Required Listening: Santa Baby by Michael Bublé

CHRISTMAS PRESENT

I am not even ashamed to admit that I am a twenty-nine-year-old man who lives alone and buys himself not one, but two chocolate advent calendars for Christmas. Although, to be fair, the second one is for my cat—Mama.

Being single and living alone during the holidays is THE. BEST.

Want to know another one of the best parts about Christmas? The carols!

Listening to carols has always been a very important Christmas tradition for my family. I’ve been hooked ever since I heard Michael Crawford (the original Phantom of the Opera) perform O Holy Night during The David Foster Christmas Special.

My all-time favourite? Hands down, anything from A Charlie Brown Christmas. It just isn’t Christmas until I’ve heard something by The Vince Guaraldi Trio. In fact, when I die, instead of a eulogy, or sentimental power point slide show set to Sia’s Breathe Me (the original plan), I am requesting that only this video be shown. No other video could possibly sum up my life in 36 seconds as well as this…

So if it’s cool, I’ll just leave you in charge of this?

I will admit something, but only to the dozen or less people who read this blog: The first time I listened to the new Michael Bublé Christmas CD– it moved a little. When Michael Bublé sings Santa Baby, but changes the lyrics to Santa Buddy, I close my eyes, and pretend that he is talking only to me – I’m of course dressed up like Santa when I do this, so it’s not weird.

Honestly guys, the Michael Bublé Christmas CD has changed me– physically. And I mean physically in the literal sense. Ever since I replaced my cardio playlist from the usual heterosexual staples by Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Robyn to Michael Bublé, my workout progress has almost doubled. Thanks Santa Buddy, for bringing me a new six pack for Christmas. Well, okay, so maybe it’s a two pack (top left, and bottom right—when I flex—and only first thing in the morning). Beggars can’t be choosers.

CHRISTMAS PAST

My best Christmas was in 1992 when Santa brought me something I didn’t even know I wanted until I opened it– a Super Nintendo! My reaction was not dissimilar to that of a thirteen-year-old girl in the front row of the Ed Sullivan show during a Beatles performance. Or if you’re under twenty, that girl who cried when Sanjaya performed on American Idol.

It was the type of reaction that involved an adrenaline-fueled run around the Christmas tree. I broke a lamp, then later a phone, over my head–while crying. It was the best day of my life. But also one of my biggest mistakes. You see, it set the bar incredibly high for my mother. Much like the fairies in Peter Pan rely on children to believe in them, my mother requires strong emotional reactions on Christmas morning to keep her alive for the remaining 364 days of the year. To this day, my all-time favourite Christmas tradition is when, after a few too many glasses of eggnog she pulls me aside and says, with slurred speech, “tomorrow morning when you open your <here’s where she spoils the surprise> I want you to RUN around the Christmas Tree!”

The good news is I have become an expert at faking it. Take this picture for example.

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Upon opening what seems to be two file folders and a package of markers, I am pretending to be so overcome with excitement that I break out into full on gladiator poses. You don’t want to know what I did when I opened my Lifesaver Storybook. Let’s just say it involved a stripper pole, a pair of faux fur Mrs. Claus booty shorts and an over-sized feather.

Please also notice my mother’s face in this picture. She is in her element! You’ll be happy to know she lived to see another year as a result. In case you’re wondering, yes, my mom is wearing a hospital gown. This Christmas was mostly special because it was the year the loony bin let her out on a day pass (I give this joke 3 days before she asks me to remove it).

If this picture had a caption it would be “nailed it!”

What was the worst Christmas ever? It would have to be the year my parents hired this man to wake us up (from a sounds sleep) on Christmas morning shouting HO HO HO.

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You’ll notice I am not in this photo. I got the sh*t out of there. In fact, I went missing for two weeks after this photo was taken, and when they found me I could speak fluent German.

The second best Christmas was the year Santa brought me this case of Player’s Light Cigarettes. You’ll notice I taught myself how to brush my hair with my feet so that I could smoke with both hands. My sister is clearly still shell shocked from that Santa from a few years back. Poor little thing.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking. You were hoping that this blog entry would be a Dickens-esque anecdotal carol from my childhood. One in which I tell you a story about how, in trying times my mother and I launched our own entrepreneurial business peddling bleach bottle Santas to senile old ladies at the local retirement home for twenty-five bucks a pop, in order to get gifts under the tree, and a turkey on the table. Well, there you go. Yes, this happened when I was in the ninth grade. What else was a struggling single mother, hell-bent on getting her kids everything on their lists to do?

Bleach Bottle Santa

After school between the hours of 4pm to 9pm I worked in a literal Santa’s Sweat  Workshop, weaving Santa beards by the hundreds out of string and pipe cleaners. From the hours of 9pm to 11pm we drove around, trolling the city garbage bins for bleach bottles. My mother had a bad back, but luckily I was sprightly enough to get in and out of a garbage dumpster quickly. Business was booming, but soon we could no longer keep up with the demand, and the pressure had started to get to me.

The breaking point came for me on a cold winter’s day. I had made a tough decision: effective immediately, I would be selling my shares of Bleach Bottle Santas by Patti. My mother, not ready to accept my formal resignation tried to convince me to stay, but my mind was made up.  The discussion quickly turned into a heated argument– one that ended with us both shouting “Merry F**king Christmas!” at each other (repeatedly) in the parking lot of the Holy Rosary Church Christmas Bazaar. It may not have been our best moment, but it sure turned out to be one of my fondest holiday memories.

Mom, I dedicate this blog to you, for always making Christmas special (in your own way).

Happy Holidays, and may a Non-denominational God bless us, every one!