Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Track 2: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

So I know it's like totally not cool to like Christmas music: the trend of complaining about how early in the year Yuletide decor and tunes get whipped out in public used to be a practice reserved for the "You dang kids get off my lawn!" demographic, but it's skewing younger and younger every year. The Facebook generation always needs something to roll its eyes at, and the saccharine sincerity of Christmas music (as well as the innumerable re-boots of the same song over and over, not to mention its mass-marketability and the cultural implications thereof) is an easy target.

But I will not partake in this nonsense. I will proclaim, right here on the internet: I genuinely like Christmas music. Not ironically. For real. Do you remember what that was like, internet? Liking something genuinely, despite its flaws, without your tongue planted in your cheek? It's hard for me to remember sometimes, too.

Christmas is a week away. In the next week, I hope to write about a different Christmas song every day.

And now that I've gone on my little tirade about how I don't care if it's not cool to like Christmas music, let me begin my week of posts with a Christmas song that I have always friggin' hated.

This song, particularly the Jackson 5 version, horrified me as a child. I did not understand the joke implied in this song, because I was a dang kid, and was supposedly under the impression that Santa was a real dude. I mean, all the other Christmas songs talked about Santa as though he were a matter of fact. Not only does he exist and shoot breeze with Rudolph and company, but he's actually COMING TO TOWN.

And now, here he is, in your living room, making out with your mom. And nobody singing this song, not even little Michael Jackson, is troubled by this.  The only consternation Michael feels at all about the situation comes at the end of the song, when he's trying to convince Tito and Jermaine and the other ones whose names I can't remember that, in fact, he had really seen Santa Claus, and they laugh at him. Let me repeat: none of those five children are at all concerned that mom is gettin' some on the side. They even find the notion hilarious.

In point of fact, the tale-bearer in this song goes on to pontificate that it would be just hilarious if, say, old dad were to walk in on this hot mom-on-seasonal-icon action. It always sounded to me like some kind of reverse Parent Trap: let's see if we can't get mom and dad to break up, and in the process, why not score the fella that makes all the toys in the world for our new dad? This is why I always envisioned the narrator, not as Michael Jackson or Diana Ross or any of the other 800 singers of the song, but as the kid from Problem Child. Doesn't that just sound like the kinda shit that little idiot would pull on poor, delightful John Ritter?

Of course, eventually I grew up and realized that Santa and John Ritter are the same person.

Well, you know what I mean: Santa was dad all along. So it's really just a cheery little song about how your mom and dad still totally have the hots for each other and probably do it all the time when you're asleep in bed. Merry Christmas!


  1. Ha. You totally referenced Problem Child. Awesome.

  2. I'm totally with you on genuinely loving Christmas music. I start humming jingle bells in October and don't stop until March. So basically Christmas season is Halloween through Easter. But, the song that creeped me out (and still does) is Santa Baby.

    1. oh, totes. i thought briefly of writing a whole post about christmas-related things that scared me as a kid/adolescent, and it was clear to me once i began to come of age, as it is to everyone, that that song is about date rape.

      the other thing that was horrific to me was the scene in "frosty the snowman" when frosty gets locked in the greenhouse with earmuffs girl and melts. it cuts from them locked in to santa and back to frosty as a puddle of water with a hat and pipe. i always assumed that the film cut away because the scene with him melting before earmuffs girl's eyes would have been horror movie grade terrifying.