Certain holiday season headaches date back through the ages: crass Kringle commercialism, maddening false merriment, extended family shenanigans, office party politics, bogus bonuses, and the trial of traveling during the year’s most insanely over-trafficked period.
Alas, along with all the other burgeoning wonders of our modern era, contemporary Decembers now deliver a fresh bounty of jingle hells, ranging from sudden technological obsolescence just in time for end-of-the-year shopping and, of course, the perpetually cheer-smearing vengeance of Political Correctness.
Be it “The War on Christmas” or “The War on The War on Christmas” or “The War on the Very Idea That There’s Some Kind of War on Christmas,” the P.C. pollution of tinsel time now perennially raises H.L. Mencken’s flawless definition of puritanism (in paraphrased form): “The fear that someone, somewhere may be having a good time—particularly after hitting the eggnog and offering up a 'presumptive' holiday greeting.”
Given today’s joy-thwarting tenor, here’s a playlist of Christmas ditties doomed to be vamoosed in the rapidly expanding interest of creating a Universal Safe Space. Ho-ho... hoo-boy—uh, ah, hoo-person! Yes. Hoo-person.
“Deck the Halls” – Traditional
The Charge: Homophobia; Promoting the Gay Agenda;
Ho-Ho-Horrific History: Perhaps no embattled carol more perfectly bears the burden of the P.C. tug-of-war (on Christmas) than the poor, hundreds-of-years-old “Deck the Halls.”
At issue is the lyric: “Don we now our gay apparel.”
On one side of the vile aisle, Family Values Vultures claim any invocation of the word “gay” inches us all closer to homosexual world conquest indoctrination; over in the Safe Space corner, liberal-leaning Those Who Know Best take issue with the notion that anyone should impose the idea that “gay apparel” exists, fearing it will launch stereotyped visions of pink ascots, color-coded back-pocket bandanas, and/or assless leather chaps dancing in our prejudiced heads.
It’s almost enough to make it understandable how, in 2013, Hallmark attempted to duck the “g-word” by swapping it out on a Christmas ornament for “fun.” But then who are they—or anyone—to dictate that “gay” should be equated with “fun,” huh? Isn’t that just marginalizing and diminishing and perpetuating antiquated notions of…. okay, on to the next (entirely unnecessary) mess.
"¿Dónde Está Santa Claus?" – Augie Rios (1956)
The Charges: Racist “Spanglish”;
PC Police File: “These Christmas Songs Are Really, Really Bad”
Ho-Ho-Horrific Case History: Twelve-year-old Augie Rios scored a hit back in the mid-’50s with this charmer about waiting for (patriarchal, Christocentric) Father Christmas to arrive, sung in what today would be deemed an “exaggerated” accent meant to convey a home where both English and Spanish is spoken.
Stockpiling the horror: the song’s composers are George Scheck, Rod Parker, and Al Greiner—three other-than-Hispanic men who probably only ever thought of Puerto Rico as a vacation destination.
"¿Dónde Está Santa Claus?" transforms into a true ho-ho-horror when pondering the original single’s body-size-shaming B-side: "Ol' Fatso (I Don't Care Who You Are Old Fatso, Get Those Reindeer Off My Roof)."
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” – Jimmy Boyd (1952)
The Charge: Hetero-Normative; Defines Infidelity Down; Celebrates Underage Incestuous Voyeurism;
PC Police File: “In Defense of the Mom From I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
Ho-Ho-Horrific Case History: “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” took Self-Anointed Societal Savior heat on arrival back in 1952. That’s when the Archdiocese of the Boston Roman Catholic Church banned 13-year-old Jimmy Boyd’s hit, claiming it’s “sexual” nature soured the season.
Little Jimmy himself met with church officials (some of whom, ironically, dress a bit like Santa Claus all year) and explained that the Santa Claus in the song is actually the kid’s dad—which, had they actually made it to the last verse, is plainly apparent. The church relented and lifted the ban by Christmas ’53.
Leap forward a half-century and the “I Saw Mommy” backlash centers on (politically) correcting the song’s child-age narrator who sees his mother making out with someone he assumes is not his pop—and then dares to act (trigger warning) “judgmental” of the situation.
In 2013, the website Mommyish wrote: "In addition to hating the song’s narrator, I truly hate the song, too. It’s exceptionally gendered to an insane degree. The narrative includes the mom kissing Santa, the mom tickling Santa, but makes no mention of Santa sitting here with a giant boner in his Santa suit. Is the mom raping Santa in this situation? Of course not. Santa is a willing participant in the adult sexual experience, but for some reason we’re only spying on Mom here. This is blatant shaming of a woman for experiencing and acting on sexual desire while we paint the man as just standing there, a victim of her sexual wiles.”
That quote is real. I swear to the One Lawn Ornament You Don’t Put in the Manger Until Christmas Morning.
“Santa Baby” – Eartha Kitt (1953)
The Charge: Slut Shaming; Pro-Sex Trafficking; Free Market Propagating; Genderismist Traditionalizing;
PC Police Case File: “Happy Holidays and Sexist Songs”
Ho-Ho-Horrific Case History: “Santa Baby” sends up the notion of a “gold digger” working her chimney-smoking charms on St. Nick himself. Eartha Kitt performs the most popular version of the song, weaving a slow-burn coquettish spell that has left generations of listeners glowing in various hues akin to Rudolph’s nose.
