I’ve become the worst blogger on the planet, obviously. Not only do I rarely post anymore, but it took me over a month to finally get this post together in order to regale anyone who will listen with my recent experience at the


It’s kind of a long one, but I gotta get it all out at once.

So to begin: due to the fact that I live a charmed life (and because I just happened to be going to the right place at the right time, continentally, and because I also happen to have very nice friends), I managed to get myself invited to the Tree of Life when it officially premiered at the Cannes Film Festival back in May. It was the opportunity of a lifetime for a film-nerd/celebrity-whore/name-dropper like me.

Making the trip itself was a lot more difficult than I imagined, but my travel companion and I managed to find our way to Cannes, tuxedos in hand. And after stumbling blindly through the French Riviera, we finally procured what we were told were “the hottest tickets in town, even more so than ‘Pirates‘,” whatever that means.

Until the moment those tickets were in my grubby little hands, I never believed it was actually going to happen. But being in Cannes during the festival is an exciting experience whether or not you are attending any fancy screenings, so I didn’t sweat it too hard.

Unfortunately, my mind is a prisoner of logistics, so rather than anticipating the event with excitement, I mostly worried about how we were going to get to the theater, where we were going to park, how I was going to look in my battered tuxedo, what door we were supposed to enter through, and how I was going to document the whole experience when cameras where expressly forbidden. My stomach was in knots. Subsequently, I took more than my average share of bathroom breaks that day.

Note to Future Dan: If you are ever fortunate enough to get invited to the Cannes Film Festival again, don’t worry about parking or your scuffed up shoes. Ain’t nobody gonna be looking at your scuffed up shoes and parking is a breeze. You’ll relax more and poo less.

We did a dry run of the whole affair the day before, just to make sure our ducks were in a row, but that did little to soothe my nerves. Then I saw Rob Lowe. Not exactly the high-caliber celebrity-sighting I was anticipating, especially since I find him to be the least-interesting of all brat-packers, but considering the extent to which I’ve been enjoying Parks and Rec lately, it was an exciting enough experience to whet my appetite for the upcoming festivities.

Then on the actual day of the event, we safely arrived at the theater two hours early, which afforded us the opportunity to grab a nerve-soothing martini at the bar across the street. At this point, a drinkipoo was in my belly, my cares were behind me, and I was ready to party.

Note to Future Dan: If you are ever fortunate enough to get invited to the Cannes Film Festival again, leave time for TWO pre-premiere martinis.

Then it became time to make our way to the theater. The tickets were very clear about two things: get into the theater by 6:40 and be wearing a tuxedo or you won’t be getting in at all, and don’t even think about bringing a camera or you would be duly executed on the spot. So I crotched a camera with very little intention of actually using it, and we headed toward the theater entrance around 6:15.

I had assumed we would be entering the event through the side-door, or some appropriately modest entrance for nobodies, but the signs guided us toward a security check-point which led us down a long walkway which was lined on either side by excited gawkers who were hoping to catch a glimpse of anyone more exciting than me. But I took it in stride and relished in the undeserved attention.

But when we got closer to the theater, we realized we were being funneled onto the red carpet, and I panicked. First of all, I was positive we had taken a wrong turn somewhere and that we were definitely not supposed to be anywhere near the red carpet (and that we were sure to be banished from the event the moment my discount tuxedo breached its border). Second, there was absolutely no one else on the red carpet at the time except for hundreds of professional photographers and paparazzi who lined it on both sides.

My brain immediately went into survival mode, and I thought to myself, “Just look straight ahead, walk fast, and act like you’re supposed to be here. You’ll be inside the theater in no time, and all trespasses will be forgiven.” The empty red carpet looked like it was the length of ten football fields, so I held my breath and took off on a speed-walk — heels up and elbows out — like a middle-aged mom on a treadmill. A few camera-flashes flared from photographers who were probably mistaking me for an ugly version of that Grey’s Anatomy actor, but I was unfazed and resisted the distraction, keeping my speed at just short of a sprint. It was probably the fastest and most determined-looking red-carpet-walk any of them had ever seen.

