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Department of Blatant Self-Promotion. With a Christmas Theme

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 22, 2005

I have finished my big projects for this holiday weekend, and you should be able to find them in the Beacon Journal (or online at as follows.

On Thursday, the Christmas-season TV specials list will appear.

On Friday, movie critic George Thomas and I will have a list of DVD possibilities for holiday shopping, grouped two ways -- high-end items ($50 or more suggested retail price) and budget-minded ones ($30 or less SRP).

On Sunday, as part of a package on new Christmas CDs, I will talk about holiday musical oddities, drawn from my own collection of CDs, tapes and vinyl. If all goes well, there will also be audio samples of close to 20 songs available on that day, along with some brief comments about each song.

I know, that's outside my usual area of expertise. So is putting up a storm door, but I did it anyway.

In addition to my obsession with TV, I am fond of many kinds of music. Over the years I have accumulated Christmas tunes that I love and hate, but in both cases find interesting. Yes, I love Frank Sinatra's Christmas recordings, but that doesn't stop me from also liking Root Boy Slim, Martin Mull, Nicole Blackman, Chris Stamey, B.B. King and far too many others.

In fact, while writing the story and putting together the audio suggestions, I kept thinking of other songs that I could have included -- some Jimmy Smith, say, or Ramsey Lewis. I may post a supplemental list here later.

And there were digressions I stopped myself from making in print. For instance, was Ricky Gervais thinking of Prince's picture on the label of ''Another Lonely Christmas'' when he dressed up for David Brent's ''If You Don't Know Me By Now'' music video?

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