We put up the Christmas tree tonight, and as usual, it seemed to have grown in its box in the past year. It is gargantuan - I don't know what we were thinking when we bought it in 1999. I think we were so enamored with the idea that we were no longer living in an apartment but instead, had a house (with tall ceilings, no less) so we overestimated how much room we would actually have for a tree. And it's been a bit of a problem ever since. But somehow, we manage to pick up the pieces and move on.
And while we were setting up the tree, we listened to the Christmas CD that is an absolute must-listen every year. Nothing says Christmas quite like it - it's quite simply, a household holiday classic. It's RuPaul's 1997 holiday album Ho Ho Ho. I picked it up at Best Buy on a whim just after we were married, and it is far and away our favorite Christmas CD. It beats out classics like Babs' aforementioned 1967 A Christmas Album and Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas. Part of the problem with Christmas music is that it takes itself so damn seriously. That is decidedly NOT a problem on RuPaul's album. As the Amazon.com review says, most of it is delivered so tongue in cheek it's surprising that an oral surgeon isn't listed on the album credits.
RuPaul takes moldy oldies like "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and turns them on their ear. What was once a song about a misfit reindeer is now, instead about "RuPaul, the Red-Nosed Drag Queen." And Santa is no longer kissing mommy on that fateful Christmas Eve. Instead, he decides he has a hankering for daddy. With the predictable hilarious results that only RuPaul can deliver. In addition to this, RuPaul covers not just one, but TWO Dolly Parton songs -- "With Bells On" and "Hard Candy Christmas."
But Ru's take on "Santa Baby" is without a doubt, our favorite track on the album. Not just because it has a great arrangement, but RuPaul's delivery is just amazing. The running commentary in the background has us in stitches every single year. No joke. Don't take my word for it - listen for yourself (limited time only - get it while it's hot.)
RuPaul - Santa Baby (mp3)
So we got the tree up to the sounds of RuPaul and when that was done, we partook in some Girls Aloud holiday cheer. Then it was on to more traditional fare - Tchaikowsky's Nutcraker which Anna adores. London Symphony Orchestra will likely be a top artist on my last.fm page this week or next, depending upon when the cut off for submissions was.
And because I love posting pictures, here's a shot from tonight.
She loves the holidays. I usually do to. The Christmas music has been broken out MUCH MUCH earlier than in years past, so that's a good sign.
Let's just hope the tree doesn't have a stroke like it did last year.