Since 2006, I've made a new Christmas playlist every year. Technically, it's more of a "Holiday playlist," as every one since 2008 has ended with a singular New Year's song. (There are a few general winter songs and a Hanukkah song mixed in there as well. )
These playlist mean a lot to me and all bring up memories from Christmases past. I listed all of the playlists and talked a bit about specific memories in this post last year.
The initial idea behind making these playlist was to give myself a way to listen to Christmas music (which I love) without having to listen to the Christmas songs that play on the radio (most of which I hate). It's sort of a holiday-specific filtration system put in place to shelter myself from unwanted pop culture; a smaller version my large scale system of owning all the music I want to hear so I never have to listen to the radio.
What happened, though, was a bit unexpected. As I made yearly Christmas playlists (and near monthly playlists of my current favorite songs, each of which is dated), I left behind a trail documenting exactly what I was listening to when. It's a journal and personal history of sorts.
It reminds me a bit of Rob's decision in
to organize his records not alphabetically or chronologically, but rather autobiographically.
"If I want to find the song 'Landslide' by Fleetwood Mac, I have to remember that I bought it for someone in the fall of 1983 pile but didn't give it to them for personal reasons."
It's a code only he can break, and somehow that's comforting.
When I shared my 2006-2010 playlists last year, I had not yet made 2011's. In fact, I wasn't quite sure I'd be able to. Each year, I feel a bit afraid that I've run out of songs, that my quest for new Christmas music will be in vain. But, every year, I find some.