No more ‘Jingle Bells’

SN&R’s alt-Christmas playlist is full of unexpected spirit


You can’t go anywhere in December without being attacked by Christmas music. I don’t mind it in theory, I just hate that I have to listen to the same 10 songs wherever I go. Every time I hear “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” I want to gouge my eyes out.

Besides, the best Christmas music is the weird stuff. My two favorite holiday records are A John Waters Christmas and The American Song-Poem Christmas: Daddy, Is Santa Really Six Foot Four? Christmas at its strangest. In the spirit of giving folks a far superior playlist to enjoy, I offer these tunes for your next holiday party.

“Christmas at Ground Zero,” Weird Al Yankovic

Considering that our nation just elected Mr. Human Garbage himself, Donald Trump, this might be the most appropriate Christmas song of the year. I vote that every store in every mall play this song at least 10 times a day, just to remind us about the horrors of life. This is also a great reminder that while Weird Al remains the all-time master of the parody song, he can still whip out the occasional original to put all other musical comedians to shame.

“Feliz Navidad,” El Vez

If you don’t know, El Vez is the Mexican Elvis. Also, you should immediately get to know El Vez, like right now. He is better than the regular Elvis in every single way. Have you heard his rendition of “The Ghetto,” titled “En El Barrio”? I rest my case. “Feliz Navidad,” as a rule, is almost as annoying as “Jingle Bells,” except when El Vez breathes his beautiful heart into it.

“Christmas Rappin’,” Kurtis Blow

In the ’80s, rappers would awesomely spit rhymes over beats for 10 minutes, usually making fairy tales dirty. Rappers in the ’80s also did the occasional Christmas song. So, let’s all take a moment and enjoy this brilliant holiday rap by one of rap’s first superstars, Kurtis Blow.

“Santa Fix My Toys for Christmas,” Rodd & Judy

Song-poems are an American treasure trove of strangeness, a phenomenon mostly in the ’60s and ’70s where regular people sent lyrics and cash to a company, who would return a completed song with zero alterations to their lyrics and promise that it “might be a hit.” Needless to say, a lot of people thought they could write the next big Christmas jam. Here’s a sad little song about a kid with self-esteem so low, all he wants is for Santa to fix his janky, broken old toys.

“Little Mary Christmas,” Roger Christian

This will make the last song sound like “Joy To The World.” This little gem unearthed by John Waters is the horrible story of a tragic little orphaned girl named Mary Christmas, born without the ability to walk and whose parents died when she was 1 year old. Yay! Christmas, everyone! Be sure to play this one for your parents over Christmas dinner. Everyone will instantly weep.

“Merry Crassmas,” Crass

Crass is the Beatles of anarchist punk. The band would most certainly hate that I just said that, but it’s true. This little ditty is a goofy, Muzak version of what I imagine anarchist brains think Christmas music might sound like. If you play this song for your Republican parents, they’ll even like it, that is unless of course they hear the very end where Crass members sing, “Hope you choke on the turkey you’re munching on.”

Check the Related Stories box above for SN&R’s additional tips for surviving the holiday season.