Sunday, November 26, 2006

I Ruin Two Perfectly Good Holiday Movies For You

It's the most wonderful time of the year again, even if global warming and El Niño conspire to turn this into not so much a white Christmas as a palm tree and mudslide Christmas. I love the season: the lights, the gift-getting (uh, I mean, gift-giving... exactly), the peace on earth and goodwill towards men, or at least those men who aren't standing between you and a brand-new Playstation 3 at Wal-Mart. But just one thing: you think we could back off with the novelty Christmas music just a little? The season's cheesy enough without The Waitresses putting their inane holiday story of missed connections to bubble-gum music. I might be a little more tolerant if we didn't also have incredibly tacky people putting giant inflatable snowglobes on their front lawns just like Jesus commanded in the Book of Christopher Lowell or fascist mass-marketed holiday cinema claiming to be about the "true spirit of the holidays."

No matter what, though, I feel like Klezmonauts' Oy To The World: A Klezmer Christmas has a certain eclectic charm to it, like I wouldn't play it at John Gibson's "War on Christmas" party, but it could be an interesting change of pace. Alan Jackson's adorable Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk on Christmas), is superfluous, no matter how much it might reflect the typical redneck holiday. Joe Pesci's Christmas album contains the f-word, a lot — because he's on a school bus with a bunch of fifth-graders? Maybe Joe can lighten up a bit with next album and stick with the classics, like "Batman Smells" and "Deck the Halls with Gasoline."

There are some common themes here: these established jazz and techno outlets re-interpret the classics in a loungey, semi-sophisticated way that's good for a month or so; the Jews have their self-deprecating songs of Christmas rejection; the pop stars pander; and the country singers tell stories of running over Donner and Blitzen with their pickup trucks, throwing the reindeer in back, and having the best, most drunken Christmas dinner ever.

And then there's the Christian pop group NewSong, and you can tell they're Christian because they think we're all just a little too happy with the whole Feliz Navidad attitude. (Also, the titles of their songs — Blessed Be Your Name, Arise My Love, and Wonderful Maker — sort of give them away.) Last year, our local pop radio station, which normally inundates my car with enough Creed to make me think they've got some sort of agenda, was playing NewSong's Christmas Shoes all the damn time. Check out the lyrics and... I know what they were going for, but tell me this is not the most awful, horrible Christmas song you've ever heard. It's like, imagine the alternate ending to It's A Wonderful Life where Mister Potter boils George Bailey alive and feeds his soup to the rest of Pottersville, and then try to think of that deleted scene from A Christmas Story where Santa's helpers molest Ralphie with the Red Ryder BB gun he was hoping for, and this Christmas Shoes song is about a thousand times worse. It's the heartburning story of a poor little boy on Christmas Eve who wants to buy a pair shoes for his sick mom so she, and I fucking quote, "will look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight."

Have a super-subtle Christmas, kids!

Really, how do you top that? Maybe some songs like "Satan Just Ate Santa Claus" or "That Tickle-Me-Elmo is Your Ticket to Hell, You Greedy Shit."