when the real fun starts.
  • “Please Come Home for Christmas” sung by Jon Bon Jovi. Although the song is frequently covered, I prefer this “Blaze of Glory” spin on the classic. And the video is some cheesy 90s goodness: Cindy Crawford in cut offs and a fake sunset background.
  • “Carol of the Bells” by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. The dark undertones of this song make it–gasp–an almost dangerous Christmas song. Although I like the vocals of it, I love the instrumental sections.
  • “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” sung by Judy Garland. Hands down, this is my favorite Christmas song. And despite some admirable attempts at covers, Garland’s heartbreaking voice lends the perfection interpretation of loneliness and hope during a time of year that is often emotionally loaded.
  • “Christmas is All Around” sung by Bill Nighy/Billy Mack. Maybe it’s the fab opening scene with the juxtaposition of Christmas cheese and Mack’s string of fantastic profanity. Maybe it’s the spider leg dance he does when singing it. Maybe it’s the Robert Palmer-style video. Maybe it’s because Christmas really is all around. Whatever the reason, this song rocks like a moose.
  • “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” sung by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Picture this: Warner Brothers Studio Store Fifth Avenue, 1997. A redheaded college Freshman gets her first job working on the adult apparel floor. When not on a higher floor playing Daphne for kids clamoring to sit on Santa Scooby’s Lap, she’s impressing management with her sizing and sleeving skills, guiding lost tourists in French, and enduring the thirty-minute looping mixed video. On the negative side, hearing Space Ghost twice an hour for eight hour stretches will permanently scar her. But it will be worth it to get to see and hear this wondrous Christmas oddity that will eventually become her second favorite Christmas song. It’s a pretty thing, idn it?