I’ve always felt at least a passing sympathy for South Park’s Kyle Broflofsky, who once sang a mournful ditty about how “It’s hard to be a Jew on Christmas.”
Having married into a Christmas-celebrating family after growing up Jewish with no Christmas, my problem isn’t the holiday as a whole, but its standard soundtrack.
That’s why, in 1984, I started to assemble my own Christmas soundtracks. Over the years, any number of card-carrying Christian friends of mine have expressed some affection for my “Xmas Jollies” compilations. I think it’s because you don’t have to be Jewish to find yourself subject to them Christmas blues.
Here’s an annotated guide to “Xmas Jollies 2011,” which runs the usual gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous. I sequenced it to make it easy for the listener to get all the way from the beginning to the end. Hopefully, you’ll think of it the way I do—as a sleigh ride for the ears.
Written by BIll Adler