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I’ve been thinking about Christmas a lot lately.  It’s fun to do it now, before the marketing push really starts up, before the pressure hits, before there’s any urgency to actually do anything about it.  It’s all anticipation at this point, no stress or anxiety.  No one is blaring Christmas songs in your ears or strictly enforcing the Christmas “cheer.”  This is when thinking about Christmas is easy.  I like it.

Mostly I’ve been thinking about presents, what I’m going to give which people.  (Don’t worry – no spoilers.)  This requires some ingenuity because I am more than usually poor this year (I’m your stereotypical Impoverished Student, although I no longer live in an attic garret).  I know what I’m getting for my friends gifts, and I know what I’m getting for my bosses (although technically I have one, really I have three).  I’m still not sure what I’m going to get for my family gift, although I wouldn’t post about it here anyway because some of my family members actually read this thing on occasion.  The gift I’m most excited about right now is my extended family present.  We draw names each year, and this year I got my Uncle S., one of my favorite uncles.  One of the things he likes is being introduced to new music.  I decided to make him a set of CDs containing music that I was introduced to or love because it’s music I dance to.  I’ll have one CD each for Lindy, Charleston, Balboa, and Westie.  The main difficulty is separating out the Charleston and Balboa songs.  Although some songs are clearly one or the other, too many could easily go either way, depending on your mood or the types/number of leads available.  I’m still working on the playlists for each one, but my rough drafts look something like this:


Baby Workout, by Jackie Wilson
Smooth Sailing, by Ella Fitzgerald
Massachusetts by Gene Krupa
Up A Lazy River by Michael Buble
Jersey Bounce by Ella Fitzgerald
Love Me Or Leave Me by Sammy Davis Jr.
Buzz, Buzz, Buzz by Jimmie Lunceford
Tweedle-Dee by Laverne Baker


I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate by Madeleine Peyroux
Ballin’ The Jack by Eddie Condon
12th Street Rag by Sidney Bechet
When The Saints Go Marching In by Louis Armstrong


Juicy by Better Than Ezra
Honeysuckle Rose by Count Basie
Crazy Baby by Louis Jordan and His Tympani 5
The Sheik of Araby by Sidney Bechet

West Coast

Ain’t No Sunshine by Al Green
Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Blue & Stevie Wonder
Be Bop A Lula by Gene Vincent
Buttons by The Pussycat Dolls
Early To Bed by Morphine
Boombastic by Shaggy
Born Under A Bad Sign by Etta James

I think he’ll like it.