On a recent visit, our 5-year-old grandson, Jackson, had a loose tooth, which wasn't very attractive.

He was overjoyed when it fell out in mid-November — what timing!

He immediately belted out "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth."

But that's not entirely true. He really wants a whole lot more for Christmas. Besides, he knows his teeth will come in on their own anyway.

So much for silly Christmas songs.

This episode got me thinking about Christmas music. It's my favorite. And I know I'm not alone, since there are at least two radio stations in the state that started playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

One of the popular songs, "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," has an interesting story behind it.

The story goes that Bob May, who was the smallest boy in his class growing up, created the story based on his difficulties with being teased.

He wrote the story for his 4-year-old daughter to cheer her as his wife was dying of cancer. He wanted to give his daughter comfort and hope, and he finished it just in time for Christmas.

Montgomery Ward's general manager had the story made into a book that Santa gave to visiting children.

A major publisher bought the rights to the story and many more marketing deals came about because it became a bestseller.

Things went one step further when May's brother-in-law, songwriter Johnny Marks, put the story to music.

The song was shopped around. Both Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore turned it down, but Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, recorded it. It was released in 1949, and with the exception of "White Christmas," it sold more records than any other Christmas song.

There aren't many Christmas songs I don't enjoy hearing, as long as they are in the realm of decency. There's a line that can be drawn between songs that are respectful of the season and some that are way off the mark.

For starters there's No Doubt's "Oi to the World," John Denver's "Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk on Christmas," Bon Jovi's "Back Door Santa," The Beach Boys, "Santa's Beard," and what about those dogs that barks "Jingle Bells?"


The past few years have brought some really bad songs. But there's some good stuff out there, too.

Michael McLean's "The Forgotten Carols," Rob Mathias' "William the Angel" and Voice Mail's "Jingles" albums, to name a few.

So here's to the season. May it be merry and bright.

May Jackson's two front teeth come in straight.

And may all your favorite songs be playing while you do your Christmas shopping and trimming.

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