Most years it doesn't snow, and sometimes it doesn't even get very cold outside. But there's always one foolproof way of knowing it's the holiday season: the unending stream of Christmas tunes flooding the airwaves.
There seem to be a million different tunes out there, urging you to be jolly or thankful or expectant. Or maybe there are actually only a dozen songs, each with several thousand versions.
Either way, most we know by heart. And whether you love them or they drive you mad by Dec. 2, you can't avoid them.
Earlier this week the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers released their annual list of the year's most-played Christmas songs.
Since Oct. 1, "Sleigh Ride," performed by Leroy Anderson, has been played more than 64,000 times.
The ASCAP has this summary of the song's history:
Although it depicts a wondrous winter scene, "Sleigh Ride" was written originally by Leroy Anderson on a hot summer day in 1946 in Woodbury, CT. Initially composed as an instrumental piece, The Boston Pops Orchestra gave the first performance in a concert conducted by Arthur Fiedler at Symphony Hall in Boston, May 4, 1948, and Mills Music published it that same year. The Boston Pops Orchestra recorded it in June of 1949. After Mitchell Parish added lyrics in 1949, it has been recorded by perhaps the most eclectic range of performers than any other piece in western music, with Leroy Anderson's recording the most popular instrumental version and The Ronettes' recording as the most popular vocal version.
What's your favorite Christmas song? We've put together a very, very small list of possibilities, so feel free to vote in our poll but also add your own favorites!