The Secret To An Extra Merry X'mas

With just 3 days to go before X'mas I think it's high time I shared with you my secret to an especially joyful and happy holiday season. Because, hey, regardless of what your grandma may have told you, all that requisite joy and happiness can't come from rum and eggnog alone. No, sometimes you need a little something extra to get you through the holidays with a constant smile on your face. And I'm not talking about any illegal substances here either. What I am talking about is The Greatest X'mas Album Ever.

Now I better warn you that if you're into Burl Ives, Nana Mouskouri or Celine Dion's yuletide classics then you're most certainly NOT going to enjoy my number one choice of holiday hymns. But, for anyone who enjoys a bit of actual merriment with their X'mas cheer, nothing beats this collection of songs. Really, for me, it's not even close, there's just nothing like the happiness and joy created by the South Park X'mas Album (A.K.A. "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics"), an album some might call "offensive" or even "downright blasphemous", but which others, myself included, simply call hilarious.

Admittedly, if you're not familiar with the show most of the album will probably be more than a little bit baffling. But even a South Park neophyte should be able to appreciate Cartman's Bon Joviesque rendition of "Swiss Colony Beef Log" or "Neil Diamond"'s consoling guest spot on "The Lonely Jew On Christmas". And all but the most uptight of listeners should definitely enjoy the insane fun of "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel".

And, yeah, like the show itself, much of this stuff is perhaps a bit juvenile, but I'd say a mix of the juvenile & silly together with the intelligent & biting is the hallmark of all great comedy, from Charlie Chaplin to Inspector Clouseau, from Mel Brooks to Austin Powers, from Monty Python to Woody Allen, from Richard Pryor to Sarah Silverman and from John Cleese in "Fawlty Towers" to Ricky Gervais in "The Office". Whether it be "Spinal Tap", "Best In Show", "Dr. Strangelove", "The Big Lebowski" or "Life of Brian", all great comedy works on many different levels, including downright silly and ridiculous. But the key point here is that on South Park it works... brilliantly.

You're looking for songs of great reflectiveness? Got 'em! On this album you not only get a few twisted retellings of old favorites, you also get contemplative new tunes such as "Dead, Dead, Dead" ("someday we'll all be dead").

Songs of inclusiveness? Got 'em! As already alluded to, it's a multi-faith album. You not only get the afore mentioned "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" and "The Lonely Jew On Christmas", but there's also "Merry Fucking Christmas". Though technically not really very inclusive at all, "Merry Fucking Christmas" at least mentions people from around the world, which is a lot more than you can say about some songs, such as that out and out anti-southern-hemisphere tune "White Christmas".

Songs from Asia? Got 'em! There's the Japanese rendition of "We Three Kings", complete with funny accent and the ringing of a gong.

And then there's my Favorite X'mas Song Ever, a holiday carol that I suspect some people might not fully appreciate. It's called "The Most Offensive Song Ever" and it's a humorous retelling of the Joseph and Mary tale. Overly sensitive types may be appalled, but to me it's a peerless X'mas classic and one of the greatest comedic holiday moments ever. Period.

Of course, those for whom the holidays are a solemn religious affair might want to avoid this collection of songs at all costs... unless, that is, they happen to enjoy a little fun and laughter with their solemnity.

But, come to think of it, there is, in fact, a bit of pious religious content included here, as exhibited by Cartman in his slightly-altered version of "O Holy Night":

"Jesus was born/and so I get presents/thank you Jesus/for being born".

However, if none of this appeals to you, don't worry, there is still time to rush out and pick up a copy of "Celine Dion's Very Vegas Noel".

But before you do that, at least check this out:

"Merry Fucking Christmas"

Mike Cowie (Oredakedo)
Saturday, December 22nd, 2007