Wassailing

I am well aware of the hypocrisy of my celebrating a holiday I don’t really believe in, but there are presents and cookies involved and we all know how I feel about my baked goods. Other than those things coupled with the time spent being mean to my family because of the unbearable stress this time of year brings with the eggnog and the sparkling trees and the days off, I enjoy some Christmas music. I even love the blatantly Christian ones, like O Holy Night, Away in a Manger and Jesus, You’re the Prettiest Fake Son of God in the Whole Wide World, but maybe mostly because those are the only ones I know all the words to on account of all those Christmas concerts my parents had to sit through when I was in grade school. There are a few songs, however, that I strongly object to, like The Christmas Song.

Mostly, I object to the song title. There are plenty of Christmas songs. This is not the only one. Don’t be fooled. Don’t let Nat King Cole ruin your holidays by suggesting this is where it begins and ends, because it’s not.

For example, another Christmas song not claiming credit as the only Christmas song is Baby It’s Cold Outside, or as it is better known around our house, That Song About Date Rape. According to Wikipedia, “The female voice in the song is called ‘The Mouse’ and the male ‘The Wolf.'” I think it’s more like the female in the song is “Naive Young Victim” and the male is “Creepy Sexual Predator.”

Truth be told, my favorite Christmas songs are the German ones my mom used to play on the record player when I was growing up. One of them had a gingerbread house on the cover with gumdrops all over it and as I listened to O Tannenbaum for the 100th time, I would gaze at that photo and pretend I lived there. I would dream about eating the walls and licking the ceiling. For a snack, maybe I’d pluck a candy cane from the front yard. Delicious living space. This was in stark contrast to the other German records my mother would play through the rest of the year, like that Heintje album with the kid on the cover who would wail about his mama.

A local radio station plays holiday music nonstop from Thanksgiving to Christmas every year, but this year it seems they’re playing music for people who want to take a long nap on the couch.   It’s so slow and gentle and once, sounded like it was being played by wood nymphs armed with deerskin drums and homemade recorders.  Call me crazy, but I much prefer some good, loud, angry Christmas songs that don’t involve the lies of Nat King Cole or the slipping of Rohypnol into an unsuspecting woman’s drink.