Calm, collected holiday shopper, what's on your iPod? (Part I)

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Abercrombie & Fitch hoodies for the nieces? Rugby shirts for the nephew? Teddy Kennedy book-on-tape for Dad, calypso super hits re-ish for Mom, Twilight Blu-Ray discs for the significant other? Is this your life, diligent not-early-but-not-really-late Christmas shopper? Sticking to a list full of specifics and contingency options, checking it four or five or maybe six times? Calmly strolling up and down the aisles? Not breaking a sweat? Maybe stocking up on tissue paper and CD gift boxes? Then this mixtape is for you. Keep an eye out; there might be another one coming.

Michael Jackson, "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough"

The title says it all: rape the Gap, pillage Victoria's Secret, burn Auntie Anne's to the ground. Spend that paper! Buy stuff. Load your minivan with fruitcakes and Jonas L.A. DVDs and impossibly-discounted flatscreen television sets. Rent a U-Haul, if need be. And remember: no matter how many mortgage payments you're blowing on shit no-one will remember receiving three months from Christmas, Jacko's got you beat on the frivolous conspicuous consumption front.

Weezer, "The Christmas Song"

This song has absolutely nothing to do with buying carefully selected shit for people you love, but it's among Weezer's finest "wallowing-in-peeved-righteousness" moments, and with each mass-produced-in-China bauble or tchotchke that finds its way into your cart, you can imagine a pin sliding a little deeper into a voodoo doll version of the cad or jezebel who broke your heart on some not-quite-forgotten Christmas, long ago.

DMX, "Stop Being Greedy"

If I were re-making A Christmas Carol - or, I guess, if I were re-making the 1988 Bill Murray comedy Scrooged - for a contemporary audience in a modern setting, DMX would have to guest star. I don't know if I'd make him one of the Ghosts of Christmas, or if it'd be "let's just have DMX randomly show up, punch Scrooge in the face, then growl Golden Rule doggerel like 'You been eatin' long enough, dawg/Stop being greedy/Keep it real, partner/Giiiiiive to the needy,' wrecking the flow and realism of the movie but making an important point about how caring is sharing.' Or, I mean, that's what I would have done if I were re-making one of those movies a decade ago.

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The Notorious B.I.G., "Juicy"

"Juicy" doesn't have a whole lot to do, directly, with Christmas or Christmas shopping, and if you've got your iPod cranked loud enough, you run the risk of offending the old biddies and desperately velour-sheathed housewives -  speaking of which, seriously, housewives? Velour? This shit is like fabric of the millennium for waaaay too many people - who are scanning shelves and mushing carts alongside you. But I've included it here because it's essentially a tale of overcoming overwhelming odds to achieve success; the hero ascended from crime and squalor and darkness to a world where all the bills were paid on time and there was scrilla left over for a little something extra. Okay, a lot. Some of which he lavished on Mom and his friends and family, and life was good.

But then he was shot dead in a fractious bi-coastal rap beef. So, um, when you're reaching for that last Buzz Lightyear action figure, watch your six.

WHAM!, "This Christmas"

Caution: shimmying through Housewares or Petites with this on blast may transform you into an accidental Pied Piper; looking over your shoulder, you may find yourself leading a caravan of glazed-eyed Velour vultures. This is kind of like the synth-pop equivalent of those pastel-painted metal trees in the Charlie Brown Christmas special, isn't it? And that hair!


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