Believe it or not, I'm not really a maudlin person. I'm far too neurotic to be a total sad-sack. But I have noticed as the years go by that what I think I like most about Christmas are the songs. As you saw the other day, my favorite Christmas songs are a diverse lot, with jolly ones, traditional ones, and modern ones, but it's the more low-tempo melancholy ones, like "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," and "I'll Be Home For Christmas" that are my favorites. I particularly find myself drawn to those as sung by Karen Carpenter who, either because she felt that way or because I project it back into them because of how her life ended, seemed to add a very bittersweet note to them that I find appealing.
The touch of melancholy in those particular songs somehow fits Christmas for me. They bring to mind bundling up by the fire or, my favorite holiday act, standing in the peaceful, quiet dark when everyone else is asleep, looking at the Christmas tree all lit up. Stillness and light: that's Christmas to me.