| 03.18.2018

Owning your holiday jam – It”s not a bad idea to explore unconventional Christmas music


Upon hearing the term “Christmas music,” many are sure to think of classic tunes like “Rockin” Around The Christmas Tree” and “It”s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas,” sung by the likes of Brenda Lee and Bing Cosby. These are definitely classics – and for good reason – but when I was growing up, Christmas music in my household wasn”t so iconic.

When I hear the term Christmas music, Rosie O”Donnell comes to mind.

I”m not a huge fan of any other aspect of O”Donnell”s entertainment career. With the exception of “A League Of Their Own,” I can”t say I know any of her other movies. I”ve always found her obnoxious – and to be honest, her Christmas albums are no exception to this critique.

The difference is that these albums were an integral part of my childhood.

Lyndsie Kiebert

I”m not even sure where they came from (Whether my mom thought purchasing an album with O”Donnell”s name on it was a good idea I”m afraid to ask), but I do know the history behind the music”s initial release.

“A Rosie Christmas,” features 14 tracks both featuring and not featuring the boisterous actress” pipes. Released in 1999, artists like Celine Dion, Billy Joel, Cher and N*SYNC all joined O”Donnell in recording the album as a way to raise money for her charity, the For All Kids Foundation. The charity provided medical and educational opportunities for underprivileged children, and thanks to the success of “A Rosie Christmas,” Columbia Records released “Another Rosie Christmas” in 2000.

While O”Donnell”s charity appears to be out of commission and Rosie Christmas album series ceased after only two years, the quirky renditions of classics and assortment of original holiday songs have stuck with me. In fact, I may be singing all of the words to Rosie”s “Do You Hear What I Hear” duet with Elmo from Sesame Street as I write this. Old habits die hard.

Last year this time as a freshman, I would sit in my dorm room with my roommate and we”d take turns playing our favorite Christmas songs.

Her taste was fairly straightforward. It was either Bing Cosby-type classics (which I adore as well) or Michael Buble – Buble day and night. Buble all of December. Buble emerged from his seasonal cave to bless our dorm with flawless holiday tunes and my roommate instilled in me an appreciation for the suave fella. However, my tastes differed.

The first time I played “Nuttin” For Christmas” by Bowling For Soup and O”Donnell, my roommate”s reaction was something like, “Where did you even find this?” The same went for “Merry Christmas From The Family” by The Dixie Chicks and O”Donnell, as well as the Elmo rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear.” I”m not sure if she came to appreciate them like I do, but those songs are my childhood, and odds are that my children will know them too.

So whatever your guilty pleasure holiday jam may be – from Jeff Foxworthy”s “Redneck 12 Days of Christmas” to Mariah Carey”s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – be proud, sing it loud and take advantage while the month-long window of jingle-belling is deemed socially appropriate. And if you”re feeling adventurous, put a little Rosie Christmas in your life.

Lyndsie Kiebert can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu  or on Twitter @lyndsie_kiebert

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