I’m married to an audiophile. He frequents a hipster record shop, compiles playlists for special occasions, criticizes Alexa’s and iTunes sound quality and has a vintage turntable that means something to him but is lost on me. He also really, really likes Christmas music. My birthday is in December and ever since I’ve known him, he’s given me holiday CDs. Sometimes one. Sometimes five. We own a lot of Christmas music. I make special requests when someone I like releases a new one – I’m asking for John Legend this year – but sometimes, my new CDs suit his whims more than mine. I own a James Brown Christmas album, do you?

We agree on the standards. Frank Sinatra’s Let it Snow!, Bing Crosby’s White Christmas and Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby are perfect with a fire and a snowy scene out our windows. What’s up for dispute are the cuts following the standards in the deck. He gets a kick out of Elvis and that seriously weird James Brown album; I would rather listen to Barbra Streisand singing Sleigh Ride or Louis Armstrong’s Cool Yule.

Our kids choose sides on Mele Kalikimaka (I like Bette Midler’s, they choose Bing’s). Every year, we look for the lost Nat King Cole CD and wonder what happened to it, but never seem to replace it. We mock Michael Buble’s Santa Buddy, but he gets to stay in the deck for other redeeming numbers. Now that I think about it, we do sort of the same thing with holiday movies. Elf is our “standard,” but I like Love Actually and my husband can’t remember who all those British accents belong to. He thinks Randy “is the true comedic genius” in A Christmas Story and I think Randy needs to stop whining and eat his dinner. I guess family traditions can be quirky and endure, even if they don’t exactly qualify for the Hallmark Channel. As it turns out, we have “a bit” about holiday pop culture.

Lots of people in Eden Prairie have other holidays to celebrate. You – and even many Christmas revelers – may already have more than your fill of holiday music. Please bear with those of us humming carols. New Year’s Eve is just around the corner! The refreshingly cool vibes of local musician Nick Eagon’s party playlist inside this issue are just for you.  

Cheers to my festive husband – “All I Want for Christmas is You.”



Nancy Renneke, Editor