“Krithmath comth but wunth a year
and I think it motht emphatical
that you thould athk from Thanta Clauth
Thumthing thound and prattical…
No, I haven’t morphed into Cindy Brady. The above gibberish is the introductory paragraph of that memorable (albeit annoying) song All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth, as performed by the incomparable Danny Kaye. Part and (gift-wrapped) parcel of my increasingly pathetic attachment to nostalgia, I’ve become a total Christmas Carol freak.
It started three years ago; a friend sent me a Christmas Compilation CD.
“Hmph … some friend,” I thought. Holding it at arms length, between thumb and forefinger, (as one might handle a deceased rodent), I headed for the CD cupboard. Unbelievably, on the way, I tripped and fell. Time stood still as the CD squirted out of my fingers, spun high in the air and miraculously plonked itself in the CD player. You wouldn’t read about it. Well, you are reading about it – and I’m writing about it – so it must be true.
Ahem. Before you could say Winter Wonderland, Tanya Tucker’s lilting rendition began wafting from my speakers…and thus, a rather pitiful love affair ensued. The following season I craved more festive crooning to satisfy my burgeoning lust for kitschy, climate-inappropriate jingles. I found the definitive, Yuletide croon-fest: Christmas with Nat and Dean (King Cole and Martin, respectively).
And lo, it was good.
This year, I took a spin along the information superhighway (um, trawled the Internet) and came up with a perfect computer compilation to complement its two companions (sorry, that was a bit compulsive). These three CDs will be on permanent rotation from now until December 25.
… It’th been tho long thinth I could thay, thithter Thuthie thittin’ on a thithle …
My turnaround can only be described as a Christmas miracle. When I was young, Dad owned an appliance store. Visiting his workplace at Christmas meant being viciously assaulted by Christmas Carols. Humungous speakers screamed from the front entrance – ostensibly to lure music-loving customers across the threshold (across the street even, the music was that loud). Dad loved big-band instrumentals. You haven’t heard “Jingle Bell Rock” till you’ve heard Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass perform their particularly horny rendition. My teenage brain decided it was so far from cool, NASA couldn’t reach it.
Then, to add muck to misery, my first job was with Grace Bros, Miranda Fair in Sydney. Carols snaked their way through the pipes from about late September (or so it seemed). Therefore, by November, every shop assistant in the place was about ready to go a bit “postal”. It killed carols for me, for good, or so I thought.
Now here I am - Carol Brady, driving my kids nuts. Carols are just sheer joy to sing. Even White Christmas which, admittedly, seems absurd in this heat. Then again, so is spraying fake snow on trees and windowsills. Amazing how steadfastly those Northern-hemisphere Christmas images have clung onto the collective psyche. Our Santas wear winter suits; many of us still eat a baked dinner. Gosh, there’s even a humungous, inflatable snowman standing on the thoroughfare of a local shopping centre.
We’re so entranced by the concept of a chillier holiday, “Christmas in July”, emerged a few years back. Call me a party pooper but I’d feel even more like a berk, caroling in July – even at Thredbo.
Rest assured, Aussie Carols are out there; they just don’t receive much airplay. To my knowledge they aren’t sung all that often in people’s homes either. I think our kids are taught to sing them in primary school. It’s weird isn’t it? That songs about chestnuts roasting on an open fire can bring a tear to the eye in a place where Christmas usually means “total fire ban”.
I guess I’m just a nut.
Gee, if I could only have my two front teeth, then I could with you mewwy Kwithmath!