A Christmas Mix for You – 2016

This could turn out to be a habit. I’ve collected so much Christmas music over the years (around 7 GB worth!) from various places around the Internet, including many music sharing blogs, that I feel rather compelled to share some of my favorite finds with you.

Here’s this year’s collection.

Over an hour of holiday, well, cheer – I hope.

The list after the jump.

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Seasons Greetings from Apollo 8

Apollo 8 was originally planned to be a test of the Lunar Module in Earth orbit in early 1969. But in September of 1968, the Soviets had sent a couple of animals around the Moon – and brought them back safely. Clearly, they were well ahead of us in getting to the Moon. When the LEM kept having engineering problems, the manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program Office, George Low, suggested that they simply send the Command & Service Module combination into lunar orbit. It would mean rushing things, but it was something that would have to be done anyway.

Apollo 8 lifted off at 7:51 AM EST on December 21, with Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot Bill Anders aboard. Once at the Moon, they orbited it ten times, checking equipment. Bill Anders did most of the reconnaissance photography, checking potential landing sites.

On December 24, they gave a special broadcast, with over a billion people listening in.

The Command Module splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 8°8′N 165°1′W at 10:51:42 EST December 27. Total mission duration was 6 days, 3 hours, 42 seconds. Apollo 8 came back with a ton of “Firsts”: First manned flight of a Saturn V. First launch from the Kennedy Space Center. First manned mission beyond Earth orbit. First manned mission to reach the Moon…. From a technical standpoint, this was a much greater achievement than Apollo 11. By July of 1969, all the engineering problems had been solved. Apollo 8 was when we proved we could actually send men to the Moon and bring them back safely.

Movie Review: Santa’s Slay (2005, Canada)

The “evil Santa” trope has been around for ages…. or it least it seems that way. Krampus doesn’t count (no matter what the contrarians trying to revive his legend might think), nor does Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. For some reason, the idea of the traditional holiday bringer of cheer becoming the holiday bringer of death is popular with the producers of cheap horror films. The producers of Santa’s Slay decided to take that idea, toss what must have been some decent cash at it, and turn it into a comedy.

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A Christmas Mix for You – 2015

Another collection of holiday music that you may not hear anywhere else…. Still haven’t figured out how to balance the audio levels…

http://www.dropbox.com/s/3yzp0ux8u1lj0fd/Christmas%20Mix%202015.zip?dl=0

By the way, if you can’t get enough of that good holiday music, I recommend these blogs:

Christmas A Go Go
FaLaLaLaLa
Merry and Bright
Mistletunes
Music You (Possibly) Won’t Hear Anyplace Else
Stubby’s House Of Christmas

They’ve provided me with much of my collection over the years. Check them out!

List of songs in this year’s collection and notes below the jump:

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Wassail!

One of the lesser holiday traditions is that of Wassail. Not just the warm apple-based drink, but the old Anglo-Saxon tradition of communal visits, drinking, and well-wishing. These days, our communities are a little too spread out for the door-to-door visits and the requisite drinking, but there’s no reason you can’t do it safely at home with your friends.

 

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Scoring the Holiday Displays

By now, you should be seeing plenty of holiday light displays out on people’s lawns. While it should not be a competition, one does get the sense that there are still a few people who try and outdo their neighbors. In any case, I do like seeing the different displays chasing away the darkness. And it is kind of fun to argue over whose is better.

So I’ve come up with a scoring system.

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A Christmas Mix for You – 2014

Over the years, I’ve been collecting Christmas music from all over the Internet. Last time I checked, I had over 3 GB of music. Most of it was obtained through the courtesy of other bloggers; some of it I have no clue where I got it.

A lot of holiday music is rather bland. There’s only so much you can do with “White Christmas”, after all. And radio stations don’t even try to have a little variety – they can’t even break out of the same three or four “novelty” songs. It’s a little sad, since there’s really a heck of a lot of good, fun stuff out there.

Here’s a sampling of some of my favorites, with notes where I have something to note.

If I were better at music editing, I’d probably merge these all into one single MP3 file where the volume levels are perfectly balanced. But I am not, so I beg your indulgence for any sudden shifts in tone.

By the way, the zip file also contains a couple of “playlist” files in different formats. I hope at least one of them will work for you.
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