Having my music on one hurkin’ big hard drive makes the sonic transition to the holiday season easy. I use a great program called MediaMonkey to organize my music library. All the Christmas music is kept in one “Holiday” folder, and for most of the year it sits there, biding its time. Now I open the program, add a single directory to the file monitor, and presto! It sounds like Christmas up in here.
My tastes in Christmas music have changed some over the years. As a child I used to hate hate HATE the big pop vocal Christmas chestnuts–Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole. Now they make me think of our little brick house in Marrero, new bicycles and Hoth stormtroopers and Shogun Warriors under an artificial tree, and a beige album cover with those singers on the back. (The cover was made to look like a needlework sampler; anyone happen to know the name of that compilation?) There’s plenty of other stuff too–brass ensembles, Chanticleer, Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band, English choirs, and modern pop songs. As strongly as I resist the commercial push to start the Christmas season earlier every year, I’m always really happy when it arrives.