Sufjan Stevens

Songs for Christmas

Asthmatic Kitty; November 2006

Punctuality be damned; since the quiet release of Sufjan Stevens’s limited-edition, 40-song ode to Christmas last year, I have been waiting with unbridled anticipation for an excuse to bust the collection out again. Filled to the brim with hymns, classic yuletide tunes, and original compositions that are pure, theatrical-meets-folksy Stevens (namely, the poppy, bell-and-whistle heavy “Put the Lights on the Tree”), the albums embody everything good about holiday records. Continuously recognized for his epic use of spiritual imagery, Stevens succeeds here in paying homage to the true meaning of the holiday without losing himself in the process. And while the simplistic piano pounding snippet of “Jingle Bells” will get most in the spirit, it’s somber, building songs like “Sister Winter” that make Stevens’s effort so startlingly touching.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Thousands of Plaintiffs Added to Refugio Oil Spill Case

Litigation follows footsteps of 1969 Union Oil spill attorneys.

Push Comes to Shove Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health

County supervisors confront too many needs with not enough money.

Helicopter Hits Electrical Wires, Starts Small Fire

A crop duster hit power lines in Ellwood Canyon.

County Accountant Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $2 Million

Forensic audit discovers almost 300 false invoices filed over nine years.

Los Padres ForestWatch Opposes Logging in Condor Country

Timber companies target 2,800 acres of trees near Mt. Pinos along the Tecuya Ridge.