Life has a soundtrack – especially during the month of December.

Christmas decorations explode in retail stores beginning in October, but radio is more kind. DJs wait until the week of Thanksgiving before subtly sprinkling holiday music amongst the Top 40.

They know people are trapped in their cars either traveling to or hiding from their families; running to Winn Dixie for the 10th time that week; finding the perfect last minute gift; or crying because all the lights on the tree went out.

Mine did that this year. I do not think I can type expletives in this column, but you can guess what I said.

All musical genres create Christmas music – blues, rap, country, R&B, reggae and even surf rock, such as the Beach Boys. All singers will take a stab at classics like Santa Claus is Coming to Town or Jingle Bells.

What is Christmas without Bing, Frank or Elvis? Bing Crosby’s White Christmas still holds The Guinness Book of World Records title for the best-selling single of all time.

When I hear 12 Days of Christmas, I am transported back to the mid ’90s when I was a part of an obnoxious and bawdy live rendition of the song. In my Camp Fire group, I portrayed the five golden rings and would scream it at the top of my lungs. I know every word.

My grandfather thought it was hilarious and used to have me stand on a chair in the old Piney Woods and perform it for patrons.

I happened upon a great Rolling Stones’ article of the best Christmas albums, while doing research for this column. In no particular order, I personally plan to download the following throwbacks this season and recommend you do the same:

• Ella Fitzgerald’s Ella Wishes You a Swinging  Christmas (1960)

• The Carpenters’ Christmas Portrait (1978)

• Johnny Cash’s Christmas with Johnny Cash (2003)

A Very Special Christmas 1987 (mix of ’80s greats)

This holiday season, please also download John Legend’s newly released album A Legendary Christmas.

Lacey’s top five favorite Christmas songs:

1. Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas Is You

2. Gayla Peevey – I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

3. Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmas Time

4. Alabama – Thistlehair the Christmas Bear

5. Dean Martin – Let It Snow

~ Lacey Howell is a recovering English major from Auburn who now lives on Lake Martin, sells real estate, rides horses and loves good wine (but isn’t scared of box wine). She is still bothered that Brad and Angelina broke up. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram @LaceyHowell.