Michael Buble 'Christmas' CD, memoir make great holiday gifts

michael-buble-christmas.jpgCrooner Michael Buble has finally released a holiday album and let us just say - it's about time. His "Christmas" CD is chock full of classic holiday songs, including duets with the Puppini Sisters, Thalia and Shania Twain. And trust us, spring for the deluxe version, which comes with three bonus tracks ("Winter Wonderland," "Frosty the Snowman" and "Silver Bells"). The deluxe version is available for a limited time, exclusively at Target.

Buble says of the holiday album, " It's always been my favorite holiday and I knew that one day I would record the ultimate Christmas record. I wanted it to sound and feel very authentic -- pretty much like a live studio album. I'm very proud of it."

You can hear some of these great holiday hits during Buble's holiday special, "A Michael Buble Christmas," which features other performers such as Justin Bieber, Kellie Pickler, Thalia, Oscar the Grouch, The Puppini Sisters, Naturally 7, Tracy Morgan and Ed Helms.

In addition to a new album, Buble has also released a memoir, titled "Onstage Offstage." He shared an excerpt with "Today," some of which is below.

The journey from singing into a hairbrush in my suburban Canadian bedroom to singing onstage at New York's Madison Square Garden was a much longer one than most people will realize. I'm young, still in my mid-thirties, but I started performing when I was to too young to drink and shouldn't even have been allowed in nightclubs. I was also young and naïve enough to think that making it was easily within my grasp. I was wrong. I had to work, beg, and charm my way on to that stage, with the help of a group of people who came to believe in me, even when I didn't totally believe in myself.

It all began when I was a little kid, when I learned my family's address. My father taught me to sing it, because he knew that by singing it, I'd remember it. I'll never forget the little tune I composed to sing those four numbers and the name of the quiet street where I grew up in Burnaby, British Columbia. That little song was my first foray into music, and it came to me as naturally as shooting a hockey puck.

My maternal grandfather, Mitch Santaga, was responsible for introducing me to the old American standards, usually sung by Italian immigrants like my own family - crooners like Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. I think you could definitely make the link between Italians and this kind of music. With Italian families, there is genuine warmth and a lot of love, tactile, hands-on love. We love our family, our food and our music.

Grandpa Mitch loved those old singers, and he taught me to love them, too. I spent a lot of time hanging around my grandpa because we're a family who love each other's company. Let's just say that, at Christmas time, nobody's dreading the holidays. I love Christmas because it is precisely all about family. My family sustains me. I couldn't have achieved any kind of success without their love and support. They shaped me into the man I am today, and if I should ever lose sight of that, they'd be the first people to kick my butt into shape. That's important, because I've achieved enough success that people aren't always upfront with me any more. They tend to agree with every idea that comes out of my mouth, and I don't hear the word 'no' so much.

Being famous has the double-pronged reality that everybody will listen to your stories and laugh whether or not they find you funny. That kind of thing can be a hindrance to your growth as an artist. I don't have to mention the names of talented performers who've lost their path in life as they became more famous. We know who they are, and I have a strong suspicion that part of the problem was that people either stopped levelling with them, or they stopped listening. My family, on the other hand, is my trusted judge and jury, and I will listen to them as I have all my life. My mom, Amber, for example, has no problem telling me if I'm being crude and lewd, which isn't entirely unnatural for me. Anyone who's caught my show will know about my propensity for the risqué and dark side of comedy. If I take it too far, though, my mom will phone me up. 'Michael, did you really need to say that?' she'll ask, in the disappointed tone that kept me in line as a kid.


Will you be picking up Buble's album and/or book for this holiday season?

Photo/Video credit: Lipping Group