sinkhole's holiday recommendations!
Some holiday recs from our editor while the work is on hiatus. Don’t worry – we’ll be back next week.
*NSYNC’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” (1998) and Maria Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (1994)
In terms of singalong-ability, cultural impact, and the length of time they’re stuck in my head, these are the two best holiday songs of all time. The good people at Elle took the time to rank every song on Carey’s classic 1994 holiday album, Merry Christmas – no surprise what’s #1. And at Vulture, Lindsey Weber pens an ode to *NSYNC’s holiday album, writing that “the music transcended religion and tradition.”
Glade’s “Sparkling Spruce” scented candle
It’s probably the cheapest scented holiday candle on the market, and its fragrance has come to define Christmas for me better than an actual spruce, which says something about where and when I grew up, I think (in 90s-era South Florida). At Huffington Post, Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson ranks the best holiday candles, giving Glade’s entry a 7 out of 10. Her number one? It’s Bath & Body Works’s Fresh Balsam scented candle, which scores a 9.3.
Bad Santa (2003)
This is the most underrated holiday film ever. Billy Bob Thornton plays the antiheroic Willie Stokes, an alcoholic safe-cracker who works as a Santa at malls he later burglarizes. It’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas set in early-aughts Phoenix, Arizona. The film, which features Tony Cox, Bernie Mac, John Ritter, and Lauren Graham alongside Thornton, boasts the Coen brothers as executive producers. In one brilliant and frankly poignant scene near the end, a teary Thornton says to Tony Cox, who’s about to shoot him and make off with all the loot, “You people are monsters…I’m not talking about you taking me out. That part, I get. But look at all that shit. Do you really need all that shit?”
BONUS: if you like antiheroes and Christmas but don’t have the time or patience for a full-length film, check out “Bojack Horseman Christmas: Sabrina’s Christmas Wish” on Netflix.
Thanks to global warming, millions more people will get the chance to experience Christmas as I experienced it: snowless and hot, with precious few fir and pine trees. There’s no question that climate change will, in the decades to come, dramatically alter the way we celebrate the holidays. Who knows what folks will be nostalgic for 50 years from now.