When it comes to ringing in the holidays, you can go the traditional route, the nostalgia route or the modern route. In addition to the locally driven My Favorite Gifts (see review on the next page), here are some suggestions to spice up the mood of the Yule Log this year:
Frank Sinatra/Bing Crosby
For more than 50 years, Frank Sinatra has been a symbol of cool. His holiday album, The Christmas Collection, follows suit. It's got enough jazz and swing to it to keep things stylishly upbeat. Of course, traditional style also dictates the inclusion of Bing Crosby's White Christmas.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Nearly as much fun as watching the television special is listening to the soundtrack featuring the piano-driven arrangements of Vince Guaraldi. It's difficult to listen and not picture Snoopy dancing, the sophistication of Schroeder's piano playing or that sad little Christmas tree.
She & Him
Released in last month, Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward team up for A Very She & Him Christmas, which features a dozen holiday tunes that merge retro and modern-day styles. Songs include Deschanel's sweet "Baby, It's Cold Outside" to a hip rendition of "Sleigh Ride." Dig his sunglasses and slicked back hair...