Monday, December 18, 2006

Insert clever Christmas related pun here

I’m a big fan of Christmas. That’s right, no Scrooge am I. Not an ounce of the Grinch is to be found anywhere within my genetic makeup. I’m a big ole heap of Christmas cheer. There’s something about the holiday season that warms my cockles (a phrase I will never get tired of using) and makes me radiate joyfulness and triumph. I don’t know if it’s the weather, (it certainly isn’t this year. It’s December 18 and it’s supposed to be 64 degrees today!) the crass commercialism that assaults me at every turn, the smell of pine needles rotting in the living room, the insane amount of Christmas lights some people put in their yards and over their houses that do a great job of burning out my retinas, or perhaps the music.

It might be the music. Christmas carols make the world go round as far as I’m concerned. They invoke images of warm and toasty winter nights with snow falling outside and a roaring fire going on inside, while everybody just kind of hangs around together, possibly as families were meant to do, (I have vague memories of my family doing those kinds of activities but the memories are hazy and from a time long forgotten. Perhaps I’m thinking of any random episode of Leave it to Beaver.)

Anyway, it always seems that (as far as the secular carols go) people in these songs are just having ridiculous amounts of fun. Sure some of the lyrics don’t make sense, (Dance in that new old fashion way? What does that mean? Or this brain twister:

I’ll be home for Christmas

You can count on me

I’ll be home for Christmas

If only in my dreams

Does that register logically to anybody? I mean, the singer spends the whole song saying how he/she will be home for Christmas to help do all these things and partake in some holiday happiness, but then caps off the song by admitting to a deep psychosis and tendencies to hallucinate. What’s that about?) but they don’t need to. They just have to rhyme and sound vaguely wintery. I would like to write my own Christmas carol, but I don’t think I’ve got what it takes. On the other hand, I can give you all hints to write your own carols, if you so choose. It’s fairly simple.

How to write a Christmas carol

Christmas carols are like country songs, they have to contain certain elements to fall into that genre. Those elements are:

  • Jingle Bells. If you throw jingle bells somewhere in your song you can’t lose.
  • A Choir. Not always easy to find, but if you can get your hands on one you should definitely use it.
  • References to snow, cold weather, fires, love, presents, trees, etc. Remember, the more wintery images you use, the better the carol.
  • Mentions of familial traditions or some kind of holiday activity. You can talk about everything from decorating the Christmas tree to making Christmas cookies. Is your family tradition to get drunk and belligerent? Perhaps you like to open a present or two on Christmas Eve. Whatever your poison, put it in your song because it invites listeners to be a part of your family, (though that might not be something they want.)
  • Bonus element: A reference to an obscure, possibly European Christmas tradition that’s been lost in time and nobody knows. Some examples of this include talking about figgy pudding (what the hell is that anyway?) wassailing and giving people weird, potentially inappropriate presents spread out over a series of days. Presents that can include other people. Which is not something I knew was an option when giving gifts, (unless you hand out prostitutes to your friends for Christmas, which isn’t such a bad idea.)

Wayyyyy back in Christmas of ’01 I was in boot camp. It wasn’t my plan to go through boot camp in the winter, but it wasn’t up to me. The government seems to do what it pleases with random American citizens.

Anyway, the environment at Fort Knox wasn’t the best for holidays. Nary a paper cut-out snowflake or cardboard Frosty was to be found. The drill sergeants were more interested in decking the concrete with our faces than decking the halls. So I decided to do something about it. I had my father mail me the lyrics to as many Christmas carols as possible. Now I don’t have any type of singing voice whatsoever, but after weeks of singing cadences while marching and running we all became immune to bad singing. It became my job to serenade the other sixty something guys in my platoon with holiday song. Or, more accurately, I attacked my fellow soldiers with a wobbly, off-pitch voice and scary hand gestures reminiscent of Parkinson’s. But it got the job done. After a week or so people would request songs of me and I would be happy to oblige. Whether we were cleaning our rifles, making our beds or dropping deuces in bathroom stalls, (there’s nothing more relaxing for the sphincter muscles than hearing Grandma got run over by a reindeer while you’re trying to pinch off a loaf. Gross, I know, but try it sometime.)

It was small, but in my own way I was able to spread some holiday cheer. Thereby taking care of my one good deed for the decade. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a naughty list I need to bribe my way off of. That Santa is a crusty old guy. He doesn’t like to bargain often. Luckily I know that he likes the white powder, and I don’t mean that stuff you ski on!

Merry Whatever people!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...; You saved my day again.