Finally within the refuge of the theater, we found our seats and sat down to watch the big screen, which depicted a live view of the very same red-carpet I had just left in the dust. It was then that I realized that everyone already in the theater had watched my nervous sprint down the red carpet. I also realized that ALL of the other average joes attending this event were walking down the red carpet. We hadn’t taken a wrong turn after all. And not only that, practically everyone had ignored the no-camera warning, and they were all strolling down the red carpet taking pictures of each other and enjoying the experience like they had no cares in the world.

Note to Future Dan: If you are ever fortunate enough to get invited to the Cannes Film Festival again, don’t rush the experience and don’t worry about getting kicked out. You can probably hide your camera in a less-awkward orifice. Also: don’t show up so early. That’s what loner losers do.

Once you’re inside, they don’t let you exit the theater, so I couldn’t even try to recreate the experience for my crotched camera. And by that time the really big celebrities were showing up, so the red carpet was off limits. We saw Gwen Stefani (and her has-been rocker husband), Jude Law, Faye Dunaway, Sean Penn, and Brad Pitt. And then Angeline Jolie showed up. The collective gasp from inside the theater was deafening, and she wasn’t even in the movie. It’s like she was hovering two feet above the red carpet. We could only watch it on the screen with stars in our eyes.

When the celebrities finally entered the actual theater, the rest of the attendees went a little ape-sh!t. Everyone mobbed their seats, snapping photos and shrieking with delight. Follow-the-rules-danny was still scared to take out his hidden camera, but after hundreds of people had shoved their cameras into Sean Penn’s face with no reprimand whatsoever, I finally mustered the courage to snap a few quick ones that turned out to be monumentally disappointing, to say the least:

Note to Future Dan: If you are ever fortunate enough to get invited to the Cannes Film Festival again, forget about bringing a camera after all. You’re too short to get any good pictures anyway.

Pictures or not, I sat in the same row as Angeline Jolie: only 13 seats and one aisle away. Unfortunately, closer to me — in the very next seat, actually — was a tarted-up trollop in a wildly inappropriate dress who was text-messaging for the entire movie, except for when she would pause to roll her eyes and sigh audibly, as if she couldn’t stand having to sit in the theater watching Brad Pitt not take his shirt off.

And then the movie was over and the celebrities exited in a blur of sequins and satin and we were left with an empty red carpet. So we attempted to recreate the amazing experience for the camera, but somehow we ended up with a photo that looks even more fake than if I had actually faked it:

But luckily, we were also invited to an exclusive after party: an opportunity to redeem ourselves and to fully take advantage of the amazing opportunity we had been given! Unluckily, I am a stupid low-class schmuck, and I didn’t realize that anybody who’s anybody doesn’t show up to a Cannes afterparty until 3:00am at the earliest.

We got there at 9:30.

Not that it was a bad party by any means, but we didn’t know anybody there. We had been given eight free drink tickets but we blew through those in 20 minutes and the bar didn’t seem to be taking cash. Every once in a while a celebrity like Jane Fonda would walk in and the crowd would go wild… until he/she was escorted to a prohibited roped-off area never to be seen again.

Worst of all, we had a flight early the next morning, so my logistics-addled mind was starting to seize again. How would we ever get up early enough to catch our flight, what with staying out this late? How long would it take us to get to the airport in this foreign city? What if I couldn’t find a gas station on the way to the rental-car return? They would charge me an arm and a leg!

So at 1:00am, we left the party, pushing our way out through a throbbing crowd who were begging to get in. At that point a sane danny would have thought, “Hey wait, if all these people are desperate to gain entrance to this party, perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to leave?” but the real danny was more concerned with conceptualizing a morning schedule that would get them to the airport two hours prior to departure.

The next morning we discovered that all the movie stars arrived at the party around 3:00am, and that the lines between the roped-off area and the general hoi-polloi were probably significantly blurred by then, meaning my one and only chance to rub elbows with Brangelina had come and gone while I was sleeping. Or not sleeping as it were, since I laid awake all night worrying about whether or not the weight of my luggage would cause any issues upon check-in.

Note to Future Dan: If you are ever fortunate enough to get invited to the Cannes Film Festival again, just plan on not sleeping. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ferchrissakes. Also: you need to learn how to pack lighter. Do you really need all those neckties and that neti-pot?

