GIVE ALL THE TOYS TO THE LITTLE RICH BOYS: The holidays are coming. How do I know? Because XMRadio, resident in my car, has added not one, not two, but five Christmas-themed stations to the lineup. (Sirius apparently only has two, the scrooges.)
XM's Holly channel -- which has replaced all-important lite-FM (lite-Satellite?) channel The Heart through December 25 -- is focusing on the "hits of the holidays," while the Holiday Traditions channel is handling Bing, Burl, and the whole gang of Christmas Classicists. (For other interests, we also have Nashville Christmas, Classical Christmas, and Special X-mas, the latter of which seems to be all the novelty "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" kind of stuff.)
Which brings us to this: what are your favorite Christmas tunes, both classic and pop/rock divisions? On the more traditional side, I'm rather partial to Silver Bells, O Holy Night, Silent Night, and Jingle Bell Rock. As for the more recent stuff, Springsteen's Santa Claus is Coming to Town is best of breed, with the Kinks' Father Christmas and Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas not far behind. But I have to add one other to the list, which I hardly even consider a Christmas song because it's just so depressing: Robert Downey Jr.'s haunting version of Joni's Mitchell's The River. If you haven't heard it, kindly do so immediately. And then dance around to Jingle Bell Rock and Father Christmas a few times to recover.