In case you couldn’t tell or you didn’t read the opening line of one of our guest writer’s odes to Hot Chip, we’re not very big on Christmas on Planet Seidler. That makes working in a department store even more exciting, because I get to listen to Christmas songs, on rotation for up to eight (8) hours a day. And having found three different versions of this particular tune, four ‘Jingle Bells’ and (sic) Christ knows what else, I can safely say one thing about the New Christmas Canon; it’s bloody depressing. I don’t know when the happiest holiday of the year became all about being alone, isolated and without a lover, but by God, have these pop stars managed to have a time of it. As I rearrange shirts in size order and avoid the gazes of middle management, I have learnt the words to these brilliant little ditties off by heart. Which, I must say, is not bad for a Jew who was today mistaken for not only Jesse Metcalfe (that was a pretty big buzz, yo), but also a terrorist, a Greek and some poor old woman’s nephew. Ah Christmas, the time of giving. Giving me pains in places I didn’t even know I could have pain in.
Today’s choice was a toss-up between this and that super annoying one that goes ‘Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, and the very next day, you gave it away.’ But given my store has managed to secure not one but four (4) of those and that each of them equally makes me want to cry, scream and stab someone who thinks our shirts will actually make him attractive to the opposite sex, I went for Mariah instead. The oversinger of the decade, narrowly beating the very festively appropriate Xtina Aguilera, Ms Carey, who is now renowned more for her ample bosom and her very public meltdown is actually a great voice. Such a great voice, in fact, that she recorded an entire fucking album of Christmas bangers, and they’re pretty much the most popular thing on my floor right now. Apparently, this one is all hers. As in, unlike ‘Silent Night’ or whatever, Mariah has managed to create a modern Christmas classic all on her own. I believe this may come down to the work ethic of her co-writer, Walter Afanasieff, who is, appropriately, a Communist. In any case, I am impressed. So impressed, that every time this song comes on, I don’t mime putting a gun in my mouth to my friend selling suit jackets across the way. No, I just listen.
In case you also couldn’t tell from the incredibly personal and somewhat inappropriately overdone posts I have done in the past week, I’m having a pretty turbulent time with members of the opposite sex lately. This always happens to me in December; I have a theory about it, where everything seems to go well and then it just dies on me, right about the time of Xmas. Which must be Jesus getting back at Jew boys for allegedly selling him down the river to Romans or something. Whatever. Water under the bridge. In any case, Mariah’s modern Christmas tune is really quite appropriate, because you really can’t buy love; especially not for $49.95 even with my 30% discount on two items Please, Sir, Do Not Get Changed In The Middle Of The Floor There Are Dressing Rooms You Know. As I tidy the racks and pretend to be working, I hear what Mariah is singing. She doesn’t want eggnog, or overpriced presents, or even a breast reduction.
“I don’t want a lot for Christmas,” Carey sings, “There’s just one thing I need. I don’t care about the presents, Underneath the Chirstmas tree..” (poetry, people). The Diva doesn’t want presents? Have you seen this lady’s requests for her backstage rider? Intrigued, I listen on. And then there’s the kicker:
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is…
Damn. Isn’t that just the sum of human experience wrapped up in simple couplet with the word ‘You’ tagged on end with a whole lot of trills? I don’t think I ever really underestimated Mariah Carey (‘Honey’ and ‘Fantasy’, two of my guiltiest pleasures in the world, are yet to make it onto this blog, but I’m not dead yet) but I applaud the downright honesty and simplicity of this song about a holiday which I will not celebrate in any way, shape of form. And you know what? Just like those other Xmas tunes blasting through our speakers, it’s actually quite melancholy. There’s nothing happy about wanting someone but them not realising, or you having to get so stupid about it that you write a song like this to get their attention. People like Mariah (and me), we shouldn’t be left out in the cold (and/or sweltering sun) declaring our undying affection on the day God’s Son hit the scene. That just ain’t right. So thank you, Mariah Carey, for smoothening my path to loss and helping me understand a bit about what this season is really concerned with. I feel a better person now, and though the pain is there, every time I hear you sing (approximately every 17 minutes on my floor), it dims a little.
Shine on, you crazy diamond.
Mariah Carey – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’