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Tis the season, or so says the song, “Deck The Halls.”  (I did not see any Black Friday deals on boughs of holly this year, but fa-la-la-la-la, I am sure they will be in the clearance aisle shortly.)

Yes, it is the season for Christmas Carols.  Some radio stations play them 24/7.

They’re everywhere.  They’re everywhere, recorded by anyone and everyone.  Even Jethro Tull has a Christmas Album (which by the way would be a great stocking stuffer in the event a loyal reader was looking for that perfect gift for the camel that has everything).

I actually heard a Reggae version of Jingle Bells today in the grocery store.  I believe it is performed by the Jamaican artist, Don Carlos.    It borders that fine line between obnoxious and catchy, although I will admit I found myself tapping my toes in the produce aisle while developing an inexplicable craving for brownies.

It would be exhaustive to write an entire piece on Christmas Carols, so I won’t.  But I would like to mention a couple uncommon Christmas songs that I find interesting.

1)  “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is a repetitious little ditty describing all the gifts “my true love gave to me.”  No red bow wrapped the Lexus in this list of gifts, and with the exception of the 5 golden rings, I could do without all of them.

Believe it or not, someone actually calculated the price of these gifts.  (And you think you’ve got some time on your hands.)  The complete box set of all 12 gifts would cost $27,393 in stores according to the news article.  (Although, I heard there was a sale at Turtle Doves Are Us this week, so you may be able to shave some off that price.)

The most expensive item on the list was a tie between 11 Pipers Piping and 9 Ladies Dancing at $7,552,84.  I haven’t priced a piping piper lately or even a peck of pickled peppers for that matter, but I’ve been told by a reliable source that there’s an establishment on the outskirts of town where one can find 9 Ladies Dancing for much under the 7K quote.  So shop around if you want this in your gift basket.

I know some of you think this is pure fabrication, but the camel doesn’t lie, so here’s the link to the article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/02/12-days-of-christmas-cost-buy_n_4372768.html

A reader from Illinois alerted me to one of the best and most original versions of this song recorded in 1998 by an A Cappella group called Straight No Chaser from Bloomington, Indiana.  Maybe you’ve heard it.  If not, I highly recommend you view this video to see what I am talking about.  (Spoiler alert: yes, they are able to incorporate Africa and a rift by the group Toto into this song.)

2)  For some reason, when I hear that first song by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, I am ready to accept Christmas songs for the remainder of the season.   Wikipedia describes them as “an American Progressive Rock Band founded in 1993.”

The band regularly tours around the holiday season and has recorded a trilogy of “rock opera” type albums that contain contemporary versions of traditional carols and/or original songs of Christmas lore and well, they rock and roll sometimes with great harmonies.

The camel choice is a ballad called “Old City Bar”:

If you can’t link to it, the key lyric sequence is:

If you want to arrange it  This world you can change it
If we could somehow make this Christmas thing last

By helpin’ a neighbour Even a stranger
To know who needs help You need only just ask.

Reflect on that for a moment. We are two weeks from Christmas.

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