Some of my favorite things to listen to and watch around the holidays weren’t created to be a holiday genre. For example, I got Radiohead’s THE BENDS on Christmas Eve in, oh, 1996 maybe, and even though it has nothing to do with Christmas, almost every time I listen to it, aside from making my bones melt into goo, I still get a little Christmas-Eve thrill (you know the feeling, where your stomach flip flops with excitement and the top of your scalp prickles, and you just want to jump up and down and not go to bed and eat candy canes and chocolate cake with sprinkles…no? Hmm.).
A couple other examples that currently come to mind:
OCEAN DREAMS. If you have trouble falling asleep, get this album. I originally had it in the early ’90s on cassette tape, during my New Age stage, where my favorite place to shop was Natural Wonders, my favorite catalog was one that sold wind chimes and candles with crystals inside them, and I listened non-stop to this album and Enya (which would also fall under the not-holiday Holiday music). This stage started when I was in 6th grade, and I became a staunch environmentalist. I only wrote on recycled notebook paper, my pens were biodegradable and made of corn, and I wore a shirt every day that said “Earth Day Every Day.” I had a lot of friends when I moved to Springfield the following year (does sarcasm translate well through the blogosphere?). I must have shopped at Natural Wonders a lot around Christmastime (it’s probably where I bought everyone’s gifts, lucky them), and that’s why I associate this album with the holidays.
But seriously, this is the best. I recently re-purchased it about a year ago (December 27, 2012 to be exact, according to my Amazon history), and use it nightly with my children. They can be running around half-naked and wild, screaming that sleep won’t come to them. Then I turn this baby on, and by the time the first 15-minute song is done, they’re snoring away. I love it.
BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY – I don’t think that this is *technically* a holiday movie, but it takes place over Christmas and New Years, so I always love watching it this time of year (and any time of year, really). This is the most perfect movie put on this planet, and I don’t think I really need to say anything to convince you otherwise. Because of course you’ve seen it and agree.
Interestingly, another one of my favorite non-Christmas Christmas movies is ABOUT A BOY, starring Hugh Grant. He is the King of unconventional holiday movies (Bridget, About a Boy, Love Actually…too bad he wasn’t in You’ve Got Mail…).
What about you? Do you have anything that sparks a little holiday excitement, regardless of genre, or time of year?