I’m going to digress from my holiday song post for a few paragraphs to fill in a story I started on Twitter and just doesn’t really lend itself to 140 characters. A couple of days ago, my neighbor buzzed my intercom, which is weird, because, doesn’t he have a key? Why does he need me to let him in? I should say that this guy is an abrasive, argumentative – he’s one of those lawyers who give my lawyer friends and relatives a bad name – gadfly who got voted off the co-op board the year I got in. We are not tight. I suppose, in hindsight, he didn’t have my phone number and didn’t want to just show up at my door. But it was weird, and I was on the phone, making me even more distracted when he actually made it to my doorstep.
As if that wasn’t bizarro enough, he wanted to know if I was interested in putting up holiday decorations in the lobby. I still can’t figure this out because:
a. You may have noticed, I’m Jewish, and my holiday is over.
b. We have no relationship – you don’t even have my phone number or e-mail address – why ask me?
c. Why not just stick the decorations up yourself if you want them so badly?
Again, with the benefit of hindsight, I have begun to think it is because I am a chick and the only one on the co-op board (although there are two gay guys… not that there’s anything wrong with that). Maybe he thinks girls like to decorate? I don’t know. So I said, no, I can’t say I am interested. He said, “not your thing?” I answered, “not my thing.” But I added, or I wanted to add, “but if someone else wants to put them up, I have no objection.” I did not want to be the Jew who said no to Christmas decorations. Instead, what came out of my mouth was, “but if someone else wants to deal with it, I’m OK with that.” Which makes it sound like I’m just too lazy and uninspired to put them up, whereas it’s actually the case that I just don’t care about holiday decorations one way or the other. Great. But whatever. Today I came home and, get this, someone (presumably Lawyerneighbor) had cut out the words “Merry Christmas” from some wrapping paper and taped it to the wall next to the elevator. So now we have:
a. A crappy, ugly, lame-ass, paper-taped-to-the-wall sign up.
b. Something that is completely oriented to people who celebrate Christmas, despite having Muslims, Jews, and some other religions represented in the building.
But I am not going to say anything. Luckily, I don’t plan to walk through the lobby between now and when my last paper is due on Sunday night.
Anyway! The subject at hand.
It was hard to come up with a fifth place Christmas song. I think they’re all kind of tied after my top four (links at the end of the post) and I do not like many of the other pop Christmas songs that other people seem to love, like the Pretenders’ 2000 Miles (droning) or The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York (excruciating). So I think, from now on, we’ll end the countdown (I guess I never thought I’d be blogging for five holiday seasons) and just do “Holiday Songs I have Known and Liked.” And here’s one for this season of austerity.
Even in better financial times, I think I was always enchanted by a Christmas song which includes the line, “we’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over.” Yes, it’s the Kinks’ Father Christmas and its story of kids like the one who would like a job for his Dad but as a second choice will accept a machine gun to scare all the kids down the street. This may bother Christmas purists but in a world where we have to deal with “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” at least we can have some fun and rock out with the Kinks. And, truly, maybe I just always loved the idea of Ray Davies dressing up as Santa Claus and standing outside a department store.
Happy Christmas, my goyishe friends! And happy listening to everyone.
Previously (Napster links in these posts no longer work, but the text is still going strong):
Becca’s #1 Holiday song.