Lights are up. Mall traffic is sure to increase. You’ll spot Salvation Army volunteers on many corners, and hear jingle bells everywhere.
It’s Christmastime, and that means a special Christmas episode of Triple Take.
Normally we interview someone about the book, album and film that shaped them. But this week, my cohosts Matt Scalici, John Hammontree and I discussed our favorite Christmas things. This is a wide-ranging conversation, with more recommendations than usual. Among them: Alabama’s “Christmas,” Amy Grant’s “A Christmas Album,” Jackson Five’s “Christmas Album,” Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” … the list keeps going. You’ll also have to listen for our debate over the merits Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” and John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over).”
On our favorite Christmas albums
“One of the things I appreciate about Christmas, and I know I’ll appreciate especially this year: You do get to be happy. That doesn’t mean that you’re happy overall about life, about what’s going on. But there’s some sort of celebration every year. There are lights up. You can celebrate that. I think you don’t really value that unless you know what sadness is.” –Guest host Robyn Hammontree
On Christmas films, especially “A Christmas Story”
“I think that’s a movie certainly show their kids and take their kids to see, but I don’t think that movie’s really for kids. I don’t think a kid could really appreciate that movie. It’s all about nostalgia and how warped and strange everything becomes in your mind over time, how surreal your childhood seems to you after you’re looking back at it as an adult. There is some cynical stuff in that movie, too. But I think it’s also about how weird and scary your childhood can seem sometimes. In that contrast, I think that’s why things like Christmas are so great when you’re a kid, because it’s unbelievably positive in this otherwise very confusing life you have as a kid.” –Matt Scalici
On our favorite Christmas books
“Even when things are terrible, you see the best in people. That spirt of even if you have nothing, trying to give everything is what makes Christmas special.” –John Hammontree
Like what you hear? Open iTunes or the podcast app on your iPhone and search Triple Take to subscribe, or do the same in the podcast subscription service of your choice. We’ll release new episodes every week. We also love suggestions for future guests, which you can make in the comments below.