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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Killing Christmas

     I am a huge Killers fan. I mean, how can you not approve of this?
So I was super excited when I realized the band releases one Christmas single every season. They have about six songs out, available for your listening pleasure on Youtube. 
     I’m proud to say I’m into edgy Christmas music. I own a CD (do they still have those?) called The Edge of Christmas, which is all the proof I need that I’m an edgy chick. Plus, I’m totally open to someday doing either the Laura Ingalls Wilder or The Fred Claus version of celebrating. The former would entail lots of oranges, a smattering of sugar cubes, which we would savor all day long, and handmade gifts. The kids would offer to milk the cow for us for ten days, giving us a well-deserved break. The Fred Claus holiday would put either a baseball bat or a hula hoop under the tree—one for each kid, dependent on gender. (Red alert! That sort of makes it sexist. Is it better to fall prey to mass consumerism or sexism? I must ponder.)
     Anyhoo, my Edge of Christmas CD is a collection of non-traditional songs, including Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses, some song by Freddie Mercury, the quartet of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (featuring Sarah McLachlan and the Bare Naked Ladies) and the duet between Bing Crosby and David Bowie—arguably the best holiday song ever recorded. It’s great—yet it’s still met with resistance when we add it to the mix at family celebrations. Any deviation from Christmas in Killarney or the Sinatra family rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas (which—frustratingly—mixes up all the words) makes my family queasy. They dig Nat King Cole, Bing, Sinatra and Vanessa Williams, but draw the line at BNL’s Elf’s Lament or The Hannukah Song. It’s okay. To each his own.
     So I checked out the Killers Christmas offerings from years past, confident that I’d be adding them to my holiday playlist. I typed: Killers Christmas into a Youtube search and got a song called…..Don’t Shoot Me, Santa. Um, okay. The video features a creepy Santa (as if the concept of Santa isn’t creepy enough on its own) having a sock puppet show and eventually tying Brandon Flowers up with garland. (Hmm, maybe that part wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t blatantly unrealistic. As if garland could seriously restrain anyone.) It’s pretty frightening. If I put that in my player, I’d scar my children for life. And maybe my husband too.
    The next song that popped up was Joseph, Better You Than Me, which is another one that probably won’t make the Kreft or Morrison Christmas cut. I had high hopes for Happy Birthday Guadalupe—and to give it credit, it was more upbeat than the lament about Joseph’s trials as an alleged cuckold. Yeah, I can dig Happy Birthday Guadalupe. If forced.
     Next was Boots. The video starts off promising, with Jimmy Stewart’s prayer sequence from It’s a Wonderful Life. So! Yay. It soon disintegrates into shots of a homeless man pining over a photo of a beaming blond family. Now, I understand that in a video you have to tell a story in a very short amount of time—and it’s not going to be anywhere near the caliber of a well-plotted movie like IAWL—but I’m going to go out on limb and say that homeless people rarely carry 5 x7 glossies of their beaming families. If they even have beaming families. Which they do not.
     Last but not least on the playlist was The Cowboy’s Christmas Ball, which sounded like a mash-up between a Johnnie Cash song and The Walt Disney World resort promotional video.
     I briefly contemplated adding one of these to the CD shuffle at our Christmas celebration. In all fairness, it would probably go unnoticed—like almost everything we do goes unnoticed when we’re surrounded by beloved family members—but my husband and I are gluttons for punishment. We relished hearing Don’t Shoot Me Santa pop up between Vanessa Williams’ Do You Hear What I Hear and some Johnny Mathis horror—just to see what would happen. Then we decided that even we could never be that cruel. Although A Great Big Sled (above) is always a possibility. That one’s not too bad and there’s the added bonus of being able to tell my mom that there exists a music group called The Killers. (I can already hear her say: Who’d listen to a band named after felons?)
    The Killers get an A for trying to rebel against this asinine fight to the death that Christmas has become, but a big, fat E for subtlety. I should thank them, however, for pointing out that holiday traditions are so ingrained that even an edgy person like me can’t easily dispense of them. If that was their intent, then they killed it. I now know that it would take more than an epiphany to get me to listen to The Cowboy’s Christmas Ball over Mele Kalikimaka. Although I might give it another go at Epiphany, which I hear is a religious event disguised as an excuse to leave the decorations up a week past the hullabaloo.
Happy Holidays to all! Kill Christmas this year for me! (If you’re Christian.)


  1. I'm not a Killers Fan, however, I do remember seeing Bowie and Bing singing together. Merry Christmas!

  2. It's my favorite Christmas duet ever! Thanks for stopping by, Cathrina!

  3. Very interesting ! I learned a lot by reading this. Have a Merry Christmas.

  4. Now I have to check out all this edgy music....