2 min read

Christmas, on repeat.

Christmas, on repeat.

❄️ Not sure anyone cares about my favorite Christmas song, except maybe my family because I keep it on repeat, and repeat “I love this song so much,” endlessly—but I’m gonna tell y’all anyway.

In 1999, @lowtheband put out their little eight-song CD “Christmas.”

It featured a beautiful little single color illustration by @zak_sally overprinted with the title in metallic silver ink. It wasn’t in a jewel case, but one of those stiff paper fold-over sleeves. It was tactile, like you had gotten a Christmas card from them.

I got rid of most of my CDs a long time ago, but this is one I kept.

You don’t throw away special cards from people you love, if you can help it.

The album is a mix of classic covers and originals. It’s their first song, “Just Like Christmas,” that has moved me on every listen for the last twenty-two years.

“On our way from Stockholm, it started to snow.
And you said it was like Christmas—but you were wrong.
It wasn’t like Christmas at all.
By the time we got to Oslo, the snow was gone and we got lost. The beds were small, but we felt so young—It was just like Christmas.”

Those five sentences have always painted such a vivid picture in my mind; the sun just fallen, the sky a rich dark winter blue, and a late 80s Volvo wagon cautiously rolling down a country road.

I see condensation inside the windows. I see the weak, yellow halogens lighting up the road ahead, electrifying each snowflake’s dance as they land on the windshield to be swiped away a moment later by creaky wipers, and in the rearview I see a faint red taillight glow through the fogged window.

Only car on the road for miles. It’s just the two of them.

I’ve made so many stories and scenarios in my head over the years from the small song; Why were they driving in the snow? Maybe they had a fight? Maybe they went to see family?

I’ve dreamt a lot of going to Sweden to drive between Stockholm and Oslo in the snow, it’s all that vivid.

His idea of Christmas—snow falling, pitted against her definition; that feeling of being an excited kid in too small of beds.

I love the tension and how it makes me ask myself, what’s my definition of Christmas?

A bunch of essays, photos and thoughts by Pat Castaldo.