Culture Crash Logo


Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine american culture. What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

No time of year has more classics and standards than the holiday season. Beginning in early November, you can’t help but to start hearing the familiar Christmas tunes of years past in department stores and on the radio.

Personally, I’m a strong believer that Christmas music is appropriate starting on Black Friday and extending until New Years Day. Once Thanksgiving dinner is done, I pull the records out of the drawer and once New Years has past, I put them back away… metaphorically, of course. What I literally mean is I take my Christmas playlist out of a hidden folder in Spotify for a month or so and then hide it again.

Naturally, I enjoy the Christmas classics- Chuck Berry singing “Run Run Rudolph”, Frank Sinatra’s “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow”, and Nat King Cole’s “Joy To The World.”

And then I enjoy the more modern Christmas wrinkles like NSYNC’s infectious “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Wrapped in Red.”

But like all families, my family has some holiday traditions of our own. My dad’s favorite Christmas tunes come from the Beach Boys, so this is the time of year I like to enjoy “Little Saint Nick”, “Santa’s Beard”, and the “Man with All the Toys.

(Clip 1)

But one of my most cherished Christmas traditions is listening to my mom’s favorite Christmas album. Every year growing up, or at least some years, my sister, my brother, and me would open our presents to Amy Grant’s Christmas album. Nothing says Christmas day to me more than hearing Amy Grant’s “Emmanuel.”

(Clip 2)

Admittedly, “Emmanuel” is probably a classic to no one outside of my family-and maybe Amy Grant’s- but for us, it’s essential Christmas listening.

Whatever your favorite Christmas songs are, whatever you consider the appropriate time to blast them in your car, and especially you only want a hippopotamus for Christmas, there’s no debating that now is the time to revel in that warm holiday feeling that comes with hearing the Christmas songs you cherish the most.

I’m Evan Rook.