For Your Listening Pleasure

Christmas time is here, and it is evident at Beit Carr with the arrival of Christmas decorations. This is, by far, Kelly's time to shine as she makes our condo a veritable Winter Wonderland. She does a great job with a limited space. The funniest thing about this transformation is the arrival of the Christmas music. Kel still has a cassette [a rectangular cartridge that plays music just like a CD] with some older holiday tunes she recorded from records [a circular disk much larger than a CD that plays music like a cassette]. She plays the tunes to get in the Christmas spirit, warming up by hearing that "it's Christmas-time all over the world," as well as a "song of mine, in three-quarter time." Classic.

Although I'm not quite the Christmas zealot, I do like some Christmas songs. I'm pretty particular in what I listen this time of year, so let me suggest three CDs you should acquire to get you through the season, ranked in ascending order.

3) Now That's What I Call Christmas. The hits series gathers an eclectic mix of Christmas classics from Nat King Cole to Frank Sinatra to Bing Crosby. The inclusion of songs by Michael Bolton and Gloria Estefan keep it low on the list.

2) A Charlie Brown Christmas. Kelly got this for me as an early birthday present. The jazz interpretation of popular holiday songs by the Vince Guaraldi Trio could soon become my number one. But it hasn't yet unseated . . .

1) The Home Alone Christmas. I wasn't a huge fan of the Macaulay Culkin franchises but the soundtrack that my brother Tim purchased in the mid-nineties has since heralded in my holiday season. Subtract the TLC rendition of Sleigh Ride [Rest-In-Peace, Left Eye] and you have a stellar set of songs. I look forward to explaining to Kaelyn the merits of Tom Petty as a Christmas crooner.

Deck the halls, my friends. Deck 'em till they bleed.