The holidays are generally a time of joy and cheer but occasionally we come across that Scrooge or Grinch at the store or in the parking lot that we’d like to “Go-Jersey” on. That’s why our Garden State Account Sup, Julia Cardali, will “jughandle” this month’s Spire on Spotify with a playlist that you can dance your “disco fries” to: Vol. 17: A Very Jersey Christmas.
As we’ve seen in stores and online this year, it’s no secret that there have been substantial shortages of various materials and goods in our post-pandemic world. And though the North Pole is working overtime to prepare gifts for everyone on the Nice List, we’re all finding the same shortages this Christmas season.
Due to the influx of online shopping, an estimated $207 billion is expected to be spent on online holiday shopping between November and December, resulting in the largest-ever amount. But thanks to an influx of online shopping, labor shortages, jammed shipping ports and other variables, many of these gifts won’t be in homes for the holidays.
As you finish your holiday shopping and shipping for the year, pay extra close attention to the shipping deadlines for USPS, FedEx and UPS. After all, well over 3.4 billion packages are expected to be shipped this holiday season, a 13% lift over 2020’s record.
So, if you’ve finished all of your holiday shopping ahead of Turkey Day this year, [Santa] hats off to you. And for our fellow last-minute holiday shoppers out there, here’s at least one Christmas delivery that is right on time.
Julia, what is the name of your album?
I’m calling Spire’s newest playlist Vol. 17: A Very Jersey Christmas. It’s a compilation of my family’s favorite holiday songs from Christmases past.
How would you describe this mix?
Growing up in New Jersey, there was usually snow on the ground and a warm fire waiting for us on Christmas morning. Well, let me clarify the aforementioned “warm fire”: it wasn’t actually warm at all—it was a video of a fireplace fire on the TV screen (thank you, Netflix). Even though we couldn’t feel the heat through the TV, it always warmed my heart. My hope is that this eclectic, 58-hit wonder warms your heart, too. It’s a mashup of holiday favorites that range from the traditional Burl Ives and Bing Crosby to a live rendition of “Merry Christmas from the Family,” courtesy of The [Dixie] Chicks and Rosie O’Donnell. There really is a gift for everybody on this playlist.
What was the inspiration behind it?
Christmas is easily my favorite holiday of the year. But what’s arguably even more exciting than Christmas Day is the preparation for it: baking cookies, hanging lights on the house, decorating the tree, carefully selecting presents. At the heart of the holiday and all of the preparation is family and doing all of those activities with and for them. This playlist is chock-full of family favorites that we would sing (much to our neighbors’ chagrin) loud and proud, but most importantly, together.
What is your favorite song, and why?
If I were basic, which, for the record, I very much have the capacity to be at times, I would say “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey. But hear me out: It’s dynamic, upbeat and fun, and the only Mariah Carey song that I know (though, I’ve heard she has other songs…).
Hitting closer to home, I used to take dance classes at my local studio growing up and every year we would learn some special choreography for the holiday. The year we learned a dance to this song is the only year that I can a) remember the song and b) still remember some of the choreography after all of these years.
Also, who doesn’t get fired up when they hear the “ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding…”? You’d be lying if you said you didn’t just hear all of those dings in your head in sing-song. You’re welcome.
My less basic favorite song on this playlist is “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Kenny G. Fun fact, the incredibly mysterious “G” stands for Gorelick. I can’t help but feel wrapped in a warm Christmas blanket whenever I hear the smooth jazz saxophone. It’s also a reminder that I’ll be heading back home to Jersey to spend Christmas with my family, and truly nothing is better than that.
If your playlist was a brand movie, what would it be and why?
Bending the rules here (sorry, Stopper), but if my playlist were a movie, it would be A Christmas Story. A bit offbeat and quirky, at times funny, and all about family at Christmastime. Also featured in the movie is everyone’s favorite Jersey boy (no, not Bruce Springsteen or Jon Bon Jovi), Scott Schwartz, or as those who have seen the movie know him as—Flick! Yes, the kid who gets his tongue frozen and stuck onto the flagpole outside of school. Funnily enough, our dearest Flick grew up in my hometown of Bridgewater, New Jersey, and attended the same high school as me. Anyone who really knows me knows this is truly my claim to fame.
Any specific memory that comes to mind when you listen?
No specific memory comes to mind, rather many memories of hanging Christmas lights on the house I grew up in, baking cookies with my mom, wrapping presents and strategically placing them under the tree … the memories turned family traditions go on and on.
What makes your playlist unique?
It’s representative of a little bit of everyone in my family. Every song is unique, and it’s better when you listen to them all together. Plus, did you even know Rosie O’Donnell has multiple Christmas albums?