Hi-Fi Fifteen: Have Yourself an Idle Little Christmas

…and an eclectic one at that. How much variety can the three of us cram into one list that is ostensibly based around the same theme? Evidently, quite a lot. Prepare yourself for a bit of audio whiplash as we careen from traditional to revisionist to what-the-fuck?

But that’s as it should be. Christmas can be a complicated holiday. Some of us adhere to a belief system that rejects Christian dogma, but still want our tinsel and stockings and advent calendars. Some of us are trying to keep our holiday cheer in the face of health, economic, or social hardships that are always thrown into sharp relief during year-end festivities. Some of us are faced with dealing with the families of significant others who open all their presents on Christmas Eve instead of waiting for Christmas morning like normal people!! How screwed up is that?

Yes, lines can sometimes be drawn, and we can be a little defensive about our holiday turf. Christmas or Hanukkah or moon-worshipping Wiccan solstice hippie nonsense? Turkey or roast beef for the big dinner? Angel or star at the top of tree? Eggnog or never-in-a-million-years-eggnog? Is Die Hard really a Christmas movie? These questions can test the firmest of romantic or familial relationships.

But once the candles are lit, the drinks are poured, and the Festivus pole is retrieved from the crawlspace, only one issue really matters. Mel Torme or Galaxie 500? Music is one of the best things to come out of Christmas, and can be adapted to any style, performer, or genre. Luckily, there’s room for it all… except “Christmas Shoes.” “Christmas Shoes” can eat a bag of dicks.

So the holidays can be a little cracked, and I’m glad we have a list that reflects that. If these lists continue, I’m sure we’ll re-visit this theme come next December, because it’s a pretty deep well to draw from.

1. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – Darlene Love
from A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records (1963)

2. “Listen the Snow Is Falling” – Galaxie 500
from This Is Our Music (1990)

3. “Souvenirs” – John Prine
from Diamonds in the Rough (1972)

4. “Father Christmas” – The Kinks
released as a single (1977)

5. “(I Wish You Could Be More Like) Santa Claus” – The Waistcoats
from 50,000,000 Elves Fans Can’t Be Wrong (2015)

6. “White Christmas” – The Drifters
released as a single (1954); original song written by Irving Berlin and first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1942

7. “Last Christmas” – Wham!
released as a single (1984)

8. “Christmas Wrapping” – The Waitresses
from compilation album A Christmas Record (1981)

9. “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight” – Asobi Seksu
from Season’s Greetings split 12″ single with PAS/CAL (2004); original version released by The Ramones in 1989

10. “2,000 Miles” – The Pretenders
released as a single (1983) and then subsequently on the album Learning To Crawl

11. “Christmas Must Be Tonight” – The Band
from Islands (1977)

12. “River” – Joni Mitchell
from Blue (1971)

13. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – Judy Garland
from the film Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

14. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” – John Lennon
released as a single (1971)

15. “The Christmas Song” – Mel Tormé
version from My Kind of Music (1961); originally written by Tormé in 1945 and first recorded by the King Cole Trio in 1946

Hi-Fi Fifteen is a callback to the “5 in 5” playlist game that MMDG, holybee, and djlazybear used to play on their lunchbreak. They’re all in different professions now, and don’t even live in the same counties, but quickly throwing together playlists on rotating themes is still fun as hell.