Big Richard D. James fan here. I've heard stories of his goodwill towards and fans and it seems so fitting he's made music with a holiday theme. Before I talk about why I like this specific song, I want to just relay a quick story as to just one of many reasons why Aphex Twin is awesome.
In the mid 1990s I had a friend who was interning at Capitol Records who was constantly bugging her supervisor to put her in contact with some of the artists on the label. Well, for some reason, my friend's supervisor had RDJ's personal email on a post-it note on his desk and my friend swiped it and put it in her pocket. My friend then, like a stalker, emailed Aphex Twin and gushed about how much she loved him AND he emailed her back. That was a start of a 4+ year email only friendship they fostered which included him faxing her binary code art at one point which she still has. I've heard from other sources that he is hella approachable, also. Gotta love a mad genius, nice guy.
So back to why this song is #11 in my countdown.
There's a moment in XMAS_EVET10 that occurs at exactly at 07:35:300, a tight mid-tone pan/gong sound. That voice makes total sense in that moment, exists only at that moment and appears absolutely nowhere else in the track. It's not flashy, it's not hooky, it's almost nothing.... But for whatever reason, the way it sits in the track and asserts itself as completely necessary, just does it for me. I'm not sure I can explain it better than that.
I listen to this track and wait close to eight whole minutes for this tiny little tone to set me off as big as any singalong chorus from any other artist out there.