All I Want For Christmas

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Dec 19, 2006 11:26 AM

Yeah, I'm gonna torture you with a little bit of Mariah Carey. Roll with it. It's from back in the day, when she was cute and innocent. I was actually looking for Dan Fogelberg's ridiculous "Same Old Lang Syne" to dedicate to an old friend, but they don't have it on YouTube. Do you know how bad a song has to be for it not to be on YouTube? Anyway, Mariah will have to do.

I haven't done too much Christmas-themed stuff this year, so here goes.

Favorite Christmas Album: Bing Crosby's "Merry Christmas" with Leon Redbone's "Christmas Island" coming in second.

Favorite Christmas Song: Well, there are really four distinct categories of Christmas songs, so I'll do these in subsets.

  • Favorite Olllld Christmas Song: "Away in a Manger"
  • Favorite Classic Christmas Song: "White Christmas"
  • Favorite Kids' Christmas Song: "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"
  • Favorite Cheesy Pop Christmas Song Written Post-40s, Which, Let's Face It, Was the Last Time Decent Christmas Songs Were Written: "All I Want for Christmas is You"

Worst Christmas Song: Wilson Phillips' "Hey Santa." Click through at your own risk.

Best Christmas Present EVAH: A Thundercats electric train set, circa 1985, and a set of Legos in 1984. Good stuff. Oh, and an original Nintendo with Super Mario, Duck Hunt, and a gun, circa 2004. Now, that was a find.

That Christmas Present I Never Got: A Play-Doh Fun Factory. My whole childhood, I assumed they were just really expensive. Check out the price on that baby-- $4.99??? I'm guessing I didn't communicate my wishes very well. Either that, or they were waaaay steeper in the 80s. Forevermore, it will be the one that got away. That, and the chimpanzee I always wanted.

Favorite Christmas Tradition: There are several. First, my family does an utterly silly family Christmas card. We send it out all over the land, and find new and exciting ways to make fools of ourselves every year. There was the "Ham Christmas Project," shot pretty much like this, and "Christmas Scene Investigation (CSI)," in which my brothers and I are investigating a Christmas present and surrounded by neon green font and fingerprints.

For that one, I had to talk my father into removing a bullet-hole graphic, because I didn't think it was very festive. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. Last year, we got away from the "scare the elderly" theme and were "The Brady Bunch." Awwww. Ha, but with ideas like that, can you imagine the ones that don't make the cut? Those brainstorming sessions are priceless.

Second, the annual Christmas tree fight. This one has gone by the wayside, now that our mom finally caved and bought a fake tree. First, we would fight over what kind of tree to get. The boys like Scotch Pines. The girls like Fraser Firs. The girls usually won, though I'm not sure why, since they had us outnumbered. Then, we'd fight about how to decorate the tree. My mom would lecture us about where to put such-and-such ornaments, and the boys and I would find new and innovative ways to put all the wrong ornaments in all the wrong places, and subsequently play dumb as my mother got frustrated and marched over to the tree to change things around. Hee hee hee. And, it's all on videotape.

Third, the annual tricking of the little bro. He's 21 now, but my other brother and I still tell him every year,

"Stop! Don't talk like that, O. If you start acting like Santa isn't real, he WILL NOT come visit us. You have to believe!"

"Shut up, guys. God, you do this every year. I know that Santa's not..."

"Shhh! Shhh! That's enough! You're gonna ruin Christmas for all of us! He doesn't mean it Santa!"

The little bro ceased to find this funny at about 10, but we're going strong. You know why? Because it's tradition.

Tell me about what y'all do for Christmas. I know we've got some regulars in here. And, I'm sorry about the Mariah Carey. Luckily, it's the season of forgiveness.