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The Slice: Looking for a ‘Blue Christmas?’ Not here

THURSDAY, NOV. 27, 2008

Today, as a public service, The Slice presents something families can argue about that has nothing to do with politics.

Here are my nominations for the 30 best Christmas songs and carols. Feel free to disagree.

30. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Sometimes simple and quiet packs a wallop. 29. “Santa Baby.” I want to hear Ms. Kitt’s version once a year. 28. (tie) “Little Saint Nick” and “Snoopy’s Christmas.” I’m a baby boomer. So sue me. 27. “Sleigh Ride.” I might rank it higher if I heard it less. 26. “All I Want for Christmas (Is You).” Ordinarily, I’m allergic to Mariah Carey and all her vocal excesses and cleavage-presentation nonsense. But this song has something.

25. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” See 27. 24. “Jingle Bell Rock.” Still bouncy after all these years. 23. (tie) That Chipmunks Christmas song and the barking dogs version of “Jingle Bells.” You can’t be serious all the time. 22. “Good King Wenceslas.” “Deep and crisp and even” is fun to sing. 21. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Who doesn’t like the idea of a Christmas party hop?

20. “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” You want a couple of great lines? How about “The hopes and fears of all the years/Are met in thee tonight.” 19. “Bells Will be Ringing.” Has been growing on me. 18. “Angels We Have Heard on High.” There’s a reason it has lasted. 17. Any of the Phil Spector produced Christmas songs. The wall-of-sound at its seasonal best. 16. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Nothing says “Yuletide” quite like Bruce Springsteen.

15. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Yes. 14. “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” Naughty and nice. 13. Any one of about 20 Andy Williams numbers. You pick. 12. “The Christmas Song.” The Nat King Cole version, of course. 11. “Merry Christmas, Darling.” That poor, troubled girl could sing.

10. “Deck the Halls.” I like the singing waiters’ attempt in the “Ralphie” movie. 9. “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.” Who doesn’t like this? 8. “Welcome Christmas.” Dr. Seuss at the top of his game. 7. “Joy to the World.” And heaven and nature sing. 6. “Linus and Lucy.” We’ve all heard this a billion times and most of us aren’t tired of it.

5. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Bittersweet classic. 4. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Thought about making this No. 1. 3. “The Holly and the Ivy.” Beautiful. 2. “White Christmas.” Great tune, great performance. 1. “Silent Night.” The perfect love song.

•Today’s Slice question: What’s something first-time visitors to our area never fail to notice?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail True or false: Spokane looks better covered with snow.

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