Time was, I allowed myself one Christmas-album purchase per year. In 2003, it was the immortal James Brown’s Funky Christmas, or the latest “Millenium Collection” compilation containing its key tracks (“Go Power at Christmas Time,” “Soulful Christmas Tree,” “Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto”). In 2005, it was Christmas with Johnny Cash, which is an innumerable reissue of previously-released material, too. 2006′s big splurge was Sufjan Stevens’ set of five Christmas EPs, a purchase that continues to pay rich dividends. (But I might have bought A Jolly Christmas with Frank Sinatra that year, too.)
2006 saw the first of my annual Christmas compilations, which are probably the reason things are just really geting out of hand now, with me buying different compilations by the same artists, for crying out loud. I’m way over $50 since this year’s CD, Santa Claus and Popcorn, was finished:
Julian Koster, The Singing Saw at Christmastime
Various Artists, Savoy Christmas Blues (for my mom, ostensibly)
Frank Sinatra, The Christmas Collection (ditto; and I’ve already bought The Chairman’s Jolly Christmas, but Grant-Lee Phillips sang “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” at Aimee Mann’s Christmas show this year, and I had to go after that one )
Various Artists, A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector
Various Artists, Ultimate Christmas Cocktails
Let’s not even talk about the individual-track purchases, or the tunes obtained via torrent. I must be stopped.