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Holiday Groove of the Day/Carpenters/”Merry Christmas Darling”

One of the brightest (and a little sad if you think about it) holiday grooves of all time is indeed off of one of the greatest holiday records ever to slide down our chimneys as Carpenters shimmering 1978 set, Christmas Portraitt, still has all of the ingredients to make our seasons bright year after year. 

While it’s ridiculously easy to get lost in the legendary sibling music duo’s takes on “Sleigh Ride,” “Carol of the Bells” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” it’s “Darling” that has it all–plush strings! vocal medleys! trombone! harp! Of course, it’s the dearly departed Ms. Carpenter’s effortless vocals that truly make this groove come together for a polished number that while yes, it’s about not being with the one you love during the holidays, there’s just something about “Merry Christmas Darling” that finds a way to keep us warm on even the loneliest of nights…..and we’ll forever be grateful for it.

Sigh…..

Cover photo courtesy of YouTube 

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Holiday Groove of the Day/Mean Girls/”Jingle Bell Rock”

While this cherished holiday treasure from everyone’s favorite movie, Mean Girls, isn’t one you’ll necessarily hear on repeat at your local shopping kingdom, it is certainly one that we all know and love thanks to Cady Heron, Regina George, Karen Smith and of course, Gretchen Wieners, too, all of whom are known as The Plastics…or in this delightful scene….Santa’s Little Helpers

Whether it’s those naughty dance moves that coincide with those even naughtier skin tight red pleather outfits, Ms. Poehler‘s “Cool Mom” giddy-ups, Damien’s “Beautiful” shoe-tossing intro, Ms. Fey’s undeniable piano skills or how Cady simply snatches the spotlight from Regina as she saves the day and gets everybody to “Rock,” every piece of this epic scene is still pure god damn cinema magic. 

Of course, this is also that scene where Gretchen Wieners finally “cracked” thanks to a Regina sabotaged performance (sorry about the CD player to the face, Jason!), where it was soon after where we learned about the gold hoops drama (“she said they were her thing!) and learned that Ms. George’s parents totally don’t sleep in the same bed anymore….

……and we’ll forever love every part of this jinglin’ Mean Girls scene for that reason and so, so, so much more. 

So, now you see how “Jingle Bell Rock” is not just an important part of our holiday lives, but for our cold, hard shiny Plastics existence. 

Merry Fetchmas! 

Cover photo courtesy of Rolling Stone 

 

 

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Holiday Groove of the Day/Nat King Cole/”The Christmas Song”

If there’s one December groove out there that rivals Mariah’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” as simply the best recorded holiday jam..ever, it’s certainly Mr. Nat King Cole‘s 1961 take on the still so lovely, “The Christmas Song.” 

Written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells, the classic sonnet was written during the sizzling summer in 1945 and according to Tormé was conspired as an effort to “stay cool by thinking cool.” Passed on to the legendary Nat King Cole trio in 1946 (their label actually didn’t want them to do it!), the group recorded the cheery tune and it became a massive hot on both the Billboard Pop and R&B charts. 

Cole recorded a solo version of the song a few years in 1953, but indeed, it’s his ’61 recorded version that still hits the holiday hearts of many as it’s complete with a sweeping Ralph Carmichael led orchestra and of course, that voice.

There’s a reason why the departed Cole’s effortless take on “The Christmas Song” has earned its place in the Grammy Hall of Fame….and kids everywhere from ages one-to-ninety-two are reminded of it and all of its shimmering brilliance every year around this time.