There’s something I just don’t trust about Christmas. I enjoy the time off being with my family and getting presents as much as anyone else, but there’s still something that’s off about the holiday. Christmas is an industry, and it’s so massive that it takes over other holidays. Sounds pretty shady to me.
The Christmas industry creates fervor over the newest toys, which is fine. Kids are greedy little jerks anyway, holiday or no. But it also creates pop culture designed to make us all feel warm and snugly. When it does this well, the effect can be amazing. But when it fails, it comes off looking like a cheap money grab. Christmas songs are a prime example of this.
Christmas songs are just all-around creepy, even your favorite.
Stop and think about it for a minute, is there any other holiday that has its own genre of music? There are roughly five Halloween songs, and they’re not even specifically about the holiday, just monster-themed. Christmas has its own set of standard songs, and we just hum along with them without really thinking about their meanings.
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
This is quite possibly the most depressing holiday song ever written. At first, you think, “That’s nice, this guy is thinking about going home for the holidays and promising those he cares about that he’ll be there, no matter what.” Then you hear the line, “If only in my dreams” toward the end of the song. It’s not about being home at all, it’s about wishing you could be home, but not being able to. Then you realize that Bing Crosby sung it in 1943. So it’s really about a soldier, taking a break from killing Nazis and trying not to think about the friends he’s lost, to write home to make some promises he can’t keep. Cheer up, Joe, for Christmas 1944 you’ll be busy liberating concentration camps!
“The Twelve Days of Christmas”
Screw you, pal, Christmas is only one day long and that’s the way we like it. Why is your true love giving you so many birds, anyway? Is he or she part of the Audubon Society? Do the math: a partridge, which happens to be resting in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three French hens, four colly birds, whatever those are, six geese laying eggs, and seven swans that are swimming, which is what they do anyway, so that just seems redundant. That comes to 23 birds in all. Your true love isn’t good at this whole gift-giving thing. The song also supports slavery, by giving people as a present. At least you have those five gold rings, so you can look like a pimp.
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
This song should be immediately disqualified for being in a musical. While we’re at it, let’s throw “White Christmas” in there, too. What is it with 1940s Christmas songs and being so depressing? While Bing is wishing it would snow for Christmas (because he wants his ski lodge to make money, ho ho ho!), Judy Garland is filled with nostalgia and acknowledging that things suck right now. But hey, maybe next year will better, our friends and family who moved away will come back, but we’ll just have to keep breathing and hope that happens at some point. Also, I don’t like that she’s ordering me around. Maybe I don’t want to make the yule-tide gay, OK? That’s my choice, lady.
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
This one isn’t even subtle about how screwed up the situation is, and yet it doesn’t care. The problem is that the kid, Jimmy Boyd, witnessed his mother’s infidelity with some rando elf who just showed up. He just thinks it’s funny that his mom is willing to make out with any stranger that breaks into the house. Think about the horrors this kid has seen in his daily life for him to think that this situation is humorous. Santa’s getting you a broken home for Christmas, kid.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Turns out that Santa’s reindeer are assholes just like us. The premise is this: as a result of years of inbreeding, one of Santa’s reindeer has a luminescent red nose. Because he’s a freak, his peers laugh at him, and he’s largely ignored by Chris Kringle himself until inclement weather made Rudolph’s nose an asset. Santa was able to deliver toys because Rudolph’s nose lit the way, only then do the other reindeer see his value, and only then do all the reindeer love him. The lesson: weirdos will be shunned by society until they prove their worth, Merry Christmas!
“We Wish You a Merry Christmas”
A favorite of any caroling group. You just show up at my door and start singing, and expect me to feed you for that? Get a job, ya bum. Does anyone even make figgy pudding? I don’t think I’ve ever had it. And if that’s not bad enough, this hungry mob turns hangry, threatening to continue their harassment until their demands are met. That, friends, is called terrorism.
“Mele Kalikimaka” and “Feliz Navidad”
We only like songs in foreign languages when they’re about the holidays. And do Italians think “Dominick the Donkey” is racist? They should.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
I think at this point it’s fairly obvious that this song is about date rape. In this duet, the male tries to convince the female singer that it’s too cold and snowy to go home safely, so it’s a better idea to stay with the creepy guy for the night. She repeatedly rebuffs his advances, he drugs her, or gets her drunk, depending on your interpretation of “Say, what’s in this drink?” and in the end convinces her to stay for some non-consensual holiday sex.
Christmas songs that aren’t about Christmas
These exist because at one point, the fact that it was winter was reason enough to celebrate and sing. Now, we just sing around Christmas, so we’ve got crap like “Winter Wonderland,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” “It’s a Marshmallow World,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and all the rest. I mean, “Jingle Bells” was written to be sung at Thanksgiving. Winter officially begins only days before Christmas, but these songs, which talk about how nice an otherwise miserable season can be, end up getting lumped into Christmas, and after Dec. 25, don’t even think about singing them.
This is, without a doubt, the worst Christmas song ever written. The bullet should have gotten Paul instead.