Archive for the ‘A Novelty Idea’ Category

The friendly beasts and the unfriendly brays

December 16, 2016

Christmas songs often feature charming/annyoing animals, whether Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or a hippopotamus. Today, via @iowahawkblog, we meet another: Dominick, the Italian Christmas donkey.

Filled out with lots of Christmas stuffing — la la la, jing a jing jing, hee haw — the lyrics tell the story of how Dominick helps Babbo Natale deliver gifts to the good little bambini on Apennine hillsides that reindeer cannot traverse.

All in all, among the more annoying animal-themed Christmas efforts. More hippo, less Rudolph.


When parents aren’t guardians

December 13, 2016

Christmas Spirit Fail takes no pleasure in the poor decisions of those too young, really, to know better. That’s what parents are for.

And in this case, 11-year-old Cruz Beckham’s parents have failed him.


From the autotuned voice to the limited vocal range (at least he didn’t try to be Mariah) to the insipid and inscrutable lyrics,* this effort is wholly forgettable. And yet…

If everyday was Christmas and I can be with you
Underneath the mistletoe
Kiss you when nobody knows

Christmas Spirit Fail doesn’t care if you’re 11. You try getting with our daughter “when nobody knows” and every day will indeed be Christmas–since that Christmas will be your last, Casanova. The “fire started blazing bright” will be our fury, and the “wintersnow” you don’t mind will be what your ass will be thrown out on for attempting to mack with our little girl.

Perhaps the greatest enormity of all? Getting your humble CSF team to admit that we agree with Piers Morgan. A Christmas miracle indeed.

*What does “I wish everyday was Christmas with you?” even mean? What about “If everyday was Christmas, you were here with me/That would be all Christmas time for me”? Does the beloved make non-Christmas days into Christmas? Is the lover’s love only true on Christmas? Is Christmas Spirit Fail reading too much into this?


Going hunting for cash

December 11, 2013

Christmas Spirit Fail supposes it was inevitable.

Really, for the family that commands TV ratings and book bestseller lists, branching out with a Christmas album (and associated DVD) was sort of a no-brainer.

We don’t actually have that big a problem with these songs. “Hairy Christmas” is probably the cutest of the lot:

We can only ask: was this truly necessary? Is there any artistic virtue to this project? Is there any purpose to it beyond vacuuming more money out of the pockets of Duck Dynasty fans?

The feds should go after this kind of sugary treat…

December 6, 2010

We at Christmas Spirit Fail hang our homburg in the District of Columbia, where we have for several years now enjoyed a festive and charming Christmas season, accented by the “national” Christmas trees and other public displays. (The wreaths at Union Station may be our favorite.)

And since there’s no chance that a pleasant thing won’t get ruined by attempts to memorialize it in song:

The music alone makes our teeth ache, but the lyrics are worse: like a cut-rate Peggy Noonan under a close deadline to bang out a religious-patriotic holiday column, Maura Sullivan (the singer) and John London’s syrupy verse places even Christmas under the thumb of our federal frolic-masters in “America’s hometown.”

(That’s right: they call it “America’s hometown.” Notwithstanding the fact that at least half of D.C. area residents were born somewhere else, and often call that place their hometown, what claim does the federal city have of being the place where Americans devote their patriotic affection? I think Philly has a much better claim.)

And the chorus ought to offend every red-blooded American: Read the rest of this entry »

Keep this thing in a galaxy far, far away

December 14, 2009

This post features what is perhaps the most awful piece of cultural detritus ever produced to take advantage of the Christmas season. It’s not so-bad-it’s-good. It’s painful to watch, especially for two hours. Indeed, it’s completely forgettable, except that it’s the bastard stepchild of one of the most profitable cultural franchises of all time:

The Star Wars Holiday Special.

Where to begin with this hideous thing? (George Lucas himself said that “if I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.”) The bizarre roster of guest stars? The fact that the first ten minutes, and much of the rest, are in untranslated Wookiee, as if this was some kind of grad student art film? Carrie Fisher’s “Happy Life Day” solo at the end? The acid-trip sequences? Bea Arthur as proprietress of the Mos Eisley cantina? The seduction of Chewbacca’s father by a holographic Diahann Carroll?

The Holiday Special merges the worst of George Lucas’s imagination, commercial exploitation, and the (in)aesthetics of the 70s.

Better than a hippo

December 13, 2009

Also in the annals of adorable little girls singing irritating songs about Christmas is Gayla Peevey, who recorded “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” in 1953 at age ten.

Gayla’s is actually a somewhat inspiring story. The song became a nationwide hit, propelling the Oklahoma child star to national renown amusement. The Oklahoma City Zoo used the song to raise funds to buy a hippopotamus, which Gayla herself presented to the zoo.

Gayla went on to have an unremarkable career as a child singer and then, under a stage name as a teenager, pop singer. But this Christmas story actually has a happy ending: unlike so many child stars, Gayla ended up finishing college, enjoying careers in teaching and advertising, and having a daughter and three grandkids (if Wikipedia is to be believed).

So, gentle readers, even if Gayla never got her own hippo for Christmas, she got a lot more out of life.