Saturday, November 25, 2006,6:27 PM
The Real Christmas?
So the Christmas season is officially upon us now that Thanksgiving is over and done with (not that stores haven’t been pushing it since July…). I did give in and listened to Christmas music last week, but just once, really. Well I was driving today and had the radio on one of those “we play anything” stations. I had stopped on it because they were playing Enya’s Silent Night – a beautiful, ethereal, gaelic version. It was very peaceful. Then this song come on immediately following -

Merry Christmas From the Family by Keen Robert Earl
Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk at our Christmas party
We were drinking champagne punch and homemade eggnog
Little sister brought her new boyfriend
He was a Mexican
We didn't know what to think of him until he sang
Felis Navidad, Felis Navidad

Brother Ken brought his kids with him
The three from his first wife Lynn
And the two identical twins from his second wife Mary Nell
Of course he brought his new wife Kay
Who talks all about AA
Chain smoking while the stereo plays Noel, Noel
The First Noel

Carve the Turkey
Turn the ball game on
Mix margaritas when the eggnog's gone
Send somebody to the Quickpak Store
We need some ice and an extension chord
A can of bean dip and some Diet Rites
A box of tampons, Marlboro Lights
Haleluja everybody say Cheese
Merry Christmas from the family

Fred and Rita drove from Harlingen
I can't remember how I'm kin to them
But when they tried to plug their motor home in
They blew our Christmas lights
Cousin David knew just what went wrong
So we all waited out on our front lawn
He threw a breaker and the lights came on
And we sang Silent Night, Oh Silent Night, Oh Holy Night

Carve the turkey turn the ball game on
Make Bloody Mary's
Cause We All Want One!
Send somebody to the Stop 'N Go
We need some celery and a can of fake snow
A bag of lemons and some Diet Sprites
A box of tampons, some Salem Lights
Haleluja, everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the Family

At first I was annoyed. That’s the kind of thing that spoils Christmas, I thought. Cheap, cheesy crap that has nothing to do with joy and peace and all that. That is the real war on Christmas. But then I thought that no, this song represents the real Christmas for most Americans. An odd family gathering that is awfully real and mundane but is special because it is meant to be special. It’s not about the tinsel and the tree or whether or not the greeters at Walmart say “happy holidays” or “merry Christmas” (or even this year’s silly “be bright”) – what does any of that matter next to real people, real families, real hurts, real needs, real life?

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posted by Julie at 6:27 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 11/26/2006 12:17:00 AM, Blogger Christine

    delurking today to say that I really enjoy your blog. This post was good. I love that song as I live in a family where we're not quite sure how we are related to everyone who shows up, but we know it's important to be the best we can to whomsoever we meet during the holidays. Blessing on yours.

  • At 11/27/2006 09:28:00 PM, Blogger Erin

    I appreciate that a lot, Julie. I feel the truth of it, too.