Ingrid Michaelson's Songs for the Season
Oh, you think you’re into Christmas? That’s cute. Trust us, you aren’t into Christmas the way Ingrid Michaelson is into Christmas. To mark the release of her first collection of traditional classics (plus one original), the singer-songwriter tells Apple Music about her love of the holiday season and the album she’s been waiting to make her whole life.
I start listening to Christmas music in September. I have almost all of my presents not only bought, but wrapped and hidden in the closet. People do get annoyed—they’re like, “It's not even Halloween.” Screw them, I can do what I want. I grew up in this big, old Victorian house, and we would have this awesome Christmas Eve party every year and the whole neighborhood would come. My father wrote Christmas carols. We’re not even religious—it was more just the joy of the season would overcome me.
This is a dream I have multiple times every year: It’s Christmas Day and I haven’t watched half of the Christmas movies I have to watch. Then I wake up and I’m like, “Oh, it’s only October, I have time.” I don't know what this is.
I have my limits: If anyone tries to make Santa some sort of sex figure, I have a real issue with that. So, “Santa Baby,” I don’t like that one. I hate when there’s Santa ornaments and he’s in a Hawaiian shirt with a fruity drink and sunglasses—that shit bugs me. Santa does not go on vacation in Aruba. He’s a mythical creature that lives in some mythical place in the North Pole and he’s cold all the time.
I want this record to be in someone’s arsenal. My go-to is the Charlie Brown Christmas record—I put it on while I’m cooking, just doing anything. That’s what I want—to be in somebody’s Top 5. I’m not interested in creating a pop record—I wanted to do something that isn’t gonna go sour in 30 years.
I wanted to put a Christmas record out every year of my existence. It took me this long. Does it coincide with the fact that, yes, we all need some warmth, and some joy, and something that reminds us of a happy time? Yeah, totally.
My favorite is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” This is very Ingrid Michaelson, because I love songs that are happy and sad at the same time. “Through the years we all will be together if the Fates allow”—you know the Fates aren’t gonna allow it. I sang that song through my mother’s sickness, through her getting better, through her dying. I sang it through my dad’s sickness, through my dad dying. We know we’re gonna lose people, that life is gonna change, but we’re still gonna persevere. We’re still going to enjoy this moment.