Christmas Mugs and Country Music

Christmas mugs, gurl

I should be writing over at my poor neglected baby-name blog, but instead I want to talk about Christmas mugs and country music.

My ideal number of Christmas mugs is four: two smaller ones, two larger ones. The number of Christmas mugs I in fact own has been creeping up somewhat past that ideal, and then I added that happy squirrel mug this year, so I donated two others I don’t like as much, and left two more in the Christmas box, and just brought up these four.

The one with little drawings all over it was a happy find. My mom and I saw it years ago at Marshalls, and we both immediately loved it. I don’t remember how much it cost, but I remember it was more than I could justify at the time—like $12.99 for a single mug (it’s a Dunoon, which meant nothing to me at the time but now I know it’s an expensive brand), so my mom bought it as a gift for my sister-in-law. Then I pined for the mug for years. Then I put a search on eBay for it, and one day a search result came up, and I bought it. So now I have one and I am happy, and also happy to be mug-twins with my sister-in-law. If you feel any stirrings of pining in yourself, the mug is called “Little Bits of Christmas.” (If instead you are pining for any of the others, I got them all at HomeGoods: the Potter’s Studio squirrel is from this year, the larger Christmas tree mug is Fringe from last year, and the smaller Christmas tree mug is from a Myott pattern I’ve seen at HomeGoods and Marshalls year after year but haven’t yet seen this year.)


I have slowly turned from someone who likes a few country-crossover songs and owns one Dixie Chicks album into someone who has put a country station on one of her carefully-hoarded pre-sets. So you still would not call me a super fan at this point, and I still prefer Top 40 and pop-alternative stations, but there has been a definite change. My friend Surely said something long ago about how country music has more love songs for grown-ups—I think at the time I was complaining about how every single pop love song seemed to be about clubs and dancing and bodies rather than, like, LOVE. Anyway, here are a few country songs I like, in case you would be interested in sampling them:

If I Had a Boat, by Lyle Lovett. Country crossover: I first heard it on the alternative rock station.


I Could Use a Love Song, by Maren Morris. With country songs more than with pop songs, sometimes I like a song for the lyrics more than for the tune/artist. This one is me feeling moony while listening to my Peter Cetera Pandora station.


’80s Mercedes, by Maren Morris. This one is the opposite: the lyrics do nothing for me, but I like the rest of the song.


Unforgettable, by Thomas Rhett. Another one where I like the song okay but don’t love it; the real reason I’m including this is that it has shown me the bar pick-up that would work on me: “Then I tried to guess your middle name; for 30 minutes bet we played that game.” Yes. That and a gin-and-tonic gets you your best possible shot.


No Such Thing as a Broken Heart, by Old Dominion. I really like this song and also the video is fun to watch.


Sippin’ on Fire, by Florida Georgia Line. The first song I liked by them was the crossover remix they did with Nelly: Cruise (I like the original version too, but I love how much fun they all look like they’re having making the remix).


Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not, by Thompson Square. I appreciate the way they manage to rhyme “not” with “what”: Are you gonna kiss me or not / Are we gonna do this or wat.


Hurricane, by Luke Combs. Sad and I like it.


Every Little Thing, by Carly Pearce. Sad and I like it.


Games, by Luke Bryan. This is the song where I ran out of things to say about the songs, so now I will just list them.


What Ifs, by Kane Brown.


Small Town Boy, by Dustin Lynch.


In Case You Didn’t Know, by Brett Lynch.

22 thoughts on “Christmas Mugs and Country Music

  1. Brooke

    I’ve been getting into country lately too! Try some Dierks Bentley… “Black,” especially. Thanks for sharing these.

  2. Slim

    Huge Lyle Lovett fan for decades, and it all started with that song (which my sister, who generally has terrible taste in music, played for me). Welcome!

    I was going through the Bas Bleu catalog and thought of you when I saw this. But you have mugs and I don’t have your address, so I was stopped from undermining a beloved stranger’s right-sizing of possessions:

  3. BKC

    I would call myself a reluctant country fan. I have a Spotify playlist titled, “Realy, BKC? Country?” I love that Cruise remix.

