I like Christmas, for a number of reasons, but mostly because I like to pretend that it is the 1950s and I am only going to get a catapult and bag of nuts in my stocking. By the big day I am pretty bored with the season, but in November I get excited about getting my Christmas albums out and just digging the winter feelings on my own terms. So here are some good ones to get:
AUSTERE MORMON CHRISTMAS: Low, "Christmas EP"
Brilliantly spare, lovely music by the super-religious indie rock band. I am not much of a theologian but few people could argue with this thing.
PIANO JAZZ PLUS SINGING CHILDREN CHRISTMAS: Vince Guaraldi, "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
One of my favourite albums of all time. End to end brilliance that pretty much defines what this kind of record should be.
SIXTIES WALL OF SOUND CHRISTMAS: Beach Boys "Christmas With The Beach Boys"; Phil Spector, "A Christmas Gift For You"
The Beach Boys record is their 60s Christmas album teamed with a rotten, shelved 70s effort that fortunately contains 'Morning Christmas', a heart-stopping Dennis Wilson number. The Phil Spector record is "Sleigh Ride" and all that - peerless 60s pop.
LOOK FOR IT ON THE INTERNET CHRISTMAS: Sufjan Stevens "Hark! Songs For ChristmasVols I-III"
I found these unreleased gems by accident while looking for pictures of pandas on Google Image (lie). The indie folkster loves baby Jesus and delivers in spades.
I quite like the class-of-whatever-year alternative compilations that come out each Christmas. There are dozens of them but Xfm's "Cool Cool Christmas" is the best of a mixed bunch in the last decade. It even has a song by Lauren Laverne. Buyer beware, they always feature a couple of horrible songs (guilty party here: shame on you, the Flaming Lips!)
This year I want to get some good country Christmas albums in, as nobody does it better than Nashville. But since there are 17 million of them, feel free to help in the comments. I realise that country music is a dirty word (two words) in the image-led hipster world of blogs, but be brave.