Sorry, 70’s children.  This isn’t a tribute to what might be the greatest band of all time…maybe some other day.

But today, I’ve waited as long as I can.  This morning at 8:00 AM Eastern Standard Time, November 24, the year of our Lord 2008 AD, Christmas will officially begin in my office.

I understand that I will risk ridicule at the hands of a few of my co-workers, scrooges that they are.  I realize that I might completely alienate one of my best friends, who believes that Christmas shouldn’t be celebrated until 11:59:59 on December 24.  But I’ve got a fever, and the cure is Christmas music.

I feel like I’m well within the boundaries of society.  Christmas decorations started going up in the mall back in July.  You could buy a combo bottle rocket / poinsettia  value pack at some stores.  There are radio stations that have been playing Christmas music since Halloween.  There are Santa Claus wanna-bes all over the triangle who have had to wear Bermuda shorts because they’ve been setting up shop since the summer.  Yesterday at Jason’s Deli, I got dizzy watching the free sleigh rides go round and round and round.  The driver tried to look as festive as possible with his jaunty little elf hat.  (Perhaps he was trying to draw attention away from the wheels under his fake sleigh that was running on asphalt rather than snow.  And I think his horse was sweating.) 

Christmas will go full swing at my house this week.  I will guarantee you that the tree will go up before the tryptophan digests.  I will spend the first half of Black Friday looking for deals, and the second half taking the fall stuff down so the Christmas stuff can go up.  

So this morning, the music begins.  As you know, the first song of the season sets the tone for every day to follow.  I have prayed and fasted over my choice for the first song, and I’ve decided to go semi-old school with Amy Grant’s version of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”  Sure, it’s sort of a mixed breed between Christmas and wedding music, but it’s soulful, it’s fast, it’s slow, and if you close your eyes it almost sounds like snowfall.

Other top albums this year, as always, are Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas, Russ Taff’s A Christmas Song, and if you don’t tell my six year old I stole it from him, I really dig the soundtrack from Polar Express.  Merriem and I are also scoping out a new Christmas CD, one of our yearly traditions.  I have my eye on Faith Hill’s new one, but if you’ve got a recommendation I’m all ears.  What are your favorites?