“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” by Kristin Chenoweth (Amazon Advent Calendar day 13)

Album Art

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Kristin Chenoweth

A Lovely Way To Spend Christmas

Genre: Miscellaneous

This is probably the perfect time to slot in a song like this. It’s a modern recording of a Christmas classic, sung so very sweetly. Yes, it’s Kristin Chenoweth. Even when she’s singing an angry tune about throwing out a wretch of a boyfriend and vowing to never allow his presence to darken her thoughts ever again…it’s Sweetly Angry. As the boyfriend, you’d feel like it’s best to just pick up all of your clothes and books and CDs off of the front lawn, get them into the trunk of the car, retreat to Panera for a few hours and then circle back and try to fix the situation.

(But if you drove past and saw a smoking slab in the driveway that used to be your Playstation 3, you’d probably conclude that it’d be best to keep on driving and try again later, maybe after catching a movie.)

Why is this weekend the exact right time to put this song into the lineup? Oh, I can give you three reasons. I can also slightly draw this introduction out, to make absolutely certain that the album artwork doesn’t interfere with the formatting of the list.

Okay, we should now be clear to proceed:

  1. It’s the first weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday, and many of us are probably spending some of this time tending to holiday advance-prep. I myself put a half-gallon of apple cider in the fridge the other day, anticipating that this would be the big weekend that I set up my Bachelor Tree.
  2. Not only is “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” a timeless Christmas classic, but it’s also a timely reminder to book your reservations early if you’re traveling over the holidays.
  3. It’s still three weeks before Christmas, and we haven’t yet begun that slow transition from Grinch Personality Mode to Cindy Lou Who Personality Mode.

…Which means that I can cave in to my three-sizes-too-small sentiments and complain about these bastards at the record companies who know damned well that there’s only one good song on the CD, and cynically refuse to sell it to you online unless you buy the whole album.

I speak not of this track, of course (which you can purchase all by itself). I speak of Chenoweth’s fantastic rendition of “O Holy Night.” It’s the gold wedding ring that got dropped into the dark, rank grease trap known as “Deck The Halls (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).”

Yes, of course it was a terrible movie. What a question!

It stars Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick. And if this were the 80’s, that’d be terrific news. As-is, it’s not a warning per se but suffice to say that we will study the trailer carefully before making a buying decision.

And oh, dear…there it is: the scene in which “Dad” is inside, or clinging on top of, an improbable and out-of-control vehicle or contraption, screaming and flying through the air.

Another example:


It’s such a common sign of an actor’s desperate need to begin Act Three of his career that I wonder if it doesn’t amount to a “suicide by cop” sort of tactic on the part of the actor or his agent. That is, he doesn’t have the courage to pull the trigger and end all pretensions of still being able to carry an entire movie by himself, so he has critics, audiences, and executives do it for him. Mark my words: ten years from now, there’ll be a movie trailer in which Johnny Depp will be seen riding an out-of-control rocket-propelled snowmobile over a snowbank and straight into a septic truck as his adorable kids look on.

(Honestly, it’s the best thing. The actor takes a few years off and then, free from the pressure to keep earning those A-list paychecks, he can begin his highly successful Act Three. He’ll re-emerge, usually as a producer of some well-regarded TV shows and as a strong supporting actor in independent dramas.)

Sorry…let’s get back to this song. The “Deck The Halls” soundtrack CD consists of 13 holiday songs. Eight of them are forgettable. Four of the rest are nice, but they’re so familiar that if you want to hear them you hardly need to actually spend any money. You pretty much just need to stand near a speaker placed in any public spot where more than nine people are likely to gather.

And then there’s Track 9: Kristin Chenoweth’s rendition of “O Holy Night.” It’s one of the loveliest versions I’ve ever heard. I’d buy it in a heartbeat. Ah: but it can only be purchased as part of the complete album.

Friends, there have been times when I’ve gone into a transaction knowing full well that I was being rooked. That this was a badger game. That this company or individual’s entire business plan was based on the concept that they could indeed push around people like me — humble, hardworking men and women, who work the land with their bare hands and are responsible for putting the food on America’s tables — get away with it.

Once, I ran out of gas on the highway, called AAA (if you’re a member, they’ll send a truck out free of charge), and then when the truck operator told me he didn’t have any change on him, I pretended to believe him…and that I was delighted to tip him $15 for the $5 worth of gas he’d just put in my car.

Once, I bought an unlocked phone which, no matter how hard I tried, couldn’t connect to AT&T’s digital network. After lots of runaround with Customer Service, and ultimately speaking to an engineer who’d been working there so long that he had been there through two different corporate takeovers and renamings, I learned that the solution was simply to swap my original 16K SIM card for a new 64K one. When I got back in touch with Customer Service and they told me that they couldn’t give me a new SIM without putting me on a one-year contract, I was angry, and I told them that I might switch to another carrier over this, but ultimately I agreed to the new contract.

(OK, yes, it helped that I already knew that AT&T was almost definitely going to become the exclusive carrier of Apple’s upcoming and unnamed new iPod Phone.)

But — my comrades — I cannot bring myself to allow the record industry to make me pay ten dollars for a song that should only cost $1.29, maximum.

The line has been drawn…HERE.

Listen to “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” on the Amazon MP3 Store.

As usual, my Amazon Associates ID is embedded in that link. Anything you buy during that shopping session will result in a small kickback to me in the form of Amazon gift credits…which I will then spend on foolish and wonderful things.

1 thought on ““I’ll Be Home For Christmas” by Kristin Chenoweth (Amazon Advent Calendar day 13)

  1. Dena

    Kristin also sang “O Holy Night” on Joshua Bell’s “At Home with Friends.” You can buy just that song from that album, but you will want to buy two, because she sang two songs on the album. Bell’s violin is just as amazing as Kristin’s voice.

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