Hey! I made a game. I’m so creative sometimes. Look at me: I’m like a little Christmas Elf in Santa’s workshop. If I were an Elf, my Elf name would be Crinkles the Elf.
I originally intended this as a drinking game, but since I imagine that most people will play in their cars I had to modify it a little bit.
Here’s how you play: First, tune your radio to one of those stations that plays all holiday songs from now until Christmas. Next, punch yourself in the eye every time you hear “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Please Come Home for Christmas,” or “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Every single second-rate pop star from the last two decades seems to have recorded a version of at least one of these songs. (Note to self: Record one of these songs to include on comeback album in order to solidify status as washed-up pop icon.) Coming in close second are “Santa, Baby,” and “Last Christmas.” Since those aren’t quite as prevalent, substitute a titty twister for the punch in the eye. You win the game if you can give yourself a black eye by the time you arrive at your destination. Ask the kids to join in, too. It’s fun for the whole family.
There are so many beautiful Christmas songs out there, why does everyone pigpile on just a few? Do pop stars assume that a song needs to have some sort of sexual or romantic content in order to make it palatable for their fans? Why not do something truly creative and take one of the old classics and rework it to something new and powerful? Or — dare I say it — why doesn’t someone write a new Christmas song? Aren’t these people supposed to be recording artists? Make some art. Please.
There is one song that I haven’t yet heard this year that drives me so out-of-my-mind crazy. I know that this song is waiting for me. It’s waiting until a very cold night when I’m out, alone, running to Walgreens or some other fluorescent-lighted sort of place to get some stupid thing that we need THAT NIGHT. I’ll be tired and cranky. I’ll look tired and cranky. I’ll just want to get home and corral the monkeys into bed so I can collapse. And then “The Christmas Shoes” will come on. I will probably make some sort of snorty-sounding sound. I will want to change the station. But I won’t. You know this song, yes? The one with the kid who is out by himself on Christmas Eve. He wants to buy shoes for his momma but he doesn’t have enough money. Turns out, the kid is alone because his mom is busy dying at that particular moment. So the dude singing the song gives the kid the rest of the money so that his momma can looks nice at her appointment to meet Jesus later that night. This song makes me feel like an absolute schlub. As I sob in my car (seriously, every time) I curse the people responsible for this piece of garbage. My bet is that a bunch of so-called hitmakers sat around in a room and said, “Let’s make a Christmas song that will make people cry.” I do not want to be taken in by their formulaic bullshit. I want to go, “Your saccharine cannot penetrate my heart. I am only moved by things that are genuine.” I start saying that and then I choke on my sobs. Grrrr.
Coming up: My next bloggity blog is going to be all about Merry Christmas v. Happy Holidays. I think it’s pretty clear that I tend to lean liberalish. My take on it might surprise you.
In the meantime, I have some homework for the Jews and other non-Christians in the audience: Please tell me (via comment or email) if you feel offended by Christmas parties, Christmas sales, etc. and if you feel more included by the phrase, “Happy Holidays.” I’d love your input.
And with that I say: Please, please come home for Christmas. If not for Christmas, by New Year’s night.