All in all, we really screwed the pooch with how we handled the whole event. But it wasn’t our fault. We didn’t know what to expect or how to act or what to do or where to go, and frankly, we were a bit out of our element. But still, it was probably the awesomest thing that I’ve ever been fortunate enough to experience. I got to walk (run) the red carpet at Cannes, after all. But just imagine if I had not been a panicked little worrywort? I could be besties with Brad by now.

Oh well. No regrets are to be had, and if I were to be entirely honest, I would have to admit that it probably couldn’t have gone any smoother.

Note to Future Dan: If you are ever fortunate enough to get invited to the Cannes Film Festival again, accept the fact that you are not worthy, and then forget about it and go with the flow. Also: maybe schedule your outbound flight for a couple days later, because you obviously don’t travel well.

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Outside My Window Right Now

The view from my home office.

Me no likey. :(


Adventures in Optometry!

Following is a list of words and phrases that I had not expected to hear from my optometrist today:

  • Assault Rifles
  • Robots in Space
  • Dog Shit
  • Pedophiles
  • Semen
  • Singularity
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Dismemberment
  • Bipolar
  • Dandelions
  • Chinese Space Tourism
  • Chick Flicks
  • “An Army of Hubbles”
  • Private Jetliner
  • You May Need Glasses

And yet, all of those were uttered some time during the course of my 15 minutes appointment. Made reading those little letters a lot more interesting, though.

That is all.



Awesome Sauce

SO, I’ve received a few comments about how planetdan has been puttering out, and it’s obviously a little true. Mostly, I’ve kinda started to question the purpose of planetdan. Not in an existential way, but more in a practical/content-driven way. I like to communicate and tell stories, and I like to make new friends online through my blog, but as the internet has evolved over the last nine years, I feel like I’ve kinda lost focus.

Planetdan was started as a way to keep in touch with my family and friends and to share fun stuff I found online. Then I started to create some original content and eventually I made some new friends, and in the meantime planetdan became a big disorganized hodge-podge of anything and everything.

But the internet has millions of blogs by billions of people and I don’t feel it’s necessary to post random stuff anymore. There are plenty of blogs out there that do that better and more often than I ever could. Plus, my own personal life hasn’t been very exciting lately, so I couldn’t mine that for new material either. I wanted to think of more original content to post but it was tough without a focus to reign in any ideas.

Retiring planetdan was never an option, but I decided I wanted to go a new route: evolve and diversify. And so while some of you think I’ve been blogging less, I’ve actually been blogging more than ever over at a new site with a new focus and an actual declared purpose:

It's pronounced AWESOME SAUCE.

It’s a simple concept. I was tired of pessimistic malcontents complaining about how humanity is doomed and how everything sucks when there are clearly a million awesome things out there that can make you stupidly happy if you just take the time to view them from all angles. So I decided I would think of one awesome person, place, thing, or concept every day and write an essay about why I think everyone should appreciate it. Sometimes I purposefully choose things that are decidedly not awesome just to act as the devil’s advocate. This means that the perspective can get a tad snarky or skewed, but basically, you can put a positive spin on anything if you just look at it right. People can even submit ideas for what they think should be featured as awesome or under-appreciated or decidedly not awesome, and maybe I will spin it for you. It’s almost a challenge: is there anything that can’t be spun in a positive light? Probably, but I certainly won’t admit defeat so easily.

I suppose the theme of the site is: unless you are living under a bridge or breathing your last breath, then you need to quit your bitchin’, because things are way more awesome than you are giving them credit for, and eventually things always get better, even if they get worse first. Plus I also get to promote bands and movies and books that I like. Cuz I’m an expert at having opinions.

I’ve had to scale back my ambitions a tad, though. Posting daily was far too time consuming. But I’ve been doing pretty good, posting at least every other day or so. And with each post, the site’s purpose gets more refined.

So planetdan will revert to its original purpose, which is to inform friends, family, and random internet acquaintances about what I’ve been up to lately or what fiasco has transpired at the gym. But obviously it won’t get updated that often because I’m just not very interesting these days.

I may also spin off another site devoted more to random original content I might feel impelled to create, like my old Senior Pics site and the like. But I don’t want to think about that endeavor right now.

So please visit and get OSMified.

