Love it or hate it, you'll find it everywhere you go. In your car, it's on the radio. Kids come home from school and they're singing Rudolph. God forbid you enter a store, it will slam into you bodily and force you to sing along.
I've complained about the songs I don't like—such as the old Band Aid number that was rebooted this year (save your hate mail, I've heard it before). And can't forget to mention the date rape song (Baby It's Cold Outside)—yes, it's a classic, but the words are creepy. And my son has chimed in with his own less-than-favorite tune, Santa Baby ("Mom, that woman needs a job," he says).
But what songs are necessary for a happy holiday? Well, I have a playlist of a different sort. I like the classics—like the Vienna Boys Choir singing Little Drummer Boy but also some new standards—like Bing Crosby & David Bowie singing Little Drummer Boy. Both versions are on our super holiday mix CD. Plus Elvis crooning Blue Christmas (nobody does that better) and Springsteen wailing on Santa Claus is Coming to Town.
I like to round it out with 3 somewhat atypical selections. First, Cheech and Chong's Santa Claus and his Old Lady was always heard on the radio when I was a kid. Funny, sweet and yeah, a little off-color.
I also love to hear The 12 Days of Christmas as defined by Bob & Doug McKenzie. For the uninitiated, Bob & Doug are Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, characters they originated back in the day on SCTV. You'll never hear the song in the same way again after listening to this Canadian version.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Ding! Fries are Done version of the Carole of the Bells which is a beautiful, inspirational melody. I'll spare you the video.
And my favorite holiday video isn't a Christmas song at all, but rather a Hanukkah song. Well, really, Adam Sandler's The Hanukkah Song.