I've come to find the relentless repetition of Christmas songs as part of a tradition and its oft-weighty schmaltz as part of commonly accepted holiday cheer. Except for one song. Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" is the single worst song ever written by anyone, or anything, ever.
There was a time, not too long ago, that even the slightest whiff of overexposure to Christmas music would cause me to do things like throw Salvation Army buckets at elves, but those days are well behind me now, largely because it turns out the Salvation Army people really needed those buckets, and those weren't really elves, which proved problematic.
But I am old now, and apparently along with shooting hip pains and asthma medications comes a different reaction to Christmas music than I once had, which was finding whatever band/barbershop quartet/group of friendly carolers was playing it and throw handfuls of jellyfish at them until security and/or the marine conservation people showed up. (For recorded music at restaurants, coffee shops and such I'd usually bring a sack of flaming wrenches to throw at the speakers, but wrench-throwing is kind of a young man's game, and I also got tired of going to Home Depot.)
I guess something changed when I 1. had kids, 2. got older, 3. needed an efficient transition about aging for a column, and these days find myself reacting much more generously to Christmas music, which is probably good news for everyone, except my flaming wrench supplier. (I should get him a really nice present this year, but the problem is he's only really into flaming wrenches, and it's not like you can get a guy like that a Starbucks gift card, which is OK, since I've been banned from most of them as per our previous flaming-wrench discussion.) I suppose I've come to find its relentless repetition as part of a tradition and its oft-weighty schmaltz as part of commonly accepted holiday cheer.
Except for one song.
Regular readers of this column, and hello again to my mom and whoever keeps Googling "garbage disposal drain plugs," which I am selling now at a fantastic holiday discount, know that I have a love-hate relationship with Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime," and like all things I have a love-hate relationship with, it's actually straight-up uncut 100 percent blood-eyed hate. "Wonderful Christmastime" is the Gadhafi's corpse of Christmas music. is the Kris Humphries of Christmas music. It is the Justin Bieber paternity suit of Christmas music sorry I'm reading all these 2011 wrap-ups and it turns out there were a lot of really terrible things about 2011.
In short, "Wonderful Christmastime" is the single worst song ever written by anyone, or anything, ever, including robots and gorillas and Siri and those party-rock anthem people, and you know this already, because this is not just me. No one likes "Wonderful Christmastime." No one. Paul McCartney hates it. All of Paul McCartney's wives hate it. Santa thinks it's a hideous joke. God is like, "Dude, I did not bestow upon you the Breath of Life to dishonor me with this unMely dreck," and He's not real happy about "Ebony and Ivory" either but I'm guessing He's picking his battles. If you like "Wonderful Christmas", you are incorrect and unpopular and people are trying to think of ways to uninvite you to dinner right this very second. Stop ruining Christmas for everybody.
As for me, I can begin a day with sunshine, warm thoughts, a hot mug of joe, a festive sweater, tinsel all over the place, figgy pudding all up in my fridge and a heart full of so much nutso Christmas cheer that it threatens to make my clothes damp and heavy, and I swear to you that three measures into those nauseated burp-synths at the top of "Wonderful" to make me want to light mistletoe on fire and rob mall Santas and punch reindeer and smash glass ornaments and speed-eat my son's Legos and get my rifle except I don't have a rifle so I have to go to Walmart and buy a rifle and start shooting the inflatable lawn snowmen of people I don't know very well. Oh and here's something else: Writing a column about "Wonderful Christmastime" makes you HAVE "WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME IN YOUR HEAD FOR LIKE HOURS ON END." Somebody send me the Bieber Christmas record at once.
Jeff Vrabel hopes that you are simply having a wonderful GAAAAH HE PUT THE SONG IN HIS OWN HEAD. He can be reached at http://jeffvrabel.com and followed at http://twitter.com/jeffvrabel.