It is this sentiment that prompted me to spend 10 minutes compiling what I think is the definitive, end-all/be-all top-ten list of Christmas songs ever compiled.
Now, before you go saying things in the comment section like "You left off 'Jingle Bells' you total moron," just remember that it is Christmas and while arguments could be made for why I am or am not a moron, 'complete' is just a bit excessive.
That said, I wouldn't be a very good sports pundit if I didn't preface my list by letting everyone know that I'm right and they're wrong. And anyone who disagrees with me is a total idiot. But seriously ... please do feel free to disagree with me and each other.
So here's the list of Kevin Allen's Almighty, Indisputable, Divinely Conceived Top Ten List of the Greatest Christmas Songs of All Time -- And No, 'Jingle Bells' Is Not One Of Them:
#9 -- "We Three Kings" -- I never learned the real lyrics to this song. It did teach me, however, that trying to smoke a rubber cigar is not a good idea. Because in all likelihood, it will have been loaded and it most certainly will have exploded.
#8 -- "Little Drummer Boy" -- Any song that brings David Bowie and Bing Crosby together must be badass.
#7 -- "Sleigh Ride" -- As an advocate for all things onomatopoeia, the words ring-a-lin, jing, jing, jing-a-lin strike an emotional chord. Also, isn't that just a lovely sentiment -- it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you -- man, I hope someone says that to me some day. Maybe not those words exactly ... but the sentiment. Yeah. The sentiment.
#6 -- "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" -- As a kid I loved this song because it sounds just as good when you shout it as when you actually try to sing it. Plus, the idea that not only do I have a king, but someone wants to bring good tidings to both me and my king -- that's just solid gold.
#5 -- "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" -- You may not realize it, but for some people Christmas is a huge downer. Not for me. John Lennon's potentially depressing ditty is a reminder to me that I'm really lucky. For that same reason, if the Verve's "Lucky Man" were a Christmas song, it would be on this list.
#4 -- "Silent Night" -- Every year this song gets entirely overplayed. Usually I gloss over it and don't pay it much mind. But sometimes -- with the right crooner or songstress at the helm -- this song will choke me up. It only happens about once a Holiday season, but when it does -- wooo boy! Waterworks.
#3 -- "Oh Holy Night" -- The first verse of this one is a real snoozer, but then it gets to the line, "Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!" And I'm hooked. It's such a theatrical image -- kind of like Leo DiCaprio in "Romeo and Juliet" where he yells "I am fortune's fool" with the rain pouring. Yep...kinda like that.
#2 -- "Christmas Time's A-coming" -- You probably didn't see this one coming. For anyone in the Allen/Sullivan household, however, this is no surprise. We wore grooves into the Emmylou Harris Christmas album, and this song will always remind me of Batavia, the house I grew up in, our remarkable dog Winston and being showered with an obscene amount of presents. I'm sure it will do the same for you if it's your first time hearing it.
#1 -- "Baby It's Cold Outside" -- As much as I'm convinced that cold weather and snow is God's personal campaign to smite me, I do enjoy being indoors with good people. This song is all about that. Like Frank Lloyd Wright's "Falling Water" it's a work of art that adapts to its environment seamlessly, providing a harmonious segue from the man-made world to the outdoorsy ruins that Papa Winter insists on creating each year.