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I’m still getting used to the new digs after I moved last September. My new bathroom is awesome, and it’s got a glass-block window in the shower, which I thought was way better than the old rotting pane-glass window with the rusty blinds and makeshift shower-curtain-cover at my old place.

The problem is that the glass blocks do not seem to provide the amount of privacy that I assumed they would, which I learned after I noticed my neighbor, who has the exact same glass-blocked bathroom as I do, showering in the evening. The show left very little to the imagination. What I always assumed would appear to be more like a big amorphous blob from the outside was actually closer to a slightly pixelated JPG porn pic.

Then I remembered that I generally take my showers when it’s dark out. And my bathroom faces the bedroom of a 12-year-old girl. And we live on a busy street with many-a-passerby. And I’ve probably traumatized the entire neighborhood by now. No wonder I haven’t gotten any warm-muffin welcome baskets yet.

So what’s the point of glass-block shower windows then? Because they seem more suitable for peepshows than prudency. I guess it’s only daytime showers for me from now on.



I had to go clean out my smooshy smooshed car at the impound lot, so I took a new picture of the damage in the daylight:

Then I had to start my new car hunt, because those bitches at the insurance company decided that they would not be funding my rental car any longer, which would have left me stranded at home and alone for the holidays.

So I got all obnoxious and self-righteous with them, threatening to hire lawyers and implying that all the stress of negotiating a settlement payment was aggravating my physical injuries. I’m sure the insurance adjuster could practically hear me chicken-heading and waving my finger on the other end of the phone, but at least I ended up getting my rental car extended past the xmas weekend. It was not exactly easy to buy a car in four days, especially when all the dealerships were closed for three of them.

So I went to ten dealerships and test-drove twenty cars and I ended up picking the one that happened to be playing Prince’s Kiss as I went to take it out for a test drive, because really, I don’t know anything about cars, so what else could I base my decision on?

That car turned out to be a 2011 Nissan Sentra:

For you gearheads, its an SLRPGTRZF8 or something. And I got the upgrade with the bluetoof, but really the car salesman had me at “iPod USB port.” Even with my utter ignorance about cars and stuff with combustion engines, I was still able to negotiate a fairly good price.

So here’s to celebrating the start of 2011 with no more bangs. And to Phil at Nissan: you should really send half of your commission to Prince.

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Not-So-Sweet Deal!

C-Minus sent me this not-so-perplexing image the other day, along with the message:

U forgot ur scarf at my house. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it warm.”

I hope she thinks that playing that joke on me was worth the price of a new scarf.


Sweet Deal!

C-Minus sent me this perplexing image the other day:

The only rational, non-idiotic reason this sign would exist would be if it were advertising a sale on actual plastic toy quarters or something, for playing with a toy cash register perhaps. But even then, spending fifty cents on a toy quarter would seem absurd, especially when you could just use a real quarter and save fifty percent.

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Animated Friday (Xmas Gif Edition)!

I haven’t had an Animated Friday in a long time, simply because they have begun to lose their allure. There are a ton of sites devoted to animated GIFs out there, so what’s the point of me posting them anymore? But then I came across this site, which renews my love of Animated GIFs by literally repackaging them for xmas:

So, go ahead and open your Christmas GIF.

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If you didn’t think I looked like a pedophile before…

For placing second in the unofficial Xmas Sweater contest at my work party last night, I got a prize:

It’s a semi-creepy Scottish-style, Xmas-inspired Tam o’ Shanter cap. If I was worried that my Snoopy-Riding-a Candy-Cane-Xmas Vest made me look like a pedophile before, then as I added the hat last night I probably sent people’s pedo-meters into the red.

But, I suspect that Snoopy vest has seen it’s last party, as least on my body. So I guess this won’t be an issue any longer. It’s still up in the air as to whether or not the Dan o’ Shanter will make any future appearances.

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Smooshy Smoosh

My car and I got all smooshy smooshed last night. I was just minding my own bidness when an SUV jumped the median to my left and slammed into my driver’s-side door, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision. I could have easily gone through life without needing to know what an airbag feels like as it pummels your face, but I guess I’m lucky to have had the experience, if that’s how you wanna look at it.

