Holiday Habits and Pleasures

Howdy All,

We put up the tree, and are currently relaxing with some holiday tunes and spirits. Just wondering how the approach and arrival of the holidays affects everyone’s listening. Of course, there will be an increase in holiday related recordings, but do listening sessions increase in frequency?  Are more folks involved?  Do themed events pop up like Christmas Cocktails and Canapés with Nat King Cole?  I’m currently stoking my own holiday spirit with Wynton Marsalis’s “Crescent City Christmas Card” which I discovered in some older Audiogon posts regarding favorite Christmas recordings. It’s making me think I should throw a Big Easy holiday bash one of these days, and start a new tradition. 
Eager to hear and steal some ideas, and new ways to appreciate appreciating. 

Happy Holidays to all,



One thing I noticed - the electrical grid was under enough pressure from kitchens doing overtime the night before Thanksgiving day that my music was somewhat affected for the worse. Anyone else notice this?

At this point 50% of my daily listening is Christmas music, and I'm loving it as always.

No change here socially other than playing Barbara Streisand’s Christmas album from 1967, Aled Jones - Walking in the Air, Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal, John and Yoko - War is Over (it isn’t), carols, and some classical music from England with snow on the covers.

I own 50+ Christmas CDs.  The majority in the jazz vein, and they sit on the shelf waiting for Dec to come around.  I would like to recommend two:

Dwight Yoakam - Come On Christmas.  Dwight gives his own take on many Christmas classics, including a Tex/Mex treatment on Silver Bells, plus two original Christmas songs.  A perennial favorite on our system.

BB King - A Christmas Celebration of Hope.  Strangely enough, I find this LP to be some of his best vocal work. IMHO.

Seasons greeting all.

The tree is up and lit, train put up around it, sitting drinking coffee, while shuffling 5 of over 100 Christmas CDs. We’ll listen to 100% Christmas music until New Year’s Day.

James Taylor’s "At Christmas" album playing at the moment. 😎

Happy Holidays to all, but no holiday-themed music around my place. Unless the holiday is Halloween.... 

Usually I play Eddie Higgins Christmas sacd. And some Choral Christmas CDs. While my Christmas light are on.

The kids are in their 40’s, wife and I are alone in this big house.  I put the tree up the weekend before Christmas and take it down Jan 2. I the tree crowds the living room.  I will put on Christmas Music for my wife but I will go upstairs as I am not a fan of it. 

Listening to Burl Ives, Barbra Streisand and The Transiberian Orchestra by day, 

Going to see The Transiberian Orchestra, watching White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story.

Gee @stereo5, I usually enjoy your posts, but this one certainly sounds Scroogy and sad. 

i view the big plastic conic / quasi random diffuser as an acoustic “ embedding “ or abomination as the lights are powered by a SMPS wall wart built by the low bidder in a far off land…..

Never the less, the sprit abounds

This Spotify playlist is the best stream we’ve found for easy listening Christmas Jazz, a nice assortment of very relaxing and pleasant music. Happy Holidays.

In our home, non-stop Christmas music starts right after Thanksgiving. Drives the rest of the family nuts.

Particularly fond of Nutcracker, Charlie Brown and lots of stuff from the 50s and 60s when I was a kid.

Merry Christmans to all.

Every year I campaign to skip the tree and every year the suggestion is shot down. We generally do John Denver and the Muppets, the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack,etc but I can't wait for this all to be over; incredible amount of wasted resources and energy to play dress up for a 2K year old fairy tale. 


 My amp sits on the floor between my speakers, right where the tree goes. Major ordeal. I move amp to side of room and run 7m kimber PBJ back to pre . Speakers get moved into TV room  and are replaced with my smaller  "Christmas speakers ".  (Salk Songtower )  These are connected with some old Monster Cable. Every year Im amazed at how good it sounds! As for Christmas favs:

Tingstad and Rumple  Star of Wonder.

Raul Malo

Narada Christmas

Any Nutcracker

Willie Nelson  Pretty Paper

Leon Redbone  Christmas Island

George Winston  December

 Vince Guaraldi

  I have over 60 Christmas cds, plus vinyl.  Oh, one more fav,  John Fahey.

 Merry Christmas to you all.

@roxy54 , not a scrooge, we still spend big on the kids, son in law and son's girlfriend.  Times have changed though.  We do a big Christmas breakfast but the last few years, it's just my wife and me.  Last year we went to our daughters for Christmas Eve.  My Son and girlfriend were there too.  On Christmas, we were alone all day and I get it, they are grown up and times change.  But, Christmas music, yuck.  I never liked it as a kid and like it less now.