Aside from inevitable cries against the song’s narrator honoring, capitalism-brainwashed acquisitiveness, most recent repudiations of “Santa Baby” center on these lines: “Think of all the fun I’ve missed/Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed/Next year I could be just as good/If you’ll check off my Christmas list.”
At issue is the implication that the protagonist is “saving” herself for Santa—and that kissing other fellas would be “bad.” That, according to our Tireless Online Outrage Alarm-Sounders, is “slut shaming.” And they have “walks” now for that and everything!
“Dominick the Donkey” – Lou Monte (1960)
The Charges: Ethnic Stereotypes; Reinforcing Gender Binaries; Italian-Washing Brooklyn;
PC Police File: “The 10 Worst Ambassadors of Italian Culture via Song”
Ho-Ho-Horrific Case History: Italian-American novelty record sensation Lou Monte landed a perennial Yuletide heavy-rotator (particularly around New York City) with his irresistible sing-along, “Dominick the Donkey.”
On the P.C. plus side, the song, akin to “Rudolph,” does celebrate turning the differently-abled Dominick’s physical attributes into a unique strength (“When Santa visits his paisons/With Dominick he'll be/Because the reindeer cannot/limb the hills of Italy!”).
Infinitely more unforgivable, Santa only assigns gender-normative presents to cis-male and cis-female recipients.
Finally, Monte paints one NYC borough as European-dominated—and it’s the very one where nonsense like this is most likely to cause a kerfuffle.
To wit: “A pair of shoes for Louie/and a dress for Josephine/The labels on the inside says/they're made in Brook-a-leen!”
“White Christmas” – Bing Crosby (1942)
The Charges: [First Word of the Title] Supremacy;
PC Police Case File: Uproar Over Claims That ‘White Christmas’ Is Racist
Ho-Ho-Horrific Case History: Does this even need a whitewash-washing?
Apparently—and hardly surprisingly—we are being dictated to that it does. Enlighten youself—but, please, don't get too light—with “Santa, Jesus, and the Symbolism of White Supremacy.”
Just wait for when Donald Trump inevitably attempts to make this Irving Berlin chestnut “great again.”
“Fairytale of New York” – The Pogues (1985)
The Charge: Drops F-Bomb (the gay one; and it’s NOT “fairy”); Promotes Ethnic Stereotypes;
PC Police Case File: Is "Fairy Tale of New York" Homophobic?
Ho-Ho-Horrific Case History: The melodic gorgeousness and lush orchestration of The Pogues’ holiday classic ironically details a downward spiral of two off-the-boat Irish immigrants who, over a succession of Christmases, go from a wide-eyed romantic couple of Gotham transplants full of hope to drunken, downtrodden Manhattan sidewalk vagrants consumed by hatred—mostly for one another.
Astonishingly, as late as last year, “Fairytale of New York” still received uncensored airplay despite an incendiary couplet spat out by Kristy MacColl as the female half of the booze-broken reprobates: “You scumbag! You maggot!/You cheap, lousy [mean old term for homosexual men that rhymes with maggot]!”
On top of that, there’s the wicked suggestion that individuals of Irish extraction in New York City may indulge in alcohol. What... blarney!
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – Dean Martin (1959)
The Charges: General Ease With Which It Encourages the Cloying and Annoying (and Actual Sex Crime Diminishing) Internet Term "Rapey"; Promotes (Non-Marijuana) Smoking;
PC Police Case File: Is "Baby It’s Cold Outside" a Rape Anthem?
Ho-Ho-Horrific Case History: The past half-decade’s tradition of bemoaning “Baby It’s Cold Outside” as Western Phallocentric Terror’s Evilest Defense/Celebration/Musical Instructional Manual Regarding Drugged Acquaintance Assault has effectively supplanted the song itself.
So there’s not a ton to elaborate on there that Googling the first two words of the title won’t immediately inundate you with.
The only new wrinkle worth noting is that when “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” does manage to violate the airwaves, it’s now almost always shorn of the male singing, “Never such a blizzard before” to which the female counters, “Maybe just a cigarette more.”
The people in this atrocious artifact casually ingest tobacco. And you just know it's Big Tobacco. Imagine. The mind reels to wonder how humanity even survived before Twitter was here to save us 140 crusading characters at a time—all the [censored] time.
BEYOND UN-PC BONUS
“Santa Claus Has Got the AIDS This Year” – Tiny Tim (1985)
The Charges: You did read that title correctly
PC Police Case File: “Santa Claus Has Got the AIDS This Year? WTF?”
Ho-Ho-Horrific Case History: First off, ease up. Nobody’s going to crotchety bat on behalf of this one. Even our mammoth love for Tiny Tim does prove to have its limits—and this “Santa Claus Has Got the AIDS This Year” sets a solid boundary.
For those who don’t know, Tiny Tim, the freakishly falsetto-voiced troubadour in question, was a 1960s pop-culture curiosity. He hit big with the cosmically beguiling “Tip Toe Through the Tulips,” set a ratings record by getting married on The Tonight Show, and hung around for several decades hence as an endearing cult figure and uproariously out-of-his-gourd Howard Stern guest.
Tiny’s most monumental musical miscalculation, however, occurred in 1985 when he issued “Santa Claus Has Got the AIDS This Year.” Mr. Tim who, truly, was prone to perhaps not grasp reality on any level even approaching “average” did later say he didn’t understand how tragic the AIDS pandemic was.
The singer's unfortunate naiveté is evidenced in the song itself when Santa assures the children of the world that he’ll be shaking the disease off soon and the North Pole will be back to normal business next year.