RELEVANT Roundtable is when we ask our slate of culture writers a question and compile their responses. This week’s question: Which Christmas song are you already jamming?


Lesley Crews: Can we talk about which Christmas song I am already jamming into the trash can or is there no room for negativity here? Either way, it’s “Last Christmas” by Wham! It’s both my favorite and least favorite Christmas song. Catch me belting it at karaoke at every holiday party but also grumbling under my breath every time it graces the office Spotify playlist.

PS: If someone gave your heart away last year, why on God’s green earth would you give it to someone else and put yourself through that again?!

Josh Pease: Remember that time you watched Elf, heard “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” then kinda fell in love with the song only to realize later it has “Summer-Lovin’”-from-Grease-level issues and was actually suuuuuuuuuuuper problematic? Well Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski have come to your rescue, updating the lyrics from “this dude is a sexual predator” to something far more woke. It also name checks LaCroix and Cheesecake Factory and is very funny.

Sharon McKeeman: The Pogue’s “Fairytale of New York” is the perfect antidote to the overly sugary Christmas music we’re inundated with in every public place. It’s not appropriate for a church Christmas party, but it’s a rollercoaster of bittersweet emotions and tones and it has enough heart to make me listen to it early. Who am I kidding? I listen to this song all year long; it’s as much of a classic in July as December!

Matt Conner: Only one song could ever make a list of “Acceptable Christmas Music” in my book. I grew up loathing most things about Christmas, from the work to putting up and taking down decorations to the inescapable rotation of the same stupid songs. I’m surprised my Scrooge-ness hasn’t driven my wife and family away from me, but anyway, several years ago I decided seeing Sufjan Stevens was worth the downside of it being a Christmas tour. It was a magical and emotional night. When “Christmas Unicorn” hit and launched the best holiday dance party ever, I just couldn’t stop crying amid all that fun. It was a tad awkward, and this song is still difficult to interpret, but there’s some overwhelming truths of unity, love and of what Christmas should be in the middle of it. It still moves me today.

Tyler Daswick: I’m not going to lie, since “Carol of the Bells” sounds the most like the climax of a Mission: Impossible movie, it’s gotta be that one. Trans-Siberian Orchestra edition only, because I am not a coward.

Lauren Beatty: Honestly I listen to Christmas music all year. Before you throw a snowball at me, please know my year-round selections are very limited. I’m not a holiday fanatic; there are just certain songs I want to hear all the time (and some of them happen to include Christmas-themed lyrics). The Oh Hello’s Family Christmas Album of 2013 mixes standard Christmas music with folk instruments and rustic vocals to create musical artistry. Their haunting/festive/somber/celebratory songs provide a nice background for just about every day of the year and I will continue listening long beyond Epiphany.

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