I didn't abide by this on Sunday, Dec. 1 because, well, "Sleigh Ride" is awesome and was the perfect way to kick off this list. But from here on out, Sundays (as well as several other days) are reserved for Christmas hymns. No Santa Claus or jingling bells here.
I never used to be much of a Brian Setzer fan. Didn't really like the Stray Cats and I wasn't much of a fan of The Brian Setzer Orchestra. Just wasn't my thing.
That all changed nine years ago this month as I sat waiting for a $120 oil change in a car dealership lobby. (Stupid, overpriced dealership.)
Setzer and Co. appeared on a morning talk show promoting their album "Boogie Woogie Christmas," which took Christmas classics and turned them into upbeat, retro swing music.
I was hooked immediately. I'm pretty sure I bought the CD at the nearest Best Buy and listened to it the entire trip back to Warren County.
These guys have a way of taking Christmas songs and squeezing every last drop of energy and good cheer out of them. It's no surprise that Setzer owns a song like "Jingle Bells" or "Baby, It's Cold Outside," but he also surprises with his ability on hymns, particularly "O, Holy Night."
Almost a decade on, I remain hooked. Setzer has released more holiday records, but I pretty much stick with the original.
I do, however, occasionally scan sites like youtube for new renditions from Setzer.
I recently discovered this gem. In "Angels We Have Heard On High," we have a song that lends itself well to Setzer's deft hand. The Latin horn section takes the song in directions I would never have imagined.
I consider this post a birthday gift to myself. Maybe it's a little over indulgent, but it's my birthday. Consider this my extra piece of cake.
(Rest assured that I will also be having an actual extra piece of cake.)
Up next: "White Christmas"
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