Here’s the second entry in what’s going down as Bitter and Sarcastic Christmas. (I’m not feeling especially bitter, just kind of worn down. Expect New Year’s entries to be equally downbeat.) While yesterday’s piece from David Sedaris is my favorite, he’s much better known for the “Santaland Diaries.” It’s the chronicle of his time working as an Elf for Macy’s, and it’s just as dark and wonderful as “Six to Eight Black Men.” NPR plays it every Christmas, so you may well have heard it before, but please enjoy it again. Or for the first time. And if you’ve never read a David Sedaris book before, please, for the love of all that is good and holy, get your hands on as many of them as you can as quickly as possible.
I’ve been neglectful this Christmas season–partly out of busyness, partly out of a bit of apathy, partly because I’ve had a cold. (On a side note, can I please be done coughing now?) And if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you already know that my patience for Christmas music is rather limited. Luckily for all of us, this track isn’t music.
David Sedaris is a terrifically funny writer. Dry, satirical, and occasionally horrifying. This particular piece is probably my favorite of his. I almost hurt myself laughing the first time I read it. The title won’t make sense until about halfway through, but trust me, it’s sooooooo worth it.
Just a little Christmas fun.
Back to our regularly scheduled holiday programming . . .
I’ve bumped into The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas on TV a couple of times recently. It’s not a musical I especially enjoy, but it does have a few good songs sung by the wonderful Dolly Parton. My favorite has always been “Hard Candy Christmas,” which I don’t think was ever meant as a Christmas song. But it does dovetail nicely into what’s rapidly becoming the theme of melancholy Christmas songs. Who knew this is where I’d end up.
I suppose I should’ve seen this pattern coming, though. I’ve been a little blue around the holidays since Dad died. Even though he was kind of Scrooge-like about things like decorations, he loved to spend time with people. He tried to call relatives and friends he couldn’t see to wish them happy holidays. My father genuinely liked people for the most part. Like Grammy used to say, he never met a stranger.
But even though this song is sad, there’s a hopefulness to it. Things might be tough right now, but it’ll change soon. “I’ll be fine and dandy. Lord, it’s like a hard candy Christmas. I’m barely getting through tomorrow, but still I won’t let sorrow bring me way down.”