I’ll Jingle Some Bells For Ya

It’s time, once again, to share a semi-shameful secret with you, Gentle Reader.

I’ve been listening to holiday music since the first week of November. 

I just love it.  On my MP3 player are roughly 218 Christmas songs organized in nine albums.  But the Johnny Mathis classic, Merry Christmas is as much a part of me as my eyeglasses, the tiny gold hoop earrings I never remove, and colossal love of frosting.  Recorded in 1958, it has been the holiday soundtrack for my entire life (Mom was a big Johnny fan).

For me, Christmas time doesn’t begin until I hear that celesta (a percussion instrument that looks like a piano and sounds like bells) play the opening of “Winter Wonderland”.

After lo, these many years listening to holiday-specific music, shockingly, I have some opinions and questions.

Listening to the 1952 ditty, “I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”stresses me terribly.  So, who exactly is this Santa?  Is it the actual Santa?  Because in that case, is Mommy married to another, and cheating with the jolly fat man?  Is it another person in a costume?  Then, same question. 

Is the singer, who I can only assume is a child, completely innocent, and finds it funny that Mommy is kissing Santa?  Or is this kid much more sophisticated?  In that case, the lyrics, “Oh, what a laugh it would have been If Daddy had only seen…” are much more sinister.  Is the little spy working up a little “quid pro quo”?  “Gee, Santa, it sure would be a shame if my emotionally unstable father, with access to weapons, were to somehow find out about what’s going on here…I think a bicycle might make me forget all about the events that took place tonight.”

It makes me very uneasy.

Rudolph, OMG, that poor little congenitally challenged guy.  This song normalizes and defends bullying.  And not just bullying, but it justifies the objectification and exploitation of Rudolph.  Oh yeah, he’s a freak nobody wants anything to do with; until they need him.  Then he’s everybody’s best friend and a big hero. 

And what happens on the 26th, when they don’t need him anymore?  I’ll tell you what.  It’s, “Get away from us weirdo.  Why don’t you go dance on thin ice?  Your beak blinks like a blinkin’ beacon!” 

Those ungrateful buttheads don’t even deserve him.  I would’ve bailed out of that sleigh over the Swiss Alps and let ‘em find their own way home.

The only good thing about the song is that it sings the names of all the reindeer which helps me remember them.  

Oh, Mariah Carey.  She truly is a legend.  First, can we talk about those notes she hits and her singing range?  As Petey would say, “What the what?”

But her song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, is a marvel.  It took 15 minutes to write and compose in 1994.  This song is now the number one selling holiday song by a woman.  It has broken records for Christmas music all over the world.  It’s made, in fifteen years, $60 million.  It’s been covered by artists such as Miley Cyrus, My Chemical Romance, and Michael Buble.

The song itself, despite the money it’s generated, is anti-commercial.  When other songs ask Santa for all types of commercial goods (Can you say, “Santa Baby”?), all the singer wants is the “You”, the object of the song.

And if you’re like The Kid, who reacts to Christmas music the way Anna Wintour reacts to the sight of a bedazzled Walmart sweatshirt, I have two things to say to you:

Merry Christmas!

and

Lighten up!

Thanks for your time.

Contact debbie at d@bullcity.mom.

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