Nothing makes sense when you’re a kid. And then Christmas comes along, and any remaining sense flies out the window. Exactly what is figgy pudding? And I’d never seen a chestnut, let alone roasted one on an open fire. I always imagined it was similar to Jiffy Pop Popcorn.
On top of the regular Christmas confusion, there were holiday songs that never quite penetrated my childish brain. The lyrics seemed wrong, and sometimes downright inappropriate. Here are the lyrics that never made sense to me when I learned these songs at Viewmont Elementary.
- In Silent Night, why are the “Olives calm. Olives bright.”? And calling Mary the “Round, young virgin” may have been accurate, but seemed a little callous to my child’s mind.
- The first line of Up on the House Top completely messed with my brain. “Up on the housetop, reindeer paws.” Reindeer don’t have paws! Good grief.
- Stalker Santa appeared in Santa Claus is Coming to Town. In one of the first NSA tracking systems on record, Santa Claus “Knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good.” I was surprised every year that I didn’t wake up to an entire truckload of coal on Christmas morning.
- Deck the Halls was created in a language of complete gibberish. What the hell does “Troll the ancient yuletide carol” mean?! The whole song sounds like it was written by drunk leprechauns.
- In Do You Hear What I Hear, there’s the line that says, “A Child, a Child shivers in the cold, Let us bring Him silver and gold.”
Are you stupid? Bring the kid a blanket! He’s shivering!
- The Little Drummer Boy stretched my childlike credibility to the limit. Even I knew a young mother Mary wouldn’t want a little kid banging his drum while the baby Jesus was sleeping. A drum solo is not a gift.
(Am I the only one who watched this?)
- And explain to me, oh writers of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, how do you dance in a “new old-fashioned way?” Is there a twerking waltz or a hip-hop minuet?
- The 12 Days of Christmas was a mystery to me. Why was some poor woman getting presents for 12 days that included geese, swans, hens, turtle doves and calling birds? Did she have room for that many feathered friends? I always thought her “true love” was a douche.
- In We Three Kings, I never quite understood where their land Orient Are could be found.
- Add to this list any song that carried on about the magical, fantasy-land appearance of snow, like Winter Wonderland, White Christmas and Let it Snow. Snow is cold, and usually miserable. If you’ve ever dropped your mittens in ice water, and had to walk to school with your fingers frozen together, you might understand.
(He’s fine. Just enjoying the Winter Wonderland.)
As you go through the holiday, keep in mind the children around you are confused, over-stimulated and greedy as s***. Don’t make it harder for them by singing songs that make no Christmas sense.