White Christmas, December 20: The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys might even be my favourite band of all (not counting the Beatles and the Carpenters and the Pet Shop Boys and the Who and probably some others). This starts off so slowly that I keep thinking someone’s accidentally playing it at 33rpm rather than 45, but it’s a gloriously swooshy and whooshy version, with singing as luscious as you’d expect. Also, all Christmas songs should end with a sweep of violins, I have decided.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to sleep for 48 hours. I think I am too aged for the Christmas party season.

White Christmas, December 16: Neil Diamond and Cliff Richard, Together At Last

OK, not actually together, but – amazingly – spliced together by a dedicated fan, in possibly the best, and certainly the oddest, mash-up of all time. May your week be as much fun as this song is.

(Make sure to keep listening past two minutes in, where something exciting happens. And something else exciting, in a different way, happens at 3:53, and you know, you just really need to listen to the whole thing.)

White Christmas, December 15: Andy Williams

I’m sticking with Crooners’ Sunday, so here is my favourite crooner of them all, Andy Williams, whose voice combines the smoothness of a Frank with the depth and richness of an Elvis, and whose version of Sleigh Ride is my favourite Christmas song of all, not counting Mistletoe And Wine. There is NO SPACE for Frank or Elvis in this year’s advent calendar, believe it or not, so this is as close as you’ll get. (I can’t say the same for Cliff, but more on him tomorrow, and I think you’ll be glad you waited.)

But for now, don your Sunday slippers and ideally a cardigan, light a fire, and enjoy some Andy loveliness. The cut-in at 2:05 is cheesy, but I love it anyway.

White Christmas, December 13: Haunani Hahalewai

So I could have absolutely given you twenty-four versions of White Christmas which are only slightly different from each other, but it’s more interesting to vary it even if that means (and it does) missing out on some great singers. But! It also means we get some other, less famous, great singers in exchange, and Haunani Hahalewai is one of them. This version has bonus Hawaiian lyrics for added value, AND a whole bunch of other songs tagged on to the end, some of which you will know, though you may not have heard these versions. Don’t say I never give you something for nothing.

White Christmas, December 12: Liz Mitchell

You might believe you’ve never heard of Liz Mitchell but trust me: you’ve heard her sing. Here she is going solo, with a Calypso version of our favourite Christmas song which is fully lovely right up until the grinding key change just after 2:30. If I were in charge, there would be a committee that would decide when a key change was acceptable, and the answer would be ALMOST NEVER.

Still, I am delighted by how vastly indifferent the reindeer are. Enjoy!