There’s a reason listeners seem to get more and more anxious each year for the start of the Christmas music season: nothing else looks like this. The things that make Christmas carols great – whether it’s Christmas carols, old pop standards, or new lasting hits – are many of the same things that make pop great in general: emotional connection , universal relativity, unshakable catchphrase.
But Christmas music has a wavelength of its own, shared by an overwhelming majority of its most recognizable classics: a sort of sublime longing that is both deeply sad and deeply heartwarming. It evokes a visceral, almost oppressive sentimentality, fortified and reinforced by a lifetime’s worth of associated vacation memories – personal, family, romantic, nostalgic. It’s music for the most beautiful time of year, even if it always makes you cry.
And it never goes away. Well, maybe for ten months out of the year he goes into hibernation – but you know he’ll be back no later than next November, and he’ll be performing the same songs he has for your whole life. Unlike the old and the canons of classic rock, who are forced to update their timeline settings from time to time (or at least some old songs to make room for new ones), being a Christmas standard is a date for life. Perennials that date back nearly a century to this point are still ubiquitous every holiday season, while new seasonal releases often take entire decades to prove their worth. This makes every Christmas season a musical family reunion where everyone shows up and coexists peacefully – something precious that few of us are lucky enough to be able to say about our own. real real-life family holiday celebrations.
here is BillboardThe staff select the 100 Greatest Christmas Songs of All Time – songs that, despite people’s best efforts, cannot seem to ruin any business overuse or corporate co-optation.