Jamie, the woman formerly known as my girlfriend and now known as my fiance/beyonce, LOVES her some x-mas music. It was almost a deal-breaker when she admitted as much after I caught her singing along to the 24hr x-mas music radio station during our first holiday season as a couple. But as all healthy couples do, we found a compromise.
We can listen to holiday music together beginning the day after Thanksgiving, but she humors me by letting me pick the music (most of the time). Now, this is where the challenge comes in, because even some of my favorite musicians have made horrible x-mas records; or more accurately, most of my favorite musicians wouldn't be caught dead rehashing the x-mas cannon, or god-forbid contribute an original tune to the bloated roster of yule tunes. But I persevere . . . and with tongue firmly planted in cheek, embark on a mission to bring you some Christmas songs that don't suck.
Stevie Wonder - Christmas Greeting
This is a greeting recorded by Stevie in his 70s keyboard phase (clearly). He probably didn't even rehearse this and just freestyle busted it out . . .
National Lampoon - Kung Fu Christmas
This is the real gem in this batch. Big-ups to Mike in Seattle for tipping me off to this one. I don't know much about the National Lampoon LPs, but this guy does. Most importantly, it was written by National Lampoon Radio Hour regular Christopher Guest and Paul Shaffer. Watching/listening to this video also gives the longer intro to give you a sense of how this song was situated on the album.
Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmastime
Now this one might be overplayed, but I still love it. Its probably one of the best recent additions to the Christmas cannon and I don't care what the rest of you say. Knowing that Paul was probably stoned to the bone from smoking too much mistletoe also makes it more enjoyable to listen to. I wrote a piece in Wax Poetics (issue 31) about another song from this same recording session. Blog entry here. Actual pdf of article here.