After the guy hit me, my car was forced off into a nearby snowbank, and so it took me a while to get my berrings. A witness came up and asked if I was alright, and then for some reason I started to gather all the CDs that were now scattered about my car. Eventually, the driver of the other car came over. He was a younger man of undeterminable Eastern origin, and this is how that particular conversation went:

Him: Oh man, it’s slippery out there.

My Thoughts: I think I’m okay from what I can tell, thanks for asking.
Me Out Loud: Uh, yeah, I guess. You okay?

Him: I saw the red break lights in front of me and so I swerved to not hit them.

My Thoughts: You swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid rear-ending someone? Brilliant.
Me Out Loud: Oh.

Him: It’s not even my car.

My Thoughts: Well this used to be my car, but I guess we should be more worried about you right now.
Me Out Loud: Oh. That sucks.

* long pause *

Him: So… do you know the laws around here?

My Thoughts: Here we go…
Me Out Loud: Ye…

Him, Cutting Me Off: Because I don’t really have a license to drive.

My Thoughts: Oh Jebus.
Me Out Loud: But you got insurance right?

Him: Oh yes, I think she does.

* he looks over my car *

Him: Man, you lucky to be alive.

My Thoughts: If you don’t shut up and get out of my sight you’re going to be lucky to be alive.
Me Out Loud: I’m going to get out of the street and wait for the cops now.

In my limited experience, cops are generally not very amiable. It was ten below and I was freezing, and I asked if we could sit in a squad car while they wrote out the report. He just stared at me, without replying, grimmacing just enough for me to notice. Then a more civilized civil servant came over and said I could sit in the back of his squad car, usually reserved for handcuffed criminals, except the second I got in there on those hard plastic seats and with the glass divider pane right up against my face, I got super claustrophobic and I made him let me out again. I probably wasn’t making any new dan fans in law enforcement.

Somehow the driver’s side mirror ended up on the passenger seat floor, without smashing my face on its way over, so I was glad about that. I got a few small cuts on my hands from when the window exploded, and I can still feel where that airbag hit my face this morning, but I got no exciting bruises to show for it.

This airbag and I have a complicated love/hate relationship right now.

Now comes the worst part: dealing with the insurance agencies and trying to figure out how I’m going to get around for the next couple weeks.

Yay for Minnesota Winters!

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It Snowed Last Night

It’s all blizzardy up in here.

Being snowed in for the weekend was supposed to be fun, but I had too much to do, and somehow I lost my keys without ever leaving the house, which is like one of those locked-room mysteries, and everything has been a major frustration. Especially the driving, when actually being able to stop your car becomes a luxury.

A coworker told me to get some blizzacks for my car, to help with the traction. I thought he was talking like Snoop Dogg in the hizzity hizzouse or whatever, and I was all “What are blacks?” And he was all “No, I said blizzacks,” and I was all “Like blizzity blizzacks?” and then there was a weird back and forth exchange where neither of us could comprehend what the other one was talking about. Finally I deduced that Blizzacks are actually a brand of tire or something.

Anyway, I need a snowday to recover from this snowday.

It Snowed



File Under: Too Drunk To Care

A few years ago I went to a wax museum in Las Vegas while I was a little tipsy and took some admittedly obnoxious photos. Then I dedicated a web photo gallery to the whole experience. It never got much traffic on my site, but over the last few months I’ve been getting a lot of emails and comments from people having seen my photos on other websites. So I went and googled “Drunk Guy at a Wax Museum” and it looks like my image set has been making the rounds on dozens of sites across the globe.

File Under: Too Drunk to Care

All of these sites are basically vultures. They just go around stealing other people’s content without any citations or links back to the original authors, most likely for the ad revenue, but also sometimes to deliver computer viruses, which is why I spent three hours removing the Antivirus Action Virus from my machine the other day (which is also why I’m not naming any of these other sites, because I don’t want the same thing to happen to anyone else). That sucked, but it was fun seeing my face on sites in China and India, surrounded by language which could have been calling for fatwas against me, for all I know.

