Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Best Damn Christmas Album Period

Admittedly, I'm a girl of quirky tastes. Not out of any deliberate effort on my part (that would just make me annoying), but it's just the way I'm wired up. Maybe it has something to do with the four-year-old neighbor dropping me on my head as an infant, I dunno. Nonetheless, I've usually been able to find someone out there who will back me up on most things. I basically formed my clique of friends in junior high based soley on whether they thought Mystery Science Theater was the best TV show ever made. True, people of this mindset were not numerous, nor were they really in the highest stratosphere of the middle school pecking order, but we were a merry band of geeks, and it seemed to work out okay.

But I have never been able to get one person to back me up on what is, to me, the best damn Christmas album ever recorded. The Sheps being a multi-culti family, we get our Jew on each year for Chanukah and then goy it up like nobody's business on Christmas. Nine crazy nights, thank you, and we like it that way. So we're extremely emotionally invested in our choice of Christmas music. Elvis gets a lot of play, as does the Ramsey Lewis Trio. But bar none, the album with the most heavy rotation is John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together.

Now, I know that mine is a generation that delights in irony, and resurrecting the icons of our youth for kicks (Transformers: The Movie? Already done, and done better, in 1986). But this is no hipster, winking devotion of mine to the Muppets album. True, as a kid I liked hearing the funny voices sing the standards. But I swear on all that is holy, there are some original songs on there that will break your heart. Beautiful stuff -- that just happens to be sung by Muppets. Sadly, folks just can't seem to get past this.

And that's too bad, because "The Christmas Wish" as sung by Kermit the Frog, is a sweet song that's inclusive without being pandering and would solve all kinds of problems if more people listened to it. And "It's in Every One of Us" is so lovely that my mom actually wants it played at her funeral. Which is a little weird, but that's the kind of emotion this stuff provokes. You just have to, you know, forget that it's being sung by cartoon characters, which can be a bit difficult on the first listen (especially since Fozzie Bear has a surprisingly booming baritone), but trust me, you will get past it.

You know what, don't listen to me. Buy the damn thing. I think I found it on CD for like, 9 bucks, in the bargain bin. Of course, you really want the vinyl, as it has at least 2 extra songs on it, and has that lovely popping sound that only records can make that sounds so bloody good when you're curled up on a winter's night, sitting by the newly decorated tree with the jacked-up ornaments, getting sloshed with Mom and Dad on SoCo and cranberry, talking about how Terrell Owens eats his own shit....::sniff:: I love the holidays...