Happy New Year, everyone! I had a great couple of weeks with lots of time with friends and family, and I’m really looking forward to the year ahead. I feel like 2014 will be a big year, and I have some exciting things in the works already, but I wanted to finish up my thoughts from the holidays. After listening to Christmas* music for a month, I have some thoughts about it:
1) We haven’t had a new Christmas song in a long time. And apparently we only sing in Spanish (“Feliz Navidad”), German (“O Tannenbaum”), Hawaiian (“Mele Kalikimaka”) or English (all the rest). “Feliz Navidad” was the first song I heard this year, which I thought was unique until I realized that the local radio station playing Christmas music played that song at least once an hour. It always makes me want Taco John’s. Okay, it doesn’t take much for me to want Taco John’s. I really want someone to do a Christmas special some year with a bunch of cop shows and call it (ready?) Police Navidad. Badum-ching!
2) A lot of Christmas songs are sad. Like, really sad. “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Blue Christmas,” “Last Christmas,” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” are obviously sad, but “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” makes me teary every time. I think it’s the line, “From now on our troubles will be miles away.” Or the suggestion that you should have a merry little Christmas yourself. As in, by yourself. But maybe I’m just overthinking it.
3) In an effort to inject some religion back into the holiday (put Christ back in Christmas, as some would say), “Here Comes Santa Claus” is an example of the marriage (clash?**) between the secular and the religious. I don’t really have issues with this; Christmas is a holiday with its basis in religion, and, for the most part, the message is a positive/neutral one: “Hang your stockings and say your prayers/’Cause Santa Claus comes tonight!” and “Peace on earth will come to all/If we just follow the light,” are both sacred and secular, without being in your face about either. Don’t we all want peace on Earth? “He doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor/He loves you just the same/Santa Claus knows we’re all God’s children/That makes everything right,” is also fairly innocuous and suggests a Jesus-like quality in Santa. The breakdown, I think, is in the lyric “So lets give thanks to the Lord above/That Santa Claus comes tonight!” Ummmmmmmmm…***
4) “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is the creepiest song ever. “You’d better watch out,” is the first line and it only goes down from there: “He sees you when you’re sleeping/He knows when you’re awake/He knows if you’ve been bad or good/So be good for goodness sake!” I mean, he knows your heart’s desire AND whether you brush your teeth regularly. Really, though, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is creepier. (“Say, what’s in this drink?” can only be taken a few ways…) I feel like “Let It Snow” is the non-creepy version of BICO.
5) “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” is only funny because we ♦know♦ Santa is really Daddy, but considering the narrator doesn’t know that, he sure seems fine with Mommy being adulterous with a married man who is significantly older than she is and lives thousands of miles away…and similarly, the narrator in “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” seems a bit too okay with a tragic situation. That song wouldn’t be funny if it were “Billy Got Run Over By a Reindeer” or “Susie Got Run Over By a Reindeer,” or even “Daddy Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” Sorry, Grandma.
6) I used to dislike The Grinch, and his eponymous “Theme Song”**** was one I gleefully sang along to, but this year I took a long hard listen to the words and I kind of felt bad. The lyrics of the song have just as much venom and hatred behind them as any action taken by the Grinch; if someone told me, “You’re a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce!” (in earnest) I’d probably cry. And if a kid called another kid that, he’d be on timeout. It’d be interesting to see a Grendel/Wicked-like retelling of the story from The Grinch’s perspective. The full lyrics are posted below so you can see what I mean:
You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch
You really are a heel,
You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch,
You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel!
You’re a monster, Mr. Grinch,
Your heart’s an empty hole,
Your brain is full of spiders, you have garlic in your soul, Mr. Grinch,
I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!
You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch,
You have termites in your smile,
You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile, Mr. Grinch,
Given a choice between the two of you I’d take the seasick crocodile!
You’re a rotter, Mr. Grinch,
You’re the king of sinful sots,
Your heart’s a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots, Mr. Grinch,
You’re a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce!
You nauseate me, Mr. Grinch,
With a nauseous super “naus”!,
You’re a crooked dirty jockey and you drive a crooked hoss, Mr. Grinch,
Your soul is an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful
Assortment of rubbish imaginable mangled up in tangled up knots!
You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch,
You’re a nasty wasty skunk,
Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk, Mr. Grinch,
The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote,
“Stink, stank, stunk”!
7) Many songs are strictly about winter (“Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Let it Snow,” etc.) but as soon as it strikes 12:01 AM on December 26, all winter/Christmas/holiday-related songs go off air. At least until it snows in the middle of April…
8) My favorite songs: “Santa Baby,” “All I Want For Christmas is You,” and “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas.” And, weirdly, “Christmas Don’t Be Late” by Alvin and the Chipmunks. but that might be nostalgia. The worst? Rosie O’Donnell and Elmo’s version of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Just trust me.
Love them or hate them, Christmas songs are here to stay (and gone for now). Regardless, I hope your holidays were happy, your new year magnificent, and 2014 brings you all the best! XO Sarah
*Holiday songs. But let’s be honest, they’re mostly Christmas-related. Aside from Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song” and “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?,” most of them are Christmas heavy.
**Any good marriage has some disagreements…
***I’m fine with being grateful for Santa, but I feel like, I don’t know, Jesus might be the person whose arrival we’re thanking God for on December 25.
****That’s the title of the song.