These days, we start hearing "Jingle Bells" around October 1st, and the holiday jingle onslaught continues 'til the post-Christmas clearance sales are over in mid-January. As much as we love classic songs like "Silent Night" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", we thought we'd suggest some alternate tunage to you this year. Each of us editors will be presenting our Fab Five Holiday Playlist, of songs that remind us of the joy (and stress) of the holiday season, and some fun gift ideas that tie in with 'em.
I fully admit I'm not one for searching out the latest and greatest holiday tunes. I'm pretty happy to listen to the classics all season long. I'm even into the apparently awful and cheesy Wonderful Christmas Time, which I just recently learned I should feel some sort of embarrassment about. So in that spirit, here are a few of my favorite old tunes to get you into that holiday groove.
1. There really isn't a better song to put you in the mood for decorating than Bing Crosby's Christmas Is A-Comin'. Sure, it's a bit old-fashioned, but that's part of the fun. For the guy or gal in your life who can't resist that old-school charm, the gift of Bing in White Christmas ($11) makes an excellent stocking stuffer, too!
2. I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't think Manheim Steamroller's version of Carol of the Bells is amazing. And as the video shows, it's the perfect backdrop to coordinated light shows. If you've got your own Clark Griswold, make sure the Christmas lights go up without a hitch with the Brite Star Imports Christmas Light System ($22).
3. We've all got family and/or friends we can't spend the holidays with, which makes Elvis' Blue Christmas hit pretty close to home. But let your loved ones know you're thinking of them with a heartfelt gift like a Photo Book ($13-70).
4. I triple-dog-dare you to listen to the Jackson Five's Santa Claus Is Coming to Town without smiling. It's just not possible. And while you're listening, think about what you're going to get the youngins on your list. Maybe one of the predicted hottest toys of the year, the Animal Planet Air Swimmers eXtreme Radio Control Giant Flying Shark ($40)?
5. What is Christmas without Nat King Cole's Christmas Song? If you've never had the treat of smelling freshly roasted chestnuts, it's a pretty perfect time to pick up the Rome 122-T Old Fashioned Popper ($22). Not only will it work magic on those chestnuts over your open fire, but it can also pop your corn. Pretty nifty!
SheShells here: Naturally indecisive, I hunt around until I'm positively sure I've got the best combo at the lowest price. And then I look one last time just to make sure. Yes, I'm THAT girl. Finding dupes of higher-priced items is my specialty, and I love to help people with requests for travel accessories, international shopping, handbags and accessories, and shopping for kids.