On the Sunday evening before Thanksgiving this year, I was out taking a long walk through the neighborhood, enjoying the unseasonably warm 60-degree temperatures (and trying not to think too much about the implications of that happening more and more in Novembers of late.) A couple of houses in my neighborhood already had full Christmas lights and yard displays up and running. While most houses on our street will have some sort of decorations up at some point, this was notable for the way it sort of stuck out. Really? Christmas lights? This early?
And the more I thought about it, the more I thought “Yeah. Hell yeah. This early. I’m all in.”
2020 has been one hell of a year, kind of literally. By the time this post goes live, it’s likely 300,000 Americans will have died from the pandemic. 300,000 people many of whom maybe celebrated Christmas a year ago and thought in terms of “Next Christmas” who never got here because of a brutal disease. And that doesn’t count the millions hospitalized, the families affected, or the trauma of healthcare workers who’ve been had to work through exhaustion for months. It also doesn’t include folks who saw their businesses or careers collapse due to the knock on effects of Covid. And then you add to that the current political climate in this country, and there’s an almost palpable sense of fear, anger, grief, and just general anxiety floating in the air.
So yeah. It’s been a brutal year. And yet, there are folks putting up Christmas lights all over. And making music. And figuring out ways to celebrate even so. You could forgive folks for reining it in this year, and I know that many are. We’re going to celebrate the holidays differently in 2020, through Zoom calls and virtual hugs and with facemasks making up the a big part of the gay apparel we don, and a vague antiseptic whiff of hand sanitizer hanging in the air instead of mistletoe.
But lots of us are going to figure out a way to celebrate the season regardless, whether it’s Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or just the solstice and the winter. And coming in at the tail end of this awful year, any celebration of the holidays almost feels like an act of defiance. Putting up lights, decorating the house, heck, just listening to some Christmas tunes or maybe watching Charlie Brown for the gajillionth time…we’re celebrating, dang it. And if that means putting up the lights too early, and maybe going a little too exuberant on the Christmas tunes in this holiday music mix to extend a big middle finger to the awfulness of the year past…then so be it. Headfirst into Christmas in 2020!
As always, this is a single long MP3 of about 20 or so holiday-themed tunes. You can right-click and “save as”, or it should just stream from here if that’s your thing.
Headfirst Into Christmas (click to play or right-click to save as.)
- Oh…that girl.
- “Every Single Christmas” Nicole Atkins
- “Go Power at Christmas Time” James Brown
- “It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas” Sam Phillips
- “Winter Blows” The Waterboys
- “Headfirst Into Christmas” The Hannah Barberas
- “Mission Bells” Glossary
- “Claus vs Claus” JD McPherson
- “The Blizzard” Camera Obscura
10.”Winter is Blue” Vashti Bunyan
11.”Ringing Bells on Christmas Day” Lisa Mychols
12.”Everyday is Christmas (When I’m Lovin’ You) Charles Bradley
13.”Valley Winter Song” Fountains of Wayne
14.”Merry Merry” The Bird and the Bee
15.”Hark the Herald” The Fall (this is not a typo, btw.)
16.”All I Want for Christmas is You” The Dollyrots
17.”Christmastime Heist” Mikal Cronin
18.”Christmas Love” The Rotary Connection
19.”Shouldn’t Be Alone For Christmas” The School
20.”Winter” The Rolling Stones
21.”The Light Before We Land” The Delgados