The holiday disc is here! The holiday disc is here!


I think my holiday spirit ran out around Dec. 10.

I didn’t put up a Christmas tree this year, because all I could think about was how much work it’d be to take it back down again in just a few weeks. I waited until Dec. 22 to buy gifts for my mom and sister, and shipped them UPS Ground. (They’re due to arrive in early January.)


Perhaps most tellingly, I didn’t open any of my own presents until Christmas morning. I usually rip them open the moment they arrive, so the fact I had accumulated a stack like the above was a sign that something’s not quite right.

And even after repeated entreaties from my sister, I couldn’t work up the energy to make a Christmas list. (“I just got around to using the gift card you got my for my birthday six months ago. Can’t you just buy something for your kids and tell them it’s from me instead?”)

Perhaps it’s not that my holiday spirit ended early, but that my year-end gloom began early and trounced it. The holiday song that got the most play in 2013:

Meanwhile, I kept trying to “fake it till you make it”:

  • Designing and printing my own cards was remarkably fulfilling, but that was more about being able to let my creativity fire on all cylinders than any holiday-related happiness.
  • So many receipts!

    So many receipts!

    Last weekend was the second year in a row that a group of friends headed to Kmart to pay off layaway accounts for 26 families that were in danger of not getting their children’s gifts for Christmas. (We had more people than last year, and raised $1,200 more.) It’s the sort of thing that makes my sister cry when she just hears about it; meanwhile, even as I recognize what we managed to pull off was pretty cool, my overall mood remained somewhere between [shrug] and [stares out window].

Luckily, there’s always the holiday discs, which have been a tradition since 1999. (Another tradition: leaving an error intact for eagle-eyed readers to discover. Sorry, “Ellie Gouldin.”) Selecting and sequencing my favorite songs of each year, along with putting together the covers and liner notes, make up one of my favorite rituals.

So is sharing the discs with friends. Click here to go straight to the Dropbox link where you can download the tracks, covers and liner notes for the 2013 holiday disc. (Named after the song by Frankmusik, above, that kicks everything off.) I’ll keep the link live through the end of the year. And soon I’ll post the link to the bonus disc, too.

WHAT SAM WORE: 12/26/13
photo 3 photo 2 photo 1
The shirt: Long-sleeved button-collar cotton
dress shirt, from J. Crew outlet in Anthem.
The sweater: Cashmere V-neck, from the
dearly departed Martin + Osa in Denver.
The pants: Straight-cut light-wash jeans,
from Uniqlo in New York.
The shoes: Canvas All-Stars by Converse, from
the Pac-Sun outlet store just outside Chandler.

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