Sometimes Holiday music or, dare I say, Christmas music, gets a bad rap. Folks will say it's too cheesy, too Christian, too unrealistically joyful, and therefore necessarily exclusionary. It's too much about one or two particular experiences or worldviews. It dwells too much in the realm of nostalgia and religious or secular fantasy.
And, all of these things are true. However, unabashed cynic, skeptic and curmudgeon that I am, I love Christmas music. I think that, if we can suspend our tendencies toward jaded, postmodern eye-rolling and taking ourselves too seriously, Christmas music can help call us to a warm and fuzzy place in our collective unconscious. It's a healing music, an optimistic music and a music for celebrating, loving and giving. It's silly music and music that challenges us to let loose, to forgive, to laugh and to share joy with everyone we meet. And that, all silliness aside, is something we could really use right now. Here are the seven Christmas albums that, over the years, have helped put me in the spirit of the season. (Sorry mom, that ridiculous Caribbean Christmas
that you used to force us to listen to didn't make the cut... Nor did Christmas With the Chipmunks