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Saturday, December 09, 2017

#17 - Top 25 Christmas Songs (According To Me!)

Hello, everybody!

And welcome to Day #9 of A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR.  Or, if you rather, welcome to Song #17 of The Top 25 Christmas Songs (According to Me)!

You know, it feels really good to be able to have the time to write in this blog every day.  I can't guarantee that it will be like this every month, but I can say that this has been really nice to catch up.  Especially after everything that has happened the last two months.

You know, one thing that I have found while doing this countdown is all of the memories that have spawned it.  There is not a single song that I have posted that I cannot link to a treasured childhood moment.  It's those holiday memories that I hold onto more and more as I grow older.

In fact, today's song selection is one that is forever linked to a Christmas gift that I received as a seven-year-old boy.  At least I THINK I was seven.  Either way, I was incredibly young.  And while this tune has been known to divide people (some love it, some loathe it), it is a song that will forever remind me of that special Christmas gift.

Yes, at #17, I have chosen the Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late).  The tale of a man and his chipmunks singing a Christmas song - or at least trying to.  Simon and Theodore were into it, but all Alvin wanted was a hula hoop.  That song was released in 1958 and almost sixty years later, who knows if Alvin ever got his hula hoop?

Of course, two versions of this song were recorded.  The original was by Ross Bagdasarian who provided the voices for Alvin, Simon, and Theodore (as well as his stage name, David Seville).  Upon Bagdasarian's death in 1972, his son, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman took over the roles of the Chipmunks and a new version of the song was recorded.  My personal preference is the original fifties version, but I like both.

Now, what makes this song such a hit in my eyes?  Well, let me take you back to that Christmas where it all began.

Aw...look at how tiny I was!  Certainly a lot of happy Christmas memories took place in that very room.  And if the bright white walls and ugly red carpet don't scream 1980s, I don't know what does!

Certainly I can spot a few things in this photo that bring back the Christmas feels.  The Dr. Seuss book holder next to my chair.  The "Bumper Cars" board game I still wish I had.  The demonic Santa Claus drum player on the mantel that surprisingly survived.  And the little red elf craft that I made in first grade - that still has a thirty year old butterscotch candy inside of it!

But check out the toy that I am holding in my arms.  Looks familiar doesn't it?

Well, that Christmas was the year that my sisters and I all got Alvin and the Chipmunk stuffed animals for Christmas.  My eldest sister got Alvin, the other sister got Theodore, and I received Simon.

And I tell you...I loved my Chipmunk stuffed animal.  Admittedly I loved him so much that I accidentally broke his glasses and had to get my dad to glue them back together a few times with the hot glue gun.  The incredible thing was that I was a huge fan of the Chipmunks TV show at the time and really wanted a Chipmunk stuffie, so this was a Christmas wish come true.

Oh, and it was an added bonus because Simon was my favourite Chipmunk.  He was the brainy one.  Why wouldn't I appreciate him?

Oh, yeah.  The Chipmunk stuffies?  They are still very much alive.  In fact, when both of my sisters moved out, I kind of stole theirs so that they could all be together.  They've been a part of our Christmas motif ever since!  At my household, you can't have Christmas without the Chipmunks - especially not without hearing the song at least once!

Tune in tomorrow for song #16 - sung by an unlikely duo - one half of which would pass away the same year the song was first performed.

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