My Favorite Christmas Songs, Redux

Last year I posted a list of my favorite Christmas songs, with links so you could listen to them.  That list still stands, but I’m adding the B team to the list to update it for this year.

Enjoy, and Happy Holidays, whatever you celebrate this season.

  • I Never Spend a Christmas That I Don’t Think of You – Statler Brothers


  • Someday At Christmas – Stevie Wonder & Andra Day


  • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles


[heard in The Santa Clause 2, but this doesn’t get cut off during the chorus]

  • Snoopy’s Christmas vs. The Red Baron – The Royal Guardsmen


  • Angels We Have Heard On High – The Piano Guys, Peter Hollens, David Archuleta, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir


You can find the original (last year’s) list at:


My Favorite Christmas Songs

There are lots of lists of ‘favorites’ floating around the internet, and I don’t want to be totally predictable, so most of these won’t be the ones you commonly see on such lists.  However, they are songs I like to hear year after year.  It isn’t fully Christmas unless I get them on my listening list.  In all cases I managed to track down a link that will let you hear them if they are not familiar to you.

We’ll start off with ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’.  Yep, in spite of my recent essay on this song, I do like it and listen to it each year.  No, it’s not my top favorite, but since I did write about it recently, I thought I’d mention that upfront.  I thought it was quite clever.

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer – Elmo & Patsy


The rest of these aren’t in a particular order either.  They’re all just favorites, for varying reasons – the lyrics, the music, the sentiment.  You might want to check them out if you haven’t heard them.  It’s possible you will like them too.

  • I Believe in Santa’s Cause – The Statler Brothers


  • Merry Christmas, Darling – The Carpenters


  • I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (the version with Calkins music, not Johnny Marks – very hard to find)

This version mostly seems to appear in religious music.  The 2nd one listed may be the easiest to hear.



(not as good; music/arrangement varies from original:

  • The Bells of Fraggle Rock – Fraggles


Yeah, okay, a Winter Solistice song, not Christmas, but I still like it!  Hey, I put in a religious song, so this balances things by being non-religious.

Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!


Forgot one:

Pine Cones & Holly Berries/It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – The Osmonds



Yeah, okay another one.  What did you expect this time of year?  I’m listening to Christmas music!  I get a pass until Dec 31, then I’ll behave…maybe.

My Christmas Card to You – Partridge Family


Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer – culpable negligence?

Each Christmas season, this song comes around, and there is much impugning of Santa Claus’ honor, but can he be considered to blame for this tragedy?

culpable negligence – (law) recklessly acting without reasonable caution and putting another person at risk of injury or death (or failing to do something with the same consequences)   []

Let’s look at the facts:

  1. Grandma had been drinking and the family knew this.
  2. She was on medication that she forgot to bring – the family knew this also
  3. Their sole effort at keeping her safe and healthy consisted of “begging her not to go”, but allowing it when she insisted.  Not unlike knowingly letting a person drive drunk.
  1. She was not found until Christmas morning although there is nothing to suggest she wasn’t somewhere directly between their house and her own.  There is no evidence that a search was made until the following morning – they seem to have just assumed that all was well.
  1. They’re proud of Grandpa and how well he is taking it – watching football on tv, drinking beer and playing cards; this also seems to reflect how well they are taking it that Grandpa’s actions do not disturb them in the slightest.
  1. They wonder whether to open her gifts or send them back – could this be due to their wanting the gifts themselves, or the refund for any purchase they made for Grandma?

When considering all of this, we have to wonder whether the entire family did not in fact plot Grandma’s demise and concoct this cock-and-bull story to cover it up.  Did anyone see this accident occur?  Just because there are hoof-prints doesn’t mean it was Santa’s reindeer.  Did they live near a wooded area where wild deer might be to blame?  Or could the hoof-prints have been ‘planted’?  What exactly are these ‘incriminating Claus marks’?  Do we have DNA proof indicating the source, or could they also have been staged?

For that matter, if they were so concerned about Grandma’s health and welfare, why did no one offer to go get the medication for her, or at least to go with her?  Did none of them have a car in which to drive her so she wasn’t stumbling around in the cold and snow?

I have to wonder if Santa Claus is unjustly being made the fall guy here.  The family perhaps thinks this is the perfect crime since how likely is it that Santa Claus could ever be apprehended?  The very nature of his work requires him to work in secrecy, so they know it would be difficult for him to provide witness testimony in his defense.

No, personally, I wonder if we bring in a bona fide criminal forensic investigator, might we discover that the facts tell a much different story?

[Written by Randy Brooks • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management US, LLC; recorded by Elmo & Patsy]

Whence Came Christmas?

I realized a few years ago that my mental image of “the perfect Christmas” has largely been built from TV, movies and books, rather than reality.  I did not grow up with snowy Christmas mornings, snug in a house with fire in the fireplace.  We didn’t go out sledding with new sleds, and certainly there were no horse-drawn sleighs to be had.

I built my “memories” from snippets of Christmas cards and holiday specials and movies through the years, molding my own idealized perfection.  I suspect that I am not alone in that.

Which is not to say that I don’t still enjoy all those false images during the holiday season.  It’s just good to remember that there can be other equally warm memories of a personal reality, and it is good to not lose complete sight of the truth.