I have to check out the Leon Redbone album as I didn't know it existed. And thanks to the Jewish songwriters for the great xmas songs, ditto the holiday movies. I can tolerate solo acoustic guitar holiday stuff but not much else...Vince Guaraldi is always great.

Spouse 'n self have always been  pretty 'off-target' when it came to 'apropos' gifting, so it's wound down to being pretty blatant about What would amuse....

Look over her shoulder as she scans the catalogs of clothing...."Y'know, That would look good on you....more your 'thing'... "....and generally does, and gets an agreement and a positive vote upon arrival and the in-house fashion show....*G*

As for self...better to drop a dwarf star alloy 'hint' (i.e., something printed...), and it generally works....🤷‍♂️ 

This year: a major mixer that can do all the things she's commented on being able or wanting to try during the DarkFry 'event', but...

....a 'mystery object' that arrived in an odd box from 'far way' that will have to stand by until 25 in the a.m. ,,,,Just Because....;)

If I'm gifted with anything else but the satin turtleneck 'undershirts' (calling them a 't-shirt' is....incorrect, and I got to pick colors....)....

In some ways, I suspect she's happy to have me still present to be able to be 'un-amused' by.....

Beats the alternative, for both of us.... ;)

Can’t say I’m in the holiday spirit.


This mornings discussion was “ time to put out the menorah.”  Normally quite fun, friends and family, a rotating 8 day party.  A lot of fun.

this year, a time when our college daughter legitimately afraid to walk out of her dorm room, it’s “Will celebrating cause us troubles this year?”  “Do we want to draw attention to ourselves?”  “Does it have to be the front of the house?”

@davetheoilguy ,

Terrible that has to be a concern. I know it’s easy to give advice when you’re safely on the outside looking in, but display it proudly. Don’t allow the NAZI mentality of a minority of ignoramus’s prevent you from celebrating your faith. Don’t allow them to snuff out the light of those candles. Again, easy for me to say. I don’t know the demographics of your area or how much antisemitism there is there, but I do know that every time they frighten someone into changing the habits of their faith they chalk up a win. It’s appalling you must weigh that against the potential danger to your family’s safety. Happy Hanukkah!

Heard a new(?) Michael Buble original Christmas song at the store. Was the best Christmas song I've heard in a long time.


It might be good for you and your family if you re-examine your thoughts and feelings about the Christmas season. I was raised as a Catholic but stopped believing in the "fairytale" as you call it when I was still just a boy. In spite of that, I had wonderful experiences with family and friends at Christmas and carried that through to adulthood. 

I realized as an adult that for me personally, Christmas is about togetherness with family and friends, and a kind of "wrapping up" of the year that's about to end with gratitude and some celebration. If you looked at it in this way instead of as an irrelevant religious celebration, you might learn to enjoy it. The way things are now, your attitude toward the season is probably putting a serious damper on the enjoyment of the rest of your family as well as yourself.

@roxy54, thanks but I'm a very good actor and everyone in my family thinks I'm fine with Christmas. 

All of this originated when we were cowering in caves and realized at some point that winter wouldn't go on forever, so I get that endings/beginnings jazz and it's great for what it is. I am talking about what bothered Chuck and Linus back in '65, and it certainly hasn't gotten better since then. 

I agree with you 100% - enjoying my friends and family is a wonderful thing, and I do. Other than my desire to avoid the whole tree thing, I don't grumble or grouse about it openly and genuinely celebrate the fact that we're all together. I do the same thing on Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Arbor Day, and every Friday fish fry. The beauty of all the other holidays I mentioned is there is none of the insane level of consumerism (and the attendant waste) that Christmas brings. Well, possibly Thanksgiving, but that holiday has a full plate (pun intended) of other issues as well.  

I was in the middle of an extended paragraph that laid out what I believed was a cogent argument about this particular holiday, but I am cool with leaving it at "I love any occasion that encourages time with friends and family"

Or, to return to the words of St.Linus: "peace on earth, good will toward men". 

"The beauty of all the other holidays I mentioned is there is none of the insane level of consumerism (and the attendant waste) that Christmas brings."

True, but Halloween is striving for contention!



I understand your thoughts a little better now. Thanks,


I was thinking the very same thing! It's gone nuts in the last few years. Where do people put all of those headstones and skeletons?