Everybody has a list. Here’s mine, in no particular order.
Christmas Shoes - This has to be the sappiest song ever written. And it makes no sense. A kid’s mom is terminally ill, so his dad lets him wander away from the hospital with maybe thirty-five cents in his pocket (okay, I made that number up. But it’s based on research with an actual child. My kid’s pockets contain less than fifty cents at any given moment) to go buy his mama some shoes. So she can look pretty when she meets Jesus. Personally, I thought the Prince of Peace was looking at our hearts and not our footwear. Maybe I should buy something other than Birkenstocks. And what kind of shoes does Dad think the kid can even buy with a quarter and some pocket lint? Even in the clearance rack at Wal-mart, the pickings would be pretty slim. He might find some water shoes or a pair of knock-off Crocs.
Happy Holidays - by Andy Williams. This song is closet-PC. Happy holidays, nothing. It’s a Christmas song. I am not aware of another faith that expects someone to come down the chimney at exactly twelve o’clock. Yes, my Jewish friends set a place for Elijah at Passover, but I’m pretty sure they’ll let him in through the front door. And the line about “Don’t forget to hang up your sock!” I believe refers to a stocking. Unless it’s a song about laundry.
And here’s a side-note. Not only do I hate this song because it is an irritating earworm that will get stuck in my head until Valentine’s day, I don’t like Andy Williams. He sounds too much like Frank Sinatra. Don’t judge me. Like some folks scream like little girls when they see a cockroach or a snake, hearing Old Blue Eyes drives me to the brink of violence. It’s a visceral, inexplicable reaction. My husband didn’t believe me when we first got married. He thought it was adorable. It took him about ten years to move from “That’s so cute!” to “This chick’s crazy!” Let’s just say he doesn’t play Frank around me anymore. Not even as a joke.
Tender Tennessee Christmas - By Amy Grant. Supposed to be sweet and sentimental. Comes across as all smug and condescending. There’s no Christmas like a Tennessee Christmas. Because it’s the only state where tinsel is hung properly? And which part of the state? Is a Memphis celebration still considered a Tennessee Christmas, even though it’s more urban? Or do you have to be on the east end of the state in order to qualify? I don’t like unanswered questions.
I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas - Shirley Temple. I get it. She has curly hair, and she’s adorable. But really? Total earworm, of course, but the message bothers me more. Research your pets before you buy them. Otherwise, you’ll get that two-ton ball of fun home and realize that it uses its tail as a manure spreader. Who wants that in their living room? And more people are killed by hippopotamus than by crocodiles. For real. Sounds like a fun pet. Not to mention that pygmy hippos are endangered. Might as well ask for a baby harp-seal book bag or an elephant ivory CD holder.
*** I stand corrected. Gayla Peevey was responsible for inflicting this holiday ditty on us. Not Shirley Temple. Thanks to Angie Z for setting the record straight.
But I’ll let you in on a secret. For years, my favorite radio station in the whole wide world played Christmas music from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and these songs were part of the mix. In January, they were bought out and went off the air. I would sing these songs joyfully and at the top of my lungs if only I could have my station and my DJ’s back.
Marisa, Marshall, and Kris, I miss you more than you know. Merry Christmas, friends.