Despite protestations every year that this Calendar isn’t a ‘Best of’ or ‘Greatest’ list and Day 25 is no different from any other – in fact most of my favourite tracks appear earlier in the list ever year – there’s always a bit of self-imposed pressure to go out with a bang every Christmas Day.
The last track No: 58 from the ‘Silver & Gold’ box set of 2012, the sub-titled ‘Songs for Christmas Vols. 6-10’ was a follow up to Sufjan Stevens’ 1-5 volumes released in 2006 which was itself a 42 track EP set. It’s easy to see that old Suffie – as I like to call him - has his own Advent Calendar in place and, such is the quality of the vast majority of the tracks, it would be easy to include one a year until I become a Ghost of Christmas Past meself.
This undoubtedly won’t be for everyone then and the initial bit of early noodling may have some reaching for the stop key – I'm a Christmas Unicorn / In a uniform made of gold / With a billy goat beard / And a sorcerer's shield / And a mistletoe on my nose - but at 12 ½ minutes you can’t complain you’re not getting your money’s worth here and, in any case, I implore you to stick it out until at least the 7.30 mark when the burgeoning and in itself gloriously catchy chorus of ‘You're the Christmas Unicorn too / (It's all right, I love you)’ suddenly morphs into another song – you need to listen to find out what! - something truly wondrous happens and we’re in a wonderland of Christmas mayhem. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be glad it’s Christmas - and you can’t really ask for more than that.