And tonight is Christmas Eve. Which for many, is a time to celebrate the final 24 hours of Christmas carols. Those repetitious, annoying, inane ballads of how fun and enriching the holidays are. Several of the songs are fine: “Silent night.” “Away in a Manger.” “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem.” “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” You know. The Classics.
Beyond that, their mostly upbeat little ditties that get in your head and haunt you for two full months. And with so many radio stations, retail stores, elevators and malls blasting them loudly and constantly, it becomes difficult to get away from them.
And there must be a great deal of money in recording Christmas carols, because every singer from Bing Crosby to the Beach Boys to Ella Fitzgerald to Burl Ives to Bruce Springsteen to James Brown to Kate Smith and back again have released at least one medley of “Holiday Favorites.”
“Wow! Did you hear Al Capone’s rendition of ‘Deck the Halls?’ Awesome!”
And beyond the musical sappiness of most Christmas carols, if you actually listen to the words, you’ll find they make very little sense.
Take, “We wish you a Merry Christmas” for example. All this chatter about bringing good tidings and a Happy New Year over and over again. Actually, that part’s fine. What’s troubling is someone saying, “Bring me some figgy pudding, and set it right here.”
You wanna bring a happy, festive Holiday Party to its knees? Walk in with a big bowl of yummy figgy pudding and set it among the other dishes normal people have brought. Guests will walk by and suddenly decide they’re no longer hungry. And when it’s time to leave for the evening, plan on the hostess handing you the bowl of untouched figgy pudding and mentioning they don’t plan to have a party next year.
How about “Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer?” For centuries we have eight reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. It’s an exhausting trip, but for one night a year, it’s the greatest gig in the world. The reindeer love it and are very protective of their status among the elves and other North Pole residents. Actually, the reindeer are considered quite aloof and unfriendly. Which is good by them.
So, what happens? One day a perky little reindeer with a bright red nose wanders into camp and decides to stay a while. He calls himself, “Rudolph,” and is quickly embraced by the elves as a really good guy. Seeing this, the eight original reindeer begin to laugh and call him names. And, despite the fact he is a reindeer, refuse to let him play in any reindeer games.
Things go along like this until Christmas Eve – which turns out to be Foggy -- and Santa, out of nowhere, says, “Rudolph with your nose so bright. Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”
The other reindeer immediately look at each other and go, “What the fu…” I mean, this is not the first “Foggy Christmas Eve” they’ve ever flown in. And done just fine, by the way.
BUT… What are the very next words in the song? “Then how the reindeer loved him! As they shouted out with glee: ‘Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer. You’ll go down in history!’”
Those original reindeer are more than a little PO’d. Oh, yeah, Rudolph’s goin’ down, all right. But, it won’t be in history. His furry ass and bright red nose will be at opposite ends of a spit at the North Pole Summer Picnic. “You know what? Guide this, Rudy!”
And, finally, there’s my favorite: “Let It Snow.”
If you listen closely, you’ll discover this is about a guy at the close of a date. He’s at the girl’s home, and he does not want to leave. In fact, he’s hoping to spend the night, so he says, “When we finally kiss goodnight, how I’ll hate going out in the storm!”
And she responds, “But, as long as you hold me tight, all the way home you’ll be warm.” Meaning, “Okay, fine. One more hug, and then you’re outa’ here.”
But then he pulls out the stops by saying, “It doesn’t show signs of stopping,’ and I brought some corn for poppin’!” Which I interpret to mean, “Okay, how about this? It’s still bad outside, and… Since you’re clearly not involved in Jenny Craig, how about if I pop up a bowl of hot buttered calories? That change your mind?”
And then the song ends. Hopefully, with him buried in a snow bank working to remove a large bag of popcorn from his butt.
Anyway, it will be good to shelve the Holiday tunes for ten months and listen to other types of music beginning… right… Now!
Please know my best wishes are with you and your families for a safe and joyous Holiday season. I hope 2014 has been a wonderful year for you, and 2015 will be even better. Hasta Luego, mis amigos!
How about that.
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