Hello everyone! If you're reading this, you either share my interest, my passion, or my obsession with Christmas music... maybe all three!
I've been an avid Christmas music collector since 1985. I began creating Christmas tapes using Christmas music taped off the radio and my family's Christmas LP collections. Having grown up in a house where any music released after the breakup of the Beatles was forbidden, my musical selections were limited. As time progressed, I began collecting more music off the radio from NPR, old time radio shows (lots of great samples from those), and other Christmas LPs.
My family (being five steps behind in every technological aspect of everyday life) purchased its first CD player in 1989 and everything changed. My first Christmas CD was "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio; a CD that has been played in my boombox once every Christmas since.
My CD collecting took off slowly since I was attending Columbia College in Chicago; a film school where I kept busy balancing a college workload and working on / acting in / directing dozens of student films. My main focus wasn't Christmas around this time but I still created Christmas tapes and even shared a few with my college classmates. As my college career came to an abrupt end in 1992 (no money or student loans left), I turned to Christmas music again and wondered what the future would bring.
CD Exchange, a used CD store chain, decided to move into the Chicago market and open stores. I obtained a job as a store manager, was promoted to district manager shortly after, and oversaw three stores in the Chicago area. My collection of Christmas music went from around six to nearly 150 in two years. Being exposed to such diverse titles caused in time a shift in my Christmas musical tastes. I was happy to get a Peggy Lee or Frank Sinatra Christmas CD... but when Ren & Stimpy's Christmas CD came in or when I found a Shonen Knife import Christmas single, I was beside myself!
All these musical changes were reflected on my annual Christmas tapes. Around 1992, I began to plan out the playlist more carefully, adding new songs from newly acquired CDs, finding sound bytes from Christmas movies and TV shows as breaks, mixing them into one compilation cassette, and shared with family and friends. The responses ranged from "GREAT STUFF" to "I don't get it...". I had found my calling! Since then, I've sent out around 1500 Christmas tapes / now CDs total to family and friends. The responses still range the same!
In 1997, I began utilizing the Internet to find new sources to add to my Christmas CD collection: eBay, Napster (I legally download now), Amazon.com, Mistletunes, Christmas Reviews, Randy's Rodeo, Jeffco Productions, the Yahoo group Christmas Movies & Music, BasicHip, April Winchell, FaLaLaLaLa.com, and other online Christmas music collectors & traders.
As of this post, I own over 600 Christmas CDs with about 60 albums to add to my collection. With this first post, I hope to chronicle my additions to my collection, share my opinions on the music, and point the way to where I got my Christmas CDs.
I welcome your feedback and contributions.
Thanks for reading this far...