Depending on how you calculate it, the Twelfth Day Of Christmas is either tonight or tomorrow night. Every year for the past decade or two, it seems one Christmas song has risen above the rest to become my favorite of the year. So while there’s still a touch of Christmas magic in the air, let’s review some of Chris’s Christmas Number Ones!
I do my best to sci-fi up my holidays, but sometimes I just want to sit back and enjoy some tunes. And as schmaltzy and trite as it may be, I fucking love Christmas music. Most of the songs that follow are significant because I didn’t discover them until very late in life (both mine and the songs’). Some are just classics that hit at the right time. And while this article is a bit self indulgent, what autobiographical story isn’t? All stories are told with the assumption that the audience must surely be interested in my tale, full of my opinions, told from my point of view. And if you’re not, well, fuck it. It’s Christmas. Shut up and play nice.
Chris’s 2022 Christmas Number One is… Trans-Siberian Orchestra, “O’ Come All Ye Faithful/O’ Holy Night”
Hard to say why, but this one really hooked me this year.
Chris’s 2021 Christmas Number One was… The Beach Boys, “Santa’s Beard”
Interesting little tune that somehow has escaped my notice all these years. And it comes with a built-in, ready to go “explanation” to give kids when they start getting wise to the game. This song literally helps you be better at lying to children. Most Christmas song writers can’t say that. And that’s why Brian Wilson is a genius.
Chris’s 2020 Christmas Number One was… The Waitresses, “Christmas Wrapping”
This song grabbed me and almost instantly became one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time. Even with a ton of bummer lyrics, this tune is so relentlessly goddamned cheerful that I can’t imagine ever having celebrated Christmas without it. I listen to it so often every Christmastime that I’m amazed my electronics haven’t gained sentience and murdered me in protest. Here’s how great this song is: if I could make only one improvement to Love, Actually, which is a damned near perfect movie, it would be to include “Christmas Wrapping” on the soundtrack. This song is the Christmas spirit distilled to it’s purest form.
Chris’s 2019 Christmas Number One was… Wham!, “Last Christmas”
This didn’t make it to Number One because of the music. I mean, I like this song. I listen to it every year. It’s a weirdly hopeful tune about seeing a cruel and emotionally abusive former lover. There is nothing particularly Christmassy about the story, and when you read the lyrics divorced from the music, it’s really quite depressing. But the music and lyrics are not what did it. No, this song takes the top spot because this was the year I finally saw the video.
Jesus. Fucking. Christ. I have nothing but support for LGBTQIA+ people. I don’t really understand the hate they deal with, but I actively oppose it. One of The Sci-Fi Guys is gay, and I got ordained specifically so I could perform his wedding ceremony, and that was way back before same sex marriage was legal. I consider myself an ally, is what I’m trying to say. And I don’t know if you can quantify homosexuality, or how you would go about doing so if you could. But what I do know is that this music video is hands down the gayest fucking thing I have ever seen in my life. It’s so gay it’s mesmerizing. I have accompanied my gay friends to gay bars, gay clubs, and drag shows over the years. But if you combined everything I’ve ever seen at all of those places, solidified those memories into a fisting dildo, and used that dildo to pleasure the ass of the gayest man in the world while he received a double blow job from the second and third gayest men in the world, that scene would pale – pale, my friends – next to the gayness of this video. It’s astonishing. You have to watch it more than once to take it all in. I remember when George Michael came out. I remember people were in disbelief. Fucking how?? Did you not see this video? How the hell did we not know?
Chris’s 2018 Christmas Number One was… Blasko, John Tempesta, Dez Fafara & Doug Aldrich, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Not usually a fan of death growl scream-singing, but I loved this immediately. I listened to this song about seventy bajillion times that year. Maybe a little more.
Chris’s 2017 Christmas Number One was… Run-D.M.C., “Christmas In Hollis“
I watched Die Hard earlier than usual this year. That was really all it took.
Chris’s 2016 Christmas Number One was… Billy Squier, “Christmas Is The Time To Say ‘I Love You'”
My memory gets a bit fuzzy after this point. But there are two final entries I can tell you about from a few years prior…
Chris’s 2011 Christmas Number One was… Frank Sinatra, “Jingle Bells”
When it comes to Christmas music, I’ve never been a big fan of Ol’ Blue Eyes. The Chairman Of The Board had pipes, but not Christmas pipes. However, while I was trimming the The Ugliest Christmas Tree In The World, Sinatra’s version of “Jingle Bells” came on the radio no fewer than three times. I’d never heard it. I didn’t even know he had recorded a version of “Jingle Bells.” And I didn’t like it at first. But I’ll be damned if it didn’t grow on me, and fast. I started hearing it on the way to and from work. I was astounded that I’d never heard it until then, and I was glad that it seemed to be rapidly becoming a holiday staple. Or so I thought. The next Christmas I only heard it once, and since then most Christmases come and go without hearing it at all. Which is a shame, really. This song deserves more airplay.
Chris’s 2010 Christmas Number One was… The Beach Boys, “Little Saint Nick”
I had heard it since I was a kid, but this felt like the first time I ever really heard it. Know what I mean?