The most special things are the things that don't really belong anywhere but here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We Wish You a Creepy Christmas

Well, tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and we all know what that means: lots of baking, last minute shopping, wrapping gifts, practicing how softly you can cry in anticipation of the family gathering
where Aunty Muriel will ask you why you've never brought a man to one of these things, etc., etc. It's also when we revisit our favorite holiday stories and listen to our favorite holiday songs. Have you ever taken pause though and really heard the lyrics, really thought about the details? If you did, you may realize that some of your Christmas favorites are actually kind of creepy, or at least have the potential to be.

#1: "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

No one hates this song more than my big sister, Liz. To her, it may as well be called "I Spiked Your Drink and Won't Let You Leave." The girl sings, "Say what's in this drink?" The guy repeatedly sings, "Baby, don't hold out." Her drink is probably just alcohol right? Maybe a kind she hadn't tried before, a cocktail if you will, and it's stronger than she expected. But maybe not. Maybe my sister is right, and it's filled with roofies. Should this song be updated? Maybe the dad and brother show up the next day with a shot gun? Maybe a jolly prosecutor enters the scene with a twinkle in his eye? Should we not joke about this?

If you have to listen to this song, just make sure it's the Haley & Casey version.

Does anyone remember that movie All I Want for Christmas staring Thora Birch? I loved that movie when I was little, and Thora's duet with Lauren Becall was the first time I remembered hearing "Baby, It's Cold Outside." I thought it was cute. But the whole thing is about convincing a girl she should stay at your house so you can hook up, and a grandmother is singing that to her granddaughter? Why? Just why?

No way is that Thora Birch's voice.

#2: "Santa Baby"

Sometimes I wonder if stores knew how much of my business they lost by playing "Santa Baby"  if they would still insist on playing it at all. I really can't express how much I hate this song. First of all, I am not a fan of grown women singing in a pouty, baby-way to be sexy. Why is it sexy to sound like a baby? Can anyone please explain this to me??? (Actually, do I want you to?) I also just hate it when women entice men by acting like they have some sort of mental deficiency and all they want is presents, so like, there's that.

The only type of santa baby I approve of.
Most disturbingly, this grown woman-baby is basically singing about how she wants to do Santa. Santa. He's old, by thousands of years. He's not the healthiest. He's already married to Mrs. Claus. He lives in a cold, remote location. He's magical, but decides to go down chimneys instead of just putting elf dust on the door handle and walking inside, and his soul purpose for living is to give children toys like a kindly grandfather. This young woman wants to get it on with that guy. Does she need MEDICATION?! "Santa Baby" is actually a song about a mentally unstable woman with a fetish, which is fine, I guess, but not while I'm buying my mom a sweater at Macy's.

Wait, this movie was a thing?
#3: "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"

I had no problem with this song, but again, Liz ruined it for me. I always thought the song was about how the Dad dressed up as Santa and the kid didn't know it was his dad, and he saw his mom and dad kissing when he was supposed to be asleep. This is what the song is about, right?

Liz decided the song was about a kid who caught his mother having an affair and to deal with the trauma, he told himself that this other man was actually Santa Claus. This is quite a stretch, but Liz feels so passionately about her interpretation that it makes me wonder if there's something to it.

#4: The Nutcracker 

Uncle Drosselmeyer, right? It goes without saying that he's creepy. We know he's magical and weird, but I never really understood why he had to be so sinister at the same time. If Clara didn't really dream all of that, and Uncle Drosselmeyer really made her shrink to the size of a mouse and endure a battle with toy soldiers, then that's just messed up. But that's not really what bothers me about him.

I've seen a lot of different versions of The Nutcracker over the years, and I swear I've seen performances that involved some version of the Nutcracker turning into Uncle Drosselmeyer, or Uncle Drosselmeyer cutting into Clara's romantic dance with the Nutcracker and having a solo where he danced with her. I haven't seen these versions in a while, maybe because producers caught on to the inscesty vibes (after what, like a hundred years?) but I never forgot them. Uncle Drosselmeyer makes me very uncomfortable, and he should not be trusted around children.

Does anyone remember this claymation Nutcracker that was on TV in the 80's? We had it on tape, and I loved how cool the claymation looked, but it also terrified me. About a year ago, I saw the opening on YouTube and was horrified that my parents ever let me watch it in the first place. It was like I suddenly had a crystal clear understanding of where 90% of my anxieties and fears originated from. Ladies and gentlemen, this is why I'm crazy:


#5: "He sees you when you're sleeping/ He knows when you're awake"

No further explanation needed.

We're gonna go with these.
#6: Okay, I don't remember what this story is called, and it's been told so many times that I'm not even sure of its origin, but when I read it, I  sunk into a deep depression that I thought I would never climb out of:

This woman is shopping for presents and it's almost Christmas. She sees two little kids trying to buy a pair of heels for their mom, but they don't have enough money, so the lady buys the heels for them. The kids are so excited. "Oh, thank you!" They say, "Our Mommy is sick and dying, and she'll look so pretty meeting Jesus in these shoes!"

If you're the type of person who thinks that story is sweet, inspiring, or heartwarming, then don't ever talk to me, ever. I'm not kidding. Even writing that out just now upset me.

#7: There are some non-cannon Christmas songs That are depressing as well. I swear this was a Kenny Rogers song, but I can't find evidence of it: "The Last Silent Night." It's about a family who sang "Silent Night" every year, and then the mother got old and was dying and they sang "Silent Night" for the last time. Cheerful, no? Honorable mention goes to Barbara Mandrell's song, "Born to Die,"which includes the lyrics, "Sweet baby Jesus/ you knew you were born to die." I thought he was primarily born to spread light to the world and that's the point of Christmas, but whatever.

#8: Love Actually

To half of my friends who love this Christmas movie, I know I rant about how much I hate it all the time and it annoys you and I'm sorry for that and I'm sorry for repeating it now, and actually, I can't do a better job of ripping it apart than the people who did the "Honest Trailer" video below,  so I'll just say a few things: It's depressing. It's boring. It's not Christmasy. Snape cheats on his wife. No matter how many times people make me watch it, I don't remember half of it. You should take that seriously, because I remember being bottle fed and having my diapers changed and I'm NOT kidding.

This SNL Love Actually spoof that was cut for time is very much worth watching as well…

I feel like there's so many more that I can't remember, so you need to help me out. What other Christmas songs and stories are secretly creepy, depressing, or just send a strange message? Would you like to defend any of the above items that I criticized, or add to the criticism? Tell me your thoughts, and please, have a very merry Christmas!

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