There is a local radio station that plays Christmas songs continuously for the entire month of December. As soon as I found it, I decided to tell my kids that we could no longer listen to anything else until Christmas is over, so that we can ensure that we are ALWAYS in the holiday spirit. I was lying, of course…it’s really because they drive me crazy with their constant arguing about what song to listen to while I’m trying to drive. You’d think they would realize I’m not actually Ms. Holly Jolly if they looked at some of the contextual clues in our life. Our main Christmas decoration is a tiny fake tree, with pre attached lights, decorated with little plastic dragons and candy. We eat and replace the candy weekly. I also keep it festive (and classy) with a reindeer that sits on our mantle and poops out jelly beans. I own exactly ONE Christmas album and it is the only one I’ll ever need: John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together. I have been listening to that glorious album every holiday season since I was a kid and I will never stop loving it. I would just play it on repeat all month, but the CD player in my van is broken and the stereo system is so old that using newer musical technology is impossible. So the All-Christmas station it is! Unfortunately, there are a lot of hits and misses with the holiday tunes. I had no idea that there were so many that are just…insane!
Let’s start with the obvious: Baby It’s Cold Outside. Surely everyone recognizes the creep factor of this song, right? It’s a sexy holiday song about coercive tactics to bed someone who seems less than thrilled at the prospect, with a possible spiked drink thrown in just for laughs? Oh hell no! I mean seriously dude, she’d rather freeze her ta-tas off then spend another moment by the fire with you. Clearly you are the worst! When you read the recently reworked lyrics that emphasize consent, it only highlights the creepiness of this song. If you are on a date with some who says that this is his/her favorite Christmas tune, I highly recommend that you go into the bathroom and immediately summon a car with the rideshare app of your choice. And for God’s sake, DON’T finish that eggnog!
All I Want For Christmas is You is another stalker anthem, albeit a peppy one. Who obsessively wants a person for Christmas, when there are so many great gift card and liquor options? A psycho, that’s who. If you are dating someone who loves this song, I personally think you should dump them before the holidays so that you don’t end up spending your Christmas chained in their sex dungeon, sporting a latex elf suit.
How about Holly Jolly Christmas? This song seems all rollicking good fun, until that part where he says “Ho Ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see. Somebody waits for you. Kiss her once for me!” Uh, what? I have to admit, that song kind of makes me want to run up to someone and give them a great big surprise kiss, like “MWAH! This is for Burl Ives, baby!” Would anyone get it and laugh before I got deservedly punched and/or arrested?
Then there is Santa Baby. Who came up with this song? It’s awful! I mean, am I misinterpreting or is this a grown woman singing in a baby voice about sexing Santa up so that he’ll give her furs and diamonds? Gross!
We Wish You a Merry Christmas starts out with good intentions: just some happy carolers at your door, singing a merry tune and wishing you good tidings. Then it turns dark when they DEMAND pudding and suddenly it becomes a full blown stand-off! Horrifying.
I personally hate The Little Drummer Boy, because I loathe nonsense lyrics like Pa-rup-a-pum-pum. Gah, just typing that upset me. I know I may be on my own with that one as many people just adore that sort of thing. I once got screamed at by a fellow Girl Scout when I refused to join in the singing for a horrible song called Dum-Dum Da-Da. That song’s title represents its only lyrics. Even as a child, I simply could not. It’s the same with Pa-rup-a-pum-pum. No can do. (Strangely, I’m totally fine with sayings like “no can do.”)
And just to throw in more sacrilege I hate both Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime and John Lennon’s Happy Xmas. Those titles are ironic, right? The former is surely on the soundtrack to at least one Christmas-themed horror movie and all of my Christmas-themed nightmares. It gets stuck in your brain and won’t let go. And the latter starts out really judgey, “So this is Christmas and what have you done?” Well I don’t know. Jeez. Now I feel like an asshole. Then the chorus punishes you for your inaction with a shrill “A VERRRY Merry ChristMAAAASSSS….” Oh my God, please stop hurting my ears. I’ll do better next year, I swear.
I do like some Christmas songs – I’m not a total Grinch (probably). Elvis’ Blue Christmas always makes me happy and anything Christmasy at all by Neil Diamond fills me with joy. But my absolute favorite is Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas from my favorite (only) Christmas album, the aforementioned John Denver and the Muppets masterpiece. Rowlf the dog, with his low, growly voice is perfection. He sounds like he’s had a couple of drinks and he’s feeling sentimental. He and John Denver, whose voice is clear and true, sound like real friends, just hanging out at the piano. They’re saying that times are tough, but we have each other, our faithful friends and loved ones, and that’s what’s important during the holidays and always. I could think of no better sentiment with which to end 2016.