I've written previously about how much I loved my parents extensive collection of Christmas cassette tapes. And records. And 8-tracks. And even reel-to-reel tapes. So much Christmas music, so little time.
But of the cassettes, there were none I love more than those of Alabama and Kenny & Dolly.
I won't be discussing Alabama on this list, as they did all originals. You can, however, enjoy this gem if you like.
Kenny and Dolly, on the other hand, mixed in new and old songs. It was only in looking up this song that I realized that Kenny didn't actually sing on it, just Dolly. We do get an appearance from the bearded man in our video, though.
There are several things I love about this particular version.
The first is the choice of "Parson Brown" over "circus clown." It's weird because as a kid, I didn't understand what a parson was and why he would care if you were married. It was lost on me.
But I hate clowns. They can stay the heck out of my Christmas songs, thank you very much.
Secondly, I love medleys, especially for this list, as it allows me to sneak in extra stuff. "Sleigh Ride" blends nicely with "Winter Wonderland," so Dolly's version is top-notch.
Finally, this is one of the few renditions that doesn't somehow make me think of the Eurythmics' version from "A Very Special Christmas." As a child, Eurythmics lead singer Annie Lennox haunted my dreams -- all stern-looking and androgynous. She was frightening to a five-year-old.
Like clowns, Annie Lennox can also stay the heck out of my Christmas, thank you very much.
The one downside to this particular video is that, as part of Kenny and Dolly's Christmas special, the song is cut short to go to commercial, leaving off the "Walk along, talk along, sing along all night," part that I enjoy at the end of the album version.
But I couldn't pass up a good video, especially with the playful dialogue between the two at the beginning.
So, in honor of the first day of winter, rainy though it may be, enjoy "Winter Wonderland."
For Dec. 22: "O Holy Night"
The 24 days of Christmas (songs)
Dec. 1: 'Sleigh Ride' -- The Ronettes
Dec. 2: 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' -- Marty Robbins
Dec. 3: 'O Tannenbaum' -- Vince Guaraldi Trio
Dec. 4: 'Blue Christmas' -- Elvis
Dec. 5: 'Santa Baby' -- Madonna
Dec. 6: 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas' -- Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters
Dec. 7: 'Here Comes Santa Claus' -- Alvin and the Chipmunks
Dec. 8: 'Angels We Have Heard on High' -- Brian Setzer Orchestra
Dec. 9: 'White Christmas' -- The Drifters
Dec. 10: 'Do You Hear What I Hear?' -- Bing Crosby
Dec. 11: 'Carol of the Bells' -- Celtic Woman
Dec. 12: 'Jingle Bells' -- Frank Sinatra
Dec. 13: 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' -- Judy Garland
Dec. 14: 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' -- Tennessee Ernie Ford and Straight No Chaser
Dec. 15: 'What Child Is This?' -- Johnny Mathis
Dec. 16: 'My Favorite Things' -- John Coltrane
Dec. 17: 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings' -- Barenaked Ladies/Sarah McLachlan
Dec. 18: 'Holly Jolly Christmas' -- Burl Ives
Dec. 19: 'The Christmas Song' -- Nat King Cole
Dec. 20: Cartoon Christmas Songs -- Burl Ives and Jimmy Durante