I loves me some Christmas music. Every year I look forward to the day when the local soft rock station transforms into The Christmas Station. The past few years it has happened pre-Thanksgiving, and I’ve been totally fine with that. I am a proud Christmas dork to the core.
So while I’ll happily (giddily, even) sing along to pretty much any carol (and in some cases, I will make up words when it’s some new-fangled Christmas song because I’m that dedicated), there is one that makes me change the channel every single time:
I was five years old during the Christmas of 1985, and this version – the Springsteen version – of Santa Claus is Coming to Town was mega popular. My parents, being the cool ex-hippies they were, loved it. And because they loved it, they sang it. And they sang it to me.
Now, you may be thinking, Wow! What uber-cool, hip and not at all embarrassing parents those parents must have been. And in some parallel universe where these super cool, uber-hip parents sang this, the Boss’s Christmas carol, to their only begotten offspring while dancing Molly Ringwald-style in front of a bright neon Christmas tree, they were probably the cat’s pajamas. (In that universe, I’m sure this family’s Christmas card featured everyone in matching, Judd Nelson-style jean jackets, too.)
But, no. These were my parents, in this universe. And they chose to sing this, the coolest of the coolest renditions of any Christmas song EVER, only when I was in the middle of some spectacular tantrum. With special emphasis placed on the you’d better not pout bit.
Shockingly, this would only enrage me further, fueling many an ever-brattier outburst only to be met with more cheerful reminders that the omnipresent Claus was watching and coming. As you can imagine, it became a never ending cycle of self-righteous, amused singing and maniacal, red faced screaming.
(And that’s what Christmas means to me, my love.)
I hope I get to meet Bruce some day so that I can thank him in person for the memories. It's a wonder I even celebrate Christmas at all.