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Holiday Guilt – A Different Kind

December 7, 2004

I have slid a little farther down the slippery slope of music piracy. No longer am I just getting free music from other people; I’ve become a supplier of free music to others. It was as easy as deciding to participate in a mix exchange that Mel instigated. It was the holiday theme that did it. I have enough Christmas CDs to fill a disc with a good variety but not so many that I’d have to spend a huge amount of time and anxiety on the selection process. Also, it seemed safer somehow than a less focused mix. Sure, people might still think my choices were lame, but when the holiday season ended they’d put (or throw) the disc away and forget all about it instead of being annoyed every season of the year. (Why yes, I do have some self-confidence issues in this area; thanks for noticing.) Of course, I could have opted out and kept my music preferences to myself and thus avoided the whole issue, but that seemed pretty silly so I signed up.

In deciding which songs to include, I went with the kind I need most during the hustle and bustle and stress of the holiday season: beautiful ones to calm me and amusing ones to make me smile if not actually laugh out loud. Thus the Pretty/Funny Holiday Mix came to be.

1. What’s This?, Danny Elfman – The Nightmare Before Christmas Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
I like this movie so much that it’s one of the few we own, yet we didn’t have the soundtrack. Since I really wanted to have at least one song from it on my mix, I bought the CD. See, music industry, consumers trading songs can be good for you. (Yes, that sound you hear is the justification machinery humming along in the background.) I’m smiling just thinking about this song, with lyrics like “there’s children throwing snowballs, instead of throwing heads; they’re busy building toys and absolutely no one’s dead.”

2. Los Peces en el Rio, Mannheim Steamroller – Christmas in the Aire
I just recently found out that Chip Davis is one of the people responsible for the song “Convoy” and now sometimes amuse myself by inserting “Breaker, Breaker” and similar commentary in my head when I listen to him in his Mannheim Steamroller guise.

3. Il Est N̩ (He is Born), Michael Gettel РNarada Christmas Collection Volume 2

4. Greensleeves, Ricky Tims – Heart and Soul
This is the same Ricky Tims who’s made a name for himself in the quilting world; I bought this disc when he came to speak to our guild.

5. Veni Veni (O Come O Come Emmanuel), Mannheim Steamroller – A Fresh Aire Christmas

6. I Wonder As I Wander, Barbra Streisand – A Christmas Album

7. The First Noël, Spencer Brewer – Narada Christmas Collection Volume 2

8. Silent Night, Trisha Yearwood – Home for the Holidays

9. O Holy Night, Eric Cartman – Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics
Of course it’s irreverent–“Jesus was born, and so I get presents” is my favorite line–but at least there’s no swearing (that comes later on my mix).

10. Nowell, Owt of your Slepe, Pro Cantione Antiqua Medieval Wind Ensemble – A Medieval Christmas.
Much of this disc jangles my nerves and makes me thankful I was born in a time of modern Christmases, but this song makes me happy because I can at least recognize the Nowell part.

11. Good Christian Men Rejoice, Canadian Brass – A Canadian Brass Christmas

12. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Mannheim Steamroller – Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
I giggle to myself when this one comes on–it sounds like Christmas brought to you by NFL films. I can practically see the helmets smashing together.

13. The Holly and the Ivy, George Winston – December

14. Ave Maria, NYCGM Chorus – Joy of Christmas

15. Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming, Mannheim Steamroller – A Fresh Aire Christmas

16. The Man from Ceasaria, Friedemann – Narada Christmas Collection

17. Sans Day Carol, Plymouth Festival Chorus and Orchestra – Joy of Christmas
These people sound so upbeat about Jesus dying on the cross that I just have to smile when I hear them.

18. Frosty, the Snow Man>, Canadian Brass – A Canadian Brass Christmas
Mr. Karen would not have included this if it were his holiday mix.

19. Please Come Home for Christmas, Chuck Leavell – Celebrate the Season
I can’t remember right now how I fit this in to my pretty or funny theme.

20. Last Month of the Year, Blind Boys of Alabama – Go Tell It on the Mountain
I think the “no, no” refrain in this song is there because Jesus wasn’t born on the 25th day of December.

21. What Christmas Means to Me, Stevie Wonder – A Motown Christmas
This amuses me (and maybe only me, but I bet not) because the line about decorating the tree with angel hair causes me to imagine flinging pasta at an evergreen.

22. Christmas in Heaven, Monty Python Sings

23. Merry Fucking Christmas Mr. Garrison – Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics
I put this at the end so people can just pop out the disc at this point and not miss any of the less offensive material I chose. If I were a better person, I probably wouldn’t find lines like “God is gonna to kick your ass, you infidelic pagan scum” so funny, but I’m not, so I laugh and laugh.

There you have it, my first mix CD. I feel a little guilty. This isn’t quite like making a mix tape for personal use. I justify it by thinking that maybe someone who gets one of my mixes will do like I do and buy a CD as a result. I doubt I’ll go any further in my career as a music pirate; I’d rather use my allowance of naughtiness for things like going 60 in a 50 M.P.H. zone than downloading music from the ‘net.


One year ago, I was a Holidailies overachiever and wrote two entries, one about my scar (which I still find ugly) and one about the baby quilt I’d just finished. I saw the baby that quilt went to at my office Christmas party this past Sunday–he had a King of the Toddlers swagger about him that was somewhat undermined by the sippy cup he clutched tightly to his chest.

Two years ago, I was blowing off Holidailies and skiing at Steamboat.

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