Merry Eksmas, everyone!
That photo is of me as a college radio DJ spinning tunes during the prime hours of Midnight – 2 am on Wednesday mornings. Quality real estate indeed, and totally reflective of my DJ prowess.
I’m not noted for my Christmas cheer, but the ubiquity of the annual Red and Green Menace necessitates survival skills. Personally, I supplement my annual tradition of heavy drinking, self-loathing and watching Die Hard as many times as possible with a group of Christmas songs I’ve grown to adore.
Since playlists are nothing new around here, you’re old pal Jon is here to wish you a Merry Eksmas with the following tunes that’ll help you get through your holiday season with people you both love, and those you only vaguely tolerate the rest of the year only to be thrust together with them in very close quarters during the most stressful month on the calendar.
Merry Eksmas, everyone! Enjoy the tunes.
1. Zebrahead – Deck the Halls (I Hate Christmas)
Hands down, my favorite Christmas song ever. Might be a bit too cynical for your tastes, but it’s hard to deny the allure of shunning all traditional Christmas pageantry in favor of an “alco-hol-i-day by the pool in the sun” and the gruff voice proclaiming, “Now everybody, SING!” I could listen to this song on repeat for the entire month of December, and sometimes do!
2. Blink-182 – Happy Holidays, You Bastard
It’s Christmas Eve, and I’ve only wrapped two fucking presents / It’s Christmas Eve and I’ve only wrapped two fucking presents / And I hate, hate, hate your guts / I hate, hate, hate your guts / And I’ll never talk to you again
It gets worse from here. The song is only 43 seconds, but it packs so much holiday angst, I always smile when it comes on.
3. Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)
It’s the fucking Ramones singing a Christmas song. And a non-cynical one! What else do you need? Perhaps more Jewish versions of Christmas standards by the likes of Neil Diamond or Madonna? I’ll take the punk rock.
4. Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis
Honest to God, this is my favorite non-bitchy Christmas song. The beat fucking kills. The imagery is delightful, and the lyrics come to life. Why? Because this song is basically a recitation of Darryl “DMC” McDaniels’s Christmas experience growing up. Most Christmas music feels like it’s framed a billion years ago, but Mom in the kitchen cooking “chicken and collard greens” probably happens as much today as it has in the last 30 years since this song. If more Christmas music were like this, and not sung by drunk-sounding lounge crooner douche bags, I might become less of an insufferable shithead this time of year. LISTEN TO THIS SONG AND HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS.
5. The Pogues (featuring Kirsty MacColl) – Fairytale of New York
I’m a fan of any Christmas song where the male lead singer can call the female lead “an old slut on junk” and she can call him “a scumbag, a maggot” and worse, yet the song still radiates hope. That feels like the spirit of Christmas distilled into one weird sentiment, doesn’t it?
6. Beavis and Butthead – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies
Check out the cover of “Iron Man” wedged into the back! Killer!
I’m a big fan of pop punk around the holidays, apparently. I remember this one showed up on some Atticus comp I somehow ended up with and I remember feeling perplexed as to why this weird Christmas song was on an otherwise out of season punk disc. Fuggit. It propelled me to look for other alternative Christmas tunes. I’ve grown to hate this guy’s voice, but it’s punk, so y’know, so what?
8. Blink-182 – I Won’t Be Home For Christmas
Speaking of pop punk, here’s more of it and a double shot of Blink-182! I turn juvenile at Christmas, and who better to soundtrack your regression than the writers of such masterpieces as “Happy Holidays, You Bastard,” “Dysentery Gary,” and “Dick Lips?” More Christmas angst for you here! Plus, the image of chasing carolers off your porch with a baseball bat. Hooray!
9. Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters – Mele Kalikimaka
Watch Christmas Vacation and be happy this season.
Have a nice holiday, everyone.