    My best friend is obsessed with Sam Hunt, and I enjoy a lot of his songs. The big summer hit was “Body Like A Back Road” ( which was like, Fine, I Guess, but I really liked most of his first album. Rock/hip-hop/country. It grooves, is what I’m saying.

  4. Maggie

    I love penguins and a few years back (2009 ish?) Target had a ton of cute penguin Christmas items. I was the lucky recipient of two identical penguin coffee mugs, one gifted from a roommate & the other from a co-worker, so I have one at work and one at home! I use the one at work year round and it brings me great joy.

  5. Morgan

    I like your level of mug restraint!

    I also really like country music as it is the antidote to the up in the club, sex you up lyrics. What I DON’T like is how 99.9% of the current country songs involve getting liquored up and often times driving home in some guys truck while letting your hair down and wearing tight jeans (until they get slipped off…..). I am a disapproving old woman over that lyrical trend. What is next for me? The classical station while I clutch my pearls?

  6. Jess

    I love country music as does my 6 year old (my 16 year old….not so much). Everything Little Thing IS sad, but I love that song. In fact, it’s one of the lullabies my 6 year old makes us sing at bedtime along with Cam’s Burning House. Also another sad song. Bedtime is a bit…morbid. I’m surprised she doesn’t wake up having bad dreams.

    I swear I’m a (mostly) good mom.

  7. Alyson

    I used to like country music but lately have been thinking it’s been more and more like some awful, never-ending frat party (It’s been a bunch of “why dont’ we get drunk” but using a thesaurus. Like, drink a margarita, drink a lot of margaritas, let’s drink beer and party…) However, having said that, “If I had a Boat” is AWESOME. Tequila makes her clothes fall off, makes me laugh.

    Also, low on the radar, but awesome, is a guy named Paul Sanchez who used to be in a band called “Cowboy Mouth” and he’s a little country, folky treasure. I heart him. He’ll also do covers of Lyle Lovett songs, which makes me happy. (and Springsteen and Dylan and Simon…)

  8. Allison

    I wouldn’t call myself a country ‘fan’ exactly, but I don’t discount ANY genre – if I hear a song I like, I like it, and I play it. I watched Nashville and put a bunch of the soundtrack into rotation. I really like this Lyle Lovett boat song, and I’m looking forward to listening to the others. Riding a pony on a boat seems a little mean to the pony. I don’t have any Christmas mugs, and this seems now like a dire oversight. I do have a few Christmas bowls.

  9. Jd

    I LOVE Chris Stapltons rocking “Parachute.” Not sappy, good grove, hint of blue grass. All of his songs he writes and sings with his wife (mother of his two kids and expecting twins). She performs with him. He is great in concert- my non-country husband now love him.

  10. Maureen

    I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, but ended up majoring in Animal Science/Agriculture in college. I got a job on the university farm, and I really got into country music. That was early 80’s-I can’t hear an Alabama song that doesn’t release a flood of memories.

    Earlier this year, I decided I hated my radio station, and searched for another. Found a country music station that has some oldies, but also new stuff. I love it! I was driving my husband somewhere last week, he said “I don’t know this song, but my toes are tapping!”. He is ready to switch.

    I LOVE Maren Morris-she did a duet with Niall Horan (who is a guy from One Direction, a group I heard of but don’t know much about) at the CMA awards that was one of the best performances I have seen in FOREVER. It is called Seeing Blind, and it ran through my head for weeks. I think it is on Youtube-it was a really fun, joyous performance. The funny thing, as I was watching I thought “that guy doesn’t seem like he is American” and it turns out he is Irish!

  11. Sarah

    Christmas mugs are my very favourite thing to pull out at Christmas! I get them out at the end of November so I can maximize my use of them.

  12. Shawna

    I don’t know if you like Malcolm Gladwell, but I adore anything he does, and he has a great podcast called Revisionist History. This year one of his episodes was all about country music. I don’t even like country music, but he can make anything fascinating, so I definitely recommend giving it a listen.

  13. Portia

    I love country music, which is not a thing that you would expect if you knew other things about me and what I like. But there it is. I think you would really like Kacey Musgraves. She’s kind of edgy, rebellious girl country.


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