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Today starts a look back at the 125+ Christmas albums (yes, 125 plus!) that I downloaded during the 2006 holiday downloading season. Some will get serious looks. Others will get thumbnail sketches. Will I get to them all? Only time will tell.

This was the first full album I clicked. Even wrote down the date, the place, the time, and from who - November 18, 2006 at 9:03 AM from FaLaLaLaLa community member Inkydog.

If you look closely at the bottom right hand corner of the album, you'll notice that this is from Design Records, a budget budget division of the budget label Pickwick International.

Design Records are the same folks who brought you wonderful Christmas albums like "Dennis Day Sings For The Family", "Christmas With The Happy Crickets", and probably the greatest budget Christmas release ever: "Tijuana Christmas" by The Border Brass.

Not much info is out there on the Cricketones. But the music is festive, fun, and very light - perfect fare for kiddies, Christmas, or both. I'm very much reminded by the Caroleers when listening to this for the first time. With such song titles like "The Little Christmas Stocking With The Hole In The Toe" and "I've Got 18 Cents To Spend On Christmas", it falls into that Caroleers category for the first five tracks.

The rest of the album is very different. The Cricketones sing some Christmas standards - their telling of "The Night Before Christmas" is quite nice, "Rudolph" has a radio orchestra feel to it (lovely), and a six minute condensation of Scrooge's "Christmas Carol" is quite strange.

This takes us up to the midway point of side two (or track 9 for those playing at home). Suddenly, and without warning, we get simple renditions of "Joy To The World", "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear", et al not sung by the Cricketones. This is a choir, orchestra, and they're playing it at full blast. As if they ran out of original material and stuck on whatever they wanted on the end of the album. Lame.

But that's the world of budget labels: get it out fast, cheap, make a buck. Inkydog slips in a bonus track by the Cricketones entitled "Mixie Pixie" that wasn't on this album and it's about 1 minute in length. There's more in this one minute that the last half of side two combined. Thanks Inky for sharing this "album" out with us!

UP NEXT: What I downloaded on November 20, 2006 at 8:46 AM