The Christmas songs you’re not used to

Published 11:06 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I can’t go as far as Andy Williams did to say “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” but it is a good time of the year. I would always be the one that wanted to get our Christmas lights up early in the month of December.

Sometimes, we would even get the lights up well before we got our Christmas tree, especially those years when our family went to a tree farm near our home to cut down a fresh tree. Once we did, I was usually the one to help put the lights up on the tree.

Part of that is that I am tall. Once I reached my growth spurt, my long arms could always reach the top of the tree, and I could also reach around the tree so that no one else had to help me put up the lights. All the while I was putting the lights up, everyone else was unpacking the boxes to get the ornaments ready to go on the tree.

After we got done, my mom and dad would always take a look to see if the lights were distributed evenly. Many times there would be some slight adjustments that were needed.

While we put up the tree, we would always play Christmas music. One of my favorite things to play was a “Christmas Favorites” record – yes, an archaic vinyl record. It has your traditional songs like “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole, “Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives and Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.”

Once we listened to that, my brother or I would always pull out another record with the original “Jingle Bell Rock” on it, but my favorite song on there was one called “Jangle Bells.” (Yes, the spelling is correct.)

It was a bizarre song that I like for some odd reason. The best verse states, “I have an old Tom cat, and Santa is his name. We keep him nice and fat, but he hates us just the same…” I can’t remember the exact words to the next part, but the cat attacks the singer and now he has bandages “because of Santa Claus.” (I bet Scott Mims, our resident cat lover, probably would love the song.)

I know everybody loves the traditional songs, but I love the crazy songs like “I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas,” “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” “White Trash Christmas” and the wonderful “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” The crazy songs seem to bring sanity to my holiday.

– Brent Maze is the managing editor for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Wednesday. He can be reached at