The day after Thanksgiving means different things to different people.

I suppose it’s most synonymous with crazed shopping and  leftover turkey sandwiches. However, at our house, it means I can officially listen to Christmas music in the open without fear of judgment.

No more having to quickly close itunes when someone walks in the door because I’ve been listening to Christmas music while dipping caramel apples on Halloween. No more clicking off of my Christmas mix when other folks get in the car because we’re all wearing shorts.

Finally — freedom.

In light of that, I’d like to highlight a list I outlined to FCL (i.e. French Canadian Lothario, i.e. the husband) in the car on the way to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. Of course we would NEVER commit the crime of listening to carols pre-Thanksgiving.

1. Behold the Lamb of God- Andrew Peterson and Co.

2. A Christmas Album – Amy Grant, 1980s goodness

3. Home for Christmas- Amy Grant, circa my formative middle school years 1990’s

4. Songs for Christmas- Sufjan Stevens

5. Christmas- Mannheim Steamroller

6. Joy- Ed Cash, Allen Levi, Bebo Norman

7. The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas

8. O Holy Night – Sara Groves

9. This Gift- Gary Chapman

Certainly not claiming that this is the best, most definitive listing of Christmas albums — there’s a lot to be said for an eclectic take on the the same old, same old. But there’s a sweet, familiar comfort to participating in the same rhythms each advent season — a reminder that God’s promises in advent are just as rich, dear, real, and miraculous today as they were 2,000 years ago…28 years ago when I first heard them…and as they will be when my daughter is 28, listening to the same sweet carols in her flying car.