The content theft doesn’t bother me all that much, since I’ve posted my share of uncited content, and since that’s kinda the nature of the digital beast. Plus, most of those vulture sites get a lot more traffic than my little blog has ever received, which means they also get a lot more comments. And it’s always fun to read what other random internet people think of me and my photo buffoonery:

The comment that tries to curse me with the haunting of dead celebrities is pretty awesome. That one took some effort. Here are some from another site:

I guess the “look at me” generation is better than “Generation X” or whatever. Reality Bites, man. But I do have my defenders as well (I apologize in advance for the language. Apparently I have some fans on the Jersey Shore.):

Allow me to repost that as text, to make it easier to read so that everyone can appreciate its eloquence:

i agree, this guy looks fun as fuck ! also, bitches need to shut up! always fuckin cryin about something i swear. i wanna play with the boys why are the boys mean wahhhh!! stfu !!!!!!!!!!! im a heterosexual girl and i cant stand a bitch boy omg! ……………………………………….boys are fun! shut up! playing w/ boys is fun!! go away if you want to make your fucking female points .. so irritating….. you know seriously, this is why women get no respect. because of your fucking whining everytime you try playing with the big kids man. this is the fucking internet… i dont know you people and i dont care about your whiny female feelings ! honestly! theres shit you girls say sometimes on here -funny as fuck- but then i gotta look at the whininess .. lovely. rubber dog turds was correct. the boys laugh it off, the girls have to cry . i wonder what delights will be said about this, if it isnt too late. what shit will be said by the girls for my complaints here… considering im also a bitch…. i wonder………

Again, sorry for the language. The rampant vulgarities are clearly nothing more than a symptom of her unrestrainable passion. And although that part about rubber dog turds is a little out of nowhere, I agree with her sentiment completely: Bitches be trippin’. And the one reply to her comment was totally cruel and unwarranted:

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Does this outfit make me look like a pedophile?

I bought an ugly xmas sweater off eBay the other day to wear to my company xmas party this year. Then, as a practice run I wore it to a friendly holiday get-together last weekend, and rather than chuckles and smiles I got winces and stinkeyes. Eventually someone admitted what everyone else was thinking: my funky xmas sweater made me look like a pedophile.

I don’t see it. Is it the Snoopys riding candy canes? The peppermint piping? The feminine cut? The oversized fit? Maybe it’s all in their own perverse minds, but now I’m nervous about wearing it to my work party next week.



A Kickass Xmas 2010

This is the day that I unveil my new 2010 Kickass Xmas Mix, bust out my Xmas decorations, and start drinking early. The mix this year is an eclectic one. And yeah, it’s got The Cast of Glee and The Wiggles on it. Big whoop. Wannafightabouddit?

It also ends with what might be the best version of Auld Lang Syne I’ve ever heard in my whole life. I made a Snowdan for the cover, and he’s catching snowflakes on his tongue, which I know is a tad creepy in a cannabilistic General-Cinemas-animated-Pepsi-cup-drinking-herself-before-a-movie kind of way, if that makes any sense, but doesn’t he look like he’s having fun? You would be too if you were listening to this amazing mix, which you could be if you just emailed me and asked me real nicely about how one might be able to do so:

1  I Wish It Was Christmas Today : Julian Casablancas
2  Deck the Rooftop : Glee Cast
3  It Snowed : Meaghan Smith
4  Caroling, Caroling : Nat King Cole
5  Joseph, Who Understood : The New Pornographers
6  Joy To The World : Sufjan Stevens
7  Get Down for the Holidays : Jenny O
8  Christmas Is Coming Soon  : Blitzen Trapper
9  Happy Joyous Hanukkah : Indigo Girls
10 Step Into Christmas : The Puppini Sisters
11 Jingle Bells : Wayne Newton
12 Zat You Santa Claus : Ingrid Lucia
13 The Christmas Song Song : Rocky and Balls
14 No Christmas for Me : Zee Avi
15 Round & Round : Frank Sinatra
16 Christmas TV : Slow Club
17 Calling To Say : Serena Ryder
18 Little Drummer Boy : Meaghan Smith
19 A Party For Santa Claus : Lord Nelson
20 Christmas Time Is Here : Family Force 5
21 For You Who Fear My Name : The Welcome Wagon
22 Angel In the Snow (Xmas Mix) : Elliott Smith
23 Our New Year : Tori Amos
24 Ding Dong Merrily On High : The Wiggles
25 Auld Lang Syne : Pink Martini 


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