Best Christmas song ever?

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Christmas truck paradeThis time of year you tend to get reminded on a daily basis that a certain holiday season is fast approaching and, dangit, if you haven’t made plans to be home for it you better start getting it on already. The reminders for me are auditory, primarily, my five-year-old daughter singing “Rudolph…” or “Jingle Bells” in the next room or stomping around the house pretending to be the “mean one, Mr. Grinch”…. 

Or out among the public, in fueling stations, restaurants, shopping malls, Christmas music starts to seep into if not dominate the ambient sound track. Swear I think I even heard a few Christmas songs at the TA downtown here in Nashville the other night. 

grinch-by-web-mitdotedu1In any case, we’re putting together a list of the top 10 Christmas tunes that we’d like to be able to put to a vote, ultimately. For now, drop yours in the comments here, and tell us any associated story there may be with why you picked it if you’ve got the time. (Related question: Any Christmas trucking songs among your faves? I can think of a couple…)

As for me, well, I do love that old Grinch lately, given I’ve been reliving my childhood Christmas whimsy with the five-year-old over the last couple years as she’s gotten to an age I can sort of remember — Stink! Stank! Stunk! (And it is Nov. 12, isn’t it — Halloween barely even two weeks gone.)

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Though I can think of a few contemporary Christmas tunes, I tend more toward the classics, like “I’ll be home for Christmas,” first recorded by Bing Crosby during World War II and subsequently by the likes of Perry Como, Frank Sinatra and many others. The first several years I spent in Chicago back when, just out of school — woefully underemployed, flat broke — I missed a hometown Christmas or two back with my family in South Carolina, and while that mostly felt like no big deal at the time, I distinctly remember this tune striking deep emotional chords, sadness and joy, simultaneously.

I well remember trudging through piles of slush past the decorated department stores downtown with the song piping into the street and feeling, well, at once melancholic about my family’s distance, but also a sense of jubilation, that it was all going to be all right, everything, a marked improvement at the time. 

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Here’s Bing’s version: 

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So, what’s your favorite? Tell us here.

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