We have to smile each year as we count the many radio stations claiming to be the first who switch to all Christmas music. Or for those stations who pop up on cable, satellite, and associated websites claiming to be the end-all-be-all of Christmas music.
We laugh because since our first radio stream launched in 2006 we have never stopped the music. On our sites, our podcasts and our radio streams the music goes 24/7 all year long (just like the rest of our Christmas). We just don’t believe in the part time or seasonal Christmas. For us, it’s everyday.
We have started each November talking to new artists, sharing new music, reveling in the classics and thrilling in the diversity that is found in Christmas music.
What other time of the year can you hear Handel played by The Tabernacle Choir followed directly by August Burns Red grinding Carol of the Bells?
Only Christmas music offers this and gets away with it at the same time.
For these many years we have both enjoyed and reviewed the music of Christmas.
Please note the absence of a major advertising footprint on our websites. Note as well that we don’t make any money from those who supply us music. In fact, we pay out far more cash just to enjoy the music of Christmas year round than any 60-day radio station will ever pay because we don’t support our streams with commercials. We pay for the right to broadcast it and do not profit from it. Ever.
Why is this important?
It is important because the only influences over what we feature really belongs to the personal taste of our reviewers. If we say something is good we’re saying that we were entertained by it or appreciated the artistry that went into it’s creation. We mean that from the heart.
We also tend to shy away from what we consider to be “bad” Christmas music.
This means sometimes shunning even the big stars of music. We believe that just because a singer or a group has a hit in one type of music does not mean they can or will produce great Christmas music (I’m looking at you, Celine Dion).
So we don’t feature everyone. We wouldn’t waste your time or ours over negative reviews. We’re content to just let them be.
We tend to bunch up these reviews at one point in the season; usually, the first two weeks or so after Thanksgiving.
Honestly, we hate to do it that way. But it is necessary because that’s when the new music comes out.
They record this stuff usually in the spring and work on mastering or editing the music during the summer months before releasing it each fall.
We’d love it if they’d contact us and share it with us earlier. But for more than 20 years of doing this the pattern has never changed. We’ll get an email from a PR firm or sometimes even the artist saying “Hey, my new video comes out tomorrow, will you review it?”
That drives me crazy. I wish they would give us more time.
Of course, the big stars never really warn us in advance. We have to discover them.
Perhaps that is one reason why we tend to be more critical of the work of superstars and more effusive about the newer artists that contact us.
Compressing the music into just a few weeks each year really does a disservice to all of us.
It means Christmas music takes over our entire website for a few weeks. That’s not a bad thing but two weeks of consecutive posts on one topic tends to make people think that’s all we know or are about when it comes to Christmas.
But Christmas music is huge to us.
It is huge to the history of Christmas we celebrate. We have noted many times that when the angels came at the Nativity the Bible does not expressly say they were singing.
But we just feel in our bones that they were. Music has been and always will be the very essence of Christmas.
So forgive our indulgence in the new music of Christmas we share with you over the next few weeks.
What we’re sharing is that good.
It is for every taste.
And it contributes to our celebration of Christmas.