About the BloggerPatrick Donohue is the proudest Indiana native you're likely to find. Seriously. No one is prouder to be from a state that so many people know relatively so little about than he is. Patrick is a native of Terre Haute and a graduate of the Ernie Pyle School of Journalism at Indiana University. Knowing this, you might think he’d be a huge John "Cougar" Mellencamp fan, a man considered by some to be the Hoosier State's poet laureate. But you'd be wrong. In a major way. | Email Patrick
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Let’s make one thing clear: I love Christmas music.
I start playing it sometime after Thanksgiving, and it continues clear through Christmas Day when a massive, 160-song holiday playlist of my own making plays over the stereo as my family and I open our presents.
I believe my love for Christmas music is largely genetic. If you start my father’s car right now, you would likely be deafened by the Bing Crosby CD blaring over the stereo at decibel levels usually reserved for Megadeth or Pantera.
In an increasingly Christmas-crazy culture, it's understandable that some otherwise subpar, long-forgotten Christmas songs would be resurrected and regarded, albeit ironically, as classics.
Underappreciated at the time of their release, songs like "Dominic the Donkey" have been lovingly embraced by holiday revelers in recent years despite being ... well, kind of terrible.
Today's song, "Last Christmas" by WHAM! is not quite that bad but it certainly is oozing with enough cheesy 80s synth to make me wonder why everyone, myself included, loves this song so much.
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Singer/songwriter Martin Sexton has long been a favorite of mine so I was understandably nervous when Sexton released his own Christmas album, "Camp Holiday" in November 2005.
My concerns were unwarranted.
"Camp Holiday" is easily one of the best Christmas records of the last decade and is chock full of classic holiday sung and performed only as Sexton can.
The producer of this album, Crit Harmon, wisely lets Sexton's voice shine on each and every track. No fancy gimmicks, no drum tracks, just beautiful song after beautiful songs.
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For a few years now, running around downtown Beaufort has been one of my favorite weekly traditions.
I usually rise between 8 and 9 a.m., wipe the sleep from my eyes and strap my running shoes to my feet and head for Bay Street, a ritual that was especially fun yesterday.
Though it was far from wintry out, I think it was about 65 degrees when I climbed from my car, there was something so perfect about seeing all of the antebellum homes along Bay Street and throughout the Old Point neighborhood decked in holiday style.
Sure, not technically a Christmas song but this gorgeous little ditty from the 1954 "White Christmas" certainly feels appropriate for the season and especially for this weekend.
Never more so than tragedy strikes, we are reminded how often we overlook how lucky we to have the things, but most especially, the people in our lives.
So, when I was watching "White Christmas" this morning and watched Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney sing this song beside a roaring fire, I knew it had to be today's song.
I've got to be honest, picking a Christmas song for today was really difficult.
It's hard sometimes for people like myself who often write about entertainment and food and music and movies, all things I love and believe to be important pieces of our social fabric but ultimately things that often seem of little consequence in the face of real, profound tragedy.
And that is what many Americans are feeling today.
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About a year ago, I put together a playlist of original Christmas songs for a column I was writing and someone who heard the playlist complained that the songs were all downers.
In this person's mind, Christmas songs should be upbeat and happy, because after all, this is an upbeat and happy time of year.
And I suppose I don't disagree with that sentiment but to embrace it wholeheartedly is to neglect some of the subgenre's great songs, songs about longing at Christmastime and wanting to celebrate the season with someone you care about.