It’s December 1st! Time to start sharing my love of christmas music with you, friends! Classics, covers, cheese, jesus-y songs…I love it all! Or, rather, I love a lot of it! I’ve already been listening to christmas songs since mid-November, but I’m slightly wacky/awesome like that. The time has come for me to come out of the closet. I’m here. I like earnest, heartfelt renditions of holiday cheer. Get used to it.
I know. I know. I can’t help it. Ask Double S. I take the making of my annual christmas mixtape very, very seriously. I bestowed my first xmas mixtape on Double S (Collector’s copy!) in December 2005, two months after meeting her, in Brooklyn, before we headed off to some hipster holiday soiree. She kinda didn’t know what to do with me. Now, she sometimes asks if we can put on my xmas mixtapes in September. Double S rules! And in the years since, I have started to mail it out to friends and family with a christmas card and general good tidings. People have come to expect greatness and variety, or at least I like to think they do. Even my mom is all up in my business, asking me LAST WEEK if I’m working on this year’s edition! My mom= awesome + bossy!
Needless to say, I have a lot of xmas music in my arsenal. So why not share one choice song with with you guys every day till the big day? Ok, give or take a day here and there. I also gots to party and wassail, ok? You know, wassailing. Kinda like this:
I’d like to kick off the month of merry indie-alterna-off the beaten path-christmas songs with Sufjan Stevens.
Sufjan has put out probably my favorite christmas music of the last ten years, and he is a mainstay of my annual christmas mixes. I want him to come out with more! But now he’s off and on trying to make an album about every 50 state (only two so far: MI and IL), celebrating the beauty of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (The BQE did teach me the aggressive driving skills that I love having now, so I can’t hate…), and generally getting all conceptual. Though, if you want anything else from Sufjan, I recommend “Illinois.” Even though as a native St. Louisan, I cannot otherwise recommend anything else from that state. In your face, Cubs fans! I grew up with this kind of rivalry business in the Lou:
So anyway and without further ado, the first christmas song of the day here at ohbriggsy is “Put The Lights On The Tree” by Sufjan Stevens. This video is old, kinda so 2006 (kinda just like my use of slang that was last popular back in ’06…), but it’s just that good. Prepare for some serious cuteness.
If you’re like Double S and I, this songs is fitting for early December, as you dig out the lights and ornaments and turn your abode into whatever it is that is all nice and holiday-ish for you and yours. We usually cut down our tree at a tree farm, but this year we’re gonna go to a tree lot, all classic like. If I was in St. Louis, I’d go get my tree and a concrete at Ted Drewes. But alas, I’m in Seattle and all the treats offered are IPAs and gluten free baked goods, so I’m keeping it simple by going to a local produce stand for the tree.
You can find this song on disc two of Sufjan’s five disc box set, “Songs For Christmas,” which I highly recommend, or you can get it on itunes or your favorite purveyor of music on the internets. The set is five individually packaged EPs (originally called “Hark! Songs for Christmas!” in five different volumes, one each for ’01 through ’05), stickers, a short story by Rick Moody, lots of liner notes (I love me some liner notes!), a download of the above video, and a christmas songbook so you can sing along or banjo along to your heart’s content! Sufjan is pretty openly Christian and sings lots of traditional songs on these discs. But he doesn’t in just about the best possible way. Don’t say I didn’t warn you of the Christianity. But at christmas, I can take some of the old time religion in my music. I was raised Catholic and it brings back the good memories.
So there it is, a christmas song to kick off December. Oh and if your grandma is living all alone, do call her on the phone! T’is the season! I miss you grandma! See you soon! She doesn’t read the interwebs, but it’s the thought that counts, ok? Happy December! Oh, and share your favorite christmas songs in the comments if you have them! I’m always looking for more songs. I know. I have a problem.