The most wonderful time of the year?
Is it fuck, mate.
What makes it so wonderful exactly? Is it the fact that a celebration that was once restricted to three days in December now starts some time towards the end of September? Is it the freezing weather? The inevitable weight gain that won’t shift until May? Is it that shitty fruit pudding thing that idiots pretend to like? Or is it the made-up beardy man who slips down your chimney to fiddle about in children’s bedrooms?
Let’s face it. All these things fucking suck.
I’ll remove my Grinch hat long enough to say that, once the day comes around, I get some enjoyment from the roast potatoes, the family getting together, and, of course, the pile of records that I instruct people to buy for me. And the booze. Christmas has its good points, but I just named them all.
There’s one thing worse than any of those I mentioned above, though. And given the subject of this website, I’d be very surprised if you couldn’t work out what I’m going to say.
Why does it even exist?
Is there a single song ever made that is worse than Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas is You’? The answer you’re looking for is no.
Christmas seems to be the time of year when everyone decides it’s okay for music to be sentimental, cheesy, nonsensical, and irritatingly chirpy. ‘I Wish It Could be Christmas Every Day.’ No you fucking don’t, mate. ‘Driving Home For Christmas.’ Fine, but if you keep singing that shite your family might put you on the table and carve you up with the turkey. ‘Wonderful Christmastime.’ Well, Paul, the only wonderful thing about that ridiculous song is that it’s not the fucking ‘Frog Chorus.’
And even when people try and put some serious sentiment into their Christmas song, or to sing about a sad subject with a seasonal twist, we end up with the patronisingly ignorant ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’, or Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’ – the song which comes closest to Mariah Carey’s levels of crapness.
I utter this rant at least once every December, and it is normally around this point when some twat in a Christmas jumper will interrupt me and say ‘What about The Pogues? You must love that one.’ And okay, I’ll give you that. ‘Fairytale of New York’ is the one tolerable song on your Aunty Mavis’s Now That’s What I Call Christmas compilation. But don’t you find it slightly sickening that a band as good as The Pogues are now known only for that one song, rather than the many better things they wrote?
As well as all this Scrooge like moaning, I do have one more serious point to make before I free you all from my misery. Lots of people find Christmas very hard. It’s a time when memories of family are at the forefront, when those we’ve lost linger heavily in our thoughts, or when we see others able to celebrate and enjoy things that we ourselves aren’t able to. When Christmas songs were only played for three days, that was probably tolerable. But now, when radio stations and PA systems in shops play ‘Jingle Bells’ and all that other bullshit for most of November and December, where are those people meant to go for some escape?
Anyway. I’m going to end by totally contradicting myself, because there is one band that does Christmas songs with some style. That band is Frightened Rabbit. They have undoubtedly written my favourite ever Christmas song with the wonderful ‘It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop.’
I just hope all you other fuckers will take notice and ‘stop’ with this shit. The next time ‘All I Want For Christmas’ comes on, do the decent thing and turn it off. Then write to whatever station or shop was guilty of putting you through it and tell them how you feel. Start a protest. Christmas is about community and we can, if we come together, banish this shit for good. Let’s start a revolution.
And fuck your ridiculous Christmas jumpers, too.
Words by Fran Slater