THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY STARTS HERE:
... with CHRIS ISAAK, live at Universal Studios. Your holiday-themed numbers include "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Hey, Santa," "Last Month of the Year," "Blue Christmas," and "Christmas on TV." Bonus: Dreidel banter!
THE CURRENT has a holiday-themed stream.
LIT UP LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE, Vols. 1 & 2: A Vintage Holiday Mixtape.
CHRISTMAS JAMBREE: A Vintage Jamaican Yuletide Mixtape.
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS: Mental Floss has "The Real Story Behind A Charlie Brown Christmas (and why it almost wasn't shown)." There's more reflection at Aquarium Drunkard. The WaPo has reflections from producer-director Lee Mendelson. And Caitlin Flanagan asks what gives the special its power.
A BLUE CHRISTMAS song can be a comfort, when everyone else seems to feel joy.
DARLENE LOVE & RONNIE SPECTOR duet on "Sleigh Ride" and "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree."
THE POGUES: It's not Christmas Eve in the drunk tank (or even St. Patrick's Day) without a "Fairytale of New York." From 2012, here's the backstory. And at The Week, Michael B. Dougherty argues that it's the greatest Christmas song of all time. NME has 25 Things you didn't know about the tale.
ANTON BARBEAU, an occasional collaborator of the late Scott Miller, crafted his own "Xmas Song." THE 10 BEST PUNK CHRISTMAS SONGS, according to L.A. Weekly.
35 ALTERNATIVE HOLIDAY SONGS, courtesy of NME.
"A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS" changed the way the holiday sounds.
THE BEST AND WORST CHRISTMAS COVERS of 2018, according to NME.
NORAD will be tracking Santa, per usual. CNET has a history and behind-the scenes story.
THE 50 BEST HOLIDAY SONGS, according to The Ringer.
THE 20 GREATEST CHRISTMAS ALBUMS, according to The Guardian.
THE 25 BEST CHRISTMAS ALBUMS, according to Complex. BONUS: The L.A. Times rounds up the Merry and the Meh, including the evolving Christmas Time Again, by The dB's and Friends.
THE TOP 10 ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS SONGS, according to The Mary Sue.
15 BIZARRE CHRISTMAS ALBUMS, courtesy of Mental Floss.
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY of Christmas Songs.
2021's BEST HOLIDAY MUSIC, according to The AV Club. ALSO: The Best and Worst, ranked by NME.
EIGHT HOURS of vintage department store holiday music.
BILLY MACK: Because "Christmas Is All Around." ALSO: Is Love Actually is an awful movie? Or a rom-com masterpiece? PLUS: We now know for sure what happened to Harry and Karen. AND: Love, Actually, Finally.
THE FLAMING LIPS perform "White Christmas" as only they can.
WHITE CHRISTMAS: A Snapshot Of The Most Successful Song In Music History.
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: "The Gift That Keeps Giving." Not to be confused with "The Gift," which is not Christmasey at all.
THE COURTEENEERS drop a video for "Winter Wonderland" that's not that Winter Wonderland.
CALEXICO: Speaking of presents, here's their "Gift X-Change."
THE MUPPETS: "Ringing of the Bells." Not to be confused with Super Furry Animals.
MICHAEL CAINE looks back at The Muppet Christmas Carol, which has been restored at D+. ALSO: The Muppets look back on The Muppet Christmas Carol for its 30th anniversary. AND: A Muppet Family Christmas, in its original form with all its songs and characters, does not exist on any official streaming service or physical media.
EMMET OTTER's JUG BAND CHRISTMAS Soundtrack.
AN XMAS FLASH MOB from the Berklee College of Music broke out into an impromptu performance of the classic Christmas carol “O Holy Night” at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.
GLAM XMAS: I started the month with Wizzard's awesome "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" and Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" (1973's UK Xmas No. 1). The circle is now complete.
HALL & OATES: "Jingle Bell Rock," reduced to its molten kitchy essense.
CHRISTMAS SONGS: More secular than ever.
THE MOST COVERED CHRISTMAS SONGS, according to FiveThirtyEight.
16 WEIRD FACTS About Big Christmas Hits.
MARIAH CAREY's “All I Want For Christmas Is You” tops the chart yet again.
WHY Are There No New Christmas Songs? WHAT Makes Christmas songs stick?
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, online. Also, a 5-year-old called 911 on the Grinch.
DAVID BOWIE & BING CROSBY'S cross-generational duet on "Little Drummer Boy." This historic event was recreated by Will Farrell and John C. Reilly. Plus, Jack Black and Jason Segel have done a cartoon cover.
THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS: Many people believe human activity is causing global warming. I blame Snow Miser and Heat Miser.
INTO THE SANTA-VERSE: How Rankin and Bass teamed up with Japanese animators to define Christmas specials for generations.
CHICAGO CHRISTMAS MEMORIES: If you grew up in Chicago (and I suspect other places), the season is not complete without watching the short cartoons of "Hardrock, Coco & Joe" (a story fantastic, a story so queer), "Suzy Snowflake" and the jazzy version of "Frosty the Snowman."
THE BEATLES fan club messages, complete. And the strange story behind the bootleg albums.
A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOU...FROM PHIL SPECTOR: Essayed by Aquarium Drunkard and NME.
CHRISTMASTIME FOR THE JEWS: An Oral History.
THE 50 BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES, according to NME.
THE TRON 1982 HOLIDAY SPECIAL, courtesy of Funny Or Die.
T. REXMAS is available for download.
THE SEX PISTOLS & THIN LIZZY played "A Merry Jingle" for Top of the Pops. BONUS: The Pistols' final UK show was a Christmas benefit.
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Pate even had a song titled "Rope Around The Moon." BONUS: Vintage Bailey backlash from warped, frustrated old people at FEE, the New York Times and Portfolio. DOUBLE-BONUS: 22 TV variations on It's A Wonderful Life. AND: There Is No "Mary Problem" in the movie.
RUDOLPH, THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: Pull up an ice block and lend an ear! Herbie wanted to be a dentist. NTTAWWT. BONUS: The Rankin-Bass classic continues to inspire ads like 2009's Verizon ad, following 2008's Apple ad, even more so 2007's AFLAC commercial, and AT & T bringing in Rudolph, Bumble, and Santa for 2015.BONUS: NPR has a piece on the original manuscript. DOUBLE BONUS: Don't Subject Your Kids to Rudolph.
FESTIVUS: For the rest of us. Technically already started, so I can be one of your grievances.
SCARY GHOST STORIES: I overheard Andy Williams crooning "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" in a store a few years back, and the lyric about "scary ghost stories" never really struck me before. Took me a second, but I supposed he was referring to Dickens. It turns out -- as noted by a coworker -- that this was a thing in Victorian England... and the modern day. BONUS: Krampus, which has now inspired a major motion picture, and a Nativity set. DOUBLE BONUS: NME rounds up 10 Deliciously Scary Christmas Movies. TRIPLE BONUS: 18 Killer Santas From Film and TV. QUAD BONUS: The scary story tradition is one explained in this book.
LIAM NEESON auditions as a mall Santa.
TEN UNFORGETTABLE Musical Christmas Moments On Film.
THE 30 BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES, according to Empire magazine.
WHAT YOUR FAVE CHRISTMAS MOVIE Says About You.
FIVE REASONS Why Die Hard is a Christmas movie, not including the ornament.
HOME ALONE: Did Kevin McCallister grow up to become the Jigsaw Killer?
THE ICE HARVEST is a Christmas movie?
DRECK THE HALLS: A Holiday TV Specials Retrospective.
23 TV EPISODES based on "A Christmas Carol."
A CHRISTMAS HAM: Mary Katherine Ham and Commentary's John Podhoretz break down the Hallmark Christmas movie genre.
NAT KING COLE: His chestnuts are roasting.
MAYMO THE BEAGLE gets 210 bottles for Christmas.
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, as told by cats.
27 DOGS That Do Christmas Better Than You Do Christmas.
17 WEINER DOGS make the perfect Christmas photo.
THE DOGGO who stole Christmas.
29 CATS Trying To Figure Out This Whole Christmas Thing.
A SHETLAND PONY in a Christmas foursie.
CHRISTMAS ON CHRISTMAS ISLAND involves millions of crabs.
AN AUSTRALIAN FAMILY shot into the Guinness Book of Records in 2011 after decorating their home with an astonishing 331038 Christmas lights. If the video at the link doesn